I am so excited; we are finally pregnant. The baby is due on August 18th, so he or she will be a Leo, like me. I’ve already read a collection of pregnancy books. I know I’m a nerd, but I like to understand what’s going on. I’m hoping that we can find out the gender, too. My obstetrician is a sweet, kind older gentleman, who probably isn’t far from retirement. He couldn’t go with me for the first checkup, but I think Lou will like him, too.

I cried when Lenny’s new family picked him up, but he will be happier living inside a nice home. When Lou decided to get rid of the dog, I reminded him that this was supposed to be our trial run to adjust to life with a baby, and that we couldn’t just give the baby away when it was inconvenient. He didn’t appreciate the comparison. We didn’t know I was already pregnant.

I just about danced out of the bathroom to show Lou the pregnancy test results. I expected his reaction to be like mine, since we had been trying for months. But he just said, “Oh,” and set aside the test stick. Dumfounded by his response, I asked back, “Oh?” He kind of shrugged his shoulders, shook his head like I had asked a stupid question, and quite dully replied, “Congratulations. I don’t know what else you expect me to say.” He gave me a quick hug and peck and left for Pennsylvania for the week. Maybe he was just in shock. I celebrated by myself that night with a toast of orange juice with a very light ceremonial last alcohol splash of vodka. We’ve planned a trip to Paradise Island in the Bahamas next month, so we can have our last DINK (Double Income No Kids) vacation together before I get too big. I started off the pregnancy at 120 pounds, and am in good shape from working out, so I still should look good in a bathing suit.

I don’t want my boss to find out that I’m pregnant yet, but I did tell my close friend, Sandy, so she would cover for me when I run to the bathroom to puke. I haven’t even told my family, and can’t wait to share the news. We seldom visit for Christmas or other holidays. My parents don’t make a big deal about it, but I know they want me to come home more often. Lou likes to be in our own home for holidays, especially Christmas, since that’s his birthday. This year, Lou wanted me to cook fresh Jumbo shrimp for dinner, which I did even though the smell was nauseating. I didn’t complain or vomit, but when I did not eat the shrimp, Lou said I completely ruined his birthday. Might as well have gone to Scotia after all.

I get it, but sure do wish we could compromise a bit more. I feel guilty always letting down my family by not coming home, but if I force it and he’s not happy, then I can’t enjoy the visit. So, it’s a no win for me either way. It’s just easier to visit when there’s something else going on or that we can plan in NY that Lou enjoys. We typically go in the Spring when there are fraternity and Union College reunion functions that we can attend at the same time. One of the best visits we had in Schenectady was for Bruce’s wedding. We didn’t know anybody at the reception, and everyone else at our table was also a misfit in some way. We all got along great and laughed, drank, and danced all night long. It was absolutely the best time we have ever had.

On one road trip to New York, we outlined an entire book. The consulting business was slowing down, Lou just didn’t have as much work, and was getting pretty depressed about the future, so we discussed what he should do next. He has written several articles for trade magazines in the past, and has done lots of APICS speaking engagements, but really wants to be published in Harvard Business Review. Most of his consulting work was done using teams to solve problems and implement solutions, and he developed a pull methodology for custom manufacturing, and named it Production Sequencing. I suggested that instead of just trying to get in HBR, he should write a book. He thought that I was crazy, and that he could never get a book published. But we decided to give it a try anyway. On a drive up and back from Schenectady, we wrote a description of a book, laid out all the chapters and an outlined a proposal. We decided to make it a fictional business novel that can be used for training and team development. I believe this will establish him as an expert and bring in plenty of work. Plus, he can use his own book as a training tool for his clients when he sets up teams. It’s a winner in so many ways. Right now, he just has his past clients and word of mouth to demonstrate his expertise.

He hasn’t been working as much, so now he writes. Every day he sets a goal for how many words he’ll get done. Each night, I edit the work, and we plan out exactly what will be in the next part. His friend from high school is illustrating the book and helping over fax with editing and general feedback. He is a highly intelligent talented artist, and we are so lucky that he wants to work with us, but Lou gets irritated when he calls his buddy, and his wife says he can’t come to the phone because he’s giving the baby a bath or some other parental activity. Lou thinks that she doesn’t like him because he knows that she’s controlling and taking advantage of her husband because she’s lazy. I’ve never once heard him complain about taking care of their child, and imagine they share responsibilities. Lou’s not hearing any of it from me.

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