Randomness

Hey guys – remember when I used to post a bunch of random things together??? Let’s do that again.


I am super excited for our neighbors. They’re pregnant (having a little boy – squeee!!!). I knew she was due around the beginning of June and I vaguely remember her telling me that her doctor wasn’t going to let her go past June 5th, so I’ve been watching their house like a hawk. I noticed their primary car was gone late Sunday afternoon, but thought that perhaps they were enjoying a last hurrah. Then, like a weirdo, I checked after the dumpling’s 2am nursing session to find that their car was still gone. YAYAYAYAY!!! BABY TIME!!!

Sure enough, their car is still gone today, but I’m hoping that they come home today so I can catch a glimpse of them as they arrive. I swear I’m not a stalker I’m just so excited for them and their new baby! It has me all nostalgic for my own last few days of pregnancy and our first days at home with the dumpling.


Speaking of the dumpling, tomorrow he has his first splash day at daycare. Splash day is every Wednesday throughout summer and I seriously might pass out from the adorableness. I got him little swim trunks and a swim shirt and a little sun protection hat. PICTURE IT. Itty bitty 6 mo swim trunks!!! So cute!


I’m buckling down on my weight loss efforts. My baby is seven months old – I can no longer say I just had a baby. It’s odd, in a way, because it’s been so long since I’ve actively tried to lose weight. That’s not meant as some humble brag – har har har – I legitimately have been at the level of fitness that I desired for a very long time. “Dieting” for me was more of a oh, I ate a bunch of crap this weekend and feel so bloated so I’ll eat really well for a couple of days and voila!! So I’m trying to cement it in my head that this will probably take more than a couple of days.

I was actually feeling pretty good about myself until we went to my parent’s house for Memorial Day. I didn’t even eat that poorly, I just had a lot of champagne (what can I say, my mom and I both love champagne). And alas, all of those bubbles add up to definitely more than air. Le boo.


Speaking of Memorial Day, we had a great time in my hometown! It was the dumpling’s second flight (remember the first one??) and he did amazingly well this time too. This trip was his first time spending the night someplace else. I was a touch concerned, but vowed to just take it in stride. He reverted back to two night wakings, one normal and one out of the ordinary. I think the out-of-the-ordinary one was more due to him being aware that he was not in his own room and thus made it hard for him to go back to sleep in the early morning hours (around 5:30am). Overall though, he still did really well.

It was also really interesting to see his waketimes be affected because of his completely new environment. He was so busy observing and figuring things out that he’d be ready for a nap about an hour and a half after he woke up (he’s solidly in two-hour waketimes right now). It mostly meant he was a yo-yo of happy baby, tired baby. Poor dumpling.

Another first for the books – we went swimming! And here is when I really struggle with my decision not to post pictures of him because he was SOOOO ADORABLE. My mom, who was super excited about us coming, went out and got him a little floaty thing. One of these. He was very wary at first (and I don’t blame him – the pool is a lot bigger than his bath tub), but he warmed right up to it. He even paddled his little feet the entire time. He was exhausted afterwards, but I think he enjoyed it.


Lastly, that book I had on hold at the library, it actually became available much earlier. I read it last week and, honestly, I wasn’t impressed. I really like some of Rainbow Rowell’s other books, but this one wasn’t great. At one point, I honestly thought the writing was bad on purpose (the whole premise from her book Fangirl is that this book, Carry On, Simon is fan-fiction), but, after reading her acknowledgements, I realized that wasn’t the case. I can definitely see why most authors stick to specific genre. Rowell is really good with contemporary stories, little dramas that take place in current day. She was not adept at creating a world, however, as her descriptions of things like dragons or the magic in the book fell a little flat. Also, if you’ve read Fangirl, I oddly connected with the characters in her fan-fic (Simon and Baz, who are the main characters here – I know, it’s a little hard to follow) more deeply as presented there, in little snippets. For some reason, that did not translate to a whole book and they felt one-dimensional.

Anyway, read it if you can borrow it and were curious about, but I wouldn’t recommend buying it.


And that’s all I have folks! Along with trying to lose some weight, I’m also really trying to get better about posting but, you know, work and life gets in the way. Excuses, excuses.

Boring Mama

I am the definition of boring right now.

It’s all work and life and taking care of the dumpling.

Here are the “exciting” things that have happened in the past week:


Luffy and I ordered a bunch of Disney movies. We’re starting to build our collection for the Dumpling. …. Who are we kidding? They’re totally for us.

The Dumpling finally fits into his cloth diapers. I bought a few (and had a few gifted to us) before he arrived with the intention of using them as soon as possible. Our diapers said we could start using them at eight pounds, so I thought we’d be using them pretty quickly. And then the dumpling got here and was a peanut. Even when he finally hit eight pounds, he was so long and skinny that the diapers still didn’t fit quite right. Now that he’s (probably) over 13 pounds, I think he’s got enough chunk to wear them. I’m still not 100% pleased with the fit and will probably look into other varieties, but for now they’re working as daytime diapers.

Speaking of momentous occasions, the Dumpling’s high chair is coming today! Our pediatrician gave us the green light to start solids at four months, but I waited a bit. Now that he’s almost five months, I think he’s ready to start. I made some sweet potatoes last weekend so I think we’ll let him play with that this weekend! I can’t believe he’s already old enough for solid food.

In more Dumpling news, he’s sitting better and better each day. It’s kind of a frustrating milestone though because he still needs support/supervision to sit and yet, now that he’s experienced sitting, he’s not really happy laying on the floor anymore. So basically he can’t just be *put down* right now. But still… happy times.

Also…. this has not happened again. What gives child?! I would say #seriousbabyisserious, but he’s not really all that serious. He has all these big hammy grins and he’s working on a few screechy sounds, along with all of his ahhhhs and hoos, and yet no laugh. It’s getting to the point now where I’ve thought about googling baby laughed once and not again problem????? and yet I don’t want to open that can of worms, so I haven’t.


And that’s about it. See? I’m totally boring now.

PS – Jas would like to remind everyone that she is still here and as beautiful as ever. Thank you very much. Signed – demoted first baby

A challenge

Me to myself when I look over recent blog posts…. hmmmm… you know, I haven’t talked about anything non-baby-related in…. a while. And, tbh, that was a weird post that really didn’t turn out how I had it in my mind. So let’s see if I can come up with something non-baby-related to talk about… it’s time… now, what to write, what to write?


You guys probably know I’m an accountant. I feel sure I’ve mentioned it before. I used to be an auditor, working for one of the Big Four accounting firms. With that in mind, I can absolutely fathom the mortification that the partners at PWC must be feeling over this flub:

Ouch.

I really don’t know who to blame/pity the most. I mean, if it were me handing the envelope to the presenters, I’d be checking that envelope a half dozen times to make sure it was the correct one. So, no bueno for the PWC partner handing over those envelopes. (And it is a partner, by the way, not some lowly staff 1). On the other hand, the presenters looked at a card that didn’t line up with the category they were presenting and announced it anyway. If I were presenting, I probably would have made some light joke but asked for the envelope to be checked before announcing the pinnacle of the awards to the wrong group. So, no bueno for the presenters either, even though they technically weren’t at fault (unlike the Steve Harvey fiasco).


Speaking of award shows, I’m not really into them. I know several people who LOVE the Oscars and go all out, hosting black tie parties and fun watch parties. Meh. Just not my cup of tea. However, I stumbled across this incredible opening performance from the insanely talented Neil Patrick Harris and I just… holy moly.

I could watch this a hundred more times.


So that’s about all I have for today. One last thing though: if you’re ever bored and looking at some time to kill, go look up the “feud” between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon. Hilarious.

Reminiscing

One interesting part of being back at the office is that I keep having flashbacks to being pregnant. I suppose because the last time I was in the office for any measurable amount of time was when I was pregnant. So every time I use the restroom, I remember going to the restroom a bajillion times. I remember walking waddling from the parking lot to the building. I remember making snacks and lowering my chair.

This has prompted me to look back through my archives here and I realize that I’ve already started to forget things about my pregnancy, especially in the early months. For instance, I totally forgot all the burping I did and how uncomfortable I used to be after eating and how I took up napping. I’ve already forgotten how I waffled for weeks over whether I had really felt the dumpling move. Most of all, I’ve already forgotten how long it too us to accept that I was really pregnant, after months of infertility.

Last night, I was browsing through posts and I came across this one. It’s so crazy and amazing to look back at it now and know that this WAS our cycle. This was it! We just didn’t know it yet. This cycle would be the one and we’d have a beautiful baby boy to show for it. Incredible.

Also, there’s one small piece from his birth story that I keep forgetting to tell. Like all crazy sane women trying to conceive, once I had a positive pregnancy test, I tested multiple times. I had cheapie tests from Amazon that I was using, but did splurge on a fancy digital one. Of course, they all said the same thing, but the digital one just gave a wonderful feeling – seeing that word “pregnant” displayed. Even more fun was the fact the the box boasted the result would be displayed six months, long enough for you to plan fun announcements or something. That’s sweet, I thought to myself, as I tucked the pregnancy test into my bathroom drawer. Each morning, I would open the drawer to get my hair brush or my makeup brush or my contacts, see the test and smile at that word again. I sent a picture of it to my mom when I told her. The test was a happy little reminder, especially in the early weeks before I started showing. Six months, however, came and went and the test still displayed its cheery little result. I stopped giving it much attention as my belly grew larger and larger each day. I was however amazed to find it still said “pregnant” by August. And September. And October. By the time late October rolled around I joked to myself that the test was going to outlast my pregnancy. Then, on the morning of October 25th, that momentous day, I opened up my bathroom drawer to find the test window blank. That’s right, I thought, in a few hours I won’t be pregnant anymore. Somehow, the test knew. My little silent testimony to the Dumpling’s existence was no longer needed.

My alternate lives

One thing I realized while wedding planning, that I later realized could be applied to my entire life, was the idea that there are many paths to follow. We can only choose one path, obviously, and even though you didn’t pick one of the other paths, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have been a great option. I originally had this thought (truly light-bulb style) while lamenting the fact that I couldn’t just wear ALL THE DRESSES. (I mean, why not right? I could have one for my entrance and then a mid-ceremony dress change and then a reception dress and perhaps a mid-reception dress change and maybe a rehearsal dress and a post-reception dress and lace on tulle on sequins WOO!)

Ahem, of course, once I made peace with the fact that I could not wear all the dresses and instead had to pick just one that maybe wasn’t THE dress, but a wonderful dress nonetheless, this thought process applied itself to other aspects of wedding planning. We obviously couldn’t have a small, intimate backyard wedding while also having a large, glamorous black-tie affair. We couldn’t do a destination wedding that also happened to be at my grandparents’ house. We couldn’t do ALL THE IDEAS, just like I couldn’t wear ALL THE DRESSES. We had to pick one and perhaps give a little wave to the other ideas, because they were great too, but they were not the idea we went with.

(I’m making it seem like I had a lot of wedding planning angst here…. I did not. I was mostly just sad I couldn’t wear all the wedding dresses.)

SO ANYWAY – I swear I have a point that I’m getting to: In life, we have to choose a path. It might not be THE path, but it’s a pretty good path (I mean, hopefully, gah). We make decisions about where we live and what we do for a living and we’re deciding our path as we go. Naturally, there are things that fall by the wayside as we decide our path. I do not live in DC because …. I don’t live in DC. Not saying I wouldn’t enjoy living there or that it’s not for me; I just don’t live in DC because I live in Texas and it never occurred to me to move out of state. You catch my drift?

Same goes with careers. We all eventually find ourselves working. For the majority of us, our job is just that – a job. A means to earn money to pay for our living expenses. Bonus points if you don’t hate it. Gold star if you actually enjoy it. I’m an accountant because I very logically decided to be an accountant. It doesn’t rely on my body (which will probably give out much earlier than my brain), it has a fair amount of job security (the world will always need accountants), and it pays more than peanuts. However, there are several career paths I could have chosen, had I not decided to follow my logical brain:

Bakery Girl Belle: I love to bake and I’m fairly good at it (if I do say so myself). I could totally see myself working in a bakery (as opposed to running it, which is a totally different career/life). This Belle might not have left West Texas as there are plenty of bakeries there (even fancier ones!), but I might have eventually still made my way to DFW. My days would be filled with sugar and fondant and pastry cream. I would use my eye for detail to painstakingly ice a thousand cookies or frost dozens of cupcakes. My artistry would probably need some improving (stick figures are pretty much my highest level of expertise), but I could always handle the trace/repeat designs. I might also be a solid ten pounds heavier in this life, because who can resist all those scrumptious sweets? My feet would be sore and my back would ache by the end of the day, but I would be making the world a better place through the power of sugar!

Professional Dancer Belle: I took dance lessons from the age of 5 all the way up to 23 – nearly two decades worth of lessons and rehearsals and recitals. I ultimately decided against a career in dance because (1) it takes a lot of work, (2) no, more work than that, (3) the pay isn’t great (might even be non-existent), (4) it relies on my body, so if that goes, I’m out of a job, and (5) very little job stability. I probably couldn’t have made this profession work in West Texas. I might have had more luck in DFW, but I probably would have landed somewhere like LA, New York, or Vegas. However, if I had gone this route, I would be very fulfilled with days full of rehearsals and perhaps an audition or two. I have always loved to perform and would be ecstatic that part of my job description included regular performances.

Food Blogger Belle: The PERFECT career. Food + blog + stay-at-home + baking + cooking = AWESOMENESS. Seriously guys, I would leave my current job in a heartbeat if only I could (a) take better pictures than I do (as evidenced by the hundreds of blurry shots of Jas on my phone) and (b) not have to suffer through the start-up phase of food blogging. That wouldn’t be fun. So, basically I want none of the hard work that goes into setting yourself up for success, but I do want to reap all of the rewards. Sounds about right.

Veterinarian Belle: Oh you know I had to put this on here, right? What self-respecting animal lover has NOT thought about days spent squeeing over puppies and kittens? But then, there’s always that moment of heartbreak when you consider everything else that goes into being a veterinarian (handling sick animals, not being able to instantly make sick animals better because oh my gosh he just looks so sad poor wittle baby) and we change our minds. Probably for the best.

Fitness Instructor Belle: So I know that I am technically a fitness instructor now, but if I had my way (basically, if money was no problem) I would be a full-time instructor. I would LOVE for fitness to be my profession. I love helping others achieve their fitness goals and I love teaching classes (my current program, obviously, but also kickboxing and step and BOSU and water aerobics and barre and yoga and I COULD TEACH THEM ALL). I’m still holding on to this one for my post-professional life (aka, when Luffy and I are financially independent and I can do whatever I want for a living).

So yeah, those are some of the life paths that I could have chosen, but didn’t. Kind of fun to think about.

*And now that I’ve written all this down, I realized that a much better way to introduce this topic would have been what Barbie do I want to be????  Ballet Barbie? Blogger Barbie? Baker Barbie? Vet Barbie? Now I’m just picturing the outfits and cute little accessories…. 

Gender Inequality

Earlier today, a coworker flagged me down (on my way to the bathroom!) to apologize for what he said on a conference call Tuesday. I wracked my brain, trying to think of what he had possibly said that could warrant the apology. My brain turned up zilch. It was a routine call, with a lender, nothing out of the ordinary had been said. Then he chuckled, saying that he said something to the effect of “[the lender] had his panties in a wad” and that he felt bad for making the comment. Our partner, who was also on the call, had taken him to task later in the day apparently.

I blinked at him a few times as I thought really? You’re apologizing for that? Lololololol. Panties…. ehehehehe.

I quickly assured him that his comment didn’t even register on my radar and that, while I appreciated it, he was perfectly fine and there was no harm done.


I believe I’ve mentioned (probably here or here) that I work in a small office. We have 14 professionals, though we’re looking to add another this year, and two admins. I am the only professional female, although the two admins are also female. I’m an accountant, but I work in an industry that is also heavily dominated by men. This means that I often find myself as the only female in a meeting or on a call, even with external parties.

When I originally went through the interview process, my (future) boss went over this fact several times, wanting me to be crystal clear on the circumstances and also wanting to make sure that I didn’t have any qualms or hesitations about working with mostly men. I assured him that I didn’t and he assured me that they would all take care in creating a work environment suitable for both sexes (in other words, no keggars to celebrate victories and no strippers in the conference room …. not that a professional office would ever deem this sort of behavior acceptable).

To the credit of my coworkers, they really have gone out of their way to make sure that the environment here is inviting and comfortable. Some days though, like today, I have to laugh because they go above and beyond what’s necessary, worried that they’ve offended my dainty sensibilities or something. While I greatly appreciate the thought, it always makes me laugh and I really want to assure them that I’m not that uptight.

I’ve gotten a handful of apologies over the years, for comments that might be just on the wrong side of unprofessional. I’ve never actually been offended by anything anyone’s said here. The closest I’ve come was this meeting, but that was probably fueled by some hormones and also the envy of what life looks like for men (seriously! no yearly appointments just to get birth control, which, last time I checked, benefits both sexes! Or, while we’re at it, none of this “getting ready for work” bullshit – they just throw on clothes and go! Ugh!)

The most memorable apology I’ve had to date though came from one of the partners. In a meeting earlier that day, he had made a quip about a rather annoying third party manager and how he drove a nice car because he was compensating for … things. The entire room laughed, including myself, because that’s hilarious. On a roll, he then referred to a Hooter’s-type restaurant as a “titty joint” which, yeeeeah, probably not the best choice of words for the office setting, but the comment wasn’t directed at me and mah boobs, so whatever. However, an hour or so after the meeting ended, he stopped by my desk to apologize. My boss (who, for clarity, is actually underneath this partner in terms of corporate hierarchy) had admonished him for making the off-the-cuff remarks.

I know I’m lucky in that these guys are at least in touch enough to realize when they’ve possibly stepped out of bounds. They’re also human enough to apologize when they think there’s a need. I truly appreciate it. Mostly though, I am far too thankful to be out of the catty world of female coworkers to let a few off-color jokes get my panties in a wad.

 

 

Another classic Belle neurosis

So, Luffy is out of town this week. Just me and Jas, hanging out, watching girly TV, and lolling on the couch like a whale (ok, that part’s just me). Anyway, literally 12 hours after Luffy leaves town, the low tire indicator light in my car comes on. BECAUSE OF COURSE IT DOES. Couldn’t have come on over the weekend when Luffy* was here? Noooooooooo. That would have been far to convenient.

*Also known as the only adult in our household who can squat down to that level now.

Now, I am pretty handy, if I do say so myself. I tackle a lot of our household chores and tasks myself, or at least handle the hiring of professionals when needed. I’ve installed light fixtures and dealt with minor floods, called up plumbers and repairmen aplenty. However, I don’t really do car maintenance. I just don’t. Don’t get me wrong! My cars have always been maintained perfectly well, just not by me. Even basic oil changes make me cringe and curl my toes in anxiety.

“But what if they ask me questions???” I always nervously ask Luffy as I’m putting off getting my oil changed for the third consecutive day. Yes, I know that I’m a fully grown adult, capable of making basic decisions when asked a question or even, lord forbid, asking for advice from the mechanic if I have absolutely no idea. I know that, I just don’t really believe it. I’ve been scarred for life by the employee in my hometown’s quick oil change place who asked me if I wanted to replace the air filter on my truck.  I froze, deer-in-headlights style. Had no idea what to do. I stammered out a no and then second-guessed myself for THREE WHOLE MONTHS as I kept my dark secret and worried that my truck could, I don’t know, blow up at any second because I had neglected to replace the air filter.

Ahem. Anyway, the low tire indicator light posed a dilemma. Luffy won’t be back until Thursday evening and I hate to (a) drive around that long on tires that were clearly low and (b) bombard Luffy the second he gets home all like – Hiiiii honey, totes missed you, but could you actually take a look at my car???? So this meant that I needed to deal with it sooner. While I avoid going to mechanics like the plague (note the above mentioned cringing and toe-curling), I’m also not exactly physically capable of getting down on that level and hustling around my car in the Texas heat humidity anymore (<<<< omg you guys, so freaking humid I can barely stand it).

I tried you guys, I really did, to find some solution that did not involve me, with mah beach ball belly, airing up my tires and that also did not involve anxiety-inducing mechanics. I debated asking the guys at work to do it, but thought that was just a touch too drama-queen-esque. I checked my tires every time I got out of the car, hoping that maybe it was a trick of the light last time and that they wouldn’t be so deflated looking this time. (Nope, still low.) I thought about enlisting neighbors. I thought about playing dumb and pretending that the light SO TOTALLY JUST CAME ON whenever Luffy got home.

But alas, even I had to face it: I needed to suck it up and get my tires aired up.

And thus, I went to Firestone today at lunch, hoping to use my belly as a sympathy card and score properly pressurized tires.

They were very understanding and promptly aired up my tires, no charge. They also pointed out that the back left one had a screw in it, causing the leak. And the front two needed to be replaced sometime soon.

“You might wanna come back in the next couple of weeks for four new tires; we open at 7am. It’s best to get here early.”

*headdesk*

So much for being a self-sufficient person while Luffy’s away. At least I tried, you know?