Posts Tagged ‘you learn something new every day’

They say that you learn something new every day.

On Tuesday I learned that there is no parenting book in the world that prepares you for the sheer terror you feel when your 15-month-old takes a header down the stairs.

My heart rate sped up just typing that sentence.

In that instant, as I saw N lose his balance, tip head first down the (thankfully carpeted) stairs, and hit every step as he log-rolled down, I forgot everything I’d ever been taught about staying calm in a crisis.

I screamed and cried and screamed some more. I’m sure I scared both the dog and the baby (and likely Husband, who was just about to get in the shower). And I ran like hell down the stairs to pick N up and start feeling for broken bones.

Luckily, Husband was right behind me, because my shaky hands and tear-filled eyes were not the most effective at that point.

Now, more than 48 hours later, N is fine. Hell, he was fine less than an hour later, albeit with a Harry Potter-esque scratch on his forehead.

I, however, am still feeling the mom guilt of having that fall happen on my watch. I felt helpless and terrified and panicky. And if I think about it too much, I still feel all of those things.

I was a little worried that N would be scared of the stairs from here on out – I know I’m scared of him on the stairs. But he’s not. In fact, he wants to come down them like a big boy now, holding hands with someone and walking down like a little adult.

Something tells me that there will be more tumbles in our future. I just hope my heart can handle it.

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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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It seems like one day you’re begging your unborn child to just get out already, and the next you have a 4-month-old who coos and giggles and has newly discovered happy baby pose.

I've yet to capture happy baby pose with the camera. He's too fast!

I’ve yet to capture happy baby pose with the camera. He’s too fast!


How does time do that?

After N was born, and I had managed to scrape together more than 20 minutes of sleep at a time, I had all of these blog ideas running through my head:

  • Things I wish I’d known about labor (including how to cope when the epidural wears off before you start pushing)
  • Why “sleep when the baby sleeps” is impossible
  • What to do when strangers reach for your child
  • Pretty much anything about strangers reacting to and asking personal questions about your baby and childbirth

And yet, you’ll notice that there has been complete radio silence since I last posted. Not even a, “Hey! He’s here!” post. Nothing. Because you know what?

This kid is a time-suck.

To be fair, I mean that in the best possible way. Of all the things that I could be spending time on, I love that it’s him. But these past four months have been a complete shift in priorities and time management. They’ve also been an incredible learning experience.

I’ve learned that:

…a 15  minute shower is a luxury.

…baby smiles make everything better.

…when your baby is teething, anything that comes near his mouth is fair game.

…you’ll need at least twice as long as you think you will to get out of the house.

…it’s perfectly normal to go from laughing to crying to laughing in the span of two minutes – both for you and the baby.

…you will get peed on.

…you will get poop on you.

…OxiClean is amazing.

…baby yawns are almost as cute as baby smiles.

…joint baby and puppy naps will melt your heart.

…I wouldn’t change a thing.


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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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I predicted that 2012 would be a very good year, but it wasn’t a hard prediction to make. There was a lot to be excited about.

Graduation, marrying the love of my life, and a Hawaiian honeymoon, to name a few things.


Wedding - afterparty


But this past year was also about more than the big things.

It was about battling old demons, learning new things, pushing myself, embracing the ugly, and starting new traditions. Plus a million other little things in between.

What I said for 2011 holds true, too, for 2012: this year has once again exceeded my expectations.

(Minus my Philly teams imploding, of course. Though, one could argue that I should have expected that, too.)

Regardless, 2012 was fantastic, but I know that 2013 will offer up its own adventures.

And I can’t wait to embrace them.



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If you’re looking for a way to break into someone’s conversation, might I suggest this technique, used by a random gentleman in Chinatown last night.

MJ and I had finished our dinner date and were getting ready to head home, when all of a sudden we were approached and heard…

I’m the black rain man!

And then: “Come on, baby dolls, pick a country. Any country in the world!

My gut instinct was to avoid, and just say we had to go.

But then MJ responded: “Japan,” and the self-described black rain man burst out into a rap.

I didn’t catch it all. A lot of it was mumbled. But I did hear the words Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Tokyo, and Okinawa.

BRM: “That’s some educated shit right there! Your turn, baby doll! Pick a country!

And so, being the international nerds we are (phrasing courtesy of MJ) we went a few countries more, with BRM rapping about our choices, and MJ and me trying to understand what he was saying.

When we finally stopped him, being clear that we had to go, he said goodbye and put his hand on my shoulder to impart some final words of wisdom.

Baby doll, listen up. Don’t let him touch you. I don’t care if you have one kid off him or 10,000. Don’t let him touch your *mumble mumble*

And as he walked over to another group, I turned to MJ.

Don’t let him touch my what?

Your vines? I think he said your vines.

Don’t let him touch your vines.


I’m sure that’s good advice, but I think I still preferred the country raps.

At least, what I understood.

*That line is original BRM – one of the few parts we understood and remembered.

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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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I have just over two months to complete my birthday list and, as usual, I seem to be letting things get down to the wire. So this past Easter weekend, in between celebrating, I checked two more things off my list.

1) I changed a tire! (Last year I learned to check the oil.)

Now, to be fair, I didn’t put the spare on – I just practiced taking off the current tire and putting it back on. That proved to be the hardest part, though, lining up the tire so I could reattach it.

BNF and my brother were coaching me along the whole way (with BNF also taking the photos), and then my parents came out to add their two cents as well. An audience of four isn’t quite the same as having to do this on the side of a busy highway, but it’s a start. And it’s more than I knew how to do before.

It’s safe to say that I was pretty proud of myself.

BNF told me to look tough. I tried, then couldn't help but laugh, resulting in the odd face in the photo.

2) I made empanadas!

When I try them again, there are a few things I’ll do differently, starting with finding (or making) a different dough. Due to lack of options I used Pillsbury, and it just wasn’t the same.

But once I got the baking time right, they were delicious!

Still not quite like my future mother-in-law’s, but I have plenty of time to practice.

I’m sure BNF won’t mind taste testing.

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Every now and then, my grad school classes will remind me of something I haven’t thought of in years. Things I didn’t even know I remembered.

Case in point: in my class last night, the professor brought up Idi Amin’s rule in Uganda. She’s talking about this terrible dictator, and truth and reconciliation commissions, and what comes to my mind?

Idi Amin used to eat oranges to increase his sex drive.

I can’t source it. I  know I was in high school, possibly a sophomore, though I don’t remember what class I was studying Idi Amin for. But I can tell you that my high school self found it both absurd and entertaining. And might have giggled upon discovery.

I didn’t share that tidbit in class last night, but I encourage you to bust it out at your next dinner party.

As a conversation starter, how could it fail?

*I know, I know. I couldn’t help myself.

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3. the mutual dealings, connections, or feelings that exist between two parties, countries, people, etc.

(That’s my own emphasis, by the way, because I think that’s important.)

I have always been under the impression that in order to be in a relationship, both parties should know about and agree to said status. It’s just good sense.

That definition was challenged, however, after my friend Hbomb shared a series of emails she’d exchanged with GQ – after she’d had the “friend talk” with him multiple times, and was clarifying that status after a mixed signals weekend.


I freaking adore you. I say that as both a coworker, an ex, and even more-so as a friend…And I say all this as a friend. Our relationship was oh-so brief because, at the end of the day, it wasn’t meant to be. But our friendship? OMG…I called you that before we ever flirted with a relationship, and continued after.


Well, this is a little awkward…I wasn’t aware that we were ever in a relationship, unless you meant relationship in the very broad, non-romantic sense, e.g. I have a “relationship” with my boss, my mom, my roommate, etc. To me, being in a relationship, romantically speaking, only occurs after two people have a conversation where they both agree that they are going to exclusively date each other. And we never even came close to discussing anything like that as far as I know, so I don’t see how you can consider me an ex…


I used the word relationship because there was an oh-so-fleeting moment when I felt a spark of “something”– maybe it was an unrequited crush–for what must’ve been one week late last summer.

Hold on just a second. An unrequited crush can count as a relationship? The mere feeling of a potential spark? That can make someone an ex?

Well, shoot.

By my definition, I haven’t had too many full on relationships. A handful, here and there, plus, you know, the one super big one that I’m in right now (and forever!). But by GQ’s definition…

There was that one major unrequited crush from the seventh grade – I’m hoping only major crushes count, not minor ones – then a string of them throughout high school. You know how teenagers are.

There was that guy in my Italian class four years ago – I thought there was a spark. We never went out (or talked outside of class except on the walk to our respective homes), but apparently, he’s my ex.

And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Should I count the lacrosse players I ogled in college? Or the blind dates I was set up on for sorority formals?

This list could get long.

And we haven’t even started on celebrities yet.

Though, by what other definition could I call Sawyer my ex?

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