Tonight was my team’s Christmas dinner. Since we’d all be in the area for it, we actually went into the office today. Seeing as it’s the holidays, people are in an awfully shitty mood, and traffic was considerably more dense than normal, I was frustrated to have to actually leave the house for the 10 minute commute to the office. To anyone that didn’t really soak up the obnoxiousness of that comment, yes, I was bragging that I work from home and don’t have to deal with the every day assholes on the road. If you think this is bad, wait until February and the dead of winter when I regularly thank the powers that be that I get to sit around in sweats.

Spouses and children were invited to the dinner as well. The team members ourselves are all young, so any children were under 4 years old. Since one wife and child had a long drive from Pennsylvania, and another wife and child were hanging out in the hotel, they came into the office for a bit near the end of the day. We then found ourselves in an office the size of my living room with a pair of two year old boys running around.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. Part of me looked at it as a preview of what to expect with me working from home and Meg chasing our little shit-machine around the house. Both boys were friendly and adorable, and while I was waiting for my computer to compile, I was able to play with them.

This was especially interesting with Orlando, since he is the son of our team member Heiko, who was here visiting from Germany with his family. Orlando doesn’t yet know English, so normally difficult to understand words became an impossible challenge for me. Still, peek-a-boo transcends language and we had fun.

The biggest difficulty in the scenario had nothing to do with getting work done or keeping the kids entertained. Once the kids showed up, I quickly realized I would have to watch my language. To anyone who hasn’t spent a good amount of time with me, I have a bit of what some people would call a “potty mouth.” I didn’t realize how frequently “stuff” becomes “shit” in my vernacular. I won’t even begin to get into situations where I’m actually pissed off.

I realize I need to begin to clean this up very soon, because I don’t think it’ll be a cold turkey change over. I’m told our baby can now hear stuff in the womb. If that’s the case, my contribution to the child’s growth thus far has been roughly the words:

  • Shit
  • Damnit
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Sucks
  • Christmas Cookies
  • Little shit
  • Piece of shit
  • Our shithead neighbor
  • This shit sucks, change the channel
  • Son of a bitch
  • Is this one of your pregnancy hormone things?

This isn’t even the really bad part. As much as I don’t want the kid to be hearing this now, I’m really going to be in trouble once the kid reaches the parrot stage of child development, during which time only the most inappropriate filth to come out of my mouth is absorbed and subsequently repeated at the least opportune time.

I’m not the kind of person who believes in New Years resolutions. But this year, I think I do need to make a concerted effort to not completely screw up this kid’s vocabulary before he’s even born.

It took me about 45 minutes to decide on a name for my Warcraft character. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the discussions on names have been frequent and thorough. When a new name comes up, there is a series of tests it must pass before we even start to talk about whether or not we want to subject our child to it for the rest of his/her life.

  • Shortened Form – Do we like the shorter version of the name. I always liked being able to use Jason or Jay, but there’s always the possibility that the shorter version of the name would sound ridiculous yet become commonly used. For instance, I coined “Mimi” for my sister Michelle, which stuck around for a surprisingly long time.
  • Nicknames – There’s always going to be some obnoxious spin on a name, but the more we can minimize the potential, the better. Melissa’s little sister used to call her “Bob”, so I realize that I’m not going to be able to fully control this. I have no idea how on earth she transitioned Melissa into Bob, so don’t bother asking me to try to explain it. Just realize it’s Melissa, which means it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that it’s weird.
  • Initials – After extensive research, there are a number of terms that end in D that we might want to avoid. Luckily, none are really all that catastrophic that end with D, but it’s still something to take into consideration. For instance, Melissa’s last name begins with S, so Amanda Sarah is probably not in her and Phil’s future.

We’ve had at least one casualty that I can remember (naming conversations spring up at the strangest times, so I’m going to have to carry a little notepad to capture all of it). Early on, we both liked Abigail. It failed the first test, as “Abby Dobies”, despite the fact that it does roll of the tongue nicely, sounds like it should be the name of a Disney character.

As I’ve said before, we’re not telling people what names we’re considering, so save us the time and don’t bother asking (thanks to Nancy and Becca, both moms, for validating that approach). I will say that so far we’ve largely only considered boys names. If come July, out pops a girl, we’re going to have an interesting situation on our hands. Also, you won’t be seeing a Jason Jr. running around. Meg yells at me enough without having to wonder if it’s me or the kid in trouble.

That having been said, it’s not like our friends haven’t been having fun with it. Pretty much since the moment I told JJ, the two of us have been coming up with an assortment of what I believed to be the worst possible combinations with my last name. I say “what I believed” because once Thadd and Matt found out, they completely ran with it and came up with, rather quickly, names and initials I hadn’t seen the potential for. Some of the better ones include:

Gail Olivia – G.O.D.
Samantha Tabitha – S.T.D.
Larry Samuel – L.S.D.
William Michael – W.M.D.
Charles Carlton – C.C.D.
Andrew David – A.D.D.
Thomas Brian – T.B.D.
Brad Victor – B.V.D.

And my personal favorite, with credit going to Matt:

William Walter Jacob – W.W.J.D.

Feel free to comment with any good ones I’m missing. Again, joking names only, I don’t want to be in a position of having to say “Oh, thats a good one” when in reality I hate it and I hope my kid will kick the shit out of any kids with that name.

One last comment. Ideally, I’d like to keep the blogs on this site archived in some readable capacity after the site eventually ends. My hope is that it will be an interesting view into the past of who me and Meg were at this point in our lives. If that’s the case, I have this sinking suspicion that this will be the blog that makes my kids look at me and say “Thank God mom had the final decision on the name.” and/or “Dad, what the hell is wrong with you?”

Meg got knocked up.

For quite some time now, I’ve been trying to figure out how to start this entry. I couldn’t be more excited about having a baby, but I also didn’t want to lose the sarcasm you’ve all come to know and love. Oh, and save the “So, who’s the father? BWAHAHAHA” comments. They were funny in the beginning, but have been done to death already, and I demand some creativity from my readers.

Where to start. I guess a basic update is in order. We’re just starting our 10th week today. We’ve had the first doctor appointment already and along with that, the first ultrasound. I can proudly say that our 1.7cm blob is healthy, with its white dot of a heartbeat happily flickering along on the monitor. There is a scanner in my office, so next time I actually go in I might scan it and get it on the site.

To answer a few other basic questions, no, we’re not going to find out what gender it is. Feel free to use “he” or “she” before the birth, just try to avoid “it”, despite any pot shots you may think that takes on me. Also don’t bother asking what we’re considering for names; we’re not telling people. I don’t want to deal with “Oh… you’re thinking of that?” for a name we potentially really like. You and your opinion can kiss my ass, it’s our kid.

The current due date varies depending on who you ask. The doctor says June 28th. I personally was disappointed to find that what I had previously thought to be a scientific approach was merely to find out when Meg’s last period ended, turn a dial based on a cardboard wheel, and poof, out comes the date. That’s crap, I could have gotten that from a monkey using the Internet. Meg says July 1st, and I say July 3rd (you’ll see why in the Announcements blog entry). So basically, sometime in the beginning of July.

It’s been a bitch to keep things quiet this long. We’ve been telling most friends and family face-to-face, so thank you to everyone who knew and didn’t say anything. I kept a few blog entries during the silence; if you were wondering why things have been a bit quiet, now you know why. I went back and forth with the best way to handle this, since the entries have been posted but marked as private (i.e. you can’t see unless you’re logged in, and only Meg and I have logins). That means they had old timestamps from when they were written (going back as far as October), and once marked as public would still be buried in the archives. I moved the dates up to December so they are located near this post, but for ease of catching up, here are the posts I’ve already made that no one has seen yet:

As you can obviously tell, I made up a new baby-inspired theme for the site. It was a pretty fun project, and again I’ve had to sit on it for weeks before actually being able to show anyone. Let me know if you see any problems with it, since I’ve been really lazy with testing it.

I guess that’s really all there is to say right now. Despite how much Meg and I have learned from Kaleigh and Kiera, you can imagine how much of this is new to us. It’ll be an interesting 7 months, and that’s before the kid is even born. Needless to say, it’ll give us good blog fodder, so at very least people should get a good laugh out of discovering how little I really know.

I’m excited to get started on all of the things we have to do to get ready for the baby. There’s tons to buy (more on that in a future blog, no doubt) and we have to make a bedroom for the kid (JJ’s already been recruited for painting duty). It’s a bit early to get started on all that, but in the meantime we can still have a lot of fun telling everyone the news.

Before I get into individual stories, it probably makes sense to set the stage with respect to timing.

October 19 – Pee stick informs Meg that she has something growing inside of her.
October 20 – Meg tells Jay that she’s knocked up.
October 21-22 – Villanova Homecoming. It’s our 5 year reunion, so a bunch of our friends that we don’t get to see often were coming.
November 7 – Meg’s birthday, and the first time we’ll really get to see our families.
November 23 – Thanksgiving, which becomes basically a last ditch effort to see people to tell them.

A bunch of people were surprised to hear this, but our families were not the ones we told first. We didn’t want to do it over the phone and there was no way we could keep our mouths shut. Besides, this meant Meg wouldn’t be drinking at homecoming, which would inevitably cause questions.

No disrespect to anyone we told, but there were a few people who had a particular funny reaction, or we had a really cool surprise way of telling, that I want to make sure we have recorded. It’s kinda long, so get settled in.

Continue reading

I wrote this about a month ago, very soon after I found out. Now that we’ve finished telling people, I can actually post it. So if any of this sounds out of date, you know why.

I suppose I should start at the beginning. Well, maybe not the beginning, since that would technically stem back to conception and by now you should all realize that, with my writing style, that just would not be the most flattering picture to paint.

Back in October, I found myself in the wonderful annoying-as-hell state of Texas. The timing of the trip was actually, in a small way, convenient. We knew that the end of that week would, uh, “tell us” if Meg was pregnant (is there really a friendly of saying “Meg was supposed to get her period?”). That also meant it wasn’t a really important week for, um, trying to have the kid.

Man, this could get ugly real quick. Let’s get past all that.

We didn’t really talk about it, but I expected Meg to wait to take a pregnancy test until I called her from the Philly airport to say I landed and would be home soon. I figured if she took the test early in the week and it was positive, she’d go insane all week waiting to tell me in person. And if she told me in Dallas, I’d go running around the hotel telling people I didn’t even know to congratulate me.
I got home late on Friday night of that week, around 11:30pm. Meg met me at the top of the first flight of stairs like she normally does when I get back from business. She came off as completely normal (well, normal being a relative term for Meg), which is to say happy to see me but not bursting at the seams to tell me something. To be honest, the whole pregnancy thing wasn’t even on my mind at the time; it’s not that I assumed she tested and it was false, but rather I didn’t even think about it at all.

I head up to the bedroom, suitcase in one hand, laptop bag in the other. I got to the top of the stairs, at which point the bedroom door is immediately to my left. I glance to the right as I turned to enter the bedroom; I wasn’t looking for anything, just a general looking over the house. Something caught my eye in the office, but it didn’t stop me from walking into the bedroom.

Ever notice how, in the span of a half second, not only is your brain is capable of processing a surprisingly long train of thought, but how you can actually be aware of each step of the processing? Maybe that’s one difference between an athlete and a geek. When I’m training, I can see that the guy I’m sparring with is throwing a punch. The athlete’s brain immediately notified the hands to raise and block the punch. The geek (me) instead can think through each step of where his hand is going to land, how much it’s gonna suck when it does, and how I’m going to go about stopping the bleeding. About 17 seconds later, my hands finally get the message to block.

Getting back to the story at hand, within that half second of stepping into the bedroom, my brain had deconstructed the image in the office. I noticed there were balloons. Meg typically does something cute when I come home from being away that long, so that was my first impression. I then realized that the balloons were pastel yellow, pink, and blue. Odd colors for “welcome home” balloons. So my brain followed the balloons down to what was anchoring them to the desk. I realized it was a picture frame. Again, pastel colors (yellow) with a frog. Odd.

Keep in mind, this is all occuring during the one step I took into my bedroom, which means I was no longer looking into my office and the scene I was mentally deconstructing. Also realize that means this took place in the span of a second or so.

So what was in the picture frame? The words “Baby due July 1, 2007”.

It all started to come together now. I’d love to be obnoxious and say I was hurt that it wasn’t a welcome home setup, but there is no way I could even begin to lie about that. I dropped the suitcase (rather threw down pretty forcefully, which even now I wonder why that was my gut reaction) and turned around to see Meg crying. That’s when I knew it was for real.

I later found out that she took the test Thursday morning. Amazingly, she was completely calm and collected when we talked Thursday night and during the day on Friday. I have no idea how she kept her cool and didn’t just blurt it out, I doubt I would have had that much self control. She would go on to take 9 more tests over the course of the next week for a grand total of 10 little pee sticks with a line on them.

The next 8 months should be really interesting. There is so much to do and so much to learn, and of course I’m going to be blogging about all of it. Good times ahead.