Officially Two!

We threw a birthday bash for the dumpling on Saturday, so it’s official! He’s two! He also seemed to grow two inches and put on a good five pounds over the weekend. But maybe I just feel that way because he requested to be held about 95% of Sunday, give or take a minute for bathroom breaks (mine) and kitty hugs (his).

We had the best time though on Saturday. The fun actually started on Friday evening, when my mom drove in early. I pointed out her car pulling up the driveway and as soon as she stepped out, the dumpling just dissolved into a fit of giggles and wiggles. He was SO excited to see her. The next day, we added more fun people when my dad and brother showed up. My brother chased him around the house for a while and allowed me to focus on getting ready for the party (those four dozen cupcakes weren’t going to frost themselves!). The party itself actually started out a little slowly because literally all of our guests except family had said they were coming but would be late due to various reasons. We truly did have the best time though and rounded out the evening playing Drawful with our neighbors.

Adorable moments from the party include:

  • When he discovered balloons: I bought him a big, Mylar fire truck balloon and had it professionally inflated Friday afternoon, hiding it in my closet overnight. I brought it out while my brother was playing with him and as soon as he stepped foot in the dining room, he stopped dead in his tracks. What is that glorious thing??? you could just see the question form in his mind. I felt a little bad for my brother as the dumpling immediately made a game out of letting the balloon go and having my brother get the string for him (even though he could totally reach it himself).
  • When he noticed that someone had brought him (the most adorable) stuffed dinosaur. It wasn’t wrapped, just sitting on the presents, and he immediately exclaimed di-no-sor!! and carted it off.
  • When he was overcome with shyness the moment he realized we were all singing Happy Birthday to him.
  • When he unwrapped the fire truck book my parents gave him and immediately decided to sit down in my lap to read it. He still had presents to open, but he just had to know what the fire truck’s smooth, shiny bumper felt like!
  • When he deftly handled the serving spoon to get himself more watermelon from the table. I was pretty impressed, honestly.
  • When my family had to leave fairly early to drive back to West Texas and he decided that it was time to say goodbye to everyone.

Not related to the party, but still completely adorable:

  • Our neighbors had an inflatable dragon up for Halloween. Quick thinking let me convince him it was a dinosaur. He’s been saying hi/bye to the dinosaur all month. They took it down on Sunday. He was very sad and talked about the dinosaur going bye bye for a good ten minutes.
  • This morning, he was in a particularly good mood, which was helpful since Monday mornings are always busy for us. I was making breakfast in the kitchen, when I heard the dumpling calling for me from the living room. I told him he’d have to come to me, since I was making breakfast. Miss you! is the response I heard, and felt my heart swell.”Awe! I miss you too baby!”

    Suddenly, he appeared around the corner of the counter, looking perplexed.


    It suddenly dawned on me that he was not proclaiming the fact that he missed his mama, he was inquiring as to when his damn waffle would be ready. Jeez, mother, and would it kill you to refill my coffee in the meantime?!. I turned the oven light on and had him check his waffle himself.



It’s the fifth third fourth I-don’t-even know week of August, so please enjoy some random thoughts and don’t forget this applicable treasure.

The dumpling has been in daycare since he was 12 weeks old. He’s loved it and I love being a working mom – wouldn’t change a thing. However, I’d like to make an official complaint that I was rudely denied an opportunity by taking this route. You see, all my other mom friends (I have like two … it’s not a very large sample size, I know) who stay at home and have toddlers the dumpling’s age are posting these adorable First Day of School!!! photos on Facebook with their toddler all dolled up in uniforms and backpacks. It is completely, adorably precious. And yet…. they aren’t really going to school. Those toddlers are headed off to preschool. I’m not denying that it’s a huge milestone, especially for kids who have been home with their moms this whole time. But still. I have to wait another four years for my dude’s First Day of School!!! photo even though the dumpling’s totally in “preschool” right now and I’m a little jealous, that’s all. Perhaps I’ll doll him up tomorrow and title the post Four-hundred-seventeeth Day of School give or take a few days!!!

What? I did the math at least.

Speaking of working and stuff (nice segue self), before I had a baby, I was addicted to chewing gum. I would chew at least a couple of half pieces each day, though definitely more than that on some days. I guess maternity leave got me out of the habit? I’m not really sure, but I just don’t chew gum anymore. I never think about it and even when I do, chewing feels awkward. Or maybe I’m just newly awkward with chewing gum. Who knows?!

The cake baking and cake pop making went excellent this past weekend, thanks for asking! I did indeed get everything done, with a lot of help from Luffy (to distract the toddler and also keep me company in the kitchen). I was pretty proud of my creations, until I took the smash cake over to the party and all of a sudden it was SHOCKINGLY clear that my cake was lopsided on top. Uh – whoops? And also, how did I not notice that before?! Oh well, the little birthday girl seemed to enjoy it and the cake pops turned out fantastically, so I’m still calling it a win.

A little catch-up

Uh… hello?

Sorry for the unscheduled time off there. Last week was… well, it was a week. There were very low lows. Arguments and fights, rational discussions and irrational ones. Built-up tension that exploded. It was messy and one of the longest days/nights of my life. But! We are all better now and the week ended on an amazing note.

My mom came down to watch the dumpling and Luffy and I took off with our friends to watch Above & Beyond. The concert was incredible, as usual, and it was fantastic to be able to spend one-on-one time with Luffy again. It made me realize that we need to get out more often, just the two of us. We stayed out late, had lengthy conversations with friends, picked up fast food at 1AM – all the things that make you feel like you’re still in college. [Although, as a bonus, a much-younger friend commented that Luffy and I were the coolest parents ever – high-fives husband!]

Unfortunately, we’re paying for our night out with matching viruses. It hit us hard yesterday, at practically 11am on the dot. Fevers and fatigue, which is fantastic when you’re trying to keep up with a toddler. We’re feeling a smidge better today, but still not great.

And I think that catches us up!

Oh! Except my pursuit of a bra! I know you were on the edge of your seat and you’ll be glad to learn that I was successful. Now I just need to send back two bras and exchange another and I will officially have two bras in my “real” size. Don’t get intimidated by all of my adulting!

Oh what a weekend

It’s quite possibly the most cliche phrase ever uttered on a Monday, but – man – I wish it were the weekend again. Luffy and I had a wonderful weekend and I would pay good money to rewind the clock to Friday so that we could do it all again.

The weekend started a few hours early for me when I left work around 1:00 on Friday afternoon. I picked up some lunch for Luffy and I and headed to his office for a little desk picnic. I don’t know about you (and your SO), but seeing him earlier than usual always puts me in the best mood. I then headed out to run some errands and clean up the house a bit in preparation of our EPIC Saturday plans.

First up Saturday were our standing lunch plans with Luffy’s parents. Not all that exciting, per se, but always delicious. We then headed over to a friend’s house for the last baby shower. This one was co-ed (and hosted by mutual friends), so Luffy tagged along. We had a wonderful shower, filled with fun games (the boys tried to guess the flavors of baby food and then, in a much more appreciated game, tried to drink beer from baby bottles), tasty food, and good company. Our friends outdid themselves and some of my favorite outfits came from them (seriously! little tiny Fullmetal Alchemist and One Piece onesies!! so adorable).

And then, as if that wasn’t enough excitement for one day, Luffy arranged for the most delightful treat for me and our friends: a private Frank dinner, hosted at our house.

Now, I’ve talked about Frank before, but one thing that I didn’t mention is that they actually offer in-home cooking (and some of the Frank experience) for private dinner parties. It wasn’t something I’d ever seriously considered (little awkward with just two people, don’t you think??), but Luffy decided that it would be a lovely thank-you to our friends for hosting our shower and a surprise for me. AND I’M SO HAPPY THAT HE DID. We had THE BEST time. He didn’t quite get to make it a surprise for me (he had to check that I was ok with it being at our home because, you know, he knows me and knew I’d want to clean all the things before I had professional chefs using my kitchen), but he did do all the heavy lifting of the planning and the prep.

Our chef arrived at little after 6pm. Our friends arrived at 7pm. Champagne was popped at 7:10 – and things only went up from there.

I’m not a food blogger, so bear with me and my woefully lacking descriptive skills, but you guys! The food! Was just unbelievable! We had risotto balls and THE MOST INCREDIBLE SOUP I HAVE EVER EATEN IN MY LIFE and octopus with assorted supporting cast members (like a delicious black bean sauce and a Cara Cara orange wedge topped with beer salt!) to create your perfect bite and chicken with waffles and blackberry ginger sorbet with granola and chocolate chunks. The soup! Best soup ever. Tasted like queso, but even more delicious. And I had three waffles to accompany my chicken. And Luffy told our chef that I like pickled things, so there were many freshly pickled items to choose from. And the dessert was incredibly refreshing and the perfect way to end the meal. The entire evening was wonderful. The wine flowed like water (for my non-pregnant friends) and they even made a couple of non-alcoholic mixed drinks for me. I had to turn in earlier, of course (a friend practically put me to bed herself after she caught sight of my drooping eyelids), but our friends stayed until about two in the morning.

Our Saturday was packed full of activities, so we did absolutely nothing on Sunday except enjoy the rain and football (and knock out the thank you notes).

Ahhhh, weekend perfection.

When to stop reaching out

Question: At what point in a fading relationship do you stop reaching out? At what point do you, metaphorically, call it quits and stop calling/emailing/texting? At what point do you admit that that person, whomever they may be, doesn’t mean the same thing to you anymore?

My title makes it seem like I have an answer to my question, but I don’t. It’s something I’m working through right now.

I have (had?) a best friend, Liz (who I first talked about here). To recap, Liz was my best friend all through school. We were inseparable until our life paths diverged. I moved away while she stayed put. I got married while she doesn’t date. I am trying to have a child and Liz has always been fairly certain she doesn’t want children (I’ll be your children’s Aunt Liz she always told me). Since I wrote that original post, we’ve exchanged one round of catch-up emails and one round of happy-birthday texts.

I found out today, via Facebook, that she’s approaching a major milestone in her life. She’s graduating from Grad school this spring (I knew that much), and then she’s moving away from our hometown because she received a full-time job offer. It’s something that’s in her field of expertise, and one of her dream jobs actually – if not quite her dream location (she’s still going to be in West Texas and I know she’d love to move some place like Colorado or New Mexico if she could). A huge moment for her. And I found out through Facebook.

To be fair, in this day and age a lot of information gets disseminated through Facebook, even if it’s something important. Almost especially if it’s something important (let’s face it, it’s fun to see those Likes add up!). But it did make me question – is it too late for our friendship? And will I kick myself later on in life if I’ve let our relationship fall by the wayside?

Lately, our emails have become shorter and shorter. Quick updates about ourselves and our families. We don’t text. I tried to get her to Gchat with me, but that didn’t go over. We’ve been looking for ways to make our communication easier and faster (like I said in my first post, laziness probably kept us friends for far longer than it should have), but nothing’s worked out so far. Plus, over electronic communication, the spark and pop that made our friendship shine isn’t there. Or has it faded with time? We haven’t talked to each other on the phone in so long that I have no idea if it’s still there.

And while it would be far easier to stop emailing or calling and demote the woman who once was my BFF to Facebook friend, will I be ok with that decision? In ten years, will I look back and truly miss her and regret that I didn’t keep making the effort? Right now it feels like I’m the only one in the relationship making any effort (I’m always the one who initiates our communication), but perhaps once she’s settled into a job – will she have more time to chat? Or maybe if she eventually gets married – will we find common ground again? Or maybe once I have children – will she make the effort to be involved in their lives like she once promised me she would?

I feel like I’m on a precipice right now. I can either keep up the friendship, even though it’s already feeling one-sided. Or I can sit back and let it fade. We all know that friendships – relationships – take work. They don’t just happen, so I won’t kid myself that our friendship would magically continue if we were to both stop trying. Part of me is interested to see if I would ever hear from her again, but the other half of me doesn’t want to test that. And, let’s be honest, I’m sure there are thousands upon thousands of “childhood friends” that didn’t make it into “adulthood friends.”


But, there’s so much history between me and Liz. We spent so much time together when we were young. We laughed so hard and knew just how to make each other smile. I’m not ready to give up on that yet. I’m not ready to let her fade away.

So I’m not sure when I’ll stop putting in the effort to reach out to her, to say hello and ask her how her life is going, but it won’t be today. Today I’ll email her, ask her about her new job and wish her the very best.



We’re back!

Luffy and I, along with some friends, headed down to Cancun for a few days over the Labor Day weekend. We stayed at a wonderful all-inclusive resort down there and had a blast hanging out in the pool, sipping frozen drinks, and trying to fit as many dining options as we could into our limited time (second breakfast anyone?! How about a pre-lunch snack?).

We were only there for two full days, so we literally did not do anything. No excursions. No shopping trips. No planned activities. Just hours of pool and ocean time. Naps for Luffy. Reading for me. We went out to a local club Friday night and danced until our feet hurt. We played in the ocean until everyone’s eyes stung with salt. It was glorious.

The only hiccups in our trip were transportation related (we missed our connecting flight to Cancun in Mexico City because we stood in the Immigration line for over an hour and a half!), but were minor overall. The resort was all-inclusive, as promised, and we enjoyed the fact that they actually meant it. (I hate it when they promise all-inclusive, but then they want to charge you extra for something like water in your room.) Everybody got adventurous with their drink orders because of the FREEDOM of just ordering a different one if you didn’t like it.

We got back Sunday evening and then had the day off yesterday to catch up on errands and get ready for the week. I’m back at work now, of course, with a full day’s work ahead of me but I’ll leave you with some pics from our balcony.


When you fall out of friendship

I’m at an interesting point in my life right now. I’m four years out of college, nine years out of high school. I’ve been in the professional world for four years, at my current job for two. I’ve been in a relationship with Luffy for three years. I haven’t lived in my hometown in four years. I’m moving farther away from my school years and my adolescence, which means that I find myself falling out of friendships.

If you were to ask me, right now, who my best friend is, I’d say Liz. I’ve known Liz since I was in the third grade and we’ve been best friends since sixth grade. We were inseparable. We went to the same middle school, high school, and college. We talked constantly, always made sure to pair up for any school assignments that we could, and consulted each other on every important matter (re: a clear phone for my room – the coolest or the lamest??). I knew her phone number by heart and it’s still one of the few phone numbers I actually know. (My brother’s cell number, for instance, I have no idea what it is since I always had a cell phone to store it.) She’s the answer to all of my security questions. She was the maid of honor at my wedding because of course she was, she’s my best friend.

So yes. Liz is my best friend. Except that my wedding was also the last time I saw her. We last exchanged emails at the end of June. My phone tells me the last time I called her was … oh wait, my phone’s log doesn’t go back that far. She’s never seen my home. She’s only visited me twice since I moved to Dallas and I’ve visited her once while I was home for the holidays. It’s not that we don’t enjoy each other’s company or talks; it’s just that life got in the way.

One of my favorite bloggers over at Wait But Why put together a post a couple months back that really hit home. In it, he discusses the different types of friendships people have and how those friendships can be good, bad, or quirky. For me, Liz is a blend of types six and seven – “The Historical Friend” and “The Non-Parallel Life Paths Friendship.” The whole article is interesting and humorous, so I suggest you go read it (or anything Tim writes, he’s hilarious), but in the meantime, a little summary of the two:

  • The Historical Friend – Someone you became friends with when you were really little and then stayed friends with throughout the years. The catch here is that you would not be friends with this person if you met today because you just don’t mesh now.
  • The Non-Parallel Life Paths Friend – Basically, Tim talks about where I am right now. (It’s like he’s speaking to me!) Up to about the age 24 or so, everyone is on somewhat the same life path and moves through the different phases about the same time. Most of this has to do with school, right, everyone graduates at roughly the same age. But now, after college, people start maturing and branching off at different paces. And these different paces can suddenly mean that you don’t have much in common anymore.

Now I imagine there are a lot of us out there with friends who fall in between those two categories (especially if you’re about my age). For me, Liz is a casualty of this. She’s not quite a full-on Historical Friend because I do like her and we might possibly still become friends if we were to meet today. We do still enjoy our talks, when we have them, if we have them. She’s not quite a full-on Non-Parallel Life Paths Friend because we’re not the “darker, more permanent” type that Tim goes into (go read!), but it still describes our relationship fairly accurately.

For us, we are both studious, type A girls with a silly sense of humor. We both like to read and we both appreciate a job well-done. But now that school’s over, that doesn’t get us very far. Our life paths are completely different. She graduated college with an art degree and started part time work, trying to figure out if there was anything she could do with her obscure degree. I studied accounting and then went on to graduate school. After I graduated, I moved to Dallas and began working full time. She decided to go back to school then to get her masters. During all of that, I had gone through an abusive relationship and come out the other side while she had spent her college years not really dating anyone at all. Fast forward a couple of years and now I’m married and trying to have children and she’s still working on her masters degree and hoping to find a job within the next six months. She’s also fairly sure she never wants children and has no interest in finding a life partner beyond her pets right now.

Like Tim said, we don’t have that much in common anymore. Proximity (and, let’s face it, laziness) kept us friends for far longer than we probably would have been otherwise. Now our emails are short and our missed calls go un-returned.

In some ways, it’s sad. She was my rock throughout grade school and now we can barely gather the enthusiasm to catch each other up on our lives. Time, and distance, has a way of deteriorating even the best of relationships. On the brighter side, I’ve also been introduced to a lot of new people – through my work here and through my husband. So as I’m letting go of some friendships, I’m reaching out for new ones.