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.

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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!

Polishing up the home, pt 4

So we’re getting a new chimney. Um, yay?

It all started last Tuesday when the pest control guy came by. He was new (and therefore thorough) and noted that he found what might be rodent activity up on an eave. He said he’d be happy to set up an appointment for a (free!) inspection the next day. Why not? I said. Famous last words, I know.

So the inspection guy comes out and he does indeed find evidence of squirrels and mice in the attic and a hole! A hole in the chimney! We can patch that, they said. And here’s where I had to pause my little story and take a dive back through the archives in search of another story. Except I realized that I actually didn’t tell you guys this story, back in late summer 2016. I was a little preoccupied with other things, I guess. So buckle in folks!

Back in 2016, August-ish (because I’m not exactly sure how quickly I handled this issue, given I was very pregnant at the time), we looked out our back windows one day and realized that an eave had completely collapsed. To my horror, there was also a squirrel chilling there. In my memory, the furry little rodent is also giving me the finger while he ever-so-casually reclines on my roof, but that’s probably an exaggeration. I wasn’t even sure how to go about repairing this, but I distinctly remember calling my dad for advice and he brought up the possibility that there could also be raccoons and other assorted wildlife up there. He suggested a wildlife removal business and the Googles gave me a phone number. So a very pregnant me ends up outside in the August heat, going over a list of up-sells from the wildlife removal guys. They could, of course, solve me problem for X dollars, but they, of course, offered to completely wildlife-proof my house for XXX dollars. Suffice to say, we just wanted our damn eaves fixed (there ended up being a couple that had fallen).

Their work has held up over the years, though looking back on it, I do remember two problems. First, they forgot to install a new turbine they charged us for. I called them about it as soon as I got home and discovered it (the old one was damaged and thus it was very apparent they hadn’t done it). If memory serves, I actually had to call a few times to get them to come back. Ultimately, all work we had agreed upon was completed. And secondly, though they inspected and said nothing was in our attic, something had to have been because shortly after they patched the eave, a vent was busted open from the inside. Shudder. My dad ended up fixing that when he came down for the dumpling’s birth. (So nice of him!)

Anyway, when our talk turned to rodents in the attic, yet again, I called on them to give us a quote. Their inspector came out and went the extra mile by actually climbing onto our roof to inspect the squirrel’s hole in the chimney. And that’s when he discovered that the entire thing is rotting. Apparently it’s plywood, circa 1992, and it literally caves in with the barest touch. He said they could definitely patch it, but that it was only a matter of time (and honestly, probably days or even hours) before the squirrels made a new hole. And I completely believed him because even two freaking years later, squirrels still try to get through the eave that we repaired. They come up to it and paw furiously at it until I bang on the window.

And that’s the tale of how we’re getting a new chimney this week! Yay! I guess? I mean, I’d probably prefer to spend a few grand on other, dare I say it, funner things, but eh. A squirrel-free attic is probably nice too.

A few thoughts on a Thursday

It’s raining here, which is glorious. I love a good thunderstorm, most especially when it falls on a day that I’m working from home. Ahhh, perfection.


I got a pedicure yesterday. It too was perfection. I don’t often get pedicures. In fact, I can precisely tell you the last two times I got one: last September (2017) and the day before my wedding (2013). It’s just one of those things that taps into my a few of my neurosis like my reluctance to spend money on myself and my hesitation to go to new places that typically have unwritten rules (like the tip! or do you make conversation with the pedicurist? what if you can’t understand her when she asks if you want hot stone or paraffin wax? and the massage chair just opens up a whole can of worms…). Anyway, I’m now staring at pretty toes and I’m tickled pink about it!


We went to the farmer’s market this weekend. We used to go pretty regularly to get fresh eggs and meat, but we haven’t been since the dumpling was born. We went because they were hosting a kid’s day, including a petting zoo! That ended up being a bit of a bust. The petting zoo was a very small enclosure with a lot of older kids. The dumpling seems so big to me now that I forget he’s a tiny thing still. He was a bit overwhelmed by the activity, so we stayed on the outside. He did at least seem fascinated by the donkey and stared at it for a while.


Luffy’s parents bought the dumpling a tricycle! He tried it out this weekend and loved riding on it. He’s a bit short for it still (though when I just looked it up online and I realized that the seat is adjustable, so I’ll have to fiddle with that). He was super cute as we tried it out in the driveway this weekend.


And that’s about all I’ve got for ya.

The Quiet

I apologize for the quiet around here lately. I blame the usual suspects: work, child, etc. But there’s actually something else going on too, between Luffy and I, so I don’t feel comfortable sharing. (I know, I’d be shocked if I were you too – there actually is a line of oversharing for Belle! Who knew?!) Anyway, I don’t want to sound melodramatic (even though I know it completely does sound melodramatic), but I thought I’d put the explanation out there. We’re working through some things, trying to be the best version of ourselves for each other and our little family. It’s just one of those times when the only thing I want to talk about is the one thing I won’t. And thus – silence. It happens to the best of us.


To leave you on a happier note as you start your week: the dumpling can now tell you what the cat says! And it’s almost as adorable as his woof woof*. His little meow comes out as a “weow” and it is just too cute. TOO CUTE, I tell you!

* I linked back to that post and then realized afterwards that I haven’t told you guys about his woof woof!! How could I not?! So, I suppose a week or so ago, the dumpling started answering the question what does the dog say? with his own little woof woof. Which, is totally cute, but his is just painfully adorable because he says it in this tiny little voice, almost like he’s a little worried he’s actually summoning the big doggies over. And he doesn’t have the f-sound, so it comes out as woo woo. Gah! It’s just precious.

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!