Now let me first point out that I know some people would consider this a form of child abuse to my second, growing daughter in utero. But SHE KEEPS ASKING FOR IT. And I eat bananas and apples and vegetables in between to make myself feel better for when I fail the glucose test next week. I mean, I had to finally buy the cereal so that, when it's ALL SHE WANTS randomly one morning or night, I have it, I satisfy that craving and move on.
However, it's important to note that SOME of the people I live with have insisted that the ShopRite brand cranberry and orange juice I've been buying for HIM just "doesn't taste as good as the name brand stuff." And then got my parents on board with how cheap I am that I can't splurge the extra $1.50 per week (each, mind you) so that he can enjoy his morning juice like the prince that he is.
So his youngest and I are currently eating Scrunchy Marshmallow Dreams. Because love is sacrifice.
This week has been trying. It was Tuesday and it literally felt like the week should be over with already, let's just start again. BUT one of the things that's been getting me through is this song. Between this and "I Just Wanna Dance With Somebody," I start bopping my head - just like my daughter, we can't help ourselves - and I take a deep breath and feel a little relaxed for just a few minutes.
So if you're having one of those weeks too - or if you just want to start bopping along despite yourself - enjoy.
Yesterday, while riding the kids train at the zoo with my
daughter, I had an epiphany: there is no such thing as balance.
This may seem strange, and maybe you guys already knew this
and nobody let me in on it? But for years and years I’ve been striving for
balance. Notably, balance between my personal and professional lives or, as is
now commonly referred to in our society, work-life balance.
But as I pointed at horses and sheep and llamas from the
train with her, I realized that there’s no such thing. When I’m balanced with
my daughter, it’s because I’m not doing something at work. Or with my friends. Or
emailing/texting/calling basically anyone. Or watching Narcos on Netflix. Or cleaning out the closet I’ve needed to clean
out for a month. When I’m balanced at work and really in my stride, I’m not
with my daughter. Or my husband. Or my friends. Or watching Narcos on Netflix. I’m not reading the
books that are piling up on my Kindle and I’m not visiting my parents, sister,
niece, or friends who live far away. When I hop on a plane and visit them, I’m not usually with my daughter
or CB, or at work. Or watching Netflix. And dammit, that closet is still a
I really don’t have balance in my life much at all.
And that was the most FREEING concept to wrap my head
around, you guys. I don’t have balance! Hooray! Finally! Now I can stop
striving for it and just relax. Ok,
well, I can’t really relax because I’m not great at truly relaxing, if you must
know, though you probably do, because you’re not new here. It stresses me out
to actually relax. I’m definitely forgetting something and JESUS, I really need
to get to that closet sometime soon. But I can at least stop striving to have
this elusive “balance” I hear so much about.
Like, I had to travel to California for work last week and
decided to make a 50-hour trip into a 36-hour one in the Golden State so that I
could get home and go to the zoo with my daughter, team up with CB so he wasn’t
chasing a 15 month old around for the entire weekend on his own, and wake up at
5:30am to start my Sunday with these two crazy nuts. It was supposed to be a trip that for sure
allowed for some downtime in between two and a half days of meetings, room service,
and laying horizontally in a king sized bed all my own until well beyond
But before my balance epiphany at the zoo, I had a little
chat with myself a few weeks ago about priorities and figuring out what’s
possible and what’s important to me.
What is possible is
moving some meetings around so that I could have a pretty jam-packed Friday and
Saturday and get to the airport in time to be home before midnight in New York
on Saturday. What’s important to me is
seeing the look on CB’s face when I came through the door close to midnight
when he thought I was coming home 15 hours later. What is possible is making those 36 hours count and not dwelling on how I’m
flying cross-country twice in two days. What’s important is hearing my daughter yell “mama!” when she saw me in
the dark at the crack of dawn the next day and started yelling and rolling
around on the bed (sidebar: that’s how she expresses joy. There’s usually a lot
of random yelling and LOTS of rolling her body around, so don’t be alarmed.)
What’s possible is taking care of my
second, albeit more chill, daughter in utero even though I’m trying to make
this all work out. What’s important
to me is that I succeeded in doing so – and even gave her a few fruits and
veggies while I was at it!
possible was seeing anyone I love who lives in California while I was there for
a day and a half. What wasn’t
possible was meeting that one author who wanted to – and only could – meet on
Monday, who I actually felt guilty telling “no” to and then ended up chatting
with at the meeting anyway because we ran into each other. What wasn’t possible was reading any book on
my Kindle because I was no joke TIRED. And what wasn’t possible was getting a seat on the plane next to anyone but
the man who smelled like wet raccoon and literally took my plane snack from the
flight attendant and didn’t pass it down
to me. He just ate both instead. All
of those things weren’t possible, but
that was OK because, as the llamas taught me, there’s no such thing as having
it all, there’s no such thing as balance. But there is such a thing as being
present in the moment and really thinking about what you need, want, and what’s
And what I really
wanted this weekend was to have some great meetings and then watch my daughter
absorb her first trip to the zoo, enjoy some delicious chocolate ice cream, and read her a book on the couch while she snuggled into me before bed. And I wanted to collapse into bed and laugh with my husband about our crazy lives. And then I really wanted to watch some Narcos. All of which I did. And so….maybe
my life is pretty balanced after all?
DAMMIT! The closet. Ok, no, it’s not. I was right the first
My 20th high school reunion was this past weekend and I know
what you’re all thinking: wow, I didn’t realize you were a child prodigy who
went to high school when you were 8! But it’s true. I’m sort of surprised that
this even surprises you. OR, I’m shocked that it’s only been 20 years because I’m
pretty sure I’m not yet old enough to support going to bed at 8:30 and using
phrases like “okey dokey” in public.
Either way, I didn’t make it back to Michigan for the
festivities, which I know isn’t that unusual, even for people who do live in the same state where they
went to school. But I did spend some time in the weeks leading up to it
thinking about those formative four years, shuddering at the thought of where I
would be without them and the people who colored that time. I started looking
through pictures, remembering random moments and major events, and laughing at
all of the predictably terrible mistakes and assumptions I made when I was a
teenager. As you do.
And I thought about my daughter(s), passed out at the
thought of two teenage girls within 18 months of each other, and then regained consciousness
to hope that they, too, would make it through with the same kind of people and
experiences as I did. Mainly so that CB and I have a shot of sleeping at any
point during that decade or so when they’re going to be so dumb we can’t stand
My high school experience was very un-John-Hughes-esque. I
mean, I’m sure there were cliques in my school just like any other – but I was
too busy trying to get my bangs to behave and figure out what turtleneck to
wear and so I was, as previously established, oblivious to any of that. Plus, I
was busy being hyper-focused on stuff that really doesn’t matter all that much
(other than the bangs – those things had a mind of their own and really needed
some devoted time and energy).
So here’s a letter to my high school self, twenty years
later, that maybe will come in handy for my kids when they get older, too. But
probably not since I’ll be dumb and won’t know anything and ohmygodmom stop
talking to me. MOM. Ugh.
I know this is creepy because you’ve just discovered that
time travel is real, yet you’re disappointed that this is the only indicator and
who writes letters anymore? But deal with it.
I just wanted to let you know that you’re doing fine. I do
agree that your bangs need some attention, but just hold tight to the fact that
you won’t have them in a few years because you’ve finally taken the brave step
to go through the awkward process of growing them out and all goes just
fine. That doesn’t mean your hair won’t haunt you for life, but it’s the cross
we bear and, as I’ve discovered, a pretty good one to have, all things
Also, good job finding people who mainly like to hang out in
Kyle’s basement and listen to Garth Brooks and Whirling Road on the weekends,
interspersed with football games and dances and float-building and going to
movies and eating pizza. It’s basically what you’ll end up doing when you’re an
adult, too (except there’s someone named Beyonce who is about to RULE YOUR
WORLD. You’re welcome, in advance.) And turns out that doing all of that is a
good way to not go to jail.
But ok, yes, I know you’re feeling guilty about that night
you and Courtney went joy-riding with some of the seniors and tp’d people’s
houses, but it’s fine. I mean, not super-nice, but you’re a teenager whose
major form of rebellion, if I remember, was writing in your diary about how
annoying your parents and/or sister and/or friends were and then apologizing by
the end and drawing pictures of cat paws and stuff with hearts. So thank God
you had enough rebellion in you to do the tp thing because, otherwise, you’d
probably be an insufferable person.
Also, good job on keeping your love of cats and the Golden
Girls to a minimum until at least college; it’s much more accepted and “quirky”
in college. However, it will get you a swirly in high school, if Molly Ringwald
is to be believed, so good looking out.
Don’t worry so much about who you love and who doesn’t love
you back. The right people come along to get you down the path you need to be
on, and you’re smart enough to wise up to the wrong one eventually, so just
trust that gut of yours. It does pretty OK by you in the coming decades.
Also, go easy on mom and dad. Turns out, they were right!
Well, about enough of it. And some of it they don’t need to know about because
we want them to live through your teens and most of your twenties. But overall,
they know what they’re talking about and really do have your best interest at
heart, even though dad is the worst to “help” with math and mom sometimes
wishes she could still dress you so that you are adorable, which, ohmygodmom, I’m
GROWN. I know. But they can’t really help themselves, I’m learning, because
they literally spoon fed you and changed your diapers and now you’re, like,
rolling your eyes and being the worst. Give ‘em a break.
Be kinder with yourself. You’re doing just fine. I promise.
Look around. Believe it or not, the world is still turning
even if you’re sleeping until noon, and there are people who are having a way
harder time than you are. So just be more aware of that. Like, spend five
minutes less on your bangs per week, to start, and use that time to pay
attention to what’s going on and who could use a closet-cat-loving friend to
invite them to your lunch table here and there. You might meet someone
unexpectedly great! – life works that way, so keep your eyes open.
Sorry boys, I'm taken (several decades from now)
God, I know that it’s mortifying when you accidentally fawned over that guy coming out of the school gym that one day (we won’t name him here
just in case someone else is reading this.) But it makes for a GREAT story
later and is endlessly entertaining to your friends, your boss, your husband,
strangers on the Internet (I’ll explain the Internet in a separate letter, but
it’s helpful and awful, prepare yourself), etc. But try to keep your inside thoughts on the inside as you get older. Or
at least share them sparingly with the people who love you – and even then,
sometimes maybe not. It’s something you continue to struggle with well into
your thirties, but being aware that this is a thing you’re not great at,
earlier, I’m SURE will come in handy for us.
Don’t worry so much that you don’t understand Chemistry or,
really, most science or math. Just keep trying and know that you’ll never use
99% of it because you’re luckily self-aware enough to not want to pursue
anything career-wise that uses any of it. But, like, try. But not really in Chemistry because he was a terrible teacher
anyway, so you really had no shot. So don’t stress, pass the class, and move
Listen to Mrs. Tompkins about pretty much everything. She’s
one of those teachers who comes along once in a lifetime and is way cooler,
artsier, and worldlier than you’ll ever hope to be. I know that all of the Greek
and Roman columns look the same to you, but it comes in handy to know that
stuff when you’re cool and watching Jeopardy! with your husband in a few
decades and he’s impressed with all of your random Greek and Roman knowledge!
It’s oddly satisfying. Plus, she teaches you how to write a five paragraph
essay and that shit is HANDY. Like, forever.
Pay closer attention to the movie quotes that Kyle and Jason
and Andy and Balls are always talking about. Turns out, they watch movies other
than “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and they actually have decent taste! Plus, it
helps as you get older because old people in their thirties love to quote
movies, for some reason, and it makes us feel young and cool. Like we came up
with the jokes originally on our own. So open up your repertoire and pay
And finally, because it’s worth repeating, be kinder with
yourself. You’re doing just fine. I promise.
Are you guys watching the Olympics? Ok, we don’t normally
get into them. But this year? TOTALLY hooked.
First, if you didn’t watch Women’s Rugby, you haven’t lived.
In the words of my friend Mary:
“This sh*t is bananas!”
Second, my husband and I should not be allowed to watch,
well, any television together, really. Separately, we’re decent human beings.
Together? We make a terrible human couple who should not be in charge of
raising two respectful young ladies.
Last night, while watching men’s synchronized platform
diving (as you do), this conversation occurred:
Me: “Wait. His name is Steele Johnson?”
Silence. Listening to commentators for about 5 minutes.
CB: “Is it just me, or are there double entendres
Me: “Oh my God EVERYWHERE. I wasn’t saying anything because
I didn’t want to be gross for once. But come ON.”
CB: “Yeah. ‘Rough entry’?”
Me: “Penetrates the water?”
CB: “STEELE JOHNSON?”
Me: “We should be civilian sports announcers for the
Olympics. Like, they have these two boring people here telling us all about
form. But we can tell whether they’re going to get an 8 or a 9.5 by how much of
a splash they make in the water. So who’s really the expert? Plus, you know that we would be speaking to
America. No WAY other people haven’t started making inappropriate jokes, too.
CB: “We’d get kicked off of the air in about 4 minutes.”
Me: “But it’d be such a glorious 4 minutes.”
*it’s important to note that, during this conversation, CB
made the dirtiest joke I’ve ever heard come out of his mouth and I actually was
stopped in my tracks. I cannot repeat it here because, at some point, our
daughters will be able to read and should never, ever know that this exists in
their father’s terrible brain.
While getting into bed last night, we had this conversation.
It’s important to understand that CB has slept with only one pillow for
approximately four years. I sleep with three pillows and we use two separate
blankets because sharing is for kinder sleepers who are not me:
Me: “Remember when we first started dating and we’d share a
blanket and you slept with two pillows?”
CB: “Yeah, the good ole’ days.”
Me: “Oh man, it was torture. You didn’t use a fan, or have
the windows open, and you’d have the heat on!”
CB, laughing: “Yeah, it’s called winter. Oh man, you’re a
piece of work. Like I was doing something odd by having no fan and the windows
closed with the heat on in the WINTER.”
CB: “You know what was
odd? Having snow in my hair when I’d wake up! ‘Gee, why do you have pneumonia
again for the second time this month?’ ‘Oh, I started dating this girl and she’s
Me, still laughing: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it
again: you knew exactly who you were marrying, it’s not like I hid it after the
first few months.”
CB: “But those first few months you lured me in by making me think you were
normal with your siren song: ‘Oh here, have two pillows. Oh here, we can share
Me: “Well that’s your fault. I was never normal. I was just
being more polite.”
CB: “So can we go back to when that was one of your
priorities? Because the air conditioning is currently set at 60 degrees and I
wear a sweatshirt to bed in the middle of the summer.”
Me: “Negative. That ship has sailed.”
Ok, so I know that I haven't done a wrapup in a while, but as you've maybe noticed, I'm on a roll this week! But you may have also noticed that it's Thursday instead of Friday, which isn't lost on me even though we all know that my brain is not my own right now.
Anyway, I'm leaving for the hottest place on earth tomorrow morning, known as Alabama, for inexplicable reasons. Or, to visit a dear friend and her adorable newish little baby boy. It's deep love for me to head to the deep south in the heat of summer, lemme tell you.
This week's book is "The Girl With All The Gifts" by M.R. Carey. Any review that starts with "I am not a fan of zombies" has me hooked! Also, this book is being turned into a movie soon, so get on it and read the book so you can lord it over people that you're more intellectual and didn't just hop on the "I'm reading the book because now it's a movie" bandwagon. Lording over people is a great reason to read!
Last night, CB and I were watching the Mets game and an ad came on for a Styx concert at CitiField later this summer. They put those poor, aging rock stars in Mets jerseys and made them talk about the show while trying to sound cool and rocker-y.
Me: "Wow. It's kind of hard to be an older rock star and be cool, I guess."
Me: "I mean, I can't think of one cool, old rock star."
Me: "Right? I mean, can you? Think of one!"
CB: "Bruce Springsteen?"
Me: "He's not old, he's like 50."
CB, staring at me: "He's older than 50."
Me: "No way."
CB, googling: "Yep, he's 66."
Me: "What?! No way! Ok, he's a cool, older rock star. But he's not, like, old old. Like the Rolling Stones. Poor Mick Jagger just needs to stop. And that other guy who looks like he's been dead for 20 years but is still playing the guitar."
Me: "Actually, I think Eric Clapton is older and he's still cool."
CB: "True. And Billy Joel."
Me: "Ok, I'll give you that."
CB: "And Tom Petty."
Me: "Yeah, he's still cool."
Me: "Ok, so I guess you can be older and still cool. But not Styx."
CB: "Yeah, definitely not Styx."
And now, the Video of the Week. I chose it because I love Brandi Carlile even though her last name inexplicably doesn't have an "s" in it, which confuses me. I spent a lot of time trying to make it so, too, which maybe tells us something about my personality. It's that "controlling" part that CB sometimes mentions as I walk away, pretending not to hear him. Or like last night, when I was trying to "help" him flip the fries by telling him how to flip the fries so they bake to the optimum crispness. All he had to do was sort of look at me with a side-eye and I was like "Oh right, you don't want this kind of 'help.' I'll continue to work on that." And then walked away.
If you must, re-read that sentence again, as often as
needed, before speaking with a pregnant person again for your entire lifetime. Why?
Because it’s all you need to know.
Let me be honest: nobody wants your opinion about their body
ever. Like, ever. But they especially
don’t want your opinion about their body when they’re carrying another body
inside of it while trying to sprint across the street to beat the light. Oh,
also, nobody wants to hear your opinion about how I shouldn’t sprint across the
street to beat the light, either.
You see, I’ve been conducting a little experiment during my
second pregnancy because I’ve wised up in the last 18 months. With my first, I
was honest. People would ask when I was due, I’d tell them. They’d touch my
stomach without asking, I’d let them. They’d comment on how good or bad I
looked and I’d either downplay the positive or agree with the negative so I
didn’t look arrogant or moody or defensive or human.
But now I’ve decided to beat ‘em at their own game. Mainly
so CB doesn’t have to deal with me not wanting to leave the house or throwing
all of my clothes away.
First, I lie. Well, sometimes, it really depends on you, person-I’m-speaking-with-about-my-body.
I can tell by the way you ask and the look on your face whether you’re judging
my size positively or negatively. If you’re all casual about it, I tell you the
truth. Sometimes that backfires and I get a “woah, are you sure it’s not twins?”
comment, to which I immediately regret not lying to their face and/or smacking
it. But usually they’re smart enough to be nice about it and say “that’s great,
how are you feeling?” and move off of talking about my width.
However, if you’re someone who clearly is ready to pounce, I
lie. I go up. For example: this morning, a cashier asked me how far along I
was. I’m four months, so I lied and said five and a half. Because for four
months, I’m apparently a whale. For five and a half, I’m a waif. “Wow, you look
great!” And then I walk away completely confident in my ability to not care
that I just added 6 weeks to my belly for my own peace of mind.
Now, I know what some of you will say: “You shouldn’t care
what people think, every pregnancy is different.” Yes, person, you are correct.
However, I’ll just go ahead and ask you to walk around Manhattan for the
duration of your pregnancy and not eventually make a game out of it for your
You think I’m being dramatic? That’s very unlike me, first
of all. Second of all, here are actual things people have said to me when I
tell them the truth:
“Wow, I guess with a second pregnancy you really do get
“Wow, are you sure you’re not carrying twins?” wink wink. Yeah, wink wink this.
“Wow, do they have the due date wrong?”
“Wow, I can’t imagine what 9 months will look like!”
And now, here are things people have said when I lied:
“Wow, you look great!”
Yep, that’s it. And it’s a lesson for everyone. Because I
didn’t get pregnant to win some beauty competition, though my skin is killer,
you guys, and my hair has never been more lush – pre-natal vitamins, yo, I’m
telling you. But I’m also still me, the same person who couldn’t brush off
critical comments before I built someone else’s spleen. You think it’s better
now that I have extra hormones?
And so I’m writing this as a public service announcement to
So I think that my brain is a bit overwhelmed at the moment –
probably a combination of having a 13 month old with Coxsakie, juggling work and
a crazy schedule lately, being pregnant and hormonal, and watching too many
episodes in a row of Season 1 of Mr. Robot (OHMYGOD). Probably mostly the last
And when my brain gets overwhelmed, two things happen:
1. It stops working. In just the last week, these are two of
the many things that have occurred on my watch within a 24 hour period:
I wrote two checks last Monday; one for our car payment, one
to our daycare. Except then I got a call from daycare later that day saying “So,
we got a check from you but it was made out to Ford Credit for a different
amount?” To which I responded, “Oh crap, that means that Ford will get a check
made out to Happy Today and Bright Tomorrow. They’re going to be so confused.”
I went to the grocery store and came back with too many bags
for me to carry up to our apartment all at once. So I asked CB to go back down
to the car to get the rest from the trunk. While he was gone and I was
unloading the others, I started panicking that at least half of the groceries I
just knew I purchased weren’t
anywhere to be found! So I started preparing for telling CB that I left at
least four bags of groceries at ShopRite and would need to go back to get them.
Darn pregnancy brain…..and then CB came upstairs with the remaining groceries I
thought I’d forgotten about. You know, the groceries I sent him downstairs to
2. I have really crazy dreams. Like last night, when I
dreamt that Johnny Depp made me a drinking glass out of chocolate chip cookies
PLUS extra chocolate chip cookies to dunk into the chocolate chip cookie glass.
I mean, that’s an awesome dream and should become reality, don’t get me wrong. But
still a bit odd. Or the night before that when I had a dream that an albino
chicken was attacking me while I was trying to go visit our friends’ new baby. But
to be fair, that could totally happen because farm birds are the worst.
Oh, and I get super emotional and sentimental. Hence, crying
on and off all day yesterday. And also, having conversations like this with CB.
Me: “I hope we get to stay married for a long time and you
CB: “Um…me too? Also, why am I the one dying in this
Me: “Because the other night we took that quiz online about
how long we’ll live, and I’m living until I’m 96. Duh.”
CB: “Oh, right.”
Me, tearing up: “If you do die, would you want me to get
CB: “Oh God. We’re having this conversation?”
Me: “Yes, it’s important!”
CB: “It’s really not.”
CB: “Fine. If I die, I’d like you to re-marry again
eventually. I mean, feel free to grieve for a while, though. But yeah, I’d want
you to be happy and it’d be nice for you to have a partner.”
Me: “Aw, that’s so nice of you. But I probably wouldn’t love
him as much.”
Me: “It depends on who I meet.”
CB: “I love you, too.”
CB: “So if you die, do you want me to re-marry?”
Me: “I mean, honestly? No, not really. I want you to love me
forever. But then I’d feel bad and you are too good of a guy and I do love you unselfishly, I guess. So I’d
want you to find someone if she makes you happy. But please not some annoying
woman who would badly influence our girls. I’ll haunt you forever.”
CB: “You’re haunting me forever regardless of whether you’re
dead or alive.”
Me: “We really should re-write our vows.”
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’m an
elderly person living in a 30-something-year-old’s body, and it certainly is no
surprise to CB. Which is probably the not-so-secret reason why we don’t go out
more frequently. Well that, and the fact that we have a little one-year-old
terrorist holding us hostage who inexplicably keeps calling us mama and dada
(well, actually, she calls us both mama, which I encourage. It’ll come in handy
later when she calls out for “mama” and I look at CB and can say “she’s clearly
calling for you.”) But I digress.
In recent weeks, we’ve taken advantage of the free
babysitting we have at our disposal – grandparents and friends who find her use
of the word “no” to be charming and don’t mind free pizza as payment. Plus, we
realized that we should probably cash in on all of this accessible help while
it’s still on the table – because once Baby Girl #2 comes along in January,
they might not be totally on board with these two little ones under the age of two
who sometimes poop in the tub.
So we’ve been hitting the town and, this weekend, we outdid
ourselves by helping Coldplay kick off their North American tour. But it’s been
a while since I’ve gone to a show of any kind, let alone a huge arena tour –
mainly because I’m too cheap to spend money on a band that sounds better in the
studio. And also because, as previously established, I’m incredibly lame and old and go to bed
However, we both knew that Coldplay would be worth every
penny since they have a reputation for putting on an incredible live show. Plus,
Chris Martin is kinda dreamy and British, and I’ll pay lots of money to sit in
a room full of hundreds of thousands of people in case he picks me out of the
crowd to be Apple’s step-mom. It’s money well spent.
Anyway, all was going swimmingly until the opening act came
on stage. Read: basically, it was all good until the actual music started.
There are several layers to peel back from this onion, you
guys, so let’s just start squarely at the beginning. For starters, CB had told
me that the opening act was going to be someone I’d never heard of named
Alessia Cara who sings a song called “Here” that I’ve also never heard of.
Though CB insisted that I must’ve heard of it and started singing: “Woooooah
here. Wooooah here.” Thinking that this would definitely clarify anything at
all for me.
So when the screen flashed the words “Foxes” and some young
woman started singing with her backup band, I assumed that Foxes was code for
something and that this was Alessia Cara.
Me, immediately: “Oh my god why is it so loud?”
CB, shaking his head: “Um, you’re at a concert grandma.”
Me: “But for real, this doesn’t seem too loud to you?” CB: “No, it’s a
Silence. After a few songs:
Me: “This is the Woah Here girl? I haven’t heard that song
CB: “Um, this is Foxes. This isn’t Alessia Cara.”
Me: “Wait, but I thought Alessia Cara was the opening act?”
CB: “I thought she was too, I guess not.”
Me: “There are a lot of people in crop tops here tonight.
Who would’ve thought that trend was coming back?”
Me: “Doesn’t it seem unnecessary that they’re flashing
lights from the stage when it’s still bright outside? Seems like an unnecessary
use of lighting.”
Me: “Am I the oldest person you’ve ever attended a concert
CB, laughing: “Well, technically no. Jarred’s dad has come
with us to shows, and he’s older than you. But in practice, you’re the oldest person by
far I’ve ever taken to a concert.”
Anyway, Foxes eventually left the stage and so I got amped
up for Coldplay. So when Alessia Cara came onto the stage, I looked at CB:
Me: “Wait, there are two opening acts?”
CB: “I guess so.”
Me: “Is that normal? I haven’t been to a concert in a while.”
CB: “No kidding.”
So then she sang. As each song came on, I’d say:
Me: “Is this ‘Woah Here’?”
CB: “It’s just called ‘Here.’”
Me: “Is this it?”
Until finally it was.
Eventually, she stopped singing too, and by this point, it
was 8:45pm. When Coldplay came on at 9:15, I’d had my head rested on CB’s
shoulder for a good 5 minutes.
CB: “Wow, it’s an hour past your bedtime and they’re just
Me: “I know. This is why I saved my caffeine intake today
for right now so I had a shot at making it through the whole concert, but then
they had two opening acts so all bets are off.”
But, of course, as soon as Mr. Martin and the band took the
stage, I was wide awake. It was sort of hard not to be – it was the best show I’ve ever seen. Seriously. You
don’t even need to be a fan of their music to be impressed with a group who
plays two hours straight, is running all over the stage, basically has the
entire crowd dancing and jumping the whole time (not me, no jumping. I only had
one Diet Coke and didn't want to induce early labor), and played six songs
during their encore!
It was amazing. And we got home at 12:45am, though I don’t
remember actually getting into bed or changing into pjs or even sleeping. I
just remember hearing our daughter wake up at 5:45am and pretending that it wasn’t
real, like any responsible parent would do.
Anyway, this is from the show we were at and you’ll see why
I stayed up way past my bedtime. And also why CB is fine with me trying to
marry Chris Martin when he finally watches footage from this show and realizes
I’m out there in the audience somewhere, fighting off a nap while singing along.
I haven’t written on this blog in a looooooooooong time, you
guys, and the fact that most of you are still visiting is humbling! And also
maybe should make us all reassess how we’re spending our free time? But mainly
I’ve been thinking about this specific post for months,
actually, and have been trying to formulate it perfectly in my head. But
usually when I spend this much time
thinking about something and trying to make it perfect, I end up just not doing
it or not loving it, and so I don’t do it, and then the overall point of the
whole thing has been totally lost.
So, while not perfect, here goes.
We’ve all heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a
child.” But in my case, it takes a village, the village next door, the county
in the next state, and a few random strangers.
Having a baby, as we’ve all heard or experienced, is
life-changing. It turns your world upside down. If you’re lucky, it also helps
you focus on the stuff that really matters because you’re too tired to focus on
the rest. And, if I’m being honest, sometimes you’re too tired to focus on the
stuff that really matters, too, which is why that damn village comes in so
Over the last year, I’ve witnessed countless acts of
selflessness, generosity, patience, and understanding. This village of mine
stuck with me through the high highs and low lows of post-partum everything,
were patient with me when I’m sure I sounded (and certainly looked) nuts, and
understood (mostly) the moments when I just needed to figure it out on my own.
They sent food. Cards. Good vibes. Prayers. Amazon packages.
Hand-me-downs. And love. They took my calls at all hours, returned my texts promptly
with helpful tips and tricks that got me through sleep training or colic or
going back to work or daycare or the first fever or the first tooth or the
first plane ride or the hundredth “I seriously don’t know why she’s still
crying.” They showed up at my door when I didn’t even know I needed them, and
sometimes when I’d call them in a panic because I needed them RIGHT NOW. They
gave up time with their own families, time to themselves, and time they didn’t
really have, to help me figure out how to be a better mom and keep a level of
sanity to get me through the day.
My work village made cupcakes and sent cards and flowers and
adjusted my work schedule so that I could see my daughter when she woke up and
pick her up at daycare before she fell asleep. They’ve ushered me out the door when
I’d get the daycare call to pick her up NOW, they’ve rearranged schedules to
accommodate my new, unpredictable one, and they’ve never said a word when I
show up with someone else’s food/spit-up on me or my sweater on inside out.
Her daycare village has literally kept our family going.
They love her like she’s their own and she loves them right back. She goes to
them willingly, gives kisses, hugs, and waves as we say goodbye at the end of
each day, and has even become bi-lingual, urging her dad and I to get it
together and learn some Spanish so that we can communicate with her better as she
grows! They ease my fears and they love my daughter. And they’re the reason I
can leave each morning and go to work, knowing that she’s in great hands (and,
let’s get real – better and more experience hands than both of her parents who
know nothing and did this kid thing anyway!)
And CB – the center of this village – who doesn’t even
realize how much he does to keep us moving forward each and every day. He got
up as much as I did in those early days to feed her, rock her, soothe her back
to sleep. He slept on an air mattress in her room so I could sleep through the
night (snore-free) without worrying that she might stop breathing if someone wasn’t
always watching her (see: post-partum reference above). He bathes her, feeds
her, changes MOST of the grody-er diapers. He sings to her, dresses her, and
sometimes even gets her socks to match her outfit! He’s the reason she squeals
when she hears keys in the door and he’s the reason she’s the crazy daredevil
who loves flinging herself onto and into absolutely everything that makes my
heart stop oh-my-god.
I may be her mother, but this village is her family.
So, to put it quite simply...thank you.
(We made it through the first year, you guys! Keep up the good
I know this is a few months old, but I love it. James' Carpool Karaoke is one of my favorites, but I couldn't use the most recent one (Gwen Stefani) because she bugs me. So enjoy this one instead!
And now, the Video of the Week! J-Lo and Justin Timberlake both came out with new music videos this week, so you'd think that would naturally lead to me posting one of them.
But I'm full of surprises! And while I know that I've posted this before, I wanted to post it again. Not sure what I'd do without CB, to be honest. So here's hoping he doesn't light himself on fire anytime soon!*
Happy Friday, happy weekend!
*this will only make sense if you read the blog earlier this week.
So, CB takes Flonase every day to help him breathe better.
And also to help with the bear-like snoring.
CB: “So the Flonase is definitely working.” Me: “Yeah, I’ve noticed, your snoring is so much better!” CB: “Yeah, but I sort of wish I couldn’t smell most smells.” Me: “Me?” CB, laughing: “No, but there was this guy in Target with
terrible b.o. And some people’s breath. I could do without that.”
Me: “I think that would be the sense I’d give up first,
smell. Then probably taste, since they’re kind of linked, you know?” CB: “Yeah….” Me: “And then probably touch? Though that’d be tough. And
then hearing, then sight. But ideally, I’d like to keep them all.” CB: “That’s a given.”
CB: “Yeah, I think for sure I’d give up smell, then taste.
But touch is tough. I mean, what if I lit myself on fire and I didn’t have a
sense of touch so I didn’t know?” Me: “Um, first of all, you’d probably know if you lit
yourself on fire, even if you couldn’t feel it. Second, you didn’t lose your
other senses – you’d see the fire,
smell your skin burning.” CB: “I don’t know.” Me: “Um, I know.
And also, that’s a weird reason to want to keep your sense of touch, just in case. I mean, touching RJC, yes,
I’d miss that every day. But worrying about lighting myself on fire?” CB: “I’m just saying. But yeah, I guess it’d be touch. And
I’d just have to take that chance.” Me, laughing: “Wow, I had no idea this was such a high risk
for you, good to know.” CB, turning his back to read, mumbling: “Living with you is high risk.” Me: “I love you too.”
Happy Wednesday! Sorry I've been MIA... I'm working on it!
I cannot, you guys. Clearly I haven't blogged all week and I blame the rain. It's never going to stop raining and I'm never going to not look like Roseann Roseannadanna ever again. Also, even though it's been in the fifty's all week, I've made us sleep with the air conditioning on because it's too humid. CB loves being married to me.
No books because we have lives, people! But we have a couple back-logged that I need to get up there so it's 50/50 that they'll be something from me next week, higher odds that my dad will come through! Thanks, dad! But in the meantime, click here and check out what we've read before it started raining forever!
CB and I had a conversation this morning about back in the day when we'd listen to the radio for hours, waiting for our favorite songs to come on so that we could push record on our tape players and make mixed tapes (NOT mix tapes, this is an ongoing controversial stand I'm taking, but one of which I cannot let go) of the coolest songs.
Then I mentioned that Madonna's "Like a Virgin" was the first tape I owned (followed close by "Electric Youth" by Debbie Gibson and everything by New Kids on the Block). My 100 year old husband then said that his first tape was Van Morrison, who I didn't even know was a person when I was a kid. And then we talked about how RJC will never know the trials of waiting for hours by your radio and finessing the art of getting the song to record just as the DJ stopped talking and just before he came back on at the end.
And since I didn't know what a virgin or who Van Morrison was back then, I'm guessing my parents thought it pretty safe to let me dance along to the tape while wearing leg warmers with my hair in a side ponytail. Because I've always lived in a bubble of my own complete oblivion.
So you guys. I’ve needed a few days to process all of my “Lemonade”
news before blogging about it, thank you for giving me space and respecting
“UM WHAT IS HAPPENING.” Basically, this is the gist of the
emails and texts I’ve gotten since early Sunday morning. And one of them was an
email from my boss (who is in his 50s but knew enough to refer to Beyonce as “The
Queen.”) He proceeded to ask me what on earth all of the hub-bub was about
after reading an apparently uninformative article on HuffPo, so I spent several
minutes in his office giving him the scoop and I’m pretty sure he’s gonna give
me a raise because I’m so impressive and spend my time wisely on important things.
BUT YOU GUYS. Can we just focus on the most important thing
that has come out of Beyonce’s new visual album experience (what?): SHE USED MY
NAME #ohmygodi’mfamous. Granted, it was in reference to someone who maybe or
maybe not cheated with her husband. BUT STILL.
Which is why I love my friends.
Oh! Speaking of music, yesterday I
was feeding RJC her dinner while Pandora played, and the Eagles song “Hotel
California” came on. I was taking a video of her for our family and happened to be singing along.
“Welcome to the hotel California…..such a lonely place….such
a lonely place.”
Which apparently aren’t the words? But I didn’t know that
until I posted the video and then my cousin was like:
NK: “One of the many reasons I love you is how badly you
fudge up song lyrics bc I too make up my own words! But hotel California is a
lovely NOT lonely place.”
Me: “Oh my god I love you. While singing it I was like “not
sure these are the right lyrics, whatever.”
Then later, I got this text from her:
NK: “We came out to grab a bite and walk in and hotel
California came on…such a lonely place, I hope the food
Last night, CB turned to me while we were both playing
Solitaire on our phones. Or, as we like to call it, spending quality time
together after RJC goes to sleep.
Anyway. We then had this stimulating conversation:
CB: “You play Solitaire on your phone, right?”
Me, holding up my phone to show him: “Duh.”
CB: “Have you ever checked your stats on the leaderboard?”
Me: “Like, my time and how many moves it took me to win?”
CB: “No, no, where you rank with everyone else who plays,
not your personal best.”
Me: “Oh. No, I didn’t know that was a thing.”
CB: “Yeah, when you win it gives you the option of clicking
on the leaderboard and then shows you the various rankings.”
Me: “Well now I have to play and win so I can see.”
CB, showing me what it looks like on his phone: “See? Shows
single draw, three-card draw…”
Me: “Wait, do you play single or three-card?”
Me: “You’re totally cheating.”
CB, laughing: “How is that cheating?”
Me: “That’s not a challenge at all! You literally get the
option of all of the cards! No, you
have to do three-card. I’d never play with you.”
CB: “Um, it’s Solitaire,
it’s kind of the point that you don’t play with anyone else.”
Me: “Whatever, you know what I mean.”
Silence while we both became cooler.
Me: “You don’t have the hints option on do you?”
CB, smiling: “Yeah.”
Me: “OH my god you’re the worst! That’s TOTALLY cheating!”
CB: “No, it’s never even been helpful, it always just tells
me there are no more moves.”
Me: “You need to turn the hints off and play three-card. C’mon,
step up your game.”
CB: “This is so annoying.”
Me: “I told you. But it’s the only way to play.”
Me: “God we’re cool.”
Me: “We’re in charge of another person’s life.”
CB: “Shh, I’m trying to win and get on the leaderboard.”
This morning, RJC was “talking” while in her crib, yelling
(play-yelling, not, like, neighbors-pounding-on-the-wall-yelling), singing,
etc. She did this for 15 minutes while she could’ve been sleeping.
Me: “She’s so funny. She fights sleep for no reason, it’s
like she can’t not talk.”
CB: “Yeah, every morning.”
Me: “Why is our daughter so crazy?”
CB: “Because she’s biologically half-you.”
First, the book of the week. This book is "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami. If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that we like Murakami in this family. So check it out! I'm currently putting "The Snow Child" on hold, reading the biography of The Wright Brothers that CB finished, and CB is now reading "The Girl on the Train" so that we can talk about it, ohmygod.
The Gym Sleeper has struck again. And this time, there's video. Because I have zero shame, just like The Gym Sleeper. Also, I find it necessary to text CB pictures throughout the week. But then yesterday, after laying there for 15 minutes while I worked out (and God knows how long prior to me getting there), he moved!
Oh, also - last night, CB, his sister, and I all spent at least 10 solid minutes talking about this guy, and now they've decided I have to get to the bottom of it. The question now is how I go about it.
"Hey, are you alright? I noticed that you're sleeping at the gym."
Or be a rat who pretends to be concerned?
"Hey, person who works at the gym, I noticed a guy sleeping over on the mats - is he ok?"
Or continue to wonder and silently judge while snapping photographs?
I choose that option.
And now, the Video of the Week, courtesy of CB! Happy Friday!
First – the guy at the gym who sleeps? Still sleeping. Like,
every day. I tried taking his picture yesterday but was too embarrassed because
there were a lot of people around. Oddly, that didn’t shame him from sleeping/laying
around at the gym.
Second – Our neighbors have been silent since I shut it down
with my sharply worded letter more than a week ago. By “sharply worded,” I mean
that I wrote “please” a lot. And then gave them ear plugs. It’s possible that
they’ll bang when they want more gifts, but we’ll see. So far, so good. It’s
been 10 days-ish and counting. Oh, and also, RJC hasn’t cried. So there’s that.
Because she’s a dream child.
I told you that was unsatisfactory. But a lot of you have
asked, so I wanted to give you an update! Also, my life has been a blur and CB
and I haven’t even had more than five consecutive awake minutes alone together
for the last several days, so I don’t even have conversations from cohabitation
to share! Fail.
Mainly, our conversations these days are “Hey, could you
change her diaper and I’m gonna hop in the shower?” or “Here’s her breakfast,
bye! Love you!” or “Ok, goodnight!”
Not very exciting. But it’s where we’re at right now and we’re
working on this whole “balance” and “spend more quality time together” thing.
Which, as it turns out, is even more challenging with a baby than it was when
it was just the two of us! Balance balance balance. I’m bad at it and I’m
working on it. Standby.
This week's book is "To Conquer the Air" by James Tobin. This works in nicely with what CB is reading right now, David McCullough's biography on The Wright Brothers. So, this book review sounds right up his ally - yay air travel! (boo current air travel). Click here to check it out and then browse around for other non-air travel recommendations! (thanks, dad!)
YOU GUYS. Ok, so it's not news to anyone who has spent about three minutes on this blog that I get annoyed by random things. However, I'm going to make a guess that what I'm about to tell you will TOTALLY ANNOY YOU TOO.
What is that, you say? Oh nothing, just people working out at the gym. Wait, I'm sorry, no it's not. It's people NAPPING AT THE GYM. And so I took their picture because I was trying to shame them into getting up, which didn't work, surprisingly. So I put my towel (pictured above) as close to Sleeping Man #2, brought out my phone, took this picture, and then texted it to CB.
If you're using deductive reasoning skills, you'll deduce that CB knew what I was talking about because it's possible I've brought this up several times at dinner. BECAUSE I CANNOT DEAL. The guy in the grey hooded sweatshirt does this approximately twice a week. He uses workout equipment TO NAP ON. Yes, I'm yelling.
But the guy next to him was new! Um, you guys, the mats aren't like in kindergarten, they're NOT FOR NAPPING (still yelling).
So then I do something that maybe says more about my weird psyche than their extreme laziness - I'm compelled to work out harder. Why? I don't know, maybe to guilt them into feeling bad? But as my co-worker said (oh, um, it's possible I brought it up at work, too) "If they're the type of people who sleep at the gym out in the open like that, they're not the people who are going to feel guilty if you're working out really hard right next to them."
Which makes sense. But I still can't stop. To the point that I think I maybe pulled a calf muscle? TOTALLY NORMAL. (yelling will commence.)
Anyway. Would this mildly irritate you, moderately irritate you, or extremely irritate you? Notice that I do not give you an option of not being irritated at all, because I cannot deal with that option.
And now, the Video of the Week! Happy Friday, everyone!
This week's book is "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August" by Claire North. Sounds pretty cool, like something I'd read when I FINALLY FINISH THE SNOW CHILD. You guys. Maybe I shouldn't have read the book just after reading "The Girl on the Train," because that book was pretty fast to get through and was a literal page-turner. Ok, not literal, since it was on my Kindle, but you get the gist. However, "The Snow Child" is.....not. It's not bad, don't get me wrong. But I feel like I could actually go take a nap in the snow, wake up, and only have read one more page. So we'll see.
But check out this week's book and browse around for other inspiration - CB and I have been blazing through our family book blog lists (CB more than me, since I go to bed after Jeopardy) and it's fun (if you're cool like us).
Speaking of being cool...J-Lo. I don't care, I don't want to hear it! If you don't like her, you're wrong. I mean...yeah, you're wrong. I've loved J-Lo since college and I've hung on for the ride during the "Gigli" years. It's 14 minutes long, but it's Friday, so enjoy. (totally worth it for the text to Leonardo DiCaprio ALONE. Oh my god, Boo Boo.)
Also speaking of cool: RJC's parents. We spent 15 minutes this morning Googling "Sesame Street Actors from the 1980s" because we were confused as to why Alan looked familiar, yet too young to have been on Sesame Street when we were watching as kids. But who on earth was running Mr. Hooper's grocery store during our formative years?
These are important questions. A similarly important question is when I look at CB and say "Can you believe we have a child? Like, we're in charge of a person and this is what we're doing with our time." Also, we know that RJC can't understand what's going on at "Sesame Street" quite yet, but she claps and smiles every time she hears the theme song, so we let it run for the 5 minutes it keeps her entertained. Which, apparently, is all it took for us to go into the Sesame Street rabbit hole.
And continuing on the cool streak, this week, CB came home to tell me that he couldn't download the boring podcast he listens to each week and so, he stalked looked up the woman who hosts on Twitter, tweeted her that he was having trouble and could she help?, and then was excited when she used his name in her Twitter response back to him about how she couldn't help, but thanks anyway. Like, you guys, he came home and told me about it, that's how excited he was.
SO, I hated to burst his bubble when I one-upped him in the cool person department on Wednesday, but it had to be done. I found out that Leah Remini's reality show, "It's All Relative," was not renewed for a third season. That show was with me during maternity leave and had us laughing all the time. We're oddly attached to them because we don't have actual lives of our own. SO, even though I never use Twitter, I decided to tween TLC and be like "I can't believe you didn't renew it, oh my god" (paraphrase). And then Leah Remini favorited my tweet.
So then I was like "CB, Leah Remini is my best friend" and he legit looked impressed when shown the tweet, and deflated, because he was no longer the cool Tweeter.
WE ARE IN CHARGE OF A CHILD.
And now the Video of the Week. This came on during my commute today and I hadn't heard this song in forever, but seemed fitting somehow. So here you go - happy Friday, happy April Fools (is that a thing?) and happy weekend!
Last night, RJC decided to wake up at 2:45am, crying, with a
diaper full of the world’s poop. This happens about two to three times per
month, and so we can’t really complain that our nine month old, on occasion,
needs us to do some diapes and wipes in the middle of the night. I’m not saying
that I’m thrilled to be maneuvering my way around her poop in the dark, but it’s
part of the gig and she’s super sweet most of the time, so I comply. Also, I’m
pretty sure she’d much rather be taking care of business herself, but since she’s
still mastering the art of getting the Cheerio directly into her mouth on the
first try, we’ll give her a pass.
HOWEVER. The people I will no longer give a pass to are our neighbors,
Oh, I should mention that, while it’s difficult to tell at
this moment, I’ve recently been working on being more Zen. I keep a few running
mantras handy in my head to stay centered and more peaceful, since I don’t like
it when my blood pressure rises, giving way to grumpiness and a cycle of
feeling bummed out about humanity. Which totally happened last night when I
found myself literally kicking a wall.
Also part of the Zen practice, if you didn’t know.
First, some background: about three months ago, RJC hated everything
about being left to sleep alone in her crib for longer than 20 minutes at a
stretch. As you can imagine, this was an incredibly fun part of our parenting
journey and CB and I have never been more rested or centered in our lives.
So, we spoke to the pediatrician at her checkup, with desperation
in our eyes, to ask about how we could stop this and enjoy life again. And
while her doctor wouldn’t tell us how or when to “sleep train” our little
bundle of immense joy and pleasure, she did answer my question with the
quickness of a hummingbird’s fluttering wing when I asked: “Have you seen
negative effects of sleep training?” and she spat out “No, only positive.” She
then went on to explain how important consistency is for both RJC and us, and
reminded us that we needed to be comfortable with whatever choices we made regarding
And so, after reading a LOT, talking to friends, and
assessing that we simply could not function on four interrupted hours of sleep
per night and stay married/living in the world, we decided on a staggered
method of sleep training where we’d let her cry for two minutes, go in. Cry for
five minutes, go in. Cry for eight minutes, go in. And so on. Luckily, our
daughter would cry for no more than about ten minutes straight, and wasn’t even
giving it her best (we knew – we’d heard her best). Finally, after about ten
minutes, she’d realize we weren’t coming back to play and would go to sleep. It
took about three days. Which makes most parents who have experienced sleep
training hate us, since apparently some kids really dig in and give it a go.
RJC, it turned out, really just wanted to sleep and picked up on what was going
on pretty quickly.
On Day 1, which happened on a Saturday night at 8pm, RJC was
intermittently crying for about five minutes when we heard loud banging on her
wall from our living room. We looked at each other.
CB: “Did the neighbors just bang on the wall?”
Me: “I’ll kill them.”
BANG BANG BANG.
CB: MANY CURSE WORDS.
Me: REPLYING IN ONLY CURSE WORDS.
So this kind of blew sleep training on night one, since they
banged consistently every time she’d cry. Eventually, we went in and basically
set everything back to the way it was. I hated them with the heat of a nova and
discussed this with CB.
CB: “I’m going over there.” Me: “No, we can’t have the first time we meet our neighbors be
when you’re yelling.” CB: “I won’t yell. Unless they’re dicks about it.” Me: “We need to be the bigger people here. I mean, a crying
baby is annoying, especially when it’s not yours. So I get that. But it’s
Saturday night. It’s not a Tuesday at 3 am or anything, and she’s not a crier. Plus,
I have to take the pictures down from her wall because they shake when there’s
banging and if a frame falls into her crib, I’ll murder them.” CB: “Ok, I agree. But if they keep it up, I’m definitely
going over there.” Me: “Deal.”
So I texted Beth, she suggested a Dunkin Donuts gift card or
something to be like “Dude, we get it. Here’s some free coffee to ease your
fake-pain of listening to the child that came from my body cry for a few
minutes. How dare she.” (paraphrased)
The next day, on my way home from work, I bought a blank
card with a piglet on it (ADORABLE), a bottle of red wine (GENIUS), and a
Dunkin Donuts gift card (EXTRA!) and got to work. I wrote out a little note
from Rauri, explaining that she was six months old and that, NEWS!, babies cry
sometimes. We understand that sharing a wall with that baby can be annoying,
and so, here’s some wine and coffee, neighbors! Quit banging! (again, paraphrased)
The banging stopped for a few weeks, but also, so did the
crying. Like I said, she cries, on average, about three times per month.
However, here and there, when she’d sneak in a cranky night, the banging
started coming back. Not every time, but over the last month or so, it’s been ramping
back up, along with my blood pressure. And I should mention that, until last
night, it’s happened while CB and I are still awake (which tells you how early
it is each time, since we’re insanely lame.)
But last night, I’d had it. RJC woke up, cried, I got up,
made a bottle, went into her room, smelled what was happening down below, and
changed her. This took approximately 4-6 minutes, and then she stopped yelling
at me when I finally gave her the bottle. However, during the yell-crying, the
banging started and I LOST MY MIND. But since I was responsible for this little
life on the changing table, I kept it together, mantra’d the hell out of the
moment, and finished my mom-tasks.
THEN, I kicked the wall as hard as I could twice to send the
message I’ve wanted to send for three months. YOU GUYS SUCK SOOOOOOO BAD AND I
WILL KICK A WALL BECAUSE OF IT, EVEN THOUGH I’M A ZEN GROWN-UP.
Cut to: back in bed.
Me: “I hate our (expletive) neighbors.” CB: “Me too.” Me: “I had to bang back tonight.” CB: “I know, I could hear it on the monitor. Nice work.”
And then I grumbled my displeasure into my pillow until we
both fell back to sleep.
And then woke up this morning and continued louder
CB: “I don’t think I can go over there or we might get
evicted.” Me: “Agreed. But I want to warn you that, if I go over there
and they sass back, I’ll use offensive language, most likely, which wouldn’t be
productive.” CB: “Hmmmm.” Me: “My thought is, we’ve tried to be understanding and even
neighborly with our approach. But babies cry sometimes. Banging does nothing
but make her cry more, anger us, and resolve nothing. So next time it happens –
whether it’s 8pm or 3 in the morning – I’m going over there. Sometimes, if
someone has to see your face, it makes it harder to be a jerk. But they really
need to knock it off or come talk to us so we can explain how baby humans work.” CB: “Sounds good. And if that doesn’t work, can I go over
there?” Me: “Yes, but we’ll have to know the availability of
apartments in our neighborhood before doing so.” CB: “Deal.”
So the other day I was having a conversation with my
mother-in-law in which I discussed my knee-jerk reaction to bleach. As you do.
Me: “Every time I smell bleach, I think of death.”
Me: “Like, I just assume there’s been blood there and
someone needed to bleach the crime scene. Even in the elevator of our building.
I smell it and I think ‘Did someone die?’”
MIL: “So…….you don’t think, maybe, that it’s just really
clean? I think “clean” when I smell bleach.”
Me: “I think death.”
MIL, giving me the side-eye: “That’s…….”
Me: “I know, this is one of those things that I think is a
thing everyone thinks. And then I say it out loud and realize that it’s
definitely not a thing.”
MIL: “It’s definitely not a thing. That’s a Becky thing.”
Me: “This is why CB tells me not to say these things out
loud to other people. Because of that look you’re giving me.”
MIL: “Yeah, might be best not to share this one.”
So obviously I’ll blog about it.
But it got me to thinking about other things throughout my
life that are less death-oriented, yet still things that I thought were things
that are not things.
The book “To Kill a Mockingbird” I thought was “Tequila
Mockingbird” for several years in school. And, while the original is a classic that I love, I’d go ahead and read me some “Tequila Mockingbird,” too.
I thought the phrase “might as well” was “mind as well” and
wrote it that way late into my twenties. Until Courtney was like “you realize
that you’re writing/saying it wrong, right?” To which I did not realize that
and then pretended like I didn’t know what she was talking about.
I thought the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was the State Puff
Marshmallow Man. Like, a state mascot for delicious sugary treats. Which I’d
totally get on board with, by the way.
When someone says “Easy-peezy” I immediately say “George
and Wheezy.” That’s not so much a thing that I thought was a thing, but more a
thing that should be a thing because
it always makes CB laugh. Just like when someone says it’s chilly outside and I
say “It’s chilly con queso.” Which I know makes no sense, but it also makes CB
laugh, so I continue to do it.
And then this one, which came up recently. When I go to get, say, a cookie, and there is only one other
cookie left, I feel bad for the other cookie and say “it’s ok, I’ll be back.” Not in a threatening way or anything, more in a comforting, "don't worry, you're not alone" kind of way.
Or if there are, say, a bunch of cookies, but one cookie is on the other side
of the tin, far away from the other cookies, I’ll move it to be near its
WHICH I made the mistake of telling CB the other day when I
was re-heating pizza.
Me: “I feel bad when I leave one piece of pizza alone in the
box. But I just can’t eat all of it.”
CB: “You feel bad?”
Me: “Yeah….I always have to apologize to the food I leave
behind. Don't you?”
CB: “Apologize to my food? No.”
Me: “Yeah, me either.”
Me: “But you don’t feel bad if you leave, like, one apple
CB: “We’re not troops in a war, it’s an apple. It doesn’t have
Me: “How do you know?”
CB: “Ok, so you’re telling me that, if this apple has feelings, that it’d rather you bite it and eat it
and digest it rather than leave it alone in the refrigerator?”
Me: “Well then at least it’d be with the other food in my stomach.”
CB: “There’s something seriously wrong with you.”
Me: “This is not news. You said it’s one of the reasons you
married me - it’ll never be boring!”
CB: “Yes, never boring, always crazy.”
I must share what is maybe one of the more exciting days in my life, which can be used as a barometer by you to determine how incredible my life is on daily basis.
Over the weekend, I received this in the mail. To be fair, I knew it was coming since I ordered it myself.
For those of you who do not understand this Golden Girls reference...well, I'm not quite sure why you visit this blog since you clearly don't have anything in common with me.
Anyway, I came out and CB was like "Oh wow. There's something wrong with you." And then continued on with his day, which is the first reason to know that we're MFEO.
The SECOND is because, randomly the other morning, I received this text from him:
CB: Is it me or is this jar of peanut butter mislabeled? I mean, there are a couple peanuts in there but "Superchunk" is just straight up false advertising.
Which was like MIND-READING since I was just thinking to myself earlier that morning how creamy the chunky peanut butter was. So I responded:
Me: Yes! I thought the same thing! It's so creamy!!
And then we went about our days.
However, in the middle of the day yesterday, I got this email from CB:
"I just wrote to Hormel....they own Skippy and their website has a questions/comments/etc section so I figured I'd tell them I was disappointed in our recent Super Chunk...check it out:
My wife and I buy 2 jars of Skippy Super Chunk peanut butter per week and yesterday I opened the container and with the exception of a couple of uncrushed peanuts, it was the smoothest peanut butter I'd ever seen. I love Skippy but I will have to buy a different brand if the Super Chunk continues to look like creamy peanut butter.
A Disappointed Skippy Fan"
To which I responded that first, he makes us sound like fatties who buy two jars of peanut butter a week. To be clear, we buy one, but he told me later that it was "for effect and to get the point across that we're loyal consumers."
I take full responsibility for creating this monster and I love it. Also, he said that he did it for two reasons: 1, to make me laugh and 2, because maybe they'd send us a free jar of peanut butter and that would be awesome.
Because, as indicated above, our lives are incredibly exciting and this makes us endlessly happy. However, I think I thought that maybe the monster I'd created was fully formed, because this morning, after CB beautifully made the bed (in case I die and someone comes in and the bed isn't made and then thinks I'm a sloppy dead person, we've been over this) I thanked him, gave him a hug and said:
Me: "So, can I ask you a pillow favor?" CB: "Oh God, now what?" Me: "No, no, it's no big deal. It's just...have you ever noticed that the decorative pillows have zippers?" CB: "Yeah." Me: "If you happen to notice, do you mind turning the pillows zipper down?" CB: "Wow. You are a piece of work."
So, you know.....he's still the CB we know and love, don't worry.