Posts Tagged ‘family’

Dear Baby,

Get out.

I’m sorry, that was rude. You’re new here (or, at least, you will be), so maybe you don’t know the rules yet.

When someone invites you over (with an expected end date), feeds you, houses you, and doesn’t complain (much) when you kick them in the ribs or squeeze their bladder, it’s only polite to leave at the appropriate time.

Maybe you’re nervous about the next steps, or maybe you’re just incredibly comfortable, which is all understandable. And that’s why most hosts, myself included, will be flexible with a day or two.

A full week is pushing it, my friend.

I am tired. I am tired of lugging around 30+ extra pounds, and running out of breath going up and down the stairs.

At this point, I would gladly trade waking up in the middle of the night to feed you, for the current situation of waking up multiple times to pee.

I’d like to be able to stand up from the couch, without needing a nudge from your father.

And I’d love to be able to walk anywhere without waddling.

But mostly, Baby, I just want to meet you. So does Husband; so does Manny, though, in fairness, he might think you’re a toy at first.

See? He's anxiously awaiting your arrival.

See? He’s anxiously awaiting your arrival.

You also have two grandparents already here to meet you, and one on her way shortly. And you do not want to keep any of them waiting.

I know it’s been a long, cold, snowy winter. And maybe you’re just making sure that spring is real before you make your debut. Maybe you’re waiting until the Phillies have a winning record (don’t – we don’t have that long), or until Manny’s birthday, so you can always share a party. (I wouldn’t recommend it, though – he’ll always go after your cake.)

But I want you to know we’re ready for you. As ready as we’ll ever be.

And there are countless friends and family members (pets included) who are also anxious to meet you and sniff you and hold you and love you.

So don’t think of this as an eviction notice, but as a gentle nudge toward the outside world.

I promise it’s not so bad out here.

I already love you,


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I wish I had recorded this phone conversation and could share it that way, but this is the next best thing. It’s not exactly word-for-word, but it’s pretty damn close.

It all started with me updating my mom on our baby preparation.

Me: And we have an appointment tomorrow to get the car seat inspected.

Mama: You have to get it inspected? Why?

Me: You don’t have to, but to make sure it’s installed right. Make sure it’s not too loose, all of that.

Mama: We never got our car seats inspected. They just trusted we knew how to do it. And you only fell out once.

Me: What? When?

Mama: I don’t know. I was in a hurry. Maybe I didn’t buckle you in right, or maybe the seat was loose. But I noticed eventually when you were on the floor in the backseat.

Me: Oh, good. Was this when you hit the guardrail?

Mama: No, that was a different time. You didn’t fall out then.

***at another point in the conversation***

Me: And we got a mirror so we can see what’s going on with him when he’s in the car seat.

Mama: That’s what the rearview mirror is for.

Me: Yes, but that doesn’t work when they’re rear-facing.

Mama: What?! They’re rear-facing? Since when? And why? How am I supposed to notice when you’re eating pennies or sticking them up your nose?

Me: That’s what the backseat mirror is for!

***and later on, referencing the permanent bump on my head***

Mama: I know when you got that bump.

Me: You told me you weren’t sure.

Mama: Well, it could have been any number of times. You did a lot of face plants, and none of them had to do with a car seat being too loose.

Me: Not even when I fell out?

Mama: You didn’t fall on your head that time.

Me: On that note, I know you have baby gates, so how is it possible that I went down the stairs in my walker? (one of my many face plants)

Mama: I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t put the gate up. Maybe I thought you couldn’t reach it. Or maybe you moved it.

Me: So you underestimated me?

Mama: Constantly.

So I’ve fallen out of my un-inspected, forward-facing car seat, presumably stuck pennies up my nose, done multiple face plants, and removed baby gates from my path. And I’m fine.

I can’t say that I wish these things for my son, but at least I know that he’ll survive.

And we’re still getting the seat inspected.

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As soon as we solidified our plans for going to Nepal, I knew that 2013 would be a big year in terms of adventures.

Traveling halfway around the world to work with kids and live with strangers in a completely different culture and environment? That’s practically the definition of adventure.



Tack on a trip to India (and the headache of getting there), and you’d think we had enough adventure in the first 5 months of 2013 to be set for the rest of the year.


But wait, there’s more.

In June, nearly as soon as we got back, we celebrated two friends getting married (and had two more weddings scheduled for July and August).

In July, we decided it was time to buy a house.


And then we found out we were pregnant.

In September we marveled at all the crap we’d accumulated in the apartment as we hauled it all off to the house, and we settled into our new roles as homeowners.

In October we had our first real taste of suburbia with trick-or-treaters, and in November we dove even deeper into the suburban lifestyle and adopted Manny (and, I should add, bought an SUV, because I’m not sure you’re allowed to live in the suburbs without one).


Now, as December winds down and transitions into the new year, our little family of three is anxiously awaiting its newest member – the baby boy that will be the biggest adventure of 2014.


And I couldn’t be more excited to see what else the upcoming year has in store.

As long as I can enjoy it on minimal sleep.

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I’ve never shared my maiden name on this blog – perhaps because I’m still trying to maintain the illusion of some privacy – but I can tell you that it is unique. Chances are, if you know it, I’m the only one you know with it – or, at least, my family is.

My maiden name is also fairly long, and gave friends and teachers a run for their money in trying to pronounce it as I was growing up – all of which led to an inevitable nickname.

Early on in my junior year in high school, a particularly scatter-brained teacher took one look at me, one look at my name on roll call (which he’d already been using for the first few weeks of the year), and asked me, incredulously, “What’s your name again?

And before my shy, 16-year-old self could pipe up, Chris, in the desk next to mine, chimed in: “Her name’s Epod.

(I know what you’re thinking. No, iPods had not been released yet. I promise you.)

The teacher nodded distractedly and went back to roll call. Apparently Epod was much easier to remember than my full name, because he didn’t ask again for the rest of the year. And not only did the nickname stick, but it spread. Not just to friends, but to other teachers, too.

And then it spread to groups outside of high school, even without my introducing it. First my camp friends started calling me Epod, and then it somehow found its way first to college, then to DC.

My parents even used it on the sign they made, when they visited for my first half-marathon. But that might have been a space issue, too.

I was never bothered by it. As far as nicknames go, Epod’s pretty tame.

I just never realized how attached other people got to it.

The most prevalent question I got after the wedding had nothing to do with how the wedding went, what married life was like, or even about the honeymoon.

It was, far and away: “Wait! If you’re changing your name, can we still call you Epod?

Honestly, it never even occurred to me that anyone would stop.

Besides, do you know how hard it is to break a nickname habit?

I don’t think I could change it if I wanted to.

So it’s a good thing I don’t.

*There’s still sometimes confusion. Most recently when a leader at camp came up to ask me a question, and had apparently misunderstood the nickname. That’ll happen.

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When I was younger, I used to get a little bit embarrassed by my dad.

(Sorry, Daddy.)

  • It wasn’t because he answered our home phone with, “City Morgue, how can I help you?” or “Pizza delivery!
  • It wasn’t because he made the same “punny” jokes over and over.
  • And it wasn’t because of the numerous nicknames he called me (most of which I actually like).

It was because of his sports spectating style. Softball specifically.

Let’s keep two things in mind:

1) My dad has been playing baseball or softball pretty much his entire life. He’s clearly familiar with the rules. He knows he’s right.

2) The slow-pitch league I was in was for girls about 8 to 10 years old, I believe. It wasn’t known for being overly intense.

Enter Daddy.

From any position on the field I could hear him arguing with the umpire over balls and strikes. I could hear him arguing the merits of playing with the infield fly rule. I could hear our coaches asking him to sit down, please.

And, on several occasions, I could hear the umpire warning him that he was close to being tossed.

On those occasions I would see him bite his tongue and stalk away, contenting himself to watch the rest of the game from outside the fence, where he could yell freely.

Remembering that, and knowing my own competitive streak and tendency toward argument, I’ve promised myself that I wouldn’t do that to my future children. But I may have spoken too soon.

Last night I went to my husband’s (!!) baseball game and found myself moderately channeling my father. I vehemently disagreed with certain balls and strikes, and was yelling, “That’s b- !” before I remembered that I was sitting next to two children.

I grumbled about certain plays that should have been outs and paced in the stands from about the 6th inning on. Unlike my father, I didn’t speak with the umpire directly, but I also try to avoid confrontation in general.

Confrontation aside, I fear that I could eventually be *that* parent.

It’s possible that this will all be a moot point, and that when it’s my kids I’ll just enjoy the game and not worry about the missed calls or ridiculous strike zones.

But based on family history, I highly doubt it.

*I should note, just for clarity, that I would never ever yell at the kids themselves. And you can bet my inner Mama Bear would come out if any other parent did. Like this.

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Remember all that worry? All that stress?

Turns out, it was completely unnecessary.

The whole day went smoother than I ever could have imagined, and I learned that at least one “warning” we received was true: the whole celebration simply flew by.

The ceremony went so quickly that I didn’t know why I had ever worried about its length in the first place.

And the reception was the party we’d hoped it would be and more. With the exception of dinner, the dance floor was never empty, and the energy level was incredible.

Leading up to the wedding, friends told us…

…the whole day will be a blur. And it was.

…only you will know if something doesn’t go according to plan. True.

…make sure you get a chance to see the ballroom before the reception starts. So we did.

…take a minute to be together alone between the ceremony and the reception. So we did that as well.

…you won’t get to eat, so don’t expect to. Surprise! You should have seen the way we scarfed down our salmon. (The cake I ate standing up, partly because someone took my chair, but also because sitting to eat would have taken too much time out of my dancing.)

Before we knew it the DJ (who was amazing!) was calling everyone out onto the floor for the last dance, and the hotel staff was clearing off the tables.

So, naturally, we hopped across the lobby for an after party at the hotel bar, and stayed until well after the bartenders left.

There’s another pearl of wisdom that rang true: the adrenaline rush. Normally I’d be exhausted staying out until 3am. But not this time.

This time, it worked.

This time, everything worked absolutely perfectly.

*Photo credits: Facebook friends.

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Remember that stress I was telling you about? Well, I wish I could say it had subsided, but I’d be lying.

And apparently I’m not very good at hiding it either. BNF told me this morning that my face looked like “a bundle of nerves,” which, I suppose, is technically accurate, too.

(Side note: I wish my face also showed him how excited I am. But apparently it can’t multi-task.)

I’ve found that when it comes to wedding stress, like with most things, you can divide reactions into two categories.

First, you have the traditionally supportive group. These are the friends, co-workers, and parents who ask you how you’re doing. And they accept it when you say, “Everything’s going great – I really feel okay.” But they’re also not surprised when you go on a ten minute rant about all the little things that you know no one is going to notice but you.

In fact, sometimes they tell you, “I think you needed that. You looked too calm.

And then you have the other group, who likes to “lighten the mood.”

These are the friends and family who joke, wouldn’t it be funny if [nightmare x] happened? Or, wouldn’t it be funny if so-and-so stood up during the ceremonyI could totally see that happening!

Or, the text message I received from my younger brother (an usher for the wedding) yesterday.

They scheduled me [at work] over the weekend i cant make it…sorry.

Now, did I, for one second, believe that it was true? Of course not.

Do I want to smack him anyway? Maybe just a little bit.

Will it stop him from making jokes right up until the ceremony?

Not a chance.

I just hope he remembers this when it’s his turn.

*A coworker shared her favorite piece of advice: “‘Worry until Thursday,’ because after that you really can’t change much. You just have to let it happen.” So that has been my mantra. 

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My dad is 71 (you’d never guess it, though), and I’ve realized fairly recently that I don’t know nearly enough of his stories.

I know about our family, yes, but I don’t know his stories. The fun stuff.

I don’t know the craziest thing he’s ever done.

I don’t know who his best friends were (or are).

I don’t know what he’s most proud of.

And until recently, I didn’t know something as simple as who his favorite baseball team was growing up.

Usually, when I call home, I talk to my mom. We talk about anything and everything at length, and she humors me, even though I know that I’m the one dragging the conversation out.

When I talk to my dad, it’s usually about sports. Depending on the season, we’ll dissect what the Eagles or, right now, the Phillies are doing wrong. I’ll rant about Kendrick and Qualls as he listens patiently. And though I knew he grew up in New York, rooting for “anyone but the Yankees,” I never actually knew who his longtime favorite was.

So when he and my mom came down for my graduation, and we spent the day walking around Arlington National Cemetery, I took the time and simply asked.

The Cincinnati Reds,” he replied.

I wracked my brain to think of the connection, but couldn’t come up with one.

Why the Reds?

He thought for a moment before answering. He always does, and his answers are more intentional that way.

Maybe because they were really great while I was growing up. [beat] Or maybe because they were the ones who recruited me.

I’m slow sometimes.

Recruited you to do what?

To play. In 1959 they offered me a signing bonus to come up through their system.

As you might expect, I had a million questions, not least of which was, how have I never heard this before?

I guess the short answer would be because he didn’t take the offer. But the fact that something so amazing, so potentially life-altering, is in his history and I had absolutely no idea is mind-boggling to me.

It makes me wonder what other stories he has hidden up his sleeve.

And now seems as good a time as any to ask him.

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And still with the same propensity for bright colored graduation shoes:

This weekend was amazing. I felt so incredibly lucky to have my parents, BNF, and so many friends come out and celebrate with me.

If you start in the middle and work around, the cupcakes read “Congrats Epod,” courtesy of MJ! Those cupcakes were in high demand at the bar.

The past two years have both dragged on and flown by, if that makes any sense. And while I’m glad I went back for my degree, I can’t say that I’ll miss being a student.

Remember future-Elizabeth, we’re done with school now.

Cheers to that!

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My semester is almost over.

In fact, I have just 13 pages left to write, for 2 papers, over the course of the next 4 days.

If you remember, last year I celebrated the end of fall semester finals with a trip to Puerto Rico. Admittedly, that would be hard to top. We left the morning after my last final, and spent just over a week relaxing on the beach.

This year, we’re leaving approximately seven hours after I turn my papers in and going to Argentina for two weeks!

Not only will it be warm – think low 80s – but I’ll also be able to check a few more things off my list: reading for pleasure, traveling abroad, and hablando español. Plus, I’ll get to meet more of BNF’s family!

When I went to Buenos Aires with Cla, we had a blast. We played tourist, shopped, ate, saw tango shows – and we did it all using my high school Spanish and a college friend we had down there.

We took a photo outside our favorite heladeria, so we'd remember where it was.

It was a learning experience.

This time, not only have I been practicing, but I also have BNF and his family to translate – or to at least repeat phrases a little bit slower.

If nothing else, I know that I can shop and order food on my own.

That has to count for something.

Now, just a few more days…

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