Posts Tagged ‘i swear i’m not really an idiot’

Me: When you see a road labeled “business” what does that mean to you?

Husband: It’s like having a local or express lane.

Me: Right, but which one would it be?

Husband: Local. Why?

Me: Oh…well, in my head, the business lane was always the express lane. Because I always imagined that if you’re on business, you want to get there faster.

Husband: No…[many jokes involving the phrase, “Out of my way! I mean business!”] but I love the way your brain works.


And I can’t even blame this one on pregnancy brain.

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Recently I’ve been wondering where the time has gone.

There were times when it felt like it was taking forever to get pregnant in the first place.

And then, once we found out we were, that first trimester of not making it public seemed to drag on and on. How do you sit on a secret that big?

Then I hit the second trimester, regained some energy, started showing, and found out that the little tumbler inside my belly is a boy. Everything became a little more real, and even more exciting.

But now we have about 11 weeks left, and I’ve entered the freak-out stage.

I’m still excited, don’t get me wrong, but I’m also keenly aware that I will have a human coming out of my body just a little bit later this year. And I (and Husband) will be responsible for his life.

And, as I said to a friend who has two beautiful little girls, despite all my confidence and experience caring for other people’s children, all of a sudden I’m terrified that I’ll do it wrong with my own.

She assured me that babies are tough to mess up, and that parenting is a process, but still I worry.

  • I worry about breastfeeding (especially after reading this article).
  • I worry about having the “right” bottles or diapers or swaddling blankets – none of which I can test out before he gets here.
  • I worry about knowing how to take care of him and making sure we get him to all the appropriate check-ups and appointments.
  • I worry about becoming so sleep-deprived that I can’t focus on conversations, or so consumed that I can’t talk about anything else (kind of like I’m doing now).

I worry about many, many things, and then I worry about more.

But at the end of the conversation, Mom-friend said this:

You just have to come to terms with the fact that something is going to have to give. Your house might not be clean, you might not have clean underwear, and you might have stale bread – but you will have a happy home filled with people you love and so the rest doesn’t matter.

So, for the next 11 weeks, I will attempt to commit that to memory, and try to breathe and stay calm.

And I will also buy extra underwear. Just in case.

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The past few days have really tested our homeownership abilities.

  • Saturday morning, we found that no water was coming out of the hot water tap in the kitchen. Cold water was flowing fine, and there was hot water in the rest of the house, so we were really only surprised, not concerned. (Plus, hot water came back later that afternoon. Crisis averted!)
  • Saturday evening, the baking element in the electric oven caught on fire, right at the tail end of cooking dinner. We turned off the oven, turned off the breakers, and waited for it to die out. And then we saw that the fire had burned right through the coil, so the oven was out of commission until we could replace it (which Husband did very handily on Monday).
  • Monday evening, we discovered that the dishwasher was somehow clogged. There were several inches of standing water in the bottom, and despite Husband taking all the necessary pieces out and suctioning up all the water, there was no obvious blockage.
  • Which leads me to Tuesday morning, when we discovered that the kitchen pipes were both completely frozen – and still are.

We (and by we, I mean Husband again) have insulated the pipes, but the insulation appears to be no match for the frigid temperatures in the area. And friends have suggested that the frozen kitchen pipes are also what’s causing the dishwasher clog.

It’s like a two-for-one deal that you never actually wanted.

But the good news is that we can still cook in the kitchen. The oven is fixed and fine, and there have been no fires since Saturday. (Knock on wood.)

The bad news is that we can’t clean anything, unless we fill up buckets with water from the bathroom sink and cart them in.

And through all of these things, I’m very aware that our issues could be much much worse. But I’m still left thinking, who in the hell let us buy a house?

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The day I officially found out I was pregnant (blood test, not pee sticks) I forgot to put on deodorant, forgot to take my prenatal vitamin, and forgot my keys during an afternoon trip back to the apartment.

The next day I forgot my lunch and, apparently, my balance, considering I full-on crashed into a lady on the bus.

The following night I asked Husband the same question multiple times in a row. Not because he didn’t answer me the first time, but because I couldn’t remember a) if I’d asked out loud, or b) what he’d said.

It felt like my brain and body had heard this rumor about “pregnancy brain” and just decided to run with it. It’s like they were in cahoots, saying, “You know what will be great? Let’s fuck with her memory. And while we’re at it, let’s make her a klutz!

So now, instead of just feeling pregnant, I also feel a little bit like a grandma.

I take extra time in the morning, checking and double checking my bag to make sure I have my lunch.

I do multiple sniff tests (and sometimes get Husband in on the fun – that’s how you know it’s love) before I leave for work to make sure I’ve put on deodorant. And then I put on some more, just in case.

I don’t go anywhere without visually making sure my keys are on my person.

I try to make sure that I’m always holding on to something – especially if I’m in a moving vehicle.

I miss my once-solid memory.

It’s gotten a little better in the past few weeks.

I haven’t fallen on anybody recently, and I haven’t forgotten my keys or my lunch.

But I still do the sniff test every morning, and keep an extra stick of deodorant in my desk drawer.

Just in case.

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Husband and I were talking a while back about the fact that a friend of ours had asked me to pass along his hello to someone else. (Follow all that?)

Why? Does he like her or something?

Not like that,” I replied. “She’s an adult.

Well, what does that make us?

Oh. Good point.

I seem to be stuck in the thinking that everyone older than me is an adult, and everyone younger is a kid. It’s incredibly self-centered and simplified, and not really accurate.

But is there a word for being in your 20s and 30s? Or rather, is there a word to distinguish that age group from people in their 40s and 50s? And that age group from older ones, and so on, and so forth?

Sometimes the age differences – particularly regarding life experience – seem vast, necessitating a way to differentiate.

But other times, age is truly just a number.

So maybe it’s the terminology.

Maybe it’s the mindset.

Or maybe I just need to get more sleep and stop overthinking adulthood.

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Years ago – when I was old enough to know better, but still prone to stupid mistakes – my parents left me at home with a friend while they participated in a progressive dinner. They were hosting the main course, so they’d be back eventually, and my only instructions were not to touch the pot roast that was cooking upstairs.

No problem.

Cara and I were downstairs watching a movie when we got hungry and decided to make ramen. To this day, I’m not sure why I didn’t just pause the movie, go upstairs, and make the soup. But then again, hindsight is 20/20.

I decided to boil water in the downstairs microwave, which was situated so that I could still see the TV.

The next thing I knew there was a fire in the microwave.

You see, the “still prone to stupid mistakes” part of me didn’t think about the fact that I had used a metal pot – with a plastic handle – to boil the water.

It was the handle that caught on fire and was slowly burning up, blackening the formerly white microwave and stinking up the entire downstairs.

I grabbed the first thing I could find – a ladle – and tried to fill it up with water to toss on the flames. Cara, the calmer of the two of us, pointed out that the bowl (next to the ladle) would hold more water.

Good point.

We safely extinguished the fire and nervously waited for my parents to get home. Even if I could have hidden the microwave, there was no hiding the smell.

I remember wondering just how mad my parents would be, and what they’d say when they walked through the door.

First words from Mama:

Whatever happened, that better not be the pot roast.

I thought there’d be more, but they had company coming, so my microwave-shenanigans weren’t fully addressed that night.

Fast forward a few weeks to Christmas morning, opening our stockings.

My mom has always been an expert stocking stuffer. She manages to find the perfect mix of fun doodads and incredibly useful things that you didn’t know you needed until you open them. But always smaller, lighter things (and each individually wrapped, to make it more fun).

My stocking that year, however, was fully weighed down in the toe and as I made my way through the rest I was both excited and curious.

The last thing I pulled out – the heavy thing – was probably about seven inches tall and cylindrical. And I couldn’t even begin to guess as to what it was.

I certainly wasn’t expecting the huge can of heavy duty microwave cleaner. Though maybe I should have been.

I imagine that my mom must have been smirking as I pulled off the wrapping, but I don’t remember that for a fact.

I do know that, given the damage I did to the microwave, and the smell that permeated the house for at least a week, I was lucky that the cleaner wasn’t the only thing in my stocking that year.

And no, I haven’t boiled water in the microwave since.

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I don’t do a lot of research before I set my birthday goals. They’re kind of a gut decision – things I want to do, ideas I’ve had. That kind of thing.

So when I added “Take a bike ride out to Mount Vernon,” I wasn’t thinking of how far it was, I was thinking, A bike ride! That sounds lovely!

Turns out, it was beautiful, but I don’t know if I’d call it lovely.

You see, Mount Vernon is about 20 miles (a little more, as we found out) away from the apartment.

The longest ride I’d ever done was also about 20 miles – and that included a wipeout.

I did not think about these things in conjunction until we were already on our way to Mount Vernon.

Husband had done the Mount-Vernon-and-back trip before. He told me it would be about 40 miles total, but I must have just let that wash over me, not registering that 40 miles is SO FAR.

I was also anticipating that this would be more of a leisurely ride, where we would stop and rest and relax for a bit along the way. You know, no hurry to get to the end.

Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

But, for the first 10 miles or so, I was peachy. We rode down Rock Creek and picked up the Mount Vernon Trail. We passed the airport, which was as far as I’d been on that trail before, and ventured into new territory. And it really was beautiful.

We had a perfect day for riding and only minimal crowds on the trails, so we weren’t dodging people left and right.

Just after we passed under the Woodrow Wilson bridge, however, I started to feel it. We’d been riding for more than an hour, and my butt was beyond sore. If we’re being honest here, that whole general region was sore because my bike seat, while comfortable enough for a daily commute, was not built for use for hours at a time.

That, and I still haven’t bought padded bike shorts. And that’s on me.

Regardless, the next ten miles to Mount Vernon were filled with me alternatively shifting in my seat, cursing myself for this idea, and wondering how such a beautiful ride could be so painful.

But we made it.


I was stalling, trying to prolong getting back on the bike for the ride home, so we wandered around the visitor center for a bit, trying not to collide with the tour groups.

Eventually, we had to go. It was getting cooler and windier and, by that point, we both wanted to be home.

I’d be lying if I said the ride back was easy. It was still painful and made me appreciate the cushy-ness of our couch more than I ever have before.

But I did it. And now I know what 40 miles feels like.

And I know that if I ever want to do it again (which seems unlikely right now), padded shorts are a necessary investment.

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The first time I went to the Y, I remember looking at all the machines trying to decide which was for me. It appeared that most girls my age were either on the treadmill or the elliptical, and since there was no way I was going to run if I wasn’t being forced by the gym teacher, I hopped on the machine that vaguely reminded me of the old Nordic track that used to collect dust in our basement at home.

This is pretty easy, I thought. I must be a natural ellipti-cizer!

And so, over the next four years or so, on the very rare occasions that I went to the gym, I ellipticized. I would leave the gym barely sweating, and the only clue that I’d been working out was my clothes.

Then I became a runner.

I didn’t gain the freshman fifteen; I gained the sophomore twenty. I quickly realized that my sporadic elliptical trips just weren’t cutting it, so I started running. And the running, well, it turned me into a bit of a gym snob. After spending 40+ minutes on the treadmill, I would scoff (only in my head, I promise) at people on the elliptical.

You want a real workout you should try running. You’re barely doing anything over there! You’re not even sweating!

Fast forward to 2012, when I have nearly burnt myself out with running. The marathons were great last year, and I’m still signed up for some key races this year, but I just don’t have the drive to run every.single.day. So I had to come up with some alternatives.

On days I truly hate myself, I use the stairmaster. You sweat like crazy and your legs feel like jelly afterward. What’s not to love?

But on the other days, I need something else. So I returned to the elliptical.

In the past month I’ve probably ellipticized three to four times a week, and it only took the first time to realize that I’d been doing it wrong every time before that.

The elliptical is essentially a metaphor for life – you get out what you put in. You want it easy? That’s fine, hit that “quick start” button. You want a challenge? Go ahead and increase the resistance and maybe the incline, too. You want a little something extra? Try using the arms, or going in reverse for a few intervals.

Don’t worry if you stumble the first couple times you try. It happens.

But the workout is totally worth it.

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Freshman year of college some friends and I were pre-gaming a frat party (naturally), when one of the girls took a call from her mom. As they talked, the rest of us continued to drink, and I, trying to be thoughtful, kept an eye on Jules. I figured she wouldn’t want her mom to know she’d been drinking, and I didn’t want her to give herself away.

Everything was going swimmingly when all of a sudden I heard Jules say, “Happy New Year!” and I snapped to attention.

No one else noticed.

Crap! I thought. Her mom’s totally going to know! It’s only September – not even close to the new year! Seriously, how drunk is she?

As soon as she got off the phone I asked her about it, wondering if her mom was upset.

Elizabeth,” she said, “it’s okay. You know I’m Jewish, right? And that Rosh Hashanah starts tonight? As in…the Jewish New Year?

No, no, and yes.

Color me embarrassed.

But, since that night, I’ve paid much closer attention to all religious holidays – out of both genuine interest and a desire to not get caught off guard.

So, in that spirit, learn from my past ignorance and don’t be confused if you hear wishes of a happy new year today and tomorrow.

Trust me: no one’s that drunk.

L’shanah tovah!

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At the Teeter, looking at the flowers:

BNF: You know, those roses I got you are holding up really well.

Me: I know! I’m surprised they’ve lasted so long.

BNF: Um…you know I’ve been changing the water, right?

Me: Oh! No, I had no idea. I was just really impressed that they still look so good!

BNF: Yeah, I know how women in your family take care of plants. As in…they don’t. They kill them.

That is unfortunately accurate.

Sorry, Mama. With the exception of the spider plant, you know he’s right.

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