Things I Realize and Birthday Wishes!

House wife

Look, I'll wear an apron, whatever. And sure I guess I'll dye my hair red. But I will not wear lipstick and a padded bra.

I had an epiphany tonight at 11:30 as I stay up to bake brownies for Jesy.  It is kind of my gift to her so that she has gifts to give at work tomorrow.  Jesy loves to get other people things on her birthday, weird, I know.  But several things dawned on me while I did my best Cinderella impression over a hot stove.  Butttttt, it is her birthday tomorrow, so her strange requests do get a slight reprieve.  And this year she gets to be pregnant on her birthday which is special enough. I would guess that she gets baby “stuff” for her birthday, which should take her from a slightly grouchy mood lately to a very happy mood.  Perhaps another chance to help bond with the baby, that and from all accounts so far show a happy healthy, energetic baby.

But what, if anything did I really learn?  I saw a glimpse into the future tonight my friends, what I saw was me…the parent….up late….doing the finishing work on the last-minute project our child told us about.  And that job will certainly fall to me.  Jesy will have a strict bedtime of 10:00 pm for the rest of our lives, that is a fact.  Hard line.  Mark my words, due to not only my ability to stay up late, but also my slight perfectionism and OCD I know I will just have to stay up to help any and all school projects look “just right.”

Please don’t think I resent it, that is not the case.  It is only natural that it be this way.  It’s kind of a Zen time.  I don’t want to be too loud as to wake anyone up, so I just get to quietly drift off and think, or not think, and get stuff done, or just relax and finally unwind for ten minutes.

I also learned that since I will be the late night emergency parent it might come in handy to be ambidextrous.  In stirring the batter for the brownies, Ghirardelli by the way, and then pouring out the batter into the pan with the same arms doing the same things the whole time was exhausting.  I felt like I should look like Popeye after all that.  Seriously though, learning how to stir with both hands is a key!  But now I know and knowing is half the battle.  And I hope that Hasbro hasn’t copy written that phrase.  And I will take the 6 month window i have left and get some training in for ‘ol lefty.  Might mean more baking, who wants more brownies?

I know Jesy loves me for my OCD, if for nothing else.  Whether it was a calculated move on her part, or just luck on her part and since it was already almost 11:00 pm, not worth worrying about.  Either way with me being alone in the kitchen for that long it forced me to sit and look at the disaster it has become.  This can only mean that as soon as I’m done writing this, that I’m going to go pull the brownies out of the oven and then clean the kitchen.  OCD has left me no choice.

Happy Birthday sweetheart.  Enjoy all the warm blessings from all your friends and family and from the tiny little UA inside.

Three sweetest words: Everything looks Normal.

I guess he got his bitch knocked up!

Well, at this point the cat should be out of the bag.  We, and when I say “we” I mean she, and when I say “she” I mean Jesy, is pregnant again!  A little over 11 weeks to be exact.  For a lot of you this is new news and we are sorry we had to keep it  from all of you this long, but we were playing it pretty close to the vest after what we went through last time.  We know there have been a lot of you praying for us and sending us your well wishes and we wanted to make sure that we had something positive to report.  And we do!

For anyone that has multiple children once you get to number 2 things I’m sure get easier.  You know what to expect, you’ve been through it all before, and while it’s certainly not less exciting, some of the initial wonder and fear just isn’t there the second time around.  Unless you have had an experience like we had on our first go around.  As we have described it, ‘winning the anti-lottery.’

So again for this pregnancy we have been just as cautious and nervous and probably even more on pins and needles as we are approaching the 20 week mark.  And no matter what happens from now until that 20 week mark, I will still be a little nervous.  At 21 weeks and after we find out the sex of the baby will I finally be able to totally exhale and relax a little bit.

But yesterday was a huge step forward for us and the wee-little uterus alien.  Normally people do not get an ultra sound at 11 weeks, but our doctor wanted to make sure that none of the hyrdomas that had formed on our last baby were starting to form on this baby.  He said that they can begin to form around this time and he wanted to catch it early if indeed it had happened again.

So there we sat in the same room that we found out that something was wrong with our last baby.  Nervous, scared and wanting desperately to be reassured that everything was all right.  I even looked over at Jesy at one point and told her, “I hate this room.”  And I meant it.  I can remember everything about that heart breaking day.  Some people have a gift to be able to block terrible memories like that out.  I remember every detail.  I remember how quiet Jesy was on the phone when Dr. Caligaris called back, I remember my mind completely blanking like nothing was there, I remember the dead bugs back on the window sill, I remember a single tear rolling down my face as I looked at the expression on Jesy’s face and then hugging her and starting to sob uncontrollably still not even knowing what was wrong.  Yeah, I still hated that room.  Until yesterday.

The first good sign was seeing the baby of course.  But this time it was so different.  At 20 weeks last time the baby was very still, it had to be.  There was no amniotic sac and it was covered in hydromas.  This time at 11 weeks, as soon as the technician found the baby it was like there was a rave going on inside Jesy’s uterus!  The baby was moving and groovin’, flip-flopping around and having a great time.  It was so awesome, it was like the first time I saw a life that I helped create, it was that exciting.  I could have watched my future child bouncing around for hours, it was incredible.  I just sat there so quiet and watched.  I was staring at the screen like Rosie O’Donnell stares at a quarter pounder.

But the best moment was when the actual Dr. came in and said those sweet words that any future parent longs to hear; Everything looks normal.

Sort of looks like Baby Herron is waving at us!

I could have been the spokes person for Orbits gum the way I was smiling.  I actually had to consciously stop smiling because I was afraid that I looked like a giant creeper.  No hydromas and everything looked on the up and up.  HUGE RELIEF!  We just passed two really important checkpoints in one visit!  We are all but out of the first trimester aaaannnnnndddd by all accounts we have a happy healthy baby!  Whew!

Poor Jesy, she was a huge nervous mess the whole time.  And of course we process our nervousness in completely different ways.  I withdraw within myself.  I get real quiet and am busy running 500 different scenarios in my head.  Not Jesy.  She ramps up her already active mouth.  The damn breaks and questions come flying out faster than a rich skanky house wife to a camera.  It wasn’t so much that there were a lot of questions, just the same three or four questions over and over again.  I get it, she just wants to be reassured.  She doesn’t want to go through what she went through before.  She doesn’t want to have this strong bond and connection to a baby that won’t make it again.  So she just kept asking, “your checking the back of the neck right now, right?”, “You can see the heart beat, right?”, “Everything looks OK to you, right?”  She probably asked those same three questions 10 times.

So, now I can start to relax a little bit more.  I’m not all the way there yet and I might not be until the baby is actually born and I can hold it in my arms for the first time.  But this was such a huge step in the process.

Mom and dad couldn’t be happier and more excited and for the first time in a long time relieved.

Everything looks normal.

You’re damn right.

Things I realize

Ohhhh, that's why he is screaming like that. He managed to get out of the car seat and is now a decoration on my window!

My brother-in-law has been very sick for the past week. And because of this the family has pitched in and to watch Mason, his and Jami’s son, while Jami has been at work.  Jesy and I have helped out when we could and that has meant taking him last Friday night and also last night.  In doing this there are a couple of things that I have come to realize about having a baby around that I think I knew before, but really comes to light when you have a baby around all day.

  • Just because you think you are ready to be a father doesn’t mean you really are.  Ever since turning 30, I have felt ready (“finally” as Jesy would probably say).  I thought that I had gotten all the selfishness out of my system, or at least most of it.  I thought that I had learned how to control my temper enough to give a child a fighting chance, I mean I have to deal with Carson everyday, how much more trying can a kid be?  The temper still needs work.  It will probably be something I struggle with the rest of my life, I just hope I can learn to control it enough to not let it severely affect my child’s development.
  • My patience still needs a lot of work too.  What is that old saying?  There’s nothing in the world that’s better than the sound of a laughing baby?  Well conversely there is nothing in the world more aggravating than a screaming baby and no solution for what ails the baby. Twice now in the last few days I have gone to pick up Mason and steal him from the living zombie that is Matt and twice now Mason has screamed like he was being murdered by his car seat the entire ride to my house.  I thought kids loved riding in cars?   I thought car rides put almost any kid to sleep?  Not Mason, at least not for me.  And what could I do, I was driving, it’s not like I could reach back and shove the bink (pacifier*) in his mouth, although he would have more than likely spit it out anyway.  So I tried music, not too loud, although I wanted to just to drown out the screaming.  I tried The Beatles first, they have a lot of calming songs plus it was music that I would love too.  Of course the first song was Revolution, probably the least calming song The Beatles have other than maybe Helter Skelter.   I quickly changed the song, ahhh Blackbird, that is a good one, but alas the little man was still doing his best impression of a banshee.  After a couple more tries with The Beatles with no success I try a different tactic.  What is something he would be used to listening too?  Matt and Jami have pretty different tastes in music than me, but I do have some Ludacris on my iPod, so let’s try that.  Nope still nothing.  It wasn’t until five seconds before we pulled in the driveway that Mason finally ran out of steam.  It’s a long trip from Liberty Township to Sharonville with an angry baby.  Road-rage would have had nothing on me.  Situations like that are why people start smoking.  I felt helpless and the more helpless I felt it seemed like the louder he got, it was enough to make me want to stop the car and just get out.  By the time I got home and he had just stopped I just sat in the driveway with the car on letting him sleep and letting me regroup.  That is when it dawned on me that I need to keep working hard to get better with patience, it is still a long road, but one I need to travel.
  • Our house is still nowhere near ready for a baby.  We have nothing to entertain a kid, or worse to put a kid while he/she sleeps so that we can get things done while said baby is sleeping.  When Jesy was home we took turns holding and watching Mason while the other did stuff, doing dishes, making dinner, whatever.  We have no pack and play, no bouncer, no real toys, nothing that would entertain the baby that would give both of us the opportunity to get things done.  Likewise we have nothing to hold the baby or tether it to us making multi-tasking nearly impossible.  All we have is a high-chair, and while that has certainly come in handy it is not nearly enough.  You would think with as much as we have watched my best friends baby, Aayla, and now with Mason we would be better prepared, but we aren’t, and it was no more glaringly obvious than last night.
  • Jesy will make a superior mother.  Is there something better than superior?  Seriously, I was amazed, as I often am with the ease at which she takes on a motherly role.  It was like she was born to be a mother.  Despite the crying and screaming she was calm and did anything and everything to calm Mason down and he responded quite well to her on most occasions.  She also brought the best out in him.  He played with “us” for like an hour before he fell asleep and she was brilliant with him that entire time.  She found little things that he loved to do and would always be interacting with him and making him smile and “goo.”  I don’t know that I had ever heard a baby “coo” and “goo” like Mason was last night, it was incredible and Jesy was 99% responsible.  And I guess that is what makes what we went through recently even more baffling and upsetting to me.  There is not more perfect person to be a mom than Jesy and for her to have gone through what she went through is unfair to anyone, but especially someone who will be such a good mother as her.
  • Mason farts like his father and sleeps like his mother.  I was sitting several feet away and I could hear Mason farting like he was cast in a Fatties movie with Jack Black.   Some people have stream of thought, Mason has a stream of fart.  Is that an earthquake?  Did a train just go through our backyard?  Is there a T-Rex loose in our house?  Nope Mason is just farting….again.  The kid is a champion.  But lets face it, he’s just carrying on a family tradition, congrats my boy you are a Wenstrup.  And how a kid can feel rested after the way he sleeps is beyond me.  Half the time I was holding him while he slept he looked like he was trying to go ten rounds in a ring with Mike Tyson.  The kids arms were moving and swinging with a quickness that Ali would have been proud of.  I know Jami is more known for her conversations in her sleep, but it looks like Mason has decided to take it up a level and do some shadow boxing in his sleep.  I feel sorry for any future girlfriend.

I guess this works, but I'm pretty sure only girl babies should be sucking on it.

  • A baby is exhausting.  I know every mother will scoff when they read this and will just laugh it off as me being a typical man, but I had no idea a baby was so tiring.  How something that only eats, poops, and sleeps can wear an adult out was beyond me.  But then it dawned on me, this little human is relying on me for everything, so I’m constantly on and that is after working for 8 hours already today.  So calm down ladies, the light bulb just went on.  A special shout out to all the single mothers/fathers out there.  Wow, I have no idea how you do it.  Jesy and I tag teamed Mason pretty well last night (does that sound as bad as I think?) and he wiped us both out (yeah it does).

It would seem I have learned a lot in a couple of days, and thank God I did.  There are some things I definitely need to work on, I just hope I can be better.  It’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks.  The good news is that where I fail I know Jesy will be there to pick me up.  My only fear is, and it has been a fear for a long time, ever since we started seriously talking about having kids, will I be good enough?  Looking at Jesy I know she is ready and I know she is good enough, she will be fannnnnnnnnntastic.  I just hope I can do half as good, because I’m scared that I might not be able to be better and our kids will have a broken dad.

*This little footnote is about the pacifier.  How many names does that damn thing have?  Bink, binky, pacifier, paci, mouth plug, scream stopper, fake nipple, nuk, baba, nibbler, and Vin Diesel.  I’m sure there are 100 more as well, but these are the most common ones I have heard.  No wonder English is one of the hardest languages to learn, we give something like a pacifier 2,000 different names.  Good luck kids!

Rant over.

Living with a Organizational Nightmare

Jesy’s bedroom if not for me.

There are certain things that I have grown to learn that my wife hates to do.  Dishes is one of them.  She will let them build up until there is literally a mountain of dishes equal to Everest in our sink.  And she’s a hypocrite too, especially if she’s tired.  She will yell at me for not loading dirty dishes into the dishwasher, but she will do the very same thing under the guise of “being sleepy.”  It’s like her Kryptonite.

In all fairness I was never much better.  Growing up my mother can attest to the fact that I would avoid doing the dishes at all costs.  I have no idea why, it’s so easy to do.  I think it stems from a couple things; 1. My mom wanted me to do it, which of course meant that I didn’t want to, 2. It’s so easy to be lazy about, and 3. It was kind of funny to see how mad my mom would get over something as silly as the dishes.

But I have found a happy place in doing dishes, a Zen about it.  I throw on some music and just take the ten minutes and get it done when I get home normally.  It helps in letting go some of the crappy day that I always bring home with me, not all of it normally, but some.  Plus it is a good excuse to listen to music too loud.  That’s right I party when doing the dishes, what of it?  But during my last little “raver” last night I discovered a couple things that I thought I would share.

We have certain drawers that Jesy just likes to pile stuff in for no rhyme or reason.  And it was one of these drawers that I took the time in cleaning out and re-organizing, because while Jesy might be the poster child of organzation at work, she is the exact opposite at home.  Clothes and shoes are strewn about randomly throughout the house , mail and various papers are littered all over the dining room and office and of course the dishes she so hates touching.  I call her the human tornado.  But I digress, after doing the arch-enemy dishes I realized this was a good oppertuniy to take care of one of the clutter drawers.

  • We have a small army of spatulas.  Who the hell needs 18 spatulas?  Rachael Ray doesn’t need that many spatulas.  The entire cast of Hell’s Kitchen doesn’t need that many spatulas.  And how in the hell did we get that many?  Were the spatulas having sex and reproducing in the drawer?

The Army of Spatulas

  • We don’t have a full set of measuring cups or measuring spoons.  We have two sets of each and neither is a full set.  Measuring cups and spoons must be the socks of the kitchen, they just seem to vanish into some Twilight Zonesque wormhole.  I’m nearly positive there is a parallel universe that has all the stuff we are missing.  I mean how else does that happen?  Maybe there is a turf war between the spatulas and the measuring utensils in the drawer and the measuring utensils are loosing?  But where are the “dead bodies” going?

Ain’t going to win with this lack of a full house

  • We have two things that look like it came out of Richard Greer’s bedroom.  I know one is a wine bottle topper, in case you lose the cork (so I would guess the other one is too) but when I saw the wooden one, I was worried.  Worried because I had no idea what it was or what it was used for and then worried that this was something that had no place in the kitchen near things that might go in my mouth.  I mean look at it and as a man tell me what you would think.

I guess ‘ol Richard is going to have to go back to using gerbils.

  • I would also like to take a minute to thank Jimmy Baur.  A couple years ago you were attending a party at our house.  You had a little too much to drink and were upstairs pouring a Coke no doubt mixed with alcohol that you clearly didn’t need.  In doing so you dropped the Coke and syrupy goodness was spilled all over the counter and floor.  You never cleaned it up, I remember because I did.  What I never thought to check was the drawer that was right under where you spilled, the very same drawer I sought to re-organize last night.  There was years-old Coke that was now acting like a glue all in the drawer.  After several minutes of tendinitis educing scrubbing I got it clean.  Thanks again Jimmy.

Two hours later and after convincing Jesy to get rid of at least a third of the crap that we didn’t need or use, the drawer was put back together as God intended, in a neat and organized fashion.  The good news is that once something is organized Jesy has been a ton better about keeping it that way, she just would never take the initiative to actually organize in the first place, but I guess that’s why I’m here.

So my moral to all this is, if you live with a human tornado sometimes it is better to put your God-given gifts to use instead of fighting a losing battle all the time.  She hates dishes, I find some Zen in it.  She hates organizing, I like to organize.  She doesn’t always like the way I organize but tough shit. If it was really a concern of yours you would have re-organized years ago!

***Jesy’s Version***

I thought it was funny that George had let me know that he created a post about his organizing adventure last night because on the way to work this morning I was thinking that I was also going to write a post about his organizing too.  In his post above he mentions that once he re-organizes I do a pretty good job of keeping it organized and I do.  I absolutely LOVE when George gets the cleaning bug and goes to town on a drawer or cabinet in the kitchen.

You still want an Easy Bake Oven?

This happens every once in a blue moon and sometimes it is a calm clean (last night) and sometimes it is a scary clean which are the ones that start by him not being able to find something in my mess. I understand why he gets all crazy about not finding something but I also don’t get why he just doesn’t ask me where something is “hiding” because I’m pretty sure I’ll know where it is to be found in my organized chaos.

Regarding those lovely spatulas, where are my cooking friends on this one? There are times that during a course of a recipe that I will go through 2-4 of those darn things. Its just easier to grab a new clean one out of the drawer rather than cleaning just one off 4 different times, who is with me on this? Either way, I allowed Mr. Herron to put about 4-5 spatulas in the Goodwill bag.

I will also agree with the husband that there were some interesting kitchen utensils or gadgets that I have NO clue what they do or what they were intended for. I was young when we got married and of course looked to my mom during the registry for advice because I really had no clue how to cook at the time. I’ll take this moment to add a little jab – I didn’t know how to cook because my mother never got me an Easy Bake Oven when I was little. Now that I’m cooking way more often than 3 times a year I’m using more kitchen gadgets and I’ve been purchasing some over the years depending on the recipe, however we still have some that don’t have any use so we went ahead and got rid of them too.

Sorry Mom – had to add the jab! Note to mothers that have young daughters, please buy them an Easy Bake Oven!

Cliche Time

Our baby making journey can once again commence and since I’m a guy I wanted to think of how many euphemisms I could come up with to properly and improperly describe this.  Guys are juvenile and immature and I’m no exception.  If you joke about farts and penis’ do I not laugh?  Of course I do, so what better way to express my sheer joy than with some third grade humor?  Be warned, some of these might be inappropriate, but looks who’s writing them, what do you really expect? So without further adieu here it goes:

Overcompensate much? You can draw your own conclusions, but at least I won't miss.

  • We’re back in the saddle again
  • We’re a go for launch
  • It’s time to get jiggy with it
  • Let’s get to inseminating
  • Let’s get freaky fertile
  • Time for my yoke to meet her egg and see what happens
  • Thundercats GOOOOOOOOOOOO
  • Let’s get nasty and make something beautiful
  • Time to do the baby boogie
  • All aboard the baby train, Woooooo Woooooooooo!
  • It’s time for sex….with a purpose (For all you Catholics out there)
  • Let’s get it on like Donkey Kong (except let’s make a baby human, not Diddy Kong)
  • I get to give her the juice
  • Time to play Dr.,  Dr. Lovemaking that is
  • I came here to make babies and chew bubble gum and I’m all out of bubble gum
  • Creating life from a load
  • It’s time to call 1-800-get-strk for a delivery
  • LET’S GET READY TO RUMMMMMMMBBBBBLLLLEEEEEEEEE (It would be optimal to have Michael Buffer bedside to make that call, but we’ll just have to make due)
  • Consummate, ejaculate, inseminate, impregnate!
  • Putting the Milkman out of business
  • Doing the life creating mambo
  • Switching from blanks to live ammo and the safety is off.  I’m going to fill her full of baby making lead
  • Time to make a miracle with my magic wand.  Abracadabra homes!
  • Busting a nut in her gut to create a human mutt
  • We’ll keep bangin’ away until we get the results we desire
  • Time to get her knocked up (That one is for Brian)
  • Planting my seed in her Garden of Eden
  • Preggoing her Eggo (Stolen from ‘Juno’)
  • Pre-Heat her oven

But to put it quite simply:

  • It’s baby making time!

Cross your fingers, say a prayer, light a candle, do a dance, sacrifice an animal, knock on wood, or do like I do and create a little cheer (Go sperm go!).  Do whatever you feel comfortable doing to help us conceive a healthy baby!

And remember our motto:  Drama Free in ’11!

A Tattoo to Remember

In order to heal we must first hurt.  Wow, that sounded pretty inspirational right?  Maybe when I’m dead people will talk about me and use that line like they do for famous people?  Or maybe they will just reflect on the silly dumbass I was, have a good laugh and quickly move on.

My point is that for a long time I have wanted something to symbolize my family.  Something unique, something special and something I could add to since Jesy and I want to grow as a family. We’re not the one and done type.  And anyone that knows me knows that I am pretty covered in tattoos anyway, so tattoo it was.

For me  a tattoo has to mean something, it’s going to be on your body for the rest of your life.  But I have always been a firm believer in not getting someone’s name tattooed on your body, not even your own wife.  I’m not judging anyone, it’s just a personal preference.  The way I figure is that anyone, including Jesy, could get tired of my shit (hell I get tired of my shit) so why get a tattoo of her name when there is even the slightest chance that she would not be around forever.  Sorry, it’s just the realist in me.  I love her and I know she loves me, but stuff happens.  I don’t think she will ever leave me, but the possibility always exists so no names.  Plus, to me it always seemed so cliche, I wanted something with a little deeper meaning.

{What then?}

After some soul-searching and deep thoughts (not with Jack Handy) I came up with this little idea that fit all my criteria.  No names, original, and has a deep meaning.  A space theme.  A sun, moon and a single star.  It seemed like a perfect idea and here’s why:

  • The Sun (Jesy) – Is there any better representation of Jesy than a sun?  Bright, bigger than life, full of energy, life-giving and keeps me warm.  And much like the people before William Hershel came along, Jesy thinks the universe revolves around her.  Just kidding of course, but I couldn’t resist putting that in here!
  • The Moon (Me) – Another spot on representation.  Being introverted I tend to come off as a lifeless orb that depends on other things to get noticed.  Just like the moon relies on the sun to glow, I depend on Jesy to shine.  She has brought out a lot of the good that I have in me.  Without her I would just be a big gray rock that NASA likes to leave their garbage on.
  • The Star (Baby Herron) – A star is a sun that is just really far away, but it still shines bright enough that it can be seen.  Our little star may not have burned too long, but it burned bright.  You might notice that this star is a special star.  It has a pink hue to it and at the center has a little yellow “halo”, it needed to be able to be unique for what would have been our baby girl.

I chose a place, the inside of my arm, that I knew would hurt.  It had to hurt.  For a man, physical pain is easier to understand.  I wanted to have a physical pain to try to help relate to the emotional pain we have gone through, to help give me more clarity, to make it more real for me.  I didn’t have to carry the baby for 21 weeks, I didn’t have to go through what Jesy did on November 18th.  I needed to feel something.  And feel it, I did.

The tattoo will take about two weeks to heal, perfect timing really.  By the time this heals we should be clear to try to have another baby.  Normally a tattoo would have no effect at all in trying to have a baby, but let’s see if you can follow me in my thought process here.  Physical and emotional healing at the same time.  Being able to try again will certainly help with the emotional healing. It of course won’t eliminate it, that pain may never completely go away, but this will be a huge step forward.  Much like the tattoo will always be here, but the pain won’t.  It will heal and stand as a beautiful reminder of what we went through.

And as we go forward I will be able to add to the tattoo.  With our (next?) child/children I can add another star, just no halo this time.

So, let the healing begin….


{Side note on the tattoo artists}

Special thanks to Tommy and Nate at Designs By Dana in Covington.  Tommy was the actual artist and obviously did an amazing job. He was also able to put up with my many emails of ideas and changes.  Nate was also there and he simply kept Jesy entertained with his crude humor while I was getting my tattoo done.  Thank you so much fellas!  If you have any hookers that need taken care of go see Nate (Sorry inside joke)!  I would HIGHLY recommend either of them for a tattoo.


Everyone, Hope. Hope, everyone.

Does anyone know what in the hell was going on at Kenwood mall this Saturday?  Was there some huge sale going on?  Was it the “Please come out and shop because the economy sucks and we need some business and let’s face it, it’s the middle of January and you weren’t doing anything anyway” sale?  Because that place was packed like it was the week before Christmas…and it was the only mall in America.  You would have been hard pressed to tell that there is a recession going on at Kenwood mall.

Normally I would have just turned around and went home after Jesy and I went up and down at least four isles to find a parking spot.  I’m just not that patient when it comes to mall parking.  Nine times out of ten I don’t want to be there anyway, so why would I put that much effort to find a parking spot three zip codes away?

But it was a special day.  Today was the day that both Jesy and I felt like we could handle going to the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Kenwood to make the stuffed bear that we had planned on making for our child.  You see, before we heard the heart beat for the last time (wow, that was tougher to type that I thought it would be) we went to Build-A-Bear and bought a recorder and took it with us to the appointment to record the heartbeat. Our plan was to then put it in a bear for our baby.  I must admit this was not my idea, I stole it from a co-worker who suggested it.  So, before everything blew up, we had recorded the heartbeat and for the last two months that recorder just sat in the original bag that we bought it in collecting dust.  As a matter of fact I hadn’t even listened to it since that day, couldn’t.

Sooooo, yeah it was worth the Everest-like hike from Scooby Doo 17 to the mall entrance.

Picking the right bear:

Harder than I thought.  I’m an unconventional thinker sometimes and I like to mix it up.  I thought the rabbits they had were very cute and didn’t feel like going all main-stream with this.  But, Jesy hates rabbits because she had a real rabbit when she was younger and it was mean apparently.  So the rabbit was out.  I liked the wolf that they had, it was a special WWF (World Wildlife Foundation, not wrestling) that would be replaced by another animal in the coming months.  But the way it had to sit didn’t make it very cuddly.  Dear God, I just used cuddly and cute in the same paragraph, this is getting dangerous.  So two strikes so far.  Jesy and I just kind of wandered around like zombies staring at the bears and other animals you could build not getting “that feeling” from any of them.  And of course I didn’t want to budge either about getting a traditional brown bear, it just seemed to normal for any kid of mine.

But then there it was.  A white bear with pink hearts.  Perfect for that little girl we had lost.  I mean if they had a frog it would have been an easy choice, but this bear was a fine substitute.  I can imagine a very young Jesy picking out this exact bear.

Building the bear:

Once we had the deflated bear in hand it was time to get her all stuffed.  As we were waiting in line to get the bear innards I noticed that we were the only people in there without an ankle biter with us, I’m sure it seemed a bit strange to the employees there, because several times we were asked, “Oh, building a bear for your little one?”  Ummmmmmmmmmmmm.  Blank face. That was our response.  Pretty articulate right?  What do you say, how do you respond to that?  “Well Build-A-Bear employee that I have never met, let me tell you all about how we lost the baby that we had planned on building this bear for, and please excuse my wife’s tears right now as you have struck a nerve.  Thanks.”

I know it wasn’t their fault at all and they were just trying to make small talk as the machine filled the bear, but dammit I was really hoping to get out of here without Jesy having to even think about re-hashing that story verbally again.  I was prepared just to say yes to shut him up, but Jesy bravely told him a VERY Reader’s Digest condensed version.  He did the awkward shut up and looked down at the ground.

Naming the bear:

The hardest part of all.  With bear in hand we had to sit at the “naming station” and fill out a “birth certificate” for the bear.  Weird.  The bear gets a birth certificate and our baby doesn’t.  Surreal really.  So what do you call a bear that you build for someone who has passed away?  What do you name a bear that the intended recipient will never receive?  What do you name a bear that your wife will cuddle with and cry on?


It was so easy, but I blanked.  Jesy was the one that came up with the name and it couldn’t have been more perfect.  I think she felt like she needed some hope, and Hope is what she got.

Jesy has slept with the bear both nights since bringing it home.  Even I rolled over this morning while Jesy was in the shower and hugged it.  I’m not sure that I will be brave enough to listen to the heart beat again anytime soon, but baby steps right?

It was a powerful and emotional day/weekend, but I’m glad we finally did it.  It was another necessary step in healing and moving on I think.

“You have to admit it’s getting better.  It’s getting better all the time.”

Dr. Feelgood

Wow, they must all have pretty high pedestrian levels, look at how well they can cross the street, and all at once!

Yesterday was a big day and it could have gone one of two ways.  For you see, Jesy and I went back to the Dr. yesterday to find out what Jesy’s  progesterone levels are and to make sure that she is on track to start to try to conceive again after her second visit from Aunt Flo after the loss.

Basically if this little visit went south it was going to be a looooooonnnnnnggggg month.  I think one of the things lately that has helped Jesy move forward has been the idea that we could begin trying again soon and if something happened yesterday to burst that happy little bubble then Jesy was going to be a mess.  So fingers, toes and anything else I could cross was crossed (that might explain why I was walking funny yesterday) going into the Dr.’s office.

But before I get to the results I need to go over some things I learned from this visit. Just in case the other three men that read this blog are curious about anything.

1.       Progesterone.  I swear to God that I thought she was talking about her pedestrian levels at first.  I didn’t say anything, but for at least a month I was wondering what her ability to cross the street had anything to do with getting pregnant.  And how would they measure that anyway?  I guess it makes sense that if she can’t manage to cross the street without getting hit by a car then it is reasonable that she won’t get pregnant, or maybe shouldn’t get pregnant.  But in fact, it just turns out that she was talking about her progesterone levels, which essentially means how fertile she is.  But for any man out there, have your wife talk about progesterone and see if it doesn’t sound like pedestrian to you.  Of course when my wife says crayon it sounds like Korean, so maybe it’s because Jesy has some weird little accent that I have no idea where it comes from.

2.       Vagina snot.  WARNING, THIS MIGHT GET GROSS.  So a couple of weeks ago Jesy discovered this heavy discharge coming from her nether region.  It wasn’t bloody, but it was mucasy (I think I just made that word up) and thicker, she described it as egg whites.  Of course she was concerned about it, never experiencing it before and decided to come to me and talk to me about it.  What the hell do I know?  Jesy frequently does this, she will tell me any and all medical problems she has and expects me to answer.  I’m not a Dr., I don’t even play one on TV, and I damn sure didn’t stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.  So, I’m not sure why she always comes to me with this stuff, but it never fails.  My answer is always the same, ask your doctor.  She finally did yesterday and Dr. Cali asked her if it looked like snot, and she said yes.  Turns out, it is perfectly normal and actually it means that she is more than likely ovulating, which is fantastic news.  So to sum it up, vagina snot is good.

3.       My wife is a wuss.  That was not something I learned really, I knew that already. It was just re-enforced when they took the blood to get her progesterone levels yesterday.  When they stuck her arm you would have thought that she just got shot.  I checked to make sure they didn’t mix up the needles, I thought maybe they had accidentally switched the human needles for the elephant needles or something, but no it turns out that Jesy is still kind of a wuss.

This was a similar reaction to what Dr. Cali had when he heard about the vagina snot.

4.       Dr. Cali is pulling for us.  First of all he didn’t HAVE to talk to us yesterday, but he took time out of what I can only imagine is a super busy schedule to talk to us about what was going on.  But what really gave him away was the giant smile that crept onto his face when he was talking about the vagina snot.  I know what you are thinking, who wouldn’t smile when thinking about vagina snot? Hell, every time I type it I laugh a little, but it was more than that.  He was genuinely excited to hear that she was possibly ovulating and that more than likely she is right on track.  He and Jesy really have a special bond. She has been going to him since she was like 16, and he knows the whole family and extended family and you couldn’t ask for a better doctor.  If all doctors were like him I would actually go to the doctor.  There are times when I leave his office with Jesy and I wonder who wants us to have a baby more, him or us!

I guess I pretty much ruined the surprise that I was saving for the end.  The doctor visit was great.  A lot of good signs and we should get the test results today.

Jesy is happy, George is as happy as he can be and even Dr. Cali is happy, almost jovial!  And pending test results we are a go for launch sometime around the first week in February.

Time to knock off the rust and stretch it out, I got some baby making to do!


I just got a call from Jesy who just got a call from Dr. Cali who just got a call from the lab.  Not good.  Her progesterone level was at a 1.  Now before we all get in a tizzy there could be a couple of explanations.  One of course is that she isn’t ovulating, which is what we were hoping NOT to hear.  But the other option and the option that Jesy will swear to right now is that they mis-timed the test.  Jesy says that she “swears” she felt the ovulation and that they missed it by a week and that is why her levels were so low.

Either way it looks like we might get delayed another month while we wait to see if her levels jump back up after the next period.


Toilet Humor

How appropriate, It captures deep thought and what looks to be someone squeezing out a turd.

Well that really isn’t accurate is it?  Is it toilet humor when no toilet was involved?  Not to get too philosophical on people, but is it toilet humor because it involves bodily functions that produce waste like dropping the “duce”or “draining the snake?”  What about farting?  That isn’t really waste, but it certainly has a similar smell, right?  Does that fall into toilet humor even though people rarely do it on or even near a toilet?

While Socrates is rolling in his grave I suppose I will get to the point.  I had the pleasure of hanging out with my brother-in-law, Matt, and his brand new baby boy Mason, which is of course my nephew, the other night. He is my first nephew and I couldn’t be more proud, or happy.  I love spending time with him, looking at him as he absorbs everything around him.  Holding conversations with him that I know he can’t even begin to comprehend, but helps make me look less crazy because before it was just me talking to myself.

But what really made the other night special was for the first time ever I got to see a baby really work a turd out.  Gross?  Hell no, try hysterical.  It might have been the funniest thing I have ever seen.  I loved watching this little guy go from looking like a cute little sleepy baby transform into a 70-year-old man who is seemingly putting every ounce of effort into squeezing out a fudgecicle no bigger than my pinky finger.  It was almost like watching that Michael Jackson video where everyone’s face is changing.

He would scruntch up his face and stick out his tongue and give it a good, “Ughhhhh.”  Then he would relax, like he was building up for round two.  I mean it was honestly like a boxing match.  Some imaginary bell would ring and he and the turd would go to their respective corners and get some relief for the coming rounds.  Matt and I would act as his trainers, encouraging him, telling him to show that turd who’s boss, not to let up, to stop playing around and just end this.

"Who does Number 2 work for?"

The turd was clearly getting encouragement of his own, because this “fight” would go on for at least 5 rounds.  Grunting, face shriveling, and an all out abdominal attack, and that was just Matt and I eating the pizza we ordered.   Mason was deep into the fight of his life to prove once and for all that he was stronger than the turd.  All I could think about was Austin Powers , “Who does number two work for?”   The answer by the end of the night would be Mason.  But until then it would be a back and forth battle that was just too close to call.  I had them even on my score sheet until…

Suddenly it was over.  Mason delivered the knockout punch with a grunt that would have made a feral animal shy away.  Oh and I could feel it, I could feel the vibration of the turd hitting the back of the diaper.  Matt and I both looked down and laughed and then congratulated Mason on his hard-fought victory, raising him up like the champion he was.  And as I looked at him I couldn’t help but notice the relief on his face.  It was like he had just given birth to a brown baby boy.  If it wasn’t for the fact that he had to be changed I think he would have just fallen asleep.

A goodnight and a great victory for the nephew.  I just hope that he knows that there will be an endless stream of rematches from here on out.  Good luck buddy, give ‘em hell!

“Christmas Shopping.”

Clearly this Christmas Shopping Tradition goes back a ways.

I have been a part of the Wenstrup family for 9 Christmas’ at this point and this is the first year I was invited to go along on the men’s annual “Christmas Shopping Adventure.”  I was so excited when I was first invited that I almost peed myself.  Finally, I get to take part in the time old tradition that always had good stories to tell afterward.

For you see, this was not any ordinary shopping trip.  For years these men have gone out under the guise of shopping for their significant others and got stupid drunk instead.  I of course can’t drink, but the stories that have always been told about this night are legendary, and I wanted in.  I suppose there are some years that people actually do have to go shopping, in that unlikely event he would be made fun of all night for interrupting or delaying the drinking for actual shopping.  LAME.  But of course the legend does have it that it did all start as shopping for jewelry first, which would take all of 10 minutes in Newport. And since they were already in Newport why not hang out and drink with the other three hours to kill.

So the legend goes.

So here is my entry to the mythology of  “Christmas Shopping.”

Cast of Characters:

  • John Wenstrup – The leader and worst organized.  He has a penchant for over drinking and cracking wise at the least advantageous moments.
  • Paul Clements – Second in command.  He easily has the biggest mouth, but swears to have never been in a fight.
  • Randy White – The peace keeper.  A new addition to the outfit, but fits in like a glove with the rest of the “Wild Hogs.”
  • Bill Meinhardt – The innocent.  I’m not sure Bill quite new what he was getting into.
  • Matt Wenstrup – The enforcer.  Knows immediately where all bottles are that could be weapons when entering a bar.
  • George Herron (Me) – The DD.  Due to a close call last year with the local police, my bodies resistance for any sort of alcohol, and I’m nearly positive Jesy “secretly” asking that John involve me.  The stars were aligned; it was my call to the big leagues.  If nothing else, so that they have a driver.

Would I blow it?  Being the DD with a crew like this would require focus and a swivel head, eyes constantly moving.  Closest exits, fire extinguishers, knowing where the biggest guy in the bar was, bathrooms, how many pool cues, where wallets were, you had to know all these things.  Driving a large car full of drunks of this magnitude through the back roads of Liberty Township.  Three different directions being thrown at you all at once, just having to kind of MacGyver the directions together and make my own.

I wish I could put this on my resume somehow.

Storage Unit:

Like all adventures, there is quite an auspicious start.  We were driving Randy’s Tahoe, since it was the only vehicle that was going to be able to contain the craziness that we were packing.  Randy, Matt and I had to stop at the storage unit to pick up the back seats.  First off, back seats were a little buried.   Not tragic, but come on now, it’s freezing out here!  Then there was the matter of, “it’s a lot easier to take them out than put them back in” issue that you always seem to have.  Matt and I just get to stand there and watch Randy wrestle with the back seats for like 15 minutes.  I mean, there wasn’t any room for us to actually help, and no one had a flash light of course, so we just kind of had to just stand there and quietly ask if he wanted us to look at it.  I mean you just can’t throw that out there, that’s like calling a man a less of a man, you just can’t do that.  So we just kind of stood there and our penance was freezing to death, but Randy got it and then we were off to our first stop to pick up Bill.  None of us could tell you how the seats work, Randy included, getting those seats to stick was luck.

Win, Place or Show:

The rest of the passenger pick up went as predictable.  Randy drove all the way to this the first official leg of the race, so I actually had to first test those back seats that were wrestled to submission installed by Randy.  I survived, so Randy won.  Being what I thought would be the safest of the bars to order actual food and the fact that it was 7 or after it just made sense to get some food here.  Horrible call.  It took FOREVER to get the order in and then it took FOREVER to get the food.  And this food wasn’t even worth waiting 3 minutes for.  Their covered cheese fries came 1/4 covered in the thinnest layer of cheese I had ever seen, with about 5 bacon bits on top and a half a cup of ranch on the side.  I ordered a bacon cheese burger plain.  I got it loaded and to make it worse that meant some weird sauce, either tartar, or some weird Italian concoction.  And the burger was sub par even without all those issues.  Then there was the matter of waiting for the checks to arrive so we could get the eff out of that nightmare.  While waiting for our waitress whose last name must have been Houdini, we had to suffer through the beginning of karaoke night.  I hate karaoke and already being annoyed didn’t help that.  This night had potential to get ugly before it really starts.

  • Mood(Group):  Annoyed.
  • Alcohol level:  A college junior after three beers.  Slightly buzzed, but feel that they have had enough to justify uglier girls hotter than they are.
  • Primary Discussion:  The GAWD AWFUL field that Eastern Washington has.  Boise State’s is odd and a discussion piece, but EWU has taken it too far.  The loudness of the karaoke.  Old men love to complain and especially about loud music, it was a recipe for disaster.

Peg’s Pub:

This picture could have been taken inside Peg’s Pub.

If I didn’t have lung cancer before, I do now.  But I knew what I was getting into, so I’m not laying blame here, just saying.   Highlights include; John had the first of a few Hudy Delights for the evening, cover band playing some good 60’s and 70’s hits, old man in sweater trying to get his bump and grind on with what normally would be considered cougars, but were just kittens for this guy, Doug standing us up for actual shopping, a man dangerously dipping a woman maybe three times his size and a guy dry humping a hanging banner.

Except for the pocket walls  of second-hand smoke,  this was a pretty good experience.  Peg’s does seem to be a hotbed for contestants for a show that could be called “So, America is pretty dammed sure you can’t dance.”  John also starts what will be a disturbing trend all night here at Peg’s, the bathroom run.  We would have been better served picking up some diapers for the man, or maybe next year look into having a catheter put in?

  • Mood:   Jovial.
  • Alcohol level:  A functioning alcoholic on a Tuesday night.  None could probably drive at this point, but I think they all could have passed the test.
  • Primary Discussion:  Sweater guys persistence and seeming skills.  Making fun of Doug for actually shopping.  Although him not showing up was probably for the best.  Had he shown up, I’m sure there would have been a billiards challenge and then all of us would have had to prove how big our penis’ were by trying to win, blah, blah, blah, you know the story.  Everyone is starting to notice how frequently John is going to the bathroom and the inevitable “let’s stop at Kroger and buy you some diapers” comments begin to fly.


Located in downtown Sharonville.  You will notice that we progressively go from worse to worse bar in terms of selection goes.   The place was a dive for sure, their tables were the old school tables that Wendy’s used to have.  But the band was surprisingly decent.  The bassist was crazy looking though.  Like Nick Nolte looking crazy, except older with a beard and he was wearing a crazy hat.  Smaller more “intimate” setting than Peg’s, but all smoking was outside and the band was an upgrade.  An apparent bar fly named Lacy was invited to sing a couple songs, she delivered a quite passable Patsy Cline and the rest was some rockabilly and Southern Rock.

The primary source of entertainment was John jumping “on stage” and singing Elvis’ “Are you Lonesome Tonight?”  He did quite well until he starts to forget the words and the guitarist has to help out.  Kind of a downer of a song, but I guess it’s best to stay in your wheel house, no matter how many beers you’ve had.

Bill might be thinking he’s out of his element at this point.  Bill is not a heavy drinker and I know he has had over 5 at this point, and while I’m sure he doesn’t want to start getting lapped he knows he can’t keep pace.  Bill lies low, knowing that people are still sober enough to notice him nursing a beer.  He’s certainly not regretting, but he is beginning to see why he can only do this once a year.

  • Mood:  Rambunctious.
  • Alcohol level:  After the bar closes drunk, but still ready to go to the after party back at the house and make some more bad decisions.
  • Primary Discussion:  John’s performance, the tables being from Wendy’s, the crazy looking bassist, the crazy looking bassist’s hat, John and now Bill are having problems not peeing their pants every 5 minutes.


Closed.  The running joke was that we were going to have to take shifts going in and out of the bar because there was no way that all 6 of us were going to be able to stand in the bar at once.  But it didn’t matter because they had just closed when we got there.  Sad to think that a bar closes at 12 on a Friday night.  Paul of course is feeling pretty good at this point so he tries to argue his way into the bar, but to no avail.  So begrudgingly we head off towards the Gano Tavern.

Gano Tavern:

I was expecting worse that’s for sure.  While it’s not great, it’s bigger than it appears and just as smokey as Peg’s.  The bartender was nice enough, there were some that thought she had a nice smile.  I thought that her hair looked like she had just walked out of a White Snake video and that trumped any good feature she might have had.  After scaring off a couple of youkles we took over the bar with only Paul sitting on the opposite side.  This set up perfectly for sniping from all of us at Paul to continue for the entire time we are at the Gano Tavern.

Highlights include:  The largest man in the bar toasting to the greatest man he ever knew, his father.  This prompted the completely drunk and always sensitive John to toast the man’s mother.  The man stares daggers at John and warns him not to be a smart ass.  He had just buried his father two days ago.  Matt begins looking for weapons and I’m making sure people are paying attention in case this goes south quickly.  After another comment things die down and John shifts his focus to the lesbian who is also too drunk for her own good.  She stammers on about how her motorcycle is bigger than John’s, which delight’s Paul to no end.    Fortunately the rest of us knew that she really meant penis when she said motorcycle, so whatever.

As we were trying to leave John had made best friends with the giant angry man.  Of course he had.  So in an effort to try to break up their two-man love fest I begin conversation with the ogre.  Oh great we both work at Kroger.  He works in the store at Tylersville, I explain to him that I work in the IT department.  He asks if I know Meg.  I don’t.  Then it gets really weird.  He puts his arm around me and starts insisting that I know Meg.  I get loose of him and start walking outside to the car and he starts to follow me still insisting that I know and work with Meg.  Hell he might still be there right now yammering on and on about it.

  • Mood:  Freaked out.
  • Alcohol level:  John Daily drunk.  No one could pass a test and everyone were talking in decibels much louder than when the evening first started.  We had also entered the one ups manship zone of the night.  The time when they all had to try to out story the previous person.  Like a giant pissing contest.
  • Primary Discussion:  John’s ill-timed and sarcastic toast, the giant weird dude, the group of mid-late 20’s homely looking girls that were having a party in the corner.  Why were they there of all places? Was it the appeal of bad lighting and smokey atmosphere to give the vague appearance to really drunk men that you might be attractive?  I can see no other reason.  Paul screaming “bar bitch” at the guy behind the bar.

Liberty Inn:

Randy’s inspiration.

The last stop of the evening as far as the bars are concerned.  And coincidentally (due to the main conversation that took palce here) the only place that John was ever almost in a fight.  The legendary “Hold my Palm Pilot,” fight.  Paul spent most of the time harassing the waitress for Pizza that she had expressly told him when we walked in that the kitchen was closed.  John was starting to run out of steam and was falling asleep at the table.  Matt and Paul and Randy were talking about fighting.  Paul said Matt was dumb for getting in fights, Matt said that sometimes he just didn’t have a choice.  Matt called Paul a liar when Paul announced that somehow with as big of a mouth he has he has never been in a fight.  Randy tried to point out both sides of each of their stories to make peace, Matt can’t walk away so the arguing continued.  Then Matt played the “you hated me when I dated your daughter card.”  Paul denied any malicious intent and the rest of us just awkwardly laughed.

You could tell that the evening was coming to an end.  Too much alcohol mixed with the late hour was starting to take its toll.  I think everyone only had one beer before we decided to call it a night and head back to Randy’s so that I could pick up Jesy who was helping Jami and Dina with Mason and drive everyone else home.

Good news is that sometime during this leg I was asked to come back for next year.  So I must have passed the audition!

  • Mood:  Reflective.
  • Alcohol level:  A Catholic School teacher the day after classes are over.  So drunk Lindsey Lohan thinks you have a problem.
  • Primary Discussion:  Paul’s claim to have never been in a fight.  All of Matt’s fights.  Randy’s previous arm wrestling experience.  Food.

Randy’s House:

Getting there was a slight adventure.  I had the not so easy task of deciphering several different directions at once.  They were directions given by drunks on top of that.  We dropped off Matt and Randy.  We were going to have a billiards tournament at Randy’s house that would have happened at Peg’s but Jesy said hell no, cracked the whip and forced the drunks back out to the car.  On the way out Paul made sure to yell up the stairs to wake up Dina.  I believe Randy was yelling as well, which will probably get him grounded.  Not a smart play Randy, but eleventy seven beers later what can you do?

  • Mood:  Exhausted.
  • Alcohol level:  Waining at this point.  We’ve probably come down a little bit, so I would say we are back down to Liza Minelli in the 90’s.
  • Primary Discussion:  Where to pick up food.

Dropping off the rest of the crew:

Other than Paul NOT paying me (and you know what for Paul, it was for $5) and having to stop and get White Castle’s, the trip home went without incident.  John took turns passing out and taking bites of his sliders and Paul talked our ears off.  It was a nice conclusion to the evening.  I was concerned when we dropped John off however.  I had to get out to open the garage door for him and he was kicking stuff as he trudged through the garage.  I was worried he wouldn’t have enough steam to make it to bed.  but it wasn’t like I was going to help him either.  So away Jesy and I went to finally return home and reminisce on a pretty entertaining night.

A great time, with great men.  I can’t wait to do it all again next year.