Dear Miss Abbey Road…

I was thinking about petitioning to get the bottom of the sign changed to “Daughter of George and Jesy Herron”. Think they’ll go for it?

Dear Abbey Road Herron,

I’ve been thinking about a unique way to tell you what a miracle you are and what an inspiration you are to Mommy and me.  I’ve been wrestling with a way to convey why we named you after an album to ensure that when you are 25 you don’t just tell people who your Dad was a big Beatles fan and general weirdo.  I mean I AM a weirdo, but not like Chris Martin weirdo.  I mean who names their kid Apple?  Really?

For me that album was something that helped me get through the loss of your sister.  I have always expressed my emotions through music.  Not writing or playing music, that would require a talent that I just don’t have.  No, I listen to music.  If I’m in a crappy mood I tend to wallow in it.  I throw on some Staind, Metallica or some Gary Allan and just kind of immerse myself into a cocoon of  misery.  They can seem to convey exactly how I’m feeling and it’s kind of nice to know that someone else was feeling what I feel at that moment.  And I did a lot of this after we lost your sister.  Wallowed, agonized, hurt.

But The Beatles came to the rescue.  Specifically the album, Abbey Road.  Even more specifically the song, Here Comes the Sun.  Like a rescue diver that song and album single-handedly pulled me from the abyss of my own self pity that I had been drowning in.  Here Comes the Sun, was written by George Harrison while playing hooky from work at Eric Clapton’s house.  He sat in Eric’s garden and almost effortlessly belted out the one song that could make me smile even in my darkest hour.  The only song that I could find any hope and salvation in.  The only song that would allow me to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s all right, It’s all right”…..

It’s not lost on me all the symmetry either.  Abbey Road was created in probably the most turbulent time for The Beatles.  They were in the middle of doing a documentary for the Let it Be Album that was going disastrously.  The whole band was starting to feel the pressure of being business men and musicians plus most of them were in relationships that were pulling them in different directions and on top of all that they were still trying to deal with the fact that their manager had died and they needed to replace him somehow.  And despite all that swirling around them, they were still able to record and produce one of the greatest albums of all time.

Much like you, my sweet angel.  You were conceived as soon as the Doctors gave us the thumbs up to try again.  Despite not completely being over the loss of your sister and still trying to find ways to cope and deal with that loss, we got the biggest boost we could imagine, you.  Not that we will ever forget Hope, or minimize her significance in our lives, but I think we needed you, a healthy you to help us get over that.  To help us mend.  To help us know that ….

It’s all right.

Abbey Road also has a wonderful combination of songs that seem to capture all the aspects of The Beatles that any fan would love.  Something, also a George Harrison song, might be one of the greatest love songs that The Beatles ever recorded.  It’s more mature than their early love songs that ring more true to infatuation songs considering how young they were when they wrote those songs.  Octopus’ Garden is a little goofy and maybe even a little trippy.  A light-hearted song at a time when light-hearted was exactly what they needed.  It’s something that you would have expected to find on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack.  Oh Darling! and Come Together give all the rock fans something to be happy about on the album as well.  Both have a bluesy-rock feel to them, but are still the strongest songs on the album to be sure.  And lastly there is the medley ( You Never Give Your Money Away through The End).  Something innovative and creative, something different.  Almost the entire second side of Abbey Road is like a stream of conscientiousness that takes you all the way, appropriately, to The End, which includes the only drum solo that Ringo ever had.

This is my hope for you.  That you can encompass so many different traits and emotions that you will be able to shine no matter what life throws at you.  Like any hopeful parent I want you to be the best version of you.  The Beatles were able to put away all the crap and do what they really loved doing, making music, one last time and in doing so created something beautiful and timeless.  I just hope that your mother and I are as lucky with you!

And lastly, something that is very close to my heart.  I wanted you to be unique.  I was named after my father, which is a great honor, knowing the man who your grandfather is.  But let’s face it, George Robert Herron II isn’t exactly a unique name!  I just want you to be special, I mean you already are to me and your mother obviously, but I wanted you to have a sense of uniqueness right out of the box.

My fear is that when you are in your teens and hate my music and hate just about any opinion that comes out of my mouth that you will hate your name too.  But on the flip side I hope you get enough of your mothers positive disposition and enough of my weirdness that you love your name and realize the power that your name has.  I want you to own the name and make it yours.  Make sure that people know that there was no way you could have had any other name.

You’re not here yet, but already the excitement is too much to handle.  You have a big name to live up to little girl, but given your pedigree you will surpass every expectation and keep shining as my little light at the end of the tunnel.

And I hope that one day you will understand, I write stuff like this down, because I am much better expressing my feelings on paper than face to face.  I don’t think it’s an intimacy issue, I think it is a my brain just functions better when I can have a stream of thought and capture it.  Like a picture with words.  Regardless I love you already.  Hurry up and get here!

26 Weeks – Belly Acrobat

{26 Weeks}

From the title I’m sure you know what I’m going to talk about. My daughter is an acrobat! She is tumbling and kicking and just moving around all over in my belly. This has been hands down my favorite part so far. Feeling her move and roll has to be one of the most unique feelings in the entire pregnancy. I’m loving that others can now feel her too, it makes me feel less crazy as I’m constantly saying, “OH my gosh, she moved again,” or “did you see that?” Of course you can’t see it yet but I do have witnesses of the movement because George, Heather and Kat have all felt her! Abbey starts to be pretty active around 10:00/10:30 at night and it really gets her going when I lay down on my left side. As you can imagine this is the time that I’m trying to get to sleep and she is just waking up to kick and move around. How can I just fall asleep and miss this? Lucky me, she is a night owl like her daddy!

If you have been following my Facebook posts then you know that I’ve been a nesting fool. Poor George is worn out by Monday morning because I have him doing so much around the house on the weekends. Two weekends ago I had this crazy hair up my butt and wanted to hang my new mirror and jewelry box. I got a jewelry box for Christmas but needed another one because there is just so much. I was thinking of Goodwilling some of it but when I found out we were having a girl I couldn’t deny her the opportunity to dig through the madness of necklaces and bracelets galore. So my need to clean up my jewelry turned into my bigger need of hanging the new mirror/jewelry box which ended up with a trip to Ikea and a re-arranged bedroom. This was all starting at 4p on a Saturday when friends were coming over for cards at 7p and George had just started to snuggle in for a nap. OOPS! Then this past weekend I had another bug up my butt and went back to Ikea for more house furnishings and we also bought the crib.

all put together and waiting for vacancy!

Crib shopping was such a cinch, we had done the research and actual lurking online so it was a matter of picking it up and paying for it so that we could get it home and assembled. I thought George was going to have a heart attack when he saw how much the mattress was for the crib. The crib wasn’t that expensive but the mattress was almost half the amount of the crib. He wasn’t too thrilled. All in all it was an easy assembly and the nursery is looking more complete. Thanks to my Aunt Carolyn Wenstrup and cousins, Gretchen Zazycki and Shannon Wenstrup we already had the crib set and it matches the nursery decor perfectly. I will say that I’m a bit confused as to why the crib set even comes with all that it does, you aren’t really supposed to have a bumper in the crib right away! The poor baby can’t even use the comforter it comes with either. So basically you are down to the crib skirt and a sheet at first and the rest goes in the closet. So the crib with the skirt and sheet look really great. Check out the photo – the tree that my Aunt Carolyn painted is the perfect size to frame the crib!

{Belly Updates}

Here I am...there is a LOT of me, that's for sure.

{How far along?} 26 Weeks 4 days and under the 100 days mark for the countdown!

{Total weight gain} At my last doctor appointment I had learned that I gained 6 pounds putting my total at 12 pounds. My nurse mentioned that was a pretty normal hike and that Abbey was going through a growth spurt, so that made me feel better.

{How big is baby?} According to the website updates that I read each week, Abbey could be close to 2 pounds and is probably about 14 inches long. We’ll probably be able to find out for sure once we have our 3D ultrasound next week.

{Maternity clothes?} YES! And thanks to all my friends and mom for buying and passing along more clothes for me to wear. Its nice to have a change in the wardrobe even if most of it is “pre-loved.”

{Sleep?} Sleep is very hit or miss. I seem to wake up at least once a night sometimes twice and that seems to break up my sleep. The other thing is that I’m getting uncomfortable and my muscles are starting to ache because I tend to sleep on my left arm all the time or my left hip. Sometimes I just end up going out to the couch where I can prop up a lot of pillows to get a different sleeping position, plus I’m not waking up George a bunch of times from all my tossing and turning. Yea for leg cramps – had one of those late last week and I was pretty much trying to roll out of bed as fast as I could. Then I upped my banana intake the next day!

{Best moment this week?} There have been so many “best” moments recently! George feeling Abbey kick or what he calls “push” would be characterized as a best moment. Abbey loves to kick and move at night and I’m beginning to think she loves it when I watch Big Brother because that is when she seems to be most active. Another “best” moment was when George was putting the crib together and then finally seeing the nursery a little more complete. I can’t wait to fill it with the final touch – a beautiful baby girl.

{Movement?} OH yes! Most of her movement is at night and like I said above, I think she likes it when I watch Big Brother, wonder what she would think of Jeff being voted out this week. I’m sure she is as unhappy about this as her mom!

The baby apartment is turning into a double-wide!

{Food cravings?} After my 12 step program I’m finally off the LaRosa’s calzones but now I’m addicted to ice. YES, ice! I love the ice down the street from my office at the little deli called Silverglades. This has to be categorized as one of the weirdest cravings (at least I’m not eating dirt!) but its extremely low-calorie and refreshing! I just feel bad for my boss who has to hear me chomp on it all day.

{Labor signs?} Nope!

{Belly button in or out?} In….barely!

{What I miss} sleeping on my back or stomach (still true since I’m sick of the one position I’m sleeping in now)

{What I’m looking forward to} I scheduled a 3D ultrasound at the Becoming Mom Spa in Deerfield. We are going to be there between 27 and 28 weeks (September 1) which I was told is a good time to see the baby in 3D (thanks Lauren!) I’m also looking forward to starting the birth classes. I know they are going to have boring parts but its still fun to say, we are going to birthing classes!

I’m also excited about our shower with the Rockies this weekend. My brother’s baseball team who I have pretty much grown up with is throwing us a little shower out at Brookville this weekend. I love organizing and re-organizing Abbey’s room so I’m sure that will happen after this little party.

{Milestone} I’m 10 weeks 3 days from being considered full term! (slight heart attack when I said that out-loud to myself)

The baby is kicking…..Correction, pushing.

When I start seeing this on Jesy’s belly I think it will be time to go to the Dr.

For the last week Jesy has been on a mission to have me feel Abbey kick.  Jesy swore up and down that she could not only feel her kicking on the inside, but that if she was still she could feel it on the outside.  In the beginning of the week I was willing to placate my wife and try to feel her kick.

I felt nothing.  I just assumed that Jesy was feeling phantom kicks.  I thought because she could feel it so much on the inside that she only THOUGHT she could feel it on the outside.  But last night as we were sitting down to watch some TV for about an hour before we went to bed she begged me to try again.

Reluctantly I tried again.  Why reluctantly?  I’m a big personal space guy.  I know that there are a ton of people standing in line to rub on Jesy’s belly.  Jesy is NOT a personal space person and doesn’t mind people coming up and saying Hi to Abbey, so it is happening more and more now that Jesy has a beautiful little baby apartment protruding forward.  And for that reason I try to give her some space at home.  I was also reluctant because as I explained before I thought Jesy was off her rocker.

Neigh.  Man was I ever wrong.  After I finally got Jesy to shut her yapper, she was asking me ever 10 seconds, “Did you feel that?  Did you feel it this time?  OMG there it is again!”  Over and over and over.  But once I staple-gunned her lips shut and could concentrate…..

I felt it.   And it was incredible.  Proof of life!  Tangible proof of life!  Yeah sure I have seen pictures, heard a heart beat, been to all the doctors appointments and I saw the all important pee stick 6 months ago, but this was different.  I could feel her.  She was talking to ME in her own little way.

Although, I have to say, it was not what I was expecting.  Kicking is such an inaccurate term, at least right now it is.  It’s really more like pushing.  Imagine that you are in a giant thin rubber ball that is just slightly too small for you.  That is what I imagine it’s like for Abbey.  She is in there just trying to figure out where her “walls” are.

The rest of the night I would leave my hand on Jesy’s belly, every once in a while getting a little push from my daughter just to let me know that she was still there and still wanting to talk.  Great, just like her mother.  So occasionally I would do that thing that Jesy hates, I would tap my fingers across belly playing my “morse code game” with her.  And she would intermittently reply with a little push, or what might be farting?

Oh, thank God, you can wear it as casual wear. I was worried that I would look silly!

This is a bit of a side note and me thinking out loud, but last night as I was feeling Abbey pushing and turning I felt something else as well.  I felt the “flutters” that Jesy was talking about too.  I thought about what could cause a sensation like that and I think that I came up with the only possible answer.  Farting.  Let’s face it, Abbey is at least 50% Wenstrup.  And if Abbey turns out to be half as gassy as her mother then I’m going to have to start walking around the house in a gas mask just to survive.  I might even have to install a warning siren to go off just to warn the neighbors!

But all joking aside, it was amazing.  Such a small thing, such a little part of this whole journey, but so important as well.  I wouldn’t say that it made it more real for me, but there was a definite change.  Now I know I can say hi to her and she can say hi back.  Of course she might not, but it’s cool that she and I can communicate in some way.  Jesy gets to talk to her all day, so it’s cool that I finally can as well.

And of course this makes me more anxious to meet her for real.  But I must exercise patience we still have a 1/3 of the way to go!

Let’s Talk About Sex!

I just hope Lefty doesn’t show up to burn down my house!

No, no, I don’t really mean let’s talk about the Salt ‘N Pepa song, “Let’s Talk About Sex!”  I meant let’s talk about the sex of my baby!  Yesterday was yet another HUGE milestone in our second pregnancy.  It was time to go in for the third ultrasound, the one that will reveal the sex of the baby.

Of course if you are reading this then you probably already know our story.  You already know that this was the point last time where Jesy and I got the horrible news that something was very wrong with our baby and that in all likelihood it would not make it full term.  And she didn’t.  So, as you  can imagine Jesy and I were feeling a wave of emotions as the witching hour approached.

  • Nervous – check
  • Anxious – check
  • Scared – check
  • Excited – check
  • Spaced out – check
  • Ready? – Double check

But this time we were going to do things a little different. I know weird right, George Herron wants to do something differently.  So we explained to the ultrasound tech that we didn’t want to know the sex of the baby, we wanted her to write it down and put it in an envelope. I’ll get to why in a minute.  The tech was more than happy to oblige after hearing our heart wrenching story from last time.

“Thumbs up mom and dad!”

Sarah, the tech, had to get all the boring stuff out-of-the-way first: checking ovaries, checking heartbeat, measuring the head…blah, blah, blah.  But it was actually great because as she was doing all that we got to see the baby move around and resist Sarah trying to take pictures and just be a kind of pain in the ass for her.  Yup, must be a child of mine.  But there was a point when Sarah was taking pictures and our little 13 ounce bundle of joy gave us the thumbs up, as if to say all is good in here, no need to worry!  (Thanks kiddo, it was a HUGE relief!)

Then it was time to find out the sex of the baby.  Sarah was great she gave us the heads up and we looked away and closed our eyes.  Sarah silently took the pictures and wrote what our baby was and put it in the envelope and gave no hint whatsoever as to the sex.

But who cares at this point right?  WE MADE IT!  We made it through the 19 week ultrasound unscathed and with a happy (I presume) and healthy baby!  For like an hour after the ultrasound and before the popping of the balloon I almost forgot that we still didn’t even know the sex of our baby.  I was just so relieved and happy that it was healthy and that we were going to make it to the finish line this time!

So, yeah, about having the tech write down the sex and put it in an envelope.  Jesy wanted to do something totally different since the last time we were at this point it was an awful, disastrous mess.  So we opted to throw a party.  A reveal party.  Most people do it with a cake.  They have either a blue or pink inside the cake.  Jesy couldn’t wait that long, she needed something instant, so we decided to have a black balloon filled with either pick or blue confetti and then we would pop it at the party with our friends and family.

Man, I bet those of you who still don’t know are DYING to find out, right?  Too bad, should have been at the party!  Looks like you are going to have to deal with some more build up on my part.  Just be thankful I’m not Stephen King, you wouldn’t find out the sex of the baby till about page 529.

Due to the fact that more people wanted to come to this party than we originally thought we had to move the party from  our house to the shelter in Gower Park in Sharonville.  It was awesome to see everyone there, and I’m going to try to do something that will be sure to offend someone.  I want to individually thank everyone that was there.  I’m sure I will forget someone, but it is important to me to recognize my peeps!

Thank you: Mom, Carol, John, Brian, Miranda, Matt, Jami, Mason, CJ, Sarah, Henry, Grandma O, Grandpa O, Jack, Sue, Beth, Doug, Tom, Teresa, Marian, Anna, Karen, Carter, Buster, Jane, Glenn, Sue, Joey, Jay, Lisa, Chris, Paul, Michelle, Kennedy, Sandy, Judy, Mary Jo, Dan, Jim, Natalie, Gayle, Jill, Sherri, Liz, Mike, Natalie, Abigail, Isaiah, Heather, Aayla, Lauri, Rick, Corey, Neil, Kat, Tony, Kendra, Sheldon, Mark, Lauren, Sam, Avery, Andrew, Erin, Owen and Emma! And for our remote users:  Dad(The Big Guy), Shari, Roly, Alex, Emma, Ro and Lauren.

That was all from memory, no cheating! Impressive right? (And sorry in advance if I missed anyone.)

Without you guys there with us it wouldn’t have been nearly as special.   You all mean so much to us and to see how happy and excited you all were made yesterday such a wonderful day indeed!  You all are the best.

just before the big reveal!

So back to the party.  Rick was a little later than expected with the balloon filled with either pink confetti or blue.  In all fairness, however we didn’t realize how hard it would be for someone to shove confetti in a balloon!  Once Rick arrived there was a hush over the crowd, and that is saying something considering the crowd we had! It was like someone had just died, or the priest was finally ready to begin mass.

The moment had arrived, it was time to find out if we would be knee-deep in pink or blue for the next couple months.  But first some more suspense!

Can you believe that I’m currently about 900 words into this mess and I still haven’t told you yet?  I’m such a bastard!

Alright, seriously, here we go.  After fooling around a while and making Jesy miss popping the balloon several times I let her go true.

POP!

Let me just say that for months now I have been sure it is a boy.  Positive.  Everything about this pregnancy was different.  Jesy’s mood was different, her cravings were different, everything.  So popping the balloon was going to be anti-climatic for me.  I just knew that as soon as it popped that blue confetti would rain down and prove me right, just like I was last time.

So yeah, POP!

PINK CONFETTI!

It’s a GIRL!

Wait, what?  Pink/Purple confetti?!  A girl?!  HOLY SHIT I’M HAVING A BABY GIRL!!!!!  Let me clear something up, it’s not that I was wanting a baby boy, I was just certain it was a boy.  Obviously the only thing I was certain of was being dead wrong.  But as soon as I saw the pink confetti fly I was just elated.  It was the icing on the cake after a great ultrasound visit earlier.  How very overwhelming!  How very awesome!

*Side note*  After the popping of the balloon a young lady named Abigail came up to me and said that the baby should have a name that starts with an “A”.  I was of course suspicious of her motivation, but I played along anyway.

I said you know what?  It does!

She was floored, but determined and followed up with, well I think that her name should begin with an “Ab.”

And I said well you know what, it does!

Flabbergasted and a little excited she was like, “No way, really?”

I said yes and then told her to sit down because I was going to blow her mind.  I told her that the little girl would be named Abbey!

Well she just about flipped out.  She was more than excited to hear that she would be sharing a name with my sweet little girl!

So here I sit listening to my playlist that I made for the baby a long time ago with an exhausted, goofy grin on my face reflecting on what a wonderful day yesterday was.  I can feel new emotions starting to creep up already.  Like being suspicious of every boy that looks at her, like wanting to make sure she stays a little princess forever and making sure she doesn’t inherit her mother’s mouth!

So now let the spoiling of Abbey Road Herron begin!

Special thanks go to:

  • Corey Thomas for his camera work and for getting the live stream of the party for all our out-of-towners that wanted to participate.
  • Rick Kreiner for getting the balloon and confetti together.
  • My mom, aka Grandma Bird for going down to the ultrasound with us and being there in case we needed the support.
  • Jami White for helping with everything before the party and covering my wife’s ass for not having time to prepare the mini hot dogs and for not killing Carson, although he probably deserved it!
  • Carol, aka Grandma for helping set up the shelter and bringing the cornhole game.
  • Brian for waiting to have his seizure until well after we popped the balloon.
  • John and Paul for getting beat in cornhole by Dan and I.  And I know John didn’t throw the game, he HATES to lose, especially to me.
  • Whoever brought skittles, awesome idea.
  • Sarah the tech for being patient with our demands and Jesy’s 5,000 questions.
  • And last, but not least my wife for having sex with me so that this whole thing was possible

Thank you again everyone, we love you so much!

Monty: A Tribute.

Monty and a young Carson. Monty was not pleased with this new annoyance!

Monday June 6th, one of my oldest friends passed away.  Monty, as true of a friend as you will ever find.

Monty and I have known each other since college.  The time in my life when I really began to figure out what kind of a man I would be.  He has been with me through heart break, true love, marriage, six different residences and countless number of nights when he was the only one that would listen.

Monty was a dog.  My dog, my first dog.  He was originally purchased, slightly reluctantly, by three housemates in college.  Myself, my co-writer at BattleForOhio.com,  Andy, and a mutual friend Jay.  The dog quickly became mine and Andy’s as Jay just didn’t quite have the patience for the destruction one puppy can cause.  Losing the deposit on the house after our senior year didn’t help matters either.  And after senior year Andy and I decided that it would be best for me to take Monty, so he became solely mine. Although he had been sleeping in my room, and going to the bathroom in my room, and destroying things in my room since we got him.

This would establish two things, I would be the primary care giver and that he would have to sleep in the bedroom.  Even later when he spent all his time at my parents he preferred to sleep next to the bed.  Sometimes even when the pain in his back legs was so great that he would stay on the same floor in the house all day, he would still struggle to climb those stairs at bed time so he could sleep next to the bed.

So as a special tribute to my old friend.  A friend that has known me longer than my wife even, I would like to share some special Monty memories.

  • Any of the times that Monty would crap in the house my senior year on Bell Street.  I almost always had to clean it up, but it was worth it to hear Jay yell and bitch and almost throw up because of it.
  • The time that Monty ran into the kitchen in the house on Bell Street and couldn’t stop on the tile floor and slid right into the oven and banged his butt.  He wouldn’t go back in there for weeks, so I had to move his food to a different room.  This also is what stems his fear of floors that have any slick surface.  If it wasn’t carpeted he hated walking on it.
  • The time Jay tried to ride Monty while he was intoxicated.  Monty, who wasn’t amused, simply sat down and Jay fell off and about halfway down the stairs as well.  Hilarious to everyone except Jay.
  • Seeing my in-laws faces the first time they saw Monty, it was like a mix of frightened, bewildered and amused.  Like, what is this magical slobbering beast?

Monty after a romp in the snow.

  • Watching Huckle, my in-laws previous dog, and Monty interact.  Huckle was generally smaller than one of Monty’s turds, so watching Huckle try to scamper around and get sniffs of Monty was quite amusing.  Watching Monty grunt and growl when Huckle got too close while Monty was laying down and susceptible to sniffing.  I think he even gave Huckle a seizure one time.
  • Seeing how scared a giant dog like Monty could get during a lighting storm.  His favorite place in the world was my parents bathroom on the lower level of the house.  Somehow it made him feel safe during the storms.
  • Anytime it snowed.  Monty loved playing in the snow, jumping around in it, burrowing in the snow and flinging it up in the air.
  • Lying to two different apartment complexes and telling them that Monty was simply a lab mix to make sure we could still get the apartment.  Well, I guess that isn’t a lie, I just omitted the fact that he is mixed with Newfoundland, which made him a HUGE lab.
  • Watching Monty get more action than I was getting on my first date with Jesy.
  • Watching a 5 year old Monty who had never had to share a house with another dog try to adjust to a rambunctious puppy named Carson.

    Turner and Hooch or George Sr. and Monty?

He was a 100 pound gentle giant.  The only thing that was really scary about Monty was his boisterous bark.  He was only really grouchy with my mom, which was both funny and confusing.  Rub his ears or his belly and he was your best friend, except for maybe my dad.  Nobody was above my dad as far as Monty was concerned.  Mainly because my dad did what any grandparent does, he spoiled Monty rotten. And he was pretty open and blatant about it.  They might as well have been Riggs and Murtaugh or I guess more appropriately, Turner and Hooch.

If you had stock in Bounty, I would sell it right now.  Monty and his never ending stream of drool have kept paper towels at a premium in the Herron household for ten years.

I loved Monty like a pet, like a dog, like a friend, like a brother, and like a son.  He will be missed.

Monty, you will get along great with Sam in Heaven’s dog park, but please be patient with Batman.  You remember how annoying Carson was?  Batman is similar, but he is a pretty dog, so he will be good with picking up the ladies, so you will have that going for you up there!  Good luck pal, I can’t wait to see you again.

Monty’s ashes will be spread in my parent’s backyard, a place that Monty loved to run around and chase anything from tennis balls to deer.  A backyard that must have seen 2 tons worth of dog crap and hundreds of gallons of dog pee.  A backyard that he called home.

There will also be two trees and a little stone memorial with Monty’s name on it in the front yard of my parents house.  Because death always gives way to new life and it was important to celebrate the life of a great dog and a loyal friend.

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.

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….

Again.


{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.