I’ve noticed my behavior changing quite a bit recenlty and it’s kind of puzzling, but rewarding at the same time. Lori has been dealing with the first trimester woes, and she’s been in some serious need of some good ole TLC. And it’s not the girl group from the 90’s that I’m talking about either. She needs to be shown that she’s loved; something to lether know that I’ll do just about anything to show her how much I care about her. They say that it’s not uncommon for men to experience hormonal changes while their woman (wife, fiance, girlfriend, you choose) is in the process of creating the newest member of our society. I’ve had a weird appetite that seemed to be in sync with Lori’s. For a while, her stomach was too upset to even think about food. While she was going through that, I wasn’t hungry for anything. Sometimes, a Happy Meal from McDonald’s was all that I needed to fill myself up. It was like my body was telling me “Hey, if she can’t eat, you can’t either.” Now, her appetite is coming back. We’re able to finish a meal like we did before the pregnancy started. Her’s is back, and mine followed suit. Another thing that has been happening to me is that I’m using the bathroom more often. I’ll get up sometimes a couple times in an evening to take a wizz. I’ve noticed these things going on and have just attributed it to the notion that “we” are now pregnant. Granted, I am most definitely not getting the brunt of the symptoms like Mommy is, but things are happening to me, none-the-less.

I have been thinking to myself, what will happen next that I can blame on the pregnancy. Well, I found out yesterday and today. When we went to the doctor’s visit a couple weeks ago to check out our first sonogram, we got 3 printouts in addition to the 5 minute DVD that they created for us. I mentioned to Lori the other day that we should try to get some frames for them so that they don’t get messed up. Our baby’s first pictures. Only fitting that we get frames for them. During lunch yesterday, I went over to Wal Mart to pick some up. I happen to find some cheap, $0.86 acryllic frames. I picked up a few of them figuring that we can find nicer frames later.

As I started walking to the front to pay for them, I passed by the scrap-booking stuff isle. Lori had to pick some things up in that isle a few weeks ago. I remembered seeing all kinds of crap to do scrap-booking stuff. I thought that it would be cool if I put a border on the frame or something. I glanced down the isle and found some things that I thought my do the trick. With a mini glue gun, some sticker, and some stuff to make a border, I headed to the self checkout line to pay for my arts and crafts things. That’s what I love about Wal Mart, with the self checkout lane, you don’t have to have an explanation ready for anything that you buy. If you’re embarrassed to buy condoms, you head to the self checkout lane and just hope that the box scans with no problems. If you have to get embarrassing medicine for whatever may ail you, self checkout is your answer. It’s great. And it was the obvious choice today seeing that at lunch time, it’s pretty much stay and home moms and people with no jobs hanging out in Wal Mart.

One by one, I scanned $17 worth of stuff that was supposed to help me be creative, in the name of love. Let’s just get right to the point here. Two hours later, I realized that this hobby was a pain in the ass. But I kept the thought in the back of my mind that giving up a little bit of my masculinity, in the name of love, would surely pay off one way or another. Sure, I’ll have to take a ribbing from guys out there that don’t understand, but I was sure that it would be worth it. And it was. Lori loved the damn things. Don’t get me wrong, the supplies help because all you basically have to do is use different colors and multiple “things” – sticker, borders, different letters. She was thoroughly impressed with them which I knew was going to lead to my demise. I’m sure that once she told someone, everyone knew. And now that I’m admitting to it, more people will know. But guys, let me tell you something. When it happens to you, you won’t be able to stop it. And the dividends are great. She fell even more in love with me. I guess this is the kind of thing that they (there’s that “they” again…who are “they anyway?) are talking about when they say that women are turned on by sensitive men. Not gay men, but sensitive. My mind was able to reason with “if you do this, she will go crazy” – and she did. She thought it was the most thoughtful thing in the world. And most of all, it made her day! That’s all I can ask for. I know, it’s sappy, but hey, it’s the least I could do.  After all, she’s going through quite a bit carrying our child. Below are the products of my labor. No girls, I will not join your scrap-booking club. I’ll leave that to those of you that really enjoy doing this kind of thing. I found myself getting pretty frustrated with my inability to cut out a good “picture frame”.

This is the one that I made for Lori.

This is the one that I made for myself.

Not too bad for someone who doesn’t know the first thing about this kind of stuff. I figured the more things I put on them, they more “creative” they would look.

So today comes around. While I was working, I stopped for a couple minutes to throw a load of laundry in the washer. It could be washing while I worked on something for one of our clients. I suddenly got this urge to do extreme cleaning. I’d work for about 45 minutes and then get up for 10 minutes or so to change the laundry out or scrub one of the toilets. Some how, I was able to successfully juggle both of those tasks with relative ease. 5:00pm rolls around and I was getting ready for Lori to come home from work. All I originally wanted was to get the laundry done so that we didn’t have to worry about it this weekend. Here’s what I managed to do in between rounds of working. I did 4 loads of laundry and folded everything. I cleaned both bathrooms which included changing the towels out, emptying the garbage cans, scrubbing the toilets and completely cleaning the sinks, faucets and counter tops. I also totally cleaned the kitchen and straightened up the dining room. The living room was tended to, the bed linens were washed and remade, and I vacuumed the entire apartment. She walked up the stairs (which are on the inside of our apartment) while I hid in the spare bedroom. I heard her looking for me when she got to the top of the stairs. She was greeted with candles lit, and jazz music playing in the background. I could sense that it was slowly starting to sink in. She had to have glanced at the bar by the head of the stairs where I had a dozen yellow roses sitting in a vase. (I guess you can add ‘arranging flowers’ to the list of girly things that these hormones are making me do.) Don’t forget men, this earns some serious brownie points during these times. Not that I wouldn’t do it otherwise, but it’s an awesome thing to do for the mother of you kid.

She kept looking for me throughout the apartment and I could tell that she realized what my surprise for her today was. “Everything’s clean…it looks so good in here!” A huge smile came across my face. People say that I’m a smartass, and this definitely showed off the smart side of it! I walked out of the room to give her a big hug and kiss. She loved it! I left her a note on the front door that she read before she walked upstairs. In it, I told her that I did this so that we could enjoy our three-day weekend without having to worry about cleaning up the apartment first. Again, this was an endeavor that I normally wouldn’t have done and got so much satisfaction out of. I’m glad that for the second day in a row, I was able to go that extra mile, no matter how sappy it may be, to make this woman happy. She has made me the luckiest guy in the world now, first by saying yes to my proposal, and second by giving me the gift of a baby.

I don’t know how hormones in my body can start kicking into gear because of what’s going on in her body, but it’s a trip for sure! As more interesting things happen while I take on this parenting challenge, I’ll be sure to share them with everyone. I’ll do my best to get it across in a way that can explain it in a sense to those that haven’t been through anything like this and in a way that takes people back to the time when they went through the same thing. It’s a fascinating experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s crazy what you’ll do for others…..in the name of love.