Trucks and Goats

Can I preface this by saying that I’m still way too busy to be here? Too busy to take the half an hour or so to jot all this down? So busy that I shouldn’t even consider taking the time to be here? But…. we also had a pretty awesome weekend and I just can’t let it go by undocumented. So. Here I am. Don’t tell anyone.

Our weekend started off with a whole lot of walking.

Let’s rewind back to Friday afternoon. I picked up the dumpling from school and he requested, rather forcefully, that we take a walk. Sure! That sounds fun! and I loaded him up into his wagon with his water and milk and off we went!

However, when we came upon our usual time to turn back (completing the circle around our development), he requested that we cross the street into the next development. Sure! A little extra exercise never killed anyone! and we crossed the street, talking about the traffic and some birds. I walked and walked, pulling him along (which, I have to say, dumpling + wagon is getting to be quite the heavy load nowadays). I walked several blocks down, with the intention of turning back, except that every time I tried, he adamantly insisted we continue.

Finally, I convinced him to at least turn down a street (rather than make a u-turn) and I sort of maneuvered him on a path that would take us closer to returning home.

All of my maneuvering went out the window though when he spotted the playground at the elementary school. He quite literally took off running, leaving me in the dust, and was three-quarters through the whole thing by the time I caught up. We spent probably half an hour there and I only got him to come home with me by doing the parent-patented all right, well have fun, I’m gonna start walking back, byeeeeeeeeee move. When he finally decided to come along with me, he wanted UP-UP-UP as he always does. I’ve been trying to work on this a bit because (1) he’s old enough now that I shouldn’t need to carry him everywhere and (2) he’s big enough now that it’s genuinely tiring to carry him, especially when I’m also pulling a wagon. So I would carry him a few houses, then put him down and convince him to walk for a house or so before we’d repeat the whole thing. Also, I should note that this whole process makes the walk ten times longer because we’re stopping every 30 feet. And we had already been out and on our feet for an hour and a half at this point. Suffice to say that I was VERY ready to get home.

So I gave in a bit and carried him further so that I could at least power walk some and get us in our own development instead of a mile away from home. So I’m hoofing it, preschooler on my hip, wagon trailing along behind me, cars whizzing past – probably wondering why on earth I am carrying my child when I have a clearly empty wagon behind me – when all of a sudden the dumpling leans towards me and gives me a big kiss on the cheek.

Just like that! Muah!

It was precious and made the whole walk completely worth it. I stopped and we spent a few minutes giving each other kisses on the cheeks (because he has to kiss both cheeks and then he also needs kisses and I was so delighted that I gave him several and he felt the need to reciprocate).

Anyway, we eventually made our way home and I fed him some dinner since it was now getting very close to his bedtime.

We also had a blast on Saturday at a Touch a Truck event near our home. I happened to spot it on Instagram as I was scrolling through (waiting for the dumpling to wake up from an impromptu car nap). So we went! And we saw firetrucks and ambulances and garbage trucks and police trucks and SWAT trucks and farm trucks and a school bus.

It was great fun, but of course there were lines everywhere. We did wait in the line for the fire truck, allowing the dumpling to sit in the back (he adorably wanted to take off his shoes, make himself comfortable). We skipped most other lines, just literally touching the outside of the trucks rather than sitting in them. The dumpling seemed happy enough with that.

And then on Sunday we visited a goat farm!

Our friends recently made a major life change and decided to give up their day jobs to start a goat dairy business. They sold their home in the city and purchased land (and a home) about a half hour southeast of Dallas. This is their first kidding season (aka birthing season), so that’s what prompted us to make the trip. (These are also the same friends that we had wanted to see for the birthday party last year, so it felt like a milestone of sorts, to actually be able to go.)

We got to play with the baby goats. They have ten right now, with four being born within the past three days and one more pregnant goat waiting to give birth in a couple of weeks. I fed a baby goat and helped the dumpling hold one. He thought it was ok, but mostly he was excited to run around on their farm and play with their little boy. We busted out the water table and they played on the tractor. So much fun!

We rounded out Sunday by playing on the neighbor’s trampoline and introducing the dumpling to Nerf guns. What a weekend!


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!

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One

I woke up yesterday with my left eye crusted shut.


I quite literally visited the doctor for the exact same symptoms last month, almost to the day. This time, I was managing to beat the actual sinus infection with the help of two or three sinus washes a day. It’s oddly satisfying to see all of the gunk that washes out. (Oh I’m sorry, were you eating?) It’s gross, I know, but it helps so much. My doctor confirmed that there wasn’t an infection present, just a whole lotta swelling and inflammation.

And the pink eye, you know. Looking sexy as hell over here. The pink eye is caused by the swelling in my sinuses, of course. My eye can’t drain, creating a perfect environment for bacteria or viruses to hang out in. It’s lovely.

Anyway, this is all ultimately due to allergies. Ugh. I’ve been instructed to head back to the allergist to up my doses of zyrtex and flonase and all that. I am feeling better, thanks to a pack of steroids (for the inflammation) and eye drops (for the pink eye).

2018 has really not gotten off to the healthiest start for me.

The good news is that I’ve found some really, really delicious kimchi. I made a batch after I decided to forego the allergy shots in favor of trying fermented veggies again. For some reason though, my kimchi didn’t turn out. You always look for the bubbles, when making fermented veggies. Bubbles up the side of the container is the sign of fermentation. You want lots and lots of bubbles! But there were no bubbles in mine. I was going to make a new batch, but in the meantime I picked up a jar from the local H Mart. That was a mistake, in hindsight, because it was absolutely delicious. The flavors were so much more complex than mine. So tasty!

So that’s where I am now. A little inflamed. A little infectious looking. A little spicy.

Polishing Up The Home, pt 3

I did it! The handyman was hired and the materials were purchased and the repairs have been made! We have now the proud owners of LED lights in our kitchen and utility room and a freshly-caulked shower. [Though, damn that handyman, because he came into our circa-1992 master bathroom and started talking about renovations and now I practically drool every time I step into the shower as I think about what it could be.]

Further polishings were attempted yesterday after the latch on our front door stopped working. Now, I’ve never repaired a door knob. Hell, I’ve never even closely examined a door knob, but I figured it couldn’t be too hard! Half an hour later, once I realized that I had to take the entire kit off to access the latch, I figured I might as well replace the whole thing. It was looking old and worn anyway. (Plus, it’s gold – might as well modernize it a bit!)

Home Depot proved invaluable and I quickly found exactly what I needed! Or so I thought, of course. I came home and … naively? optimistically? stupidly? … skipped right over the first step of the installation instructions. I bet you can guess what that step was: measure. Double check your measurements to make sure this thing will actually fit before you start, Belle! Ah damn it – you’ve already installed the latch anyway – well don’t say I didn’t warn you! <<< actual text from manual.

So yeah, I didn’t measure – jumped right into installation and had the new latch installed before realizing that the new handle was about an inch too long and didn’t line up with my hole. Not only did it not line up (which I would have at least thought about handling with my drill), the plate didn’t cover the old hole. I couldn’t have that, so I had to uninstall the latch and re-package everything. I returned it this morning and opted to just replace the latch. Now my eyelid is twitching because, during this little endeavor, I realized that our front door was originally painted teal. It’s now a matte black, but whoever painted it didn’t remove the fixtures to paint. The problem is that the new latch moves our door handle to the right about 1/8 of an inch, revealing a tiny stripe of teal paint. I hope I forget about it soon because my next overzealous burst of motivation may be to repaint the door.


It’s 6:45pm here. On any other day, we’d be starting the dumpling’s bedtime routine right now. Filling his bath, getting his room ready for nighttime. But not today. Today, as I was cooking an early dinner, I realized he felt warm. Too warm. Fever-ish warm. Sure enough, he was running just a hair under 101. My biggest concern with that is that just five and a half hours earlier, he’d had a dose of Motrin (he’s finally cutting those molars through, lol). He shouldn’t be running a fever and, more importantly, had a little dose of teething-related Motrin masked a fever all afternoon?

So we did what we could: dosed him with more Motrin; tried a cool bath, though that didn’t go over at all; and put him to bed. He fell asleep almost instantly, even though it was over an hour earlier than his usual bedtime. And now we wait. I’ve got both my sound and video monitor here, trying to keep an eye on him. I plan to take his temperature before heading to bed myself and briefly contemplated setting an alarm for the wee hours of tomorrow morning in order to give him another dose of Motrin (until I realized that would mean that I couldn’t take an accurate temperature reading in the morning).

And now we wait.

When you become a parent, new worries seem to crop up over night. When he’s brand new, you worry about breaking him – dropping your precious, but oh-so-tiny newborn. You worry about SIDS and your little one suffocating during the night. Then he grows a little bit and you worry about choking as he learns how to eat. Then he starts crawling and you worry about choking hazards around the house as he crawls, yet again, towards a random button you’ve never seen before. Then more worries come along with walking and then running and then jumping. But almost as quickly as the fear appears, it subsides. He gets a little bigger, a little stronger, a little more coordinated and suddenly you’re not as worried that he’ll fall as he runs in the park. This worry though, this fear for your sick baby, is always present.

Not only do I worry about the possibility of another febrile seizure, I’m also just plain concerned that he’s getting sick. Nothing pains me more than having a sick dumpling, mainly because there’s usually not much I can do for him besides keeping him dosed up on Motrin. And it’s not like you can talk sense into a toddler (you try telling him that he should really rest instead of run around the house in a fever-fueled frenzy). And and! It’s totally my fault. I’ve been telling everyone that the dumpling has been fine through mine and Luffy’s never-ending illnesses. I totally jinxed him. That and we shared a spoon today when we got fro-yo. All my fault.

And so, there’s nothing to do for now but wait and see. We’ll know more tomorrow.


We’re alive!

Blurgh – those were a rough few days, but I think we’ve turned the corner (frantically knocks on wood).

Luffy ended up going to urgent care at like 7am last Friday morning because he needed help with that cough. He lost his voice, he coughed so much. They gave him a steroid shot and a stronger cough medicine. He’s still coughing, but I think it’s less? So yay?

I cried uncle Monday morning. My allergies gave way to a sinus infection, which left me with excruciating sinus pain all weekend (even WITH sudafed). The last straw was pink eye. I woke up Sunday morning with some crust in my eye, but groggily wiped it all away without really inspecting the damage. Monday morning though, I couldn’t even open my eye so off to the doctor I went. Sinus infection – check. Upper respiratory infection – check. Bacterial pink eye – check. Lots of medication. Twas fun. Especially because this antibiotic gets the medal for being the first ever to make me vomit. Yay!! (It’s one of those that’s supposed to be taken on an empty stomach except that I can’t handle that and need to take it with a few crackers.)

So now that we’re all on the mend, I have a few important updates to get to:

I bought the dumpling a play kitchen and it truly might be the cutest thing I have in my entire house (except the dumpling himself, obviously).

We had an old gift card to Toys R Us lying around and I realized that we should use it pretty quickly if we wanted to use it at all. I’d been eyeing a few play kitchens recently, wondering if the dumpling was old enough to enjoy them now, so I decided it was time. With gift card in hand, I purchased a cute set on Saturday night and was astounded to see it on my porch on Tuesday. I put it together immediately because I have no cool, though I did at least have the presence of mind not to show it to the dumpling until he actually had some time to play with it (our nights are pretty busy between our evening walks and his extended dinner time). This morning he got up early enough to have some time to play with it after breakfast and I’m pretty sure he loved it. He was excited to find all of the little hidey-holes and things-that-open and things-that-make-noise.

In more adorable news, the dumpling has started taking a stuffed animal with him to bed. It all started Sunday night; in a typical act of toddler stalling, the dumpling was requesting item after item from the bathroom counter. In trying to appease him (and stave off the meltdown), Luffy handed him the humidifier cap. The dumpling then refused to let go of it while we were dressing him and getting him ready for the night. So much so that we couldn’t get it away from him when we put him into his crib. What’s the harm, we thought and figured we’d sneak in to get it after he fell asleep. We watched on the monitor as he fell asleep, holding the cap with both hands. It was precious.

The next night, Luffy gave him a stuffed dog to take with him and the dumpling was delighted with the new cribmate. Plus, watching your toddler cuddle with a stuffed animal is about THE most precious thing you will ever witness.

One last item, just for me. Yesterday I wore my very smallest pre-pregnancy work slacks for the first time. Go me!