Blrgh

I’m sick. Le boo. Made it 38 days into the new year, so I guess that’s good. Honestly though, there was nothing I could do because it was literally 80 degrees here on Monday and now it’s 36. It started on Monday with what I swear was a tickle in my right sinus. I attacked it with all I had (antihistamine spray, steroid spray, and sinus wash) as soon as I got home and Tuesday seemed to go ok. But I woke up in the wee hours of Wednesday morning with excruciating sinus pain on my right side.

Yesterday went pretty well too, after I took some meds at 2am. The decongestant kept me clear all day. Today… not so much. The pressure has pushed out towards my ears now. I’m stuffy, even with a decongestant. I couldn’t even use my sinus rinse because it’s just completely blocked off.

So anyway, great fun here. I’m really hoping to feel better before the weekend because keeping up with the dumpling while I feel like this would not be fun.


On a completely different note, sometimes I love browsing through Facebook. I mean, most of the time it can feel like a cesspool of MLM’s and political rants. I don’t know about you, but I definitely utilize their option to unfollow people. I don’t need to see your re-posts of off-color humor.

What I do find fascinating though, is stumbling across high school or childhood friends. It is SO interesting to see how people end up sometimes. When we were little, they seemed so normal, so average. One of my friends from high school is a hardcore granola mom now. She talks about her home birth, her essential oil habits, and more. Just today, she posted a video from YouTube about the dangers of the new 5G network. Yes, you read that right, dangers of 5G. I chuckled to myself and moved on.

And then there are the people that just … wow. Wow. They seem to take a nosedive off of rational thought and right into the deep end of the crazy pool. Anti-vaxxers, for instance. The daughter of one of my role models is an anti-vaxxer and I truly can’t fathom that. Her mother was so kind and smart; how could the daughter not “believe” in vaccines? She also seems to be very racist and extremely political. Believe me, I unfollowed her as soon as I could, but I’m still can’t believe it.


Well, that’s all today folks. Just gotta power through the rest of the work day so that I can take it easy and hopefully get to feeling better.

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Waiting game

We’re in a holding pattern – the all familiar waiting game. To be fair to myself, it’s far too early to start worrying about the fact that I haven’t ovulated yet. I myself said, not four weeks ago, that my cycle is very irregular. So I’ll sit tight. And wait.

In the meantime, I have things to tell you! Random things! Hooray for you!


Every time I make the commute into downtown Dallas I am oh so glad that I only make the drive twice a week now. I truly feel that traffic has only gotten worse in the five years that we’ve lived in the ‘burbs. I talked about this subject with on of my partners just the other day, so I feel pretty confident that it’s not just me.

For instance, Monday morning was a drive like any other. No major accidents or unusual traffic jams and it still took me 50 minutes to drive from garage to garage. 50 minutes! When I think about what I could be doing in that 50 minutes, it drives me crazy. Then, on the same Monday, on my way home from exercise, I hit an accident. At 8pm at night traffic was less dense than daytime, but it still held me up an extra 5-10 minutes. I realize that I’m biased because I grew up in a town where you can literally get anywhere in 10 minutes or so, but DFW area traffic is insane.


My little dumpling is currently obsessed with throwing things up over his head to have them shower down (think leaves, woodchips, etc). It’s adorable. I should also probably be less inclined to brag over this, but he’s also obsessed with a specific episode of Dinosaur Train (the one with the allosaurus) and Daniel Tiger (the one with the leaf walk). He asks for them each time and it’s precious.


I was gathering up the recycling this morning. The first dump into the large bin is always quite loud, considering all of the cans and glass. It sometimes scares the dumpling, but this morning, after the din of of empty drink containers had subsided, he called out to me from the living room:

You ok mama?

Precious baby.


Our insurance claim work has finally been wrapped up. Hooray! We have a new roof, new gutters, a refinished garage ceiling (at least the corner), and a new window. I’m glad that it’s all done, as I kept having to adjust my schedule to accommodate the subcontractors. My hope for 2019 is that nothing major breaks this year. 2018 was a little expensive.


One way I can tell I’m getting older: my body hurts more. I used to be able to sit in any position – legs crossed, legs folded, split, practically upside-down – for any length of time and be truly comfortable. I could hold the dumpling in my lap indefinitely. I could sit on our hardwood floors without a care in the world. Now, at 31, I admit defeat. I’m finding that I become uncomfortable quickly. My legs fall asleep. The dumpling sits heavy on my leg and I can no longer accommodate him. Although it’s not a big deal, I’m truly disappointed to say goodbye to my previous flexibility in comfort.


And that’s it, I think. A round-up of random thoughts. Happy hump-day everyone!

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.

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.