And the baby is a ….

I’ve been waiting for today for weeks! Because of Covid, my wife’s OB/GYN is only allowing the patient in the office. With Ella, I was at every ultrasound. I looked forward to hearing the baby’s heart beat each month. I loved that special togetherness that we felt when we were at the office. It has killed me to not be at those appointments. Today, I finally got to hear the baby’s heart beat – and we found out the gender!

You may recall that we went to a 3-D ultrasound place to find out Ella was a girl. They can tell you the gender at the 15th week of pregnancy. We called a few weeks ago and made the appointment. So I have been waiting patiently. Today, after only 4 hours of sleep, I was up and excited to go.

Today, made this more real to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve noticed my beautiful wife’s baby bump growing, so I know it is real. Not being involved with those OB/GYN appointments has really been driving me crazy. Today, I actually got to see the baby!

Regular ultrasounds are cool enough. We tried to get a 3-D shot of Ella, but she kept putting her hands in front of her face. We never really got a full face shot of her. Check out what we saw today…

It’s a little blurry, but there is the baby, looking right at us! WOW!

As I stated in a previous blog, Sam was leaning boy and I was thinking girl. We found out today. We were originally going to only tell a few people and keep the results a secret. However, since Sam kind of spilled the beans on Facebook, I can share them here….

Ella helped us make the announcement:

It’s a boy! Ella will be welcoming her little brother in October. Sam and I are naturally excited. It’s perfect. One girl and one boy!

We found out we were expecting around Ella’s birthday (2/10). On February 15th, I had a dream that my mother told me it was a girl, and actually blogged a draft when I woke up so I wouldn’t forget:

I was in asleep in our bed. Suddenly, the kitchen light turns on. I get up, not knowing if it’s a burglar. To my surprise, it’s my mom and she’s making making soup for her and my dad – in my kitchen. As I walk out I hear her say, “Oh, damn it,” as she spills it on the floor.  I told her I’d get her something to clean it up, so I grabbed some baby wipes.  She looked at me and said “It’s a girl.”

Then I woke up. It was a very vivid dream. She looked me right in the eye and said it. Of course, I thought it would be really cool if the baby was a girl because the dream would have been sort of prophetic…LOL Instead, it was probably just me and my early gut feeling. I won’t lie though, over the past couple weeks, the pregnancy has been VERY different for Sam. Because of that, I guess I kind of knew the baby was going to be a boy.

We are very excited for our son to arrive. We’ll have to do a bit of preparation, as we have all girl clothes. We also had no trouble picking a girl’s name. Finding a boy’s name has been a challenge…

This weekend, we’ll be spending time in those baby name books again!

Weekend Anxiety

The above sign can be seen almost everywhere these days. A similar sign was on the door of the restaurant my boys and I had breakfast at on Sunday. It obviously doesn’t mean anything …. In the past year, I have only eaten out twice. Once was for my anniversary (and they had everything set up perfectly for social distancing) and the other time was Sunday.

My boys wanted to go to Leo’s Coney Island for breakfast, and we met at 10am. When we walked in, there were only two table available (social distanced). There was a table across from us that had a sign on it similar to the one below:

About 10:30a, the restaurant starts to get a bit busier. People are beginning to wait for tables. One group of guys come in and none of them are wearing a mask. I made a comment under my breath to my boys about it and finished my breakfast. My sons were not quite done eating and a waitress comes over and removes the sign on the table across from us and seats the maskless morons at that table.

I could feel my anxiety levels jump out of control. I told the boys to put their masks on and we were leaving. I’m not even sure if they were finished eating. I was done.

Why bother with the signs on door or on the tables if they mean nothing?

I’d hate to think that we may eventually do what they are doing in the UK. Did you see this? They want to put in social distancing “lamp shades” over tables for people to eat at!

I mean, look at that thing! How can anyone enjoy a meal under that thing?? It’s like the friggin’ Cone of Silence from Get Smart!

I don’t think I’ll be ready to eat out again for some time ….

Can you help Santa?

Two years ago, I decided it was time to write a letter to Santa. I had some things that I felt I needed to get off my chest, and some requests to make of the jolly old elf. You can read that blog here:

https://nostalgicitalian.com/2018/12/19/to-s-claus-north-pole/

I would NOT want to be Santa Claus this year!! 2020 has not been a pleasant year for so many people. Just for a minute, think about what might be in those letters from children. Sure there will be the normal batch of letters with wish lists and requests. However, this year, those letters took a much more serious tone.

I read an article this week in USA Today that talked about the United States Postal Services “Operation Santa.” The program, which has been running in some form for over 107 years, accepts letters from kids in need and matches them up with donors to make their holiday wishes come true. In the article, my heart ached to read some of the excerpts from children (and adults). A lot of these letters focused on the hardships these families are facing during the pandemic.

“Dear Santa” a boy in California wrote, “I would do enything if you could some-haw restart 5th grade with NO COVid. so plees if you the amasing Santa could restart it I wood be happy”

A sixth grade girl from main wrote: “I have not had a good year,” she wrote to Mr. and Mrs. Claus. “My grandpa died and I could not see him because of covid. I miss him and his big hugs.” She then listed gift requests for her family and asked Santa for a puppy for her grandma “so she is not so lonely.”

A 13 year old boy who confesses to not believing in Santa wrote him anyway. “I am asking you to help my mom for X-mas,” he said. “Having us all home and not working do to covid we could use some help.”

A California mother of three, whose husband has been in and out of the hospital with heart issues even took time to write to Santa. She said, “This year has been really rough for us,” she wrote. “We have been struggling financially because of all the hospital bills & they just keep piling up. We would appreciate clothes & shoes. Those are essential.”

A 5 year old girl from Texas was worried about Santa’s health. “I hope you don’t get sick,” she wrote, “Matzy will give you cookies and milk and mommy Andrea will make a mask for you and rain deer.”

Almost all of the children asked Santa to help keep their family, friends, and loved ones healthy.

The article mentioned that if families could still take part: Those who still want to send a wish list as part of Operation Santa should address their letter to 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888 and include a return address and a stamp. Letters received before Dec. 15 will be uploaded online and then made available for adoption.