Monthly Archives: November 2011

Holy Crap!


I didn’t witness this.  Only the aftermath.  And I’m still not entirely sure that I have the whole story, which is probably for the best.

After spending the afternoon at Old Sturbridge Village, Tom and Justin brought Robbie back to the house for a nap while Mom, Halaree, Hunter, and I went to the grocery store.  Except Robbie never went to sleep.

Tom and Justin thought he was asleep for a while, and then they heard yelling from upstairs.  The enthusiastic cries of, “Daddy!  Daddy!” finally got their attention and the two men went up to investigate.  They found a very naked, very poopy child.

From what I can gather, the child was covered in poop from his waist down.  And he decided to paint his Pack ‘n Play with whatever poop wasn’t covering his body.  All over the fabric.  You know, the impossible to wash Pack ‘n Play?

I walked in to find Robbie, freshly bathed and Plupped, standing in his Pack ‘n Play while Justin did his best to clean it with a washcloth.  A white washcloth.  And the smell.  Oh, the smell.  It was deeply embedded in the fabric.  Good wife and mother that I am, I kicked the two of them out and went to work with the bleach.  And Mom came in to get the bedding, stuffed animals, and MagnaDoodle.

Somehow, the bottom of the Pack ‘n Play, the blankets, and the toys were all dry before bedtime last night.  Sadly, the smell lingered but seems to have dissipated somewhat tonight.  Why, oh why, aren’t Pack ‘n Plays waterproof or more easily cleaned?


Thanksgiving 2011


Today was Robbie’s first Thanksgiving with my family.  It was actually my first Thanksgiving with my family as a married woman, even though Justin and I have been married for seven years on Sunday.  Crazy, isn’t it?

The morning started with a little bad parenting.  After all, would any holiday be complete without that?  We went to Old Sturbridge Village.  I packed stuff for Robbie.  Plups.  Wipes.  A few toys.  No extra pants.  None at all.  It was only when he got out of the stroller at the Meeting House that I realized he was soaked.  And then it all came together.  The “Pee-pee potty, Mama” in the last building we had entered.  The strange damp spot on the floor (I actually asked myself, “Why would someone spill something and not clean it up here?”).  Yeah.  Turns out it was my kid.  Peed all the way through his Plup.  His pants.  And his stroller.

Fortunately, Robbie wasn’t really bothered by this.  Or maybe unfortunately, as it’s a little disturbing.  But he managed to play in the kids area with wet pants (and dry Plups).  He pretended to be a villager, making pretend juice for me in one of the tin mugs.  Complete with fake wooden candle, which I discovered was supposed to be a straw only after he tried to drink his “juice” from it.  Justin was mildly disappointed that he was not given any juice…

The classic parenting continued with a hot chocolate purchase at the old tavern.  In a stupid move, I gave Robbie his cup with the instructions, “Don’t drink this until I tell you; it’s too hot.  Just hold it.”  That lasted for five seconds.  Until Robbie tried to take a sip, dropped the cup, and scalded his hand.  I suppose better his hand than his mouth…

He survived a few other bumps and bruises.  Namely, falling down the stairs and bumping is head.  Hitting his head at the table during Thanksgiving dinner, followed by a request for me to “fix it, please”.  And face-planting in the parking lot after dinner.  All-in-all, we’re going to call it a success because no skin was broken.

And now, as my child screams for all the things that are horrible in his life, I will close to enjoy some more quality time with my family.  Namely, standing in the bathroom as my child pretends that he has to use the potty in a successful attempt to delay bedtime.  Again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Back in the Saddle


Umm…  Well…  It’s been nine days since I blogged.  I kept meaning to but life got in the way.  You know how it is.  Schools get announced as Level Four.  Husband goes out of town.  You celebrate your birthday for three days straight.  Dinner plans happen three or four nights in a row.  Family comes into town.  Internet doesn’t work at current location.  You know, the usual.  But, now that I’m here, I  am sure I’ll be back regularly and you can all breathe a sigh of relief.

There’s a lot to catch you up on, but, in all honesty, the thought of even attempting to relive the past nine days of my life gives me a headache almost as intense as the last nine days.  Yeah.  It’s been rough.  Except for my birthday weekend.  That was fabulous, mostly due to my loving husband making sure it lived up to all of my expectations.  So, in an attempt to get you up to date and get me back in the saddle, I’m just going to keep it brief.

1.  Zhining took me out for my birthday.  A very Thai birthday.  Zhining was very upset that the Thai restaurant did not have cake.  We substituted with mango crepes (which were, incidentally, delicious).

2.  Justin got me a Nook for my birthday.  I.  Love.  It.  Just finished my last “real” book (The Help, which is definitely worth a read even if you have seen the movie).  I fought going digital with books for a long time, but I’m not in any hurry to go back.

3.  I went to a baby shower for two of my students (one baby – I have Mom and Dad in class).  They are two of my favorite kids, so I went.  Even though I was totally unprepared for what awaited me.  Just so you know, not everyone does a baby shower during the late morning or afternoon.  It was a real party that went all night long.  As the only white person, I lasted right about two hours.  I really need to learn Spanish…

4.  Justin started my birthday celebration at 11:45 the night before.  When I got back from the baby shower, he had baked a cake.  We both had pieces right then and there and rang in my birthday in style.  Then, Sunday morning, he got up with Robbie, fixed breakfast, AND cleaned up.  We went to the park for some family time.  I got to get a massage.  Justin and I went on a date for coffee – mostly because we were not sure about Rob’s chances for survival if we stayed in the house with him another second.  Then Micah and Allie came over for pizza and Uno.  Perfect.

5.  My house is falling apart.  Seriously.  Remember the tile I so proudly mentioned fixing?  Nope.  Didn’t dry right.  And the tile around the faucet in the bathtub?  Yeah – that came loose, too.  Oh, and my dishwasher was leaking.  Which turned into my sink leaking out the unattached dishwasher hose and creating a disaster in my kitchen.  Thank God for Kevin, fixer of all things broken.  At least I hope.  He stops by tomorrow to see how bad it is…

6.  My family came in town for Thanksgiving.  We are in Sturbridge, and I’m just so glad to be away from reality for three more glorious days.  It’s nice not to be in charge anymore.

Feel exhausted?  ‘Cause I can fill you in on all the work stuff, too.  But, I guess that’s for another blog…

Remembering My Reasons


Let’s be honest.  Running is something I have never been good at.  Even when I was younger.  I played on my freshman soccer team in high school, and we were supposed to start every practice with a two-mile run.  I never finished.  Not even once.

Fast forward into my twenties.  Knee surgery.  Impressive weight gain.  I can remember trying to convince myself that my body was just destined to be fat.  That 285 pounds was where my body “wanted” to be.  I shoved myself into a size 20, refusing to buy the 22 or the 24 that would have been more comfortable.  I knew I should lose 100 pounds but could never find the every to start because it would be such an arduous, time consuming task.

It’s no secret that I’ve been on my own weight-loss journey for the past two years, that I’ve struggled to shed my old self.  And this weekend, I set out to shake that last part of myself loose.

Look at this picture.  Do I look nervous?  Terrified?  Because I wasn’t.  Should have been, as I was about to embark on a 13.1 mile run through Newton.

A friend offered me some advice – breath in and enjoy the birds singing or the guy jiggin to your right and the woman kickin ass to your left…. Enjoy your moments cause it goes by faster than you think.  And she was so right.  It was over almost before I knew what happened.

I tried so hard to be aware of everything around me during the run.  Feeling the air rush into my lungs.  Focusing on my feet as they hit the ground.  Letting the beat of the music pulse through my body.  Air drumming as I ran (something I’ve never done before but felt pretty accomplished at by the end of the race).  Challenging myself to keep going.  And remembering my reasons for running, advice that was on a sign I passed twice on the course.  And, both times, it was exactly where I needed it.  It was imperative that I remember, that I focus on taking care of myself.  Because, when I do that, I can accomplish anything.

Did I run the whole thing?  Almost.  I walked through the water stops (because, really, who can run and drink water?) and up four of the hills.  But I busted through probably 12.85 miles at a run.  Not a fast run for most people, but it was a pretty good clip for me.  I averaged an 11:30 mile (5.2 mph) and finished fourteen minutes faster than my goal.  2:30:55.

As soon as I stopped running, my body was done.  But the entire time I was on the course, it just kept going.  It never hit a wall.  My body did what I never thought it could.  What a surgeon told me it never would after I had two screws put in my leg.  And now I know that, if I could run a half marathon, I can do anything.

Another Milestone…


It’s time for me to get ready to bed.  After all, I have an early morning tomorrow.  A 7:30 start time.  My first half marathon.  Something that, a year ago, I told Justin I would never have any desire to do.  And now?  Here I am, ready to put 13.1 miles under my belt.  Ready to keep moving myself forward to the person I’m becoming.

Yes, I’m terrified.  The longest I’ve run is eight miles.  And I’m not fast.  At all.  In fact, I’m pretty damn slow.  However, the only important thing is that I do it.  And, even if I have to walk the last eight miles, I’ll probably be able to finish in three hours.  My goal is 2 hours, 45 minutes.  Just fast enough to match Justin’s time for his first half marathon.

So, please, if you happen to be awake at 7:30 tomorrow morning, say a prayer for me.  And I’ll talk to you on the other side of 13.1.

My Capri Son


Justin and Robbie love Capri Suns.  L-O-V-E them.  So much so that Justin nearly jumped up and down in the aisle when he saw they were on sale, five for $10.  Somehow, we managed to escape the store with only three boxes.  Neither one was able to wait until we got home to have one, though.

Fast-forward to tonight, when both boxes were empty in the refrigerator (have I mentioned that Robbie knows how to open the door and get his own food and beverages?).  Robbie was supposed to be cuddling upstairs but he quickly slid his naked behind off the bed and ran out the door and down the stairs.  I heard a lot of bumping and a few cries of “Boo boo!” but figured he’d eventually work itself out.

After a few minutes, Robbie ran back upstairs and told me to help him with juice.  I looked down the stairwell and only saw my socks.  In my ignorance, I said, “Robbie, those aren’t shoes.  Those are socks.  They’re OK.  I’ll clean them up later.”  He kept pointing down the stairs and insisted I look as he started back down.

And then I saw it.  The very full box of Capri Suns.  At the bottom of the stairs.  Pulled in from the shelf of the baker’s rack in the kitchen.  But, bless his little heart, he just couldn’t get it up the stairs.  And how can you say no to dedication like that?

Daddy Daycare


When Justin picked Robbie up from daycare yesterday, Zhining told him that she would only be open until 10:30 today because she had an appointment and the Chinese grandparents across the street couldn’t watch the kids.  Which created a problem.  I missed work last week because she didn’t have electricity and had a lot that needed to get taken care of today.  And Justin had a full week of work to catch up on.  Oh, and he had a test tonight.  His last one, actually.

You know what that meant, right?  It meant that he got absolutely nothing done.  He just called to fill me in on his day.  It involved a lot of coloring.  Lunch out.  The park.  And that’s about where the fun ended.

Robbie refused to take a nap, insisting on cuddling with Justin in bed while watching cartoons.  And, as he has recently discovered the joy of being naked, he refused to wear any clothes.  Apparently, this was successful for about an hours and Justin did manage to get some work done.  Then, nothing was good enough for young Robert.

He didn’t want Elmo.  Or Sam.  Or ‘Ickey.  He just wanted Justin’s attention and was willing to do anything he could to get it.  Including climbing all over Justin, throwing papers on the floor, and just generally being a pain in the neck.

Pretty much sounds right, doesn’t it?  Except Robbie is never this way for Justin.  Only me.  But, not today.  Not today.



I haven’t seen much of Robbie pretending.  Sure, he dances around and makes animal noises when prompted and asks to sing songs.  But I’ve never actually seen him make believe.  Until tonight.

Robbie was in the bathtub, playing with his toys, when he brought a bowl up to the side of the tub, covered with a blue Elmo washcloth.  I wasn’t quite sure where this was going – really, I was just praying that he wouldn’t send the bowl of water over the edge again.  Then, wide-eyed, he informed me that he had a cake.

I’m sure I looked at Robbie funny because he told me, very seriously, “Bir-day cake, Mama.”  And then proceeded to pretend to blow out the candles.  For five minutes.  He told me I could have a piece of his cake.  Because, don’t you know?  It was QiQi’s birthday.

And before I could get Robbie out of the tub, he started drinking the water from his birthday cake.  When I told him it was yucky to drink bath water, he looked at me somberly and informed me that it was not bath water.  It was cake water.  Of course.




Robbie has recently discovered his pockets.  They are great for keeping his hands warm, as he discovered while walking down the street after dinner last Thursday.  It almost took my breathe away, the sight of my little boy, walking down the street on his own, hands shoved deep in his pockets.  He looked like such a little man.

It’s not just hands in his pockets.  Robbie has discovered that pockets are good for holding things.  Like, well, money.  The other night, I found a quarter tucked deep into the pocket of his jeans.  On the other side?  A $20 bill folded into a very small square.  In good news, the money actually was his from a Halloween card.  In further good news, I stand to make a lot of money off Robbie when I do laundry.  After all, the one who does the laundry gets the cash.

Beat It, Kid!


All hell broke loose when I walked through the door tonight.  It wasn’t really a surprise, though, since I’d gotten an email from our downstairs neighbor that there were spots on their ceiling.  And, don’t worry, you have my permission to laugh.  If it were you, I would totally laugh.

I immediately checked under the sink and was relieved to find that there was nothing leaking from that end.  Then I got the screwdriver, easily since it was actually put away in the right place, and unhooked the dishwasher.  I slid it out from under the counter and saw the sticky goodness in the back corner of the cubby.  And then I looked under the dishwasher and saw the oozing from the out line.  At least, I figured, it wasn’t a pipe.  Hoses can be fixed and this one didn’t do any major damage.

I moved on to the next area of concern: my bathroom.  Mom, if you’re reading this, you were right.  I should have fixed the caulking.  Four months ago.  But, I didn’t.  When I finally went to do it, the tiles all popped up.  Don’t panic.  Everything dried out (and, yes, Mom, I had a contractor look at it!).  Tonight was the night to reattach all the tiles, since everything had dried out.  It took some doing, but I managed to get everything back in place.  Of course, this took time.

Apparently, Robbie got hungry while I was fixing everything that was broken in the house.  I left the bathroom, moderately concerned by the quiet in the rest of the house, and ventured into the kitchen.  Their, I found Robbie standing on a make-shift stool, egg in hand, ready to crack it on the side of the bowl.  He turned, smiling ear to ear, and said, “Food, Mama!  Egg, food.”

And he evidently likes them scrambled.  All over my floor.  With his shoes.  The sheer glee on his face made it difficult to be frustrated with him.  Even as he slipped and slid across the floor, one rogue egg still in hand.  I managed to grab him just before he ran out of the kitchen and tracked egg onto the rest of my floors.  Unfortunately, Barkley was not able to escape Robbie’s cooking lesson.  His head is covered in egg.  But, that’s not on my list of things to thoroughly deal with tonight.  There were three eggs on the floor that had to be cleaned up.  And, in the event that you’ve never had to clean up raw egg, let me assure you that it is not easy.  Paper towels do not absorb the material.  Instead, it slips and slide off the towel and back onto the floor.

But, somehow, when I look at Robbie’s face and see that he really thought he was doing something good, I don’t mind cleaning up the eggs so much.  Not that I like it, but…  I guess it’s all part of having a little boy who thinks he’s a big helper.  And I’ll keep my helper!