“Another one came today.”
“Another box?” I asked.
“Yep,” Matt said. “A big one. I can’t believe such little people are going to need such large things.”
When I got home, I saw exactly what Matt meant. Sitting in the corner of the living room sat yet another giant box, piled with several others, all of varying sizes, most quite sizeable. We’d registered on Amazon (where we heard prices were best), and at Babies ‘R Us (where the employees screeched and cooed made a huge fuss over us when we registered, which was adorable). Weeks before the shower the gifts were already piling up.
Matt’s mom and several friends had secretly started planning our baby shower months ago, and we didn’t find out until they recently had to clear a date with us. (I’ve been traveling so much for work that they wanted to make sure I’d actually be in town for the big day.) Other than the date, the shower is a complete surprise. All the details are secret. We’ve been instructed only to be in a certain place at a certain time, and the rest will be revealed to us as it unfolds.
As each box arrives, and I imagine what might be inside, I can’t help thinking the same thing: “This might be the infant swing that our babies use”; “These might be the blankets we swaddle our babies in when they first get home”; “This box might hold the tub that we bathe our babies in.” I know it all probably sounds very obvious, but it also feels kind of momentous as each item arrives.
Everything is feeling very, very real.
Also, just a couple weeks ago, our first issue of Parents magazine arrived. That was a crazy moment for me, because five years ago I was actually on staff at Parents, and wrote for both the magazine and their blog. I was a bachelor at the time, living the single life in Manhattan, and writing for this magazine for families. And now here I am, a few years later, a married subscriber with babies on the way.
While on all these recently work trips–I’m trying to squeeze in a lot of them before the kids get here–I’ve tried to mix in a little fun. One of the trips brought me near my friends Alisha and Cam in the Midwest. I wrapped up work on a Friday and then headed to their house for a weekend of hanging out and catching up, and they surprised me on the first night with a very cool craft project.
On Alisha and Cam’s dining room table sat several onesies, fabric markers and washable puff paints, and stencils. At first I didn’t quite connect what was going on.
“I’m going to pour us all drinks,” Alisha said, “and then we’re going to make some awesome handmade onesies together.”
It was hilarious. And brilliant.
As you can probably imagine, the designs got only more creative as we finished our first drinks and started on the next round.
After a great weekend with Alisha and Cam, it was back to work for me. I had a few days in New York with Matt, and then I was on the road again.
Just last week, as a work trip wrapped up, I got the news that my 90-year-old grandma in Minnesota was in the ICU with pneumonia. I immediately changed my flight plans and headed to Minneapolis. Considering her age and health, and knowing that the babies are coming soon and who knew when I’d get to go home again, it seemed like the best thing to do. I’m really glad I got to be there for a few days with my grandma (who, luckily, got moved to regular care as her health stabilized). Matt’s grandma, who was such a cool lady, passed away last year as we were starting the surrogacy process, and it’s been hard to say goodbye to one generation as we prepare for the next one. It’s a big mix of emotions.
Combining all that with everything going on at our jobs, in conjunction with my work travel, and all the baby prep going on, things have been a little hectic. We’re trying to still take time to go see movies and sleep in a little bit on weekends, recognizing that in about nine short weeks all of that is going to be ancient history for us for a while.
I have no doubt, however, that it’ll be worth it. 🙂
P.S. For more photos from our lives, feel free to follow us on Instagram @joshcentral.
P.P.S. If you’re wondering how our final vacation before babies went, you can join us for a few minutes of it here.