Monday, March 28, 2016

I Bet the Dalai Lama Never Had Neighbors

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, who suck.

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 this issue.

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.

HOWEVER. Our neighbors, apparently, couldn’t deal.

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.”



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 grumbling!

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….stay tuned!  And also, any suggestions? 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tequila Mockingbird and Bleaching the Evidence

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.”
MIL: silence.
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.

Such as:

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 friends.

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 behind?”
CB: “We’re not troops in a war, it’s an apple. It doesn’t have feelings.”
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.”

Happy Thursday, everyone! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


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. 

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Conversations from Cohabitation

The other night, CB and I were driving home from a party about an hour away. One of us went to the bathroom before leaving.

CB: “I’m dying. Can you please hurry.”
Me, laughing: “I don’t understand why you didn’t go before we left.”
CB: “I didn’t have to go before we left.”

Me, driving, hitting a bump. CB, being dramatic.

Me: “I realize this makes me a terrible human being and wife, but I’m getting pleasure out of your pain. You’re really dramatic about this.”
CB: “I’m not dramatic, I’m in physical pain! I think I’m doing actual damage!”

Finally, we arrived home, he sprinted into the bathroom, and then we had this conversation.

Me: “You’re very dramatic when you have to go to the bathroom.”
CB: “Yes, I’m the dramatic one in this relationship.”


CB: “That was really rough, I was this close to peeing in one of the cups from our iced coffees earlier.”
Me: “I don’t know why you didn’t.”
CB: “I didn’t want you to watch me pee.”
Me: “Why would I watch you pee, I was driving! And I still don’t understand why you didn’t just pre-go before we left the restaurant.”
CB: “Because I didn’t have to go then and I almost never have to go. The last time I went to the bathroom was this morning.”
Me, staring at him: “Wait. You only peed twice today?!”
CB, laughing: “Yeah. I usually only go once in the morning and once at night.”
Me: “That’s unhealthy, something’s wrong with your kidneys. I go, like, every hour or hour and a half.”
CB: “Yeah but you’re constantly drinking water.”
Me: “Correct. I’m properly hydrated.”
CB: “I just don’t need the hydration you do.”
Me: “That’s not normal.”


Me: “If we were in a desert, I’d for sure be the first to die from dehydration, and at least part of it would be your fault.”
CB: “How would that be my fault?”
Me: “Because I couldn’t even drink your pee to stay alive.”
CB: “That’s gross.”
Me: “It’s true. It’s sterile.”
CB: “That doesn’t make it less gross.”

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Wrapup

Let's get to it!


I love greeting Spring with some optimism! (I literally copied that phrase from the review) And I think you guys will, too! Check out the newest post here - sounds like a winner to me. I'm currently reading "The Snow Child." My sister said it was one of the best books she's read in years, my parents agreed. Um, I hope it picks up soon because literally every night I find myself getting more depressed and googling "videos of cute puppies" so I'll remember the goodness in the world. Get it together, Snow Child!

This better not be like the time my family tricked me into reading "Year of Wonder," which had me hoping I'd get the plague while reading so I wouldn't have to finish it. Sadly, I did not. 


There's a lot of negativity out there right now and I find myself wanting to go further towards the light to combat it. Not, like, "I'm going towards the light, bye!" - so don't get nervous. But the darkness of the political world combined with the news would make anyone want to crawl under their sheets and never emerge. 

Which is when I turn on my go-to hit, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and let Whitney remind me that it's all gonna be ok. I suggest you do the same. 


This week's video is just plain and simple a great song. I love Brandi Carlile and I love this song. And so I'm sharing. 

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Conversations from Cohabitation

CB and I are meant to be for many reasons. However, this conversation is evidence of how his humoring me is a major indicator of our potential for lasting success.

The other day, we had this discussion while watching a commercial for Cinnamon Toast Crunch:

Me: “Man, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is delicious.”
CB: “The best.”
Me: “Especially the milk when you’re done with the cereal.”
CB: “Yes! That was always my favorite part.”
Me: “When we were kids, my mom would sometimes let us pick a special cereal that she wouldn’t typically buy for us. I remember very vividly being really excited when I chose Cookie Crisp. Literally you’re eating cookies for breakfast.”
CB: “Yeah, my grandma would have those variety packs.”
Me: “Yessssssss. Those were the best.”


Me: “How would you rank your favorite bad-for-you cereals?”
CB, thinking.
Me, impatient: “For me it’d be Lucky Charms, then Cookie Crisp…..”
CB: “Yeah, those are both good. But I think Cinnamon Toast Crunch would be first…”
Me: “That’s up there for me, too.”
CB: “Pops were good, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks…”
Me: “You’re just naming delicious breakfast cereals, but not ranking them.”
CB, laughing: “Definitely Cinnamon Toast Crunch first….maybe Fruity Pebbles second?”
Me: “Ooh! I liked Smacks, too. ”
CB: “Those were good.”
Me: “And Golden Grahams.”
CB: “Oh man, my mom used to break up graham crackers and put them in milk. That’s definitely top for me. That’s soooo good.”
Me: “I never really got into Fruity Pebbles, but they were good. I mean, if we had them in the house, I’d eat them for sure.”
CB: “Definitely.”
Me: “You know what was always good dry? Frosted Flakes.”
CB: “Yeah, Frosted Flakes weren’t bad.”
Me: “And frosted mini wheats. Basically anything frosted.”
CB: “Eh, frosted mini wheats are too dry.”
Me: “They have frosting on them.”
CB: “Not interested.”

Two days later, via email:

Me: “We forgot Captain Crunch!”
CB: “Haha not a fan. I actually don’t think I’ve ever had it.”
Me: “Um, HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE. That’s absurd. Also, you said “not a fan” and then told me you actually don’t think you’ve ever had it. You can’t be both! I love it. I will buy it. You will try it and I bet you will like it.”
CB: “It looks boring! And I heard rumors it cuts the roof of your mouth up.”
Me: “Um, you’ve heard Captain Crunch rumors? That’s a thing?”
CB: “I googled Cap’n Crunch and apparently it was a thing.”
Me: “That’s not hearing rumors, for the record, that’s googling Cap’n Crunch.”