The Age of Amazon

I can’t tell a lie dear internet: I have been thoroughly spoiled by Amazon and, more specifically, Amazon Prime. A few symptoms of this:

  • I routinely wait to purchase gifts for occasions until a few days before the event because, in my mind, shipping – all shipping – just takes a couple of days. Right?
  • When other websites charge me for shipping, I am inordinately annoyed. If Amazon can do it for free, why can’t others?
  • I’m always on the lookout for things that I can add to my Subscribe & Save items so that I can get a discount boost. I’m honestly going to be a little sad when the dumpling potty trains and I lose two of my staples (diapers and wipes).
  • I will definitely re-evaluate my color selection if I realize that the one I’ve chosen is regular delivery and a different one is available with free same-day delivery.
  • Actually going in to a store rarely crosses my mind now. Unless it’s Target. Love Target.

There are more symptoms, I’m sure. These are just the easy-to-document ones. I’ve become very dependent on Amazon for everything from diapers to duvets. However, there’s a downside.

Let me set the scene for you: your toddler goes through a brief, yet intense obsession with cramming your koozy into hiding spots. (And don’t laugh at me! I love my koozy.) Since you’ve been using the same koozy for over a decade, it’s a little… delicate. It doesn’t appreciate being so roughly loved on and starts to disintegrate. Literally. So you decide to get a new one. The problem is that the koozy market is saturated with flimsy replacements these days. You yearn for the “old days” of thick foam koozies when it hits you – Amazon! Sure enough, your search result yields a few viable options for old-school koozies (yes, it’s a thing, stop laughing). Amazing! A modern marvel! Huzzah!

Just to be safe, you start reading the reviews, nodding along and evaluating your choices. You decide you agree with the vast majority on the advantages of the thick foam style koozy and click purchase. Woo!

And then, it hits you: you really just read the reviews on koozies…. Reviews on koozies shaped your purchasing decision. Yeah.


Reviews are the best part and worst part about Amazon. Things I used to buy without hesitation or second-thought, things like toys and pillows and koozies, I now pore over the reviews for. I won’t buy items that haven’t been reviewed, even if it appears to be the same item (though, in the internet-age, that’s primarily to ward off knock-offs). I run items through Review Meta, a website that filters out obvious fake reviews. I can get so focused on the reviews, that I lose sight of the actual product.

A few months ago I decided I wanted an insulated tumbler glass. It was summer and we’d been visiting friend’s pools and several of the ladies had insulated, unbreakable glasses for their wine. Genius! I quickly started the hunt for one on Etsy, for personalization reasons, but quickly realized I could just buy one without my name on it. Done! I made the mistake of turning to Amazon though. This single move stalled my purchase for literally weeks as I hemmed and hawed and read reviews and reconsidered. All of this angst for a cup. I’d find a suitable style, only to read that people had problems with the lid fitting well. I’d find a different style and have my hopes dashed by reviewers with red wine stains from faulty seals. I’d spot yet another version and quickly come to my senses after innocent victims spoke of peeling color wraps – THE HORROR!!! And so, I flitted between choices and fretted over consequences like decision would decide the fate of hundreds of glasses of wine.

Finally, I took a step back and realized how ridiculous I was being. It’s a cup. It leaks some times. It’s like $15. If I don’t like it, I can try a different one or go back to my other glasses or just be my usual charming self who’s trying to explain to friends that this cup is awesome as long as you don’t have too much ice in it and you hold it at a certain angle and you wash it by hand and you only have drinks before moon rise because of the tidal forces and whatnot. Damn tidal forces, ruining a perfectly good cup.

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T-minus three days

I typed that title out an hour ago and then promptly got distracted by a pre-departure task. So yeah, that’s about how my mind is going right now.


And that sentence was written literally 90 minutes ago, so double yeah! Doing great so far!

But I’m here now, hopefully to finish this post out because I have a very important topic for discussion: periods and vacation or how I’ll probably end up getting blood on all of my outfits in the middle of Rome.

[TMI heads-up: I mean, you just read my topic of discussion, so steer clear if you are so inclined…. er…. disinclined.]

Here’s the deal. Before Luffy and I decided to get pregnant, I was on the pill. For nine-ish years. Remembering to take a pill every day is beyond annoying, but one HUGE advantage of being on the pill is knowing exactly when your period is going to show up. That and “scheduling” your period around things. Going out of town that weekend? Got a big event? Don’t feel like risking leaks during your final presentation? Psh, grab the next pack and save your placebo ones for afterwards. So, I’ve never actually had to deal with having my period while on vacation. I have never prayed for my period to start now, now, NOW like right now (except for maybe the two pregnancy scares I’ve had in my lifetime). If I could just get the first couple of days over with, I wouldn’t even mind dealing with the tail end while we’re gone.

You see, after I had a child, my flow has changed. [Hmmmmm Belle, I know you gave me a TMI warning but good gracious, are you really going to talk about this??? < you, probably] But for reals, it has. The first day is low to moderate, just enough to break out the tampons/menstrual cup. Then, the second day. Well, you’d think my body had decided to get the whole thing over with in one day. I bleed so much. SO much. Like, more than that, SO SO MUCH. It still catches me by surprise, even after a full year of dealing with it. A couple of months ago, we decided to go check out my new office (before we had officially moved in) and go to the Children’s Museum while we were downtown. It was the second day of my period. I was wearing a dress and it is the only time, in my entire life barring my very first period, that I’ve leaked so badly. I went to change my tampon in the museum’s bathroom and was horrified to see blood all over my thighs and the back of my dress. I’ll spare you the details [hahahaha, too late], but it was embarrassing. I’m a thirty-year-old woman, how on earth are periods still surprising me?!

So yeah, that combined with the whole pay-to-use-the-bathroom thing has me terrified of being on the second day of my period while travelling. But, my body’s been falling into a shorter/longer cycle of, er, cycles and this one is due to be a “longer” one. Plus, I’ve gone and written about it, which means that I’m probably damning myself to getting my period while over the Atlantic ocean or while on an all-day boat tour or something equally horrific. Wish me luck!

T-minus six days and counting

Luffy and I leave for Italy in exactly a week, which means we have six days of prep left.

We’re in the annoying stage where it’s too early to begin packing, yet I have nothing running through my head except lists and lists of things to pack. I’ve compromised by starting to set things aside in my closet for packing.

I am SO excited and yet SO not ready. I mean, a week with Luffy in Italy! And yet, a week without my sweet dumpling. And yet, a blissful week of not catering to a toddler’s whims and demands! And yet, a week without toddler hugs and bedtime songs. How on earth am I going to separate from the dumpling at the airport next week?


One frivolous thing that I’m struggling with in the face of this vacation is fashion. I think part of it is that we’re travelling with friends (did I mention them last time? I can’t remember….) and the female of this couple is so stylish. She’s one of those ladies that just seems to be effortlessly put together, all of the time (which is like the exact opposite of myself). If I may channel my inner Taylor Swift, she wears dresses, trendy, yet sophisticated blouses and on-point boots. I’m more of a these-shorts-from-college-still-fit-so-I-guess-they’ll-do and sneakers kinda gal. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with my classic, sensible sense of “style” it’s just that I’d like to feel breezy and sophisticated while sitting next to her sipping a spritz.

I have no problem shopping around for adorable jumpsuits or floaty dresses; my problem is the fact that I’ll never, ever wear that jumpsuit again. At least probably not. Jumpsuits and crop tops aren’t really advantageous when chasing a toddler around. So why purchase it just for vacation?

I tried to get over this by shopping at Target ( figuring it would at least be reasonably inexpensive there). I found the most adorable jumpsuit, which was exactly the style that I was going for. Except that it was about two inches too long and made me look a little pregnant. I also found a little dress that I wanted so, so badly. Unfortunately, I’m just a bit too short for it and the true wrap nature of the dress left one of my breasts with like an 85% chance of making an appearance. While Luffy would definitely appreciate this feature, it isn’t the sort of thing that would leave me feeling easy and breezy. It was definitely a bust (see what I did there?!). They have so much more selection online, but I’m hesitant to partake given these two items were adorable on the rack and absolutely not right for me when I put them on. I know, I know – first world problems, right?

A random bag of Christmas

GUYS! Guys!

Ok, so let me back up to like an hour ago. The sky is heavily overcast, so it’s pretty dark out. I get home from my usual Monday night exercise class to find that Luffy is swamped with work. I offer to go pick up our usual Monday meal – Jersey Mike’s – so that he can work some more. After a quick shower, I head back out again. I’m two houses down when I glimpse something through the window of a house.

A Christmas tree.

??????? 

I know right?! I had the same reaction. I mean, it’s September, so I feel like it’s a bit early to be putting up your Christmas tree. Or does this mean that they never took it down and it’s been up for the past nine months? Do they ever take it down? I mean, I guess I can see not taking down exterior lights in between seasons, but not taking down your tree? Isn’t it in the way? Or does it become part of your decoration? It kind of has to right, it’s not exactly inconspicuous.

I finally settled on giving them the benefit of the doubt: perhaps they put their tree up over the weekend so that they could take some holiday photos for holiday cards. Just because I think that’s way too much work for some measly holiday cards, doesn’t mean they feel the same.

Anyway, it baffled me so much that I slowed down on my way back (with our dinner!) to confirm that I had indeed seen a Christmas tree through the window. Yup. It’s Christmas in September I guess.


My office stocks a couple of little candy dishes in the conference rooms. Little miniature chocolates and fun size candy bars. Every once in a while I’ll have something, but since Luffy and I are obsessed with Lindt chocolate, nothing quite compares on the chocolate front.

Today, I discovered that they now have peanut butter M&M’s. I really, really wished I hadn’t found that out as peanut butter M&M’s are my weakness. My only saving grace is that the conference rooms are off by themselves. It’s super obvious when someone goes to get candy because that’s the only reason to be over there. Since I’ve established myself as the healthy eater, I have to maintain appearances and I can’t just be grabbing candy. Whew. 


I’m enjoying reading through a few of my favorite books again. I used to use my iPad for books and had accumulated about 50 or so titles there. I recently transferred several of them to my Kindle, including a few of my absolute favorites.

I am, however, deeply annoyed that I can’t move everything. All the titles that were purchased through iBooks are firmly encrypted with Apple’s DRM technology. While I understand the need for data rights management, I’m so frustrated that I can’t read my own books on the device of my choosing. The only reason I have a few titles that are DRM-free is because I used to have a Sony eReader and I wanted to transfer those books to my iPad. Luffy busted the DRM on those at the time, leaving me with usable copies. Now though, Apple has really tightened their security and I can’t un-encrypt anything I’ve purchased through them.

Booooo.


I don’t think I’ve mentioned it anywhere, but Luffy and I are getting ready to go on a pretty amazing trip.

It all started because some dear friends of ours are getting married in Ireland and you don’t just go to Ireland for the weekend. So, we heading over a week early and spending some time in Italy. Our fifth anniversary just so happens to fall in that week, so we’ll celebrate our fifth in Rome!

On one hand, I am so freaking excited I can hardly stand it. We love to travel and we haven’t done any proper travelling since I got pregnant. I can’t wait to spend some time with just Luffy. We’re going to have an wonderful time, I just know it.

And yet, I’m also not looking forward to it because the dumpling is staying here. My mom is going to stay with  him, here at our house. We’re doing everything we can think of to help him out. My mom is taking him to daycare each day, to try to keep his routine as normal as possible. I’m going to make him a little calendar of sorts, to mark off the days until we return. (We actually got to practice this when Luffy went out of town!) We’re going to video chat with him each day, unless it seems like the calls do more damage than good. Just this evening, Luffy suggested that we make some videos of us singing to his favorite songs.

So yeah, on the one hand I am so, SO, SOSOSOSOSO ready for Italy and vacation. And on the other, I just don’t know how I’m going to say goodbye.

Of Football and Fall

Luffy and I watched our first football game of the season last night. It was (I believe) the first Thursday-night football game of the season and Luffy and I tuned in after I made dinner. I can’t tell you who was playing or what the score was. I can’t tell you about plays or points or suspenseful moments. What I can tell you about is the feeling of satisfaction that envelopes me when I hear the commentator’s familiar voice or listen to the sounds of the game.

That’s the thing: I don’t necessarily love football, but I do love when it’s on. It reminds me of fall and winter. Of cozy nights, curled up under a blanket. Of relaxed Sundays, with the crisp light of December filtering in through the windows. Of jeans and sweaters. Of friendly gatherings with beer and BBQ. Oh, such happy times.

I’m always glad when it’s football season again.

Mishmosh

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.

Back at the barre

So I think it’s likely that I’ve mentioned that I used to dance when I was younger. I’ve taken at least ballet and tap since I was five years old and continued all the way through college. I taught dance as well, to three-year-olds through sixteen-year-olds. It was fun and I really enjoyed that period of my life. I recently had my parents bring my recital DVD’s to me so that I could re-watch a few numbers I had been thinking about. I spent a happy afternoon skipping through the years.

I haven’t danced though since I moved to Dallas. I’ve had my mind set on an adult tap class every once in a while, only to find the only options out of sync with my schedule (right in the middle of the dumpling’s bedtime, for instance, or at like 9pm, which no thank you). Back when Luffy and I lived in the White Rock area, there was a dance studio a few minutes from our house. It offered ballet classes for adults and I was all pumped on signing up. And then we moved. I shelved the idea of dance class for a later time.


Now that the dumpling is a little older, I’ve been meaning to fill in my workout schedule a bit more. Pre-baby, I used to teach 3-4 times a week, along with taking a 2 mile walk most mornings with Luffy. Now I teach twice a week, and we get a mile walk in when we can. (It hasn’t helped that DFW has been hotter than usual this summer, with numerous 100+ degree days.) I’d been thinking about what I could do to fill the gap when we got a flyer in the mail for a local barre exercise class.

When I checked their schedule online, I found that they conveniently had an 11:30am class on the days I work from home. This way, I could work out at my lunch hour* and be able to actually keep it within an hour. I took the plunge and attended my first class a couple of weeks ago.

I love it! It feels great to get another workout in. It also feels fantastic to be back at the barre, with relevés and turn-outs. It feels like coming home, as cheesy as that sounds. The work out targets my glutes and abs, which I really like. It’s mainly a strength workout, so I think it complements my current aerobic workout really well.

The only drawback to this class is the price. Holy cats is it expensive. I know I’m biased, considering my current workout routine costs me nothing, but WOW. It’s far more than I’m willing to spend, so, unfortunately, I’ll be saying goodbye once my promo month is over. Boo. Luckily for me, there seem to be no shortage of barre inspired classes in the market these days. Hopefully I can find another one that I love just as much.

*Am I the only female who totally envies men and their ability to work out at lunch? I would love to be able to hit the gym for 45-50 minutes, hop in the shower, then be back at my desk within a reasonable stretch of the lunch “hour.” Must be nice.