Is Conversation dying? Maybe just mine.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to be heard, they listen with the intent to reply”.

Just let that sink in. Think about it. How often do you ask someone a question, only to half listen because you’ve thought of something else to say, you know how to solve their problem/have a “suggestion” for what worked for you, or you don’t really care? When you ask someone a question, I encourage you to be engaged with their answer. Listen. Acknowledge their feelings. Acknowledge the situation. Ask more questions! And then go into your answer. It takes practice and time, but it can completely improve a conversation, considering most people are QUITE aware when you have stopped listening (a dead give away is “mmhmmm” after a really long statement and then a quick change of subject).

This all stemmed from my postpartum meeting with my client this weekend. She wanted to discuss and digest and let go. She had a goal of having an unmedicated birth and ended up having an epidural so she felt as though she didn’t meet her goal. I could have responded a million ways “you did met your goal, you had your baby”, “hundreds of people have epidurals it’s not a big deal”, “you had epidurals with your other babies, this one wasn’t so different.”Instead, I acknowledged her disappointment. It must be frustrating to have a plan, a mindset, and come so close and not make it. Only after acknowledging her frustration did I then commend her on how awesome she did. Forty hours of labor without an epidural! Two hours of “I can’t” before she finally REALLY COULD NOT. The beauty of birth is not HOW we have a baby, but that we HAD a baby.

This whole situation got me thinking to conversations I have with people and mostly my lack of them because I’ve become so aware to listening and conversation techniques. I’m an open book if you ask me a question, and you are GENERALLY interested in something. But a vague, open “how are you doing? how are you feeling? What’s new?” I won’t give specifics and I end up being very vague with my answer. Because those aren’t questions that show you really care. Questions like “how did your conferences go? How many people attended?” “How is potty training going” “Do you have stuff for the baby?” “What are you making for dinner this week?”OR if you read this blog, questions about things I write in it. It’s usually not be just spouting off, I try to create conversation. I don’t know. Just anything really. When did conversing become so hard and teeth pulling like?

Maybe it’s some weird developed trait of being so introverted over the past two years, but it’s definitely made me more aware of my conversations, both as a listener and a talker. I’m not saying I’m a good listener either, I definitely have A LOT of room for improvement. But I try to only focus on the conversation I am having at the time, I make mistakes and I realize I make them and I try to be a better listener the next time (looking at you Kristin J.; sorry for changing the topics so much –insert monkey covering mouth emoji). Give or take with a toddler in my presence. Or maybe this is just all the hormones talking. Who knows.

I think the world could all manage to be a much better place if we all just listened to each other a lot more and acknowledged each other’s feelings.

Updates with Baby

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Side note: That skirt is from my senior year of high school. I’m feeling PRETTY good about not wearing any maternity clothes today.

How Far Along: 26 weeks
Size of Baby: Bowling Pin/Butternut squash. Kid clocks in at 2 lbs and just over 12 inches.
Total Weight Gain: Eye roll. I’m 9 lbs away from where I was with Anna, and I still have 14 weeks to go.
Movement: Get your tickets for the show, starts at 7 pm and goes until 5 am.
Status of my Belly: Pretty sure it popped 2 more inches last night.
Organization Status: I found this list titled “40 bags in 40 days” and essentially it was like, go through one thing at a time to organize and purge. Last night I did the laundry room. I’ve already made $28 from stuff I sold. And it’s organized. And clean! Next up is one Kitchen cabinet. Stuff we haven’t used in a year? Get going.  

 

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Mixed Feelings

Two days ago I thought to myself, I love being pregnant. I forgot how much I loved this stage and how great it is and blah blah. Today? Between last night and today I might have reached my breaking point. I have 15 weeks left. I’m supposed to get bigger? How in the heck am I going to breath? How come walking the dogs, brushing the dogs, and changing the sheets on the bed are enough to exhaust me like running a 10k would? A snail passed me on my way to work today. I waddle. I can’t eat complete meals anymore, yet I’m hungry all the time. Like, 65% of the time.

and I’m only going to get bigger.

TO BE FAIR. I know I’m not that big, but I think I forgot about this stuff last year. I vaguely remember not being able to put on tights and shoes and stuff, but I don’t remember not being able to move. I also don’t want this baby to come anytime soon because I’ve got stuff to do (and buy).

Life with the Taylor’s this week has been pretty great. For the first time in like three months we had a weekend with zero plans and we did all the fun things. We voted for Hillary in the primary. We went to the park. We went shopping for fun. We have started arranging the house (and buying yardsale/craigslist furniture for cheap) and I’m getting antsy about wanting to throw all the things away and pick all the things up. Purging is my happy place.

Last night Phil and I celebrated our third year anniversary. And for the third year in a row we didn’t do anything 🙂 One day we will. I actually don’t mind not going out on a date or doing dinner or anything on our anniversary. Instead we forego Valentines day and still get each other gifts in accordance with the year. So, this year I got new Jack Rogers (leather) and Phil got a passport holder (leather). We are so burnt out from life and pregnancy and a toddler that it’s hard to just go enjoy a meal when we both just want to lay down and watch March Madness. Eventually we will start doing something, but for now this is good enough. As I went upstairs last night I leaned over the balcony and said, “It’s not that I don’t love you, I just am too fat to enjoy sitting on the couch with you right now.”

Speaking of antsy and looking for things to do, I have 4 countdowns on my phone. 1) Savannah 2) Work Meeting 3) Baby and 4) Big Day. I obsessively check them. I’m ready to get started if you can’t tell!

Baby This Week:

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Surprise! I got bored on Tuesday night and gave myself bangs. Oops.

How Far Along: 25 weeks (It’s funny to read that I felt the exact same way with Anna at this point).
Size of Baby: Baseball Glove/Prairie Dog. Kid weighs 2 lbs!
Total Weight Gain: I’m a beached whale.
Movement: I’ve got an Anna #2 in there. This baby dances a lot. And responds to certain books that my child makes me read every night (Go Dog Go and Are you my Mother–which Anna so cutely says “the egg jumped!”).
Status of my Belly: I just am in shock that it’s going to get bigger. It looks like a there is a full size baby in there.

To be fair though, if you look at the side by side picture of me pregnant with Anna at 25 weeks and this baby..I look to be the same size. So I guess I just forgot. oops.
Doctor’s Appointments: For once we’ve got no doctor appointments for a while! But what we do have is Melissa’s need to organize everything. So that’s what I will be doing. For the next 10-11 weeks. Oh. And I’m also hiring a maid because I can’t clean the bathroom anymore and you know who isn’t picking up a toilet brush anytime soon.

Lists, Lists, Lists

There is this lovely thing called pregnancy brain and good golly. I thought that maybe, just maybe, I would escape it because I am so scatterbrained normally but nope. It’s even worse (because of course it is). I had to spend last week working on a project that was merging 4 SPSS (excel type stuff but way more advanced) files. And had to redo it NINE times, because every time I thought I got ahead, I overlooked something, so REDO.

Phil wanted chili dogs for dinner on Monday. Specifically requested chili with no beans, Anna and I were singing throughout the grocery store “no beans, no beans”. Saw the can that said no beans. Reached for said can, came home with chunky chili and extra beans. All I can do is laugh at this point.

So my life has become an endless compilation of lists and lists that I have lost and later found. And please don’t suggest some app on my phone, because I will just bury it in a folder trying to be neat and then it will get lost and I’ll never use it.

Speaking of lists. All you pregnant moms I have found the best thing in the world. It’s called BabyList. And instead of registering at just one place, you can register at dozens of places and Babylist will group them all together. This way your friends and family won’t have to go to Amazon, Target, Babies R’Us, etc.. They just go to the list and all your items are there! They also conveniently have a button you can add to google chrome so that while you are bored at work and browsing the interwebs  building your registry you can just click the button. I love it. I also have the app on my phone so that I can add stuff to it as I lay awake with insomnia. This is ours in case you wanted to see what it looks like https://babyli.st/melissa-taylor .

**To note, I understand that many people think that having a list for a second baby is tacky, I get it we just had a baby. True, we did, but we also purged a ton in the move (our fault, I accept), but we ran out of stuff! So, we still need some stuff, helpful to have stuff.**

**Also, this post is not sponsored by BabyList. I just love them that much**

Baby Updates!

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How Far Along: 23 weeks
Size of Baby: Bunch of Grapes/Chinchilla/Barbie Doll
Total Weight Gain: 14 lbs. Feeling pretty good about myself. Although, I am 16 lbs away from my allocated weight, I’ll throw in another 5 lbs because of me being severally underweight, sooo…I’m 21 lbs away. I’m on track.
Movement: There is a rave happening in my belly. At all times. I DO NOT remember Anna moving this much, this early.
Status of my Belly: It’s officially spring in Florida (Sorry family in Pennsylvania). So, the status is adorable because pregnant women in dresses are adorable.
Doctor’s Appointments: Not one, but TWO doctors appointments tomorrow. I start physical therapy for my stupid ankle and I am going to centering. This is LIVING THE LIFE MY FRIENDS.