Polishing Up the Home, pt 5

I’ve been holding back on y’all. In my defense, Luffy and I fully realize that we’ve gone a little crazy, but I like to think y’all would too, if you had the option. And because I see the crazy, I haven’t really said anything. Plus plus, this has been in the works for damn near a year, which just adds to the crazy. And well, ….. yeah.

What’s the big news, you ask? Are we moving? Did we buy a new house? Some ridiculously over-the-top vacation? Yeah, no, none of those things. We got a new bed.

[…]

Don’t do that now! I can feel your disappointment. You were all set to live vicariously through my husband’s and my crazy decisions and I go and let you down. Hear me out:

Like I said, this story starts almost a year ago when Luffy got it into his head that we should get a new bed and [something something something] here’s the perfect bed for us! Now, I’m not even really sure how he found this bed although I think it had something to do with his favorite blogger mentioning it. I don’t really know. All I do know is that suddenly this was the bed we were gonna get, cool? The man loves sleep far more than me, so it seemed fair that he could choose our bed. My only input was that we upgrade to a king to replace our little queen. It gets a little cramped since both Luffy and I have gotten addicted to that full body pillow that was supposed to just help during my pregnancy. Sure! he said, the thing is though, we have to wait until next May. 

[???] <<< was probably my real response

And this is where Luffy launched into a somewhat convoluted explanation about a shareholders’ meeting of a parent company which triggered a big sale at subsidiary company and if you were a shareholder of said parent company, you got an even greater discount at the sale. The meeting had just wrapped up, thus we needed to wait until next year. And this is where I got a little suspicious, you guys.

You see, Luffy is a man who values his time and comfort over almost everything else. I love seeing the way he thinks a lot of times because it’s not the way most people think, even though we probably should be thinking that way. For example, you would never, ever find him at a Black Friday event because the discount is literally not worth the time invested. Now, I know a lot of people feel the same way about Black Friday, but he takes this far deeper. He discovered this tool that helps you gauge how much your free time is worth and also highlights the disparity between how much our time is worth and yet how we’re willing to spend it. (The classic example from the article is how long you should wait in line for a $100. At some point, the scales tip and the surprising thing is how little time that actually takes.) So he’s actually quite ruthless in his decisions over what’s worth his time. And as to his comfort, well he places a high value on that as well.

So to hear him say that he was willing to wait an entire year for this sale…… Luffy, how much does this bed cost?

The answer was a lot. A lot a lot. It’s a crazy amount of money for a mattress and if we waited for the sale, we’d get a ridiculous amount of money off the price. I figured he had a year to change his mind, so I’d see how he felt in Spring 2018.

Fast forward to April of this year and Luffy has us at the store, laying on the most comfortable thing I’ve ever laid on in my entire life and that is not at all an exaggeration and suddenly I’m counting the days until we can buy it (25 days) and then how much longer until it would be in our home (20 more days).

You’ll be happy to know that we did indeed survive the wait and we are now the proud owners of a king size bed and a glorious mattress that is truly heaven on earth. I also feel about 30% adultier because the bed is big and beautiful and stately. It fits right into our big bedroom and puts our previous setup to shame. Not bad for a couple of thirty-year olds!

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Toddler Preferences

It’s fascinating to watch a little person’s likes/dislikes emerge. It also feels like quite the crowning achievement when I suddenly connect the dots and realize that oh hey, I think he really likes tart foods! At least until he decides that he doesn’t like tart foods anymore, thankyouverymuch. Here are a few of my toddler’s clear preferences:

Socks – The dude loves socks. Always has. He has to choose his socks in the morning and some mornings it can be quite the ordeal, with rejected socks thrown about his room. He’s very particular about them, sometimes requesting to search through his clothes hamper in pursuit of an already-worn favorite. It also meant that during Pestilence of 2018: The Great Rash, his feet looked almost as bad as his poor little bottom because he refused to be barefoot.

Stripes – The dumpling occasionally extends his wardrobe choices to the rest of his body and will choose his shirt for the day. Although, when this happens it’s usually more of a demand than a request, but hey, it’s the toddler’s world and I’m just living in it. I also started putting this one together during the aforementioned rash episode. He was giving me serious mommy guilt because he kept demanding to wear a long-sleeved onesie he has.  And they came as a set, so he actually has four which was super convenient when he’d discover yet another one after I thought I had hidden them all. Logical explanations of rash + exacerbated by heat + Texas summer + long-sleeves went right over the dumpling’s head, so I just rolled the sleeves up as far as they would go and hoped for the best. I wondered what it was about these onesies that he liked so much. Were they softer than his other shirts? Was it the bold colors? The contrasting colors? Whatever it was, he was hooked.

A few days later, (after I had really and truly hidden all of the long-sleeved shirts) he demanded to wear another onesie of his, a soft white/navy striped number, and the proverbial light-bulb clicked on. I think he likes stripes, I thought to myself, and as soon as I had the thought, it struck me that stripes were everywhere in his preferences. Nine times out of ten, his chosen socks were striped. (The other 1/10 time, the socks have stars.) Stripes on his shirts. The stupid long-sleeve onesies were striped. The only time he ever cared about shorts, they were striped. Striped blanket that he keeps pulling down. Stripes, stripes, stripes. He loves them. Luckily for him, I’m a big fan of simple infant/toddler clothes (you won’t find a **Daddy’s Lil’ Slugger** shirt in his closet), thus he already had plenty of striped shirts. Now I just make sure to look for striped options first when purchasing new clothes. Which will be awesome when he suddenly decides that he hates strips and that’s 2/3 of his wardrobe.

Cars – The dude loves cars. Cars on his zippy. Toy cars. Real cars (watching them go by, that is). Semis rolling down the highway. Lining daycare’s toy trucks up while he’s outside playing. Playing with they neighbor’s dump truck.

Speaking of, the aforementioned neighbor had a birthday part over the weekend. He loves wheels, in any and all form, so I got a cute set of toddler cars with out-sized wheels for him. Luffy had the bad timing of pointing out the present on our dining table within full view of the dumpling. The next thing I knew, the dumpling insisted we open the package so that he could examine the cars. He now owns a set of toddler cars and I had to go buy a new one for the neighbor. I will also make sure to hide any and all future presents. Live and learn, folks, live and learn.

Memorial Day 2018

Whew! We made it! We took our first road trip with the dumpling and we all survived. We had to break a few rules and we did deal with one round of puke, but yay! WE DID IT!

In all seriousness though, I am very grateful Luffy agreed to make the trip down to hill country Texas for my mini family reunion. In the end, my grandparents really only got to say hi to the dumpling, but it made their day. They hadn’t had the opportunity to meet him. Plus I got to catch up with my cousins and their children, so that was a lot of fun. We compared notes Sunday morning on how our respective children handled the night in the hotel room and our parents marveled over how it felt for their kids to have kids now. Weren’t we just in diapers and swim floaties like last summer?

We were there for less than 24 hours, but it was so wonderful to see everyone. We introduced the dumpling to the swimming pool and taught him how to kick his little legs (from his perch on the pool steps) and splash people (mainly my brother [his target] and my mom [an innocent bystander since he didn’t quite understand how to aim his splashing]). We also found a nearby neighborhood playground that he got to romp through. He also took full advantage of the VAY-CAY-TION!!! rules around food and had snacks on snacks on snacks.

To round out our holiday weekend, we spent yesterday afternoon in the backyard with his kiddy pool and bubbles. I managed to distract him enough to get him to wear a pair of sandals for the occasion (have I told you guys that I bought a couple of new pairs of shoes for him at Target that he has flat out refused to wear? because if anyone has ideas on how to convince a toddler that new shoes are not the devil, I’m all ears) and I laughed over his enormous swim trunks. He definitely had a little booty showing at the end, that poor, skinny dumpling.

I’m looking into water activity tables now because I discovered a great solution for all of those little ow-si??? inquiries when it’s 1,000 degrees outside and I don’t want to take his wagon for a walk around the block. A shady backyard and water activities are where it’s at!

Speaking of ow-si? I have to say that my favorite story from the road trip itself is sitting in the back with the dumpling and having to field the ow-si?? question as he’s forlornly pointing out the car window. No, my sweet baby, we can’t go outside. We’re driving. Ow-si?? I know it’s right there, but we’re driving, we can’t go outside. Ow-si?? We can’t go outside; I know you’re bored. All dun. I know you’re all done baby, but we’re not there yet. All dun. We’re still driving my sweet boy. All dun. If it makes you feel any better, mama and dada are all dun too.

A glimpse

I’m sitting on the couch right now, my feet propped up with a whiskey at my side. A quick glance down shows me an image of my sleeping son, on his belly with his kitty* tucked into his side. I am exhausted, physically and mentally, thanks to that little dude.

Today was one of those days that just beat us down. It started out looking like a good day! I got the dumpling up and we went about our Saturday morning routine without an early morning meltdown. Luffy was in good spirits as I left to go to exercise. But. Somewhere along the way, the dumpling decided that today was a no good day and everything triggered tears and woe.

We were actually supposed to go to a family friend’s birthday party today. They live on the other side of DFW from us, so it was going to be an hour’s drive there. Our initial plan was to leave at 11:30 to give the dumpling a car nap and arrive just a half hour late for the party. We decided, however, that the dumpling needed a real nap today and we definitely didn’t need to be an hour away from home should a meltdown occur. We contemplated attending again, later that afternoon after a fairly good nap and an tantrum-free hour, and even got about 15 minutes down the road before turning back. He was completely out-of-sorts in the backseat and we weren’t doing anyone any good by going.

I’m actually pretty bummed that we missed it. We haven’t seen these friends since January and they’ve moved to a new place since then. I was really looking forward to seeing them, but, alas, the dumpling had other plans. That’s not really something you think about, when having a child, that you may have to opt out of things you really want to partake in. I mean, sure, we say well we can’t go to Italy the couple of years, that will be ok! but you don’t really think about well my child will be having a tantrum-fest day, so I won’t be able to attend a good friend’s birthday party. We think of the big things we might have to wait on or opt out of, but not the little.

True to good mommy-blogging form, I’m supposed to close this by saying that he’s all worth it in the end. And he is. Of that I’m sure. His smiles make my bad mood melt away. His hugs make my heart ache. His laughs are literally music for my soul. And yet, seriously child would it kill you to not lose your marbles over the bubbles? Which you wanted in the first place, if I may remind you. Or the fact that we can’t go outside (ow-si?) right now. Or the way Sharpies don’t go down your train track the same way as the actual train cars do. Or the fact that you can’t actually control the cat. She does what she wants. I know, life’s unfair.

*I feel the need to clarify that this is a stuffed cat. He sleeps with a puppy and a kitty that I’ve dubbed Puppy and Kitty until he can do the honors. Teddy bears are so 2008.

 

Eh, he’s just a little speckled

When I changed the dumpling’s diaper on Saturday evening, I noticed he had a bit of a rash going on. Not around his bidness, mind you, but on his low abdomen. We had been playing outside in the heat and humidity (yay for Texas “Spring”!), so I figured it was just a bit of a heat rash. No biggie. The next morning, I noticed they had spread to his belly and chest. At the playground later that morning, I realized that his legs had some too. Huh.

Then I noticed his face had a couple too, as did his neck and feet, and I started furiously texting my mom because WTH?!

Luffy and I figured either an extreme case of heat rash or maybe a bizarre allergy to ketchup* and took him to the pediatrician first thing Monday morning, fully expecting them to give him a clean bill of health so that he could go to daycare. Spoiler alert: it’s Thursday and the dumpling is still home today!

The pediatrician said that the rash is viral. There’s no telling if he’s actually sick right now (though he has no fever or other symptoms besides a runny nose, so this is an unlikely scenario) or if this is just the fallout from a previous virus. Apparently, a rash can appear up to four weeks afterward!! The rash itself lasts anywhere from two days to two weeks and that he can return to daycare “when he starts looking better.” Uh, thanks?

So yeah, we juggled Monday and Tuesday ourselves (he actually looked worse Tuesday) and then my awesome, amazing, wonderful mother came in to town to help out. She arrived late Tuesday and she’s watched him for the past two days. He, of course, has had a blast. Gotta love grandparents**!

I have particularly enjoyed today because I decided to work from home, as usual. I had been planning to go into the office since the dumpling and my mom would be here. Luffy convinced me to hide in the office essentially and it’s gone great. The dumpling caught me once this morning, in the kitchen as I was getting water, so I’ve stayed behind a closed door the rest of the day. I’ve gotten to listen to him playing and it’s just adorable. His giggles and attempts at words are precious. I can hear him runnnnn down the hallway and throw balls in the living room. So cute!

I think he’ll be able to go back tomorrow as he’s really starting to look better. Poor baby.

*Ask me what he ate for lunch Saturday. He was a big fan of ketchup and licking ketchup off of other food items, but not actually eating other food items.

**Speaking of grandparent love: Luffy decided to take the dumpling to visit his mom on Monday afternoon, to break up the day a little. His mom doesn’t work, so we figured she’d be thrilled to get extra time with the cutie, even if he was a little splotchy. Adorably, when Luffy called to tell his dad the plans, his dad requested they wait until 2pm to come over because he was going to leave work to play with his grandson. Isn’t that just the sweetest?! Seriously, the dumpling has some of the best grandparents in the world!

18 Months!

The dumpling is 18 months old! As of yesterday Wednesday. As you can see, I am awesome at this.

He did well at his check-up. He finally broke twenty pounds, that peanut, and while he is “behind” in communication, we were happy to announce that he learned two new words recently. All done as in I am ALL DONE with this empty bowl, mother, and shall hurl it off the table to demonstrate my all-done-ness and Wow as adorably exemplified this morning as he wandered around the kitchen going Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow! at nothing in particular. His block towers, on the other hand, garner an extended Woow-ooah!

There are definitely quiet little moments that fill my heart with joy at this age. Just this morning, I knelt down for a hug to see him off to school and he just beamed at me as he toddled over, diving in for a hug. I then kissed Luffy goodbye and pulled back to see him (the dumpling) run back over, tongue hanging out, presumably for a kiss as well. He then barreled off in chase of Luffy and managed to run right into Luffy’s leg as he was putting on his shoes, like a cute little bumper car. Such an adorable moment.

There are moments that make us laugh, like when he sings in his crib (at the top of his lungs). There are moments that frustrate us, like when he burst a seam on his zippy at bedtime and was completely obsessed and angered by this, yet refused to take it off and then we got him in a new one, but he wouldn’t get over the other zippy and we eventually just gave him the damn zippy to take to bed with him like geez child. There are moments where we watch him figure something, like how to kick a ball, and other moments where he suddenly just knows how to do something, like open doors*. All of these moments, the good and bad and quiet and happy and trying, they all blend to create our every day now. A bit like being on a roller coaster, really, and one that I actually enjoy being on. Usually.

*Our house unfortunately has all lever style door handles, meaning they’re not that difficult for the average toddler to operate. Even more unfortunately for us, the dumpling is tall enough and smart enough and he gets up on his tippy, tippy toes and – BAM – you’re looking at your toddler’s face as you’re trying to pee. So much for privacy!

One and Done.

The past week has been… A Week. Work has been busy. Home life has been busy. And the one thing that I wanted to talk about, I really wasn’t in a place to talk about yet. Thus, radio silence here.

When we talked last, Luffy and I were (air quotes) decided. I’ve left out quite a bit since then. It took me all of two or three weeks to change my mind. Luffy hadn’t changed his mind though and, during a particularly rough week, Luffy made it very clear that he was very certain. Since my blabbering on about it was what appeared to drive Luffy over the edge, I vowed to keep silent. But then! Luffy told me that he did want another one. Yay! We appeared to be on the same page and I didn’t think about it anymore.

Except – me and my mouth – I casually referenced the second child thing last week and it sent Luffy into a tailspin. I blamed a stressful few days at work for him and hoped it would blow over. But then, last Thursday, the dumpling randomly woke up at 10:15 and couldn’t re-settle himself. Luffy and I took turns, but I ultimately ended up awake with the dumpling, getting to bed at 2:30am. The next morning, Luffy very kindly offered to get up with the dumpling to give me a bit more sleep, but when I did get up, I could tell something was on Luffy’s mind. We had already arranged for a mini lunch-date, but Luffy told me (via text) that he wanted to discuss this second child thing over lunch.

And I knew. Deep in my heart and my stomach. I knew what he was going to tell me.

I prepped myself and reasoned with myself and knew that, ultimately, I agreed with him. One child would be the best choice for our family. For so many reasons.

And yet, when we sat down and he actually said the words to me – that he was certain he would only want one child – I cried. I was saddened. For you see, much like the decision for the mode of the dumpling’s delivery was taken from me, so too was this decision. If the decision was solely mine and existed in a sort of vacuum where I could ensure everyone’s happiness and smooth-sailing, I absolutely would have a second child. Without hesitation. And for reasons I can’t articulate, other than yes. But, of course, the decision isn’t solely mine and I can’t guarantee that it wouldn’t be stressful or challenging (or, you know, ruin our lives, but I’m trying to think positively here). And so. The decision has been made.

We’re one and done. Truly.

It really is the best decision for us, for reasons that I won’t get into here (after all, some things deserve to be private). And even after just a couple of days with my adjusted expectations, I can already find so many more pros.

And yet. I found myself holding my baby even closer this weekend, trying to memorize exactly the way his small body feels when he sits in my lap or gives me a hug. It’s futile, I know. These moments are just as fleeting as his newborn days were (in hindsight of course!). And this evening, after a few hours of the back-and-forth he’s happy! he’s miserable! he’s happy! he’s miserable!, I was blissfully reminding myself that we’d only have to get through this once. It’s comforting and surprisingly liberating.

So yeah, a little anti-climatic for the blog I suppose, since I’m essentially confirming where we last left things. But yes, we’re one and done. Period.