Time for an Encore?

November 11, 2013 at 10:31 am | Posted in Family, Married Life, Pregnancy Fun Time | 2 Comments
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The other day, my hubs got this in the mail:

Does that cardigan come in men's sizes?

Does that cardigan come in men’s sizes?

And he was totally baffled…. Why would he, a MAN, have received a coupon for a maternity clothing store?  I, of course, have NO idea.

(wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Now that our dear daughter is eight months old (when did that happen?!?), my husband has started his campaign for a second child.  Well, I say “started,” but he actually brought this up for the first time when she was just six days old, and again when she was three months and six months old.  And I feel lucky to have a partner who loves our little one so much he wants another one.

BUT…

(you knew there was going to be a but!)

I’m not ready!  I want more time for just us three (and our sweet pup, too, of course), my first pregnancy was so hard I’m not sure I’m ready to face doing that again, and geez louise man!  No! 

Like in any disagreement, we’re going to have to find a compromise.  Anyone know how close they are to having men carry children?  Because I’m sure he’d look great in that cardigan. 

I Hit My Mother-in-Law’s Car!

September 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Family, Married Life | Leave a comment
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Alternate title: Please tell me spiders (and frogs) are good luck!

A few weeks ago I ran into my mother-in-law’s car.  Yup, she was here selflessly taking care of my little one so I could save money on daycare this summer, and I backed right into her car.  And even though I continue to be mortified to this day, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be teased about it for the rest of my marriage, I hold firmly to the fact that it wasn’t my fault!

You see, I’d had a very weird week.  On Sunday there was a spider literally THE SIZE OF MY PALM on my car door.  It was horrible.  Ho. Rih. Bull.  In fact, it was so big and scary that we for reals had to shoo it into an empty spaghetti sauce jar, then dump it on the ground and hit it with a BRICK to kill it.  True story!  A BRICK!

Well, it seems that really angered Her Royal Arachnid, because for the rest of that week I was plagued (that’s not an exaggeration – it was totally biblical, people!) by eight-legged jerks out for blood.  On Tuesday I awoke with a “mysterious” bug bite on my arm and saw a creepy crawler meandering up my bedpost.  “How do you like me now, you with your cement bricks?  WE KNOW WHERE YOU SLEEP!”  I swear it was saying that as it slowly, menacingly crept on (until I made Andrew murder it, too).

On Wednesday we had a consultant come in to the office for a meeting.  As he placed his briefcase on the table, I noticed a spider clinging to it.  He noticed it, too, as did my boss, but instead of just squashing it like a NORMAL PERSON, he gingerly picked the little psychopath up and gently placed it on the floor.  Well, wouldn’t you know it: not ten minutes later, that little rhymes-with-mass-toll was crawling up my leg.  TRUE STORY.  I somehow stifled my scream until I could flick it off my pants (thank heavens I wasn’t wearing a skirt!), but needless to say I spent the rest of the meeting on high alert for a revenge-fueled interloper.  This consultant was clearly in cahoots with the arachnids.  Is that a valid enough reason not to want to work with someone?

And now we come to the day of the accident (which I still contend wasn’t my fault).  On Thursday, as I was backing out of the garage, a spider literally sprang down from the ceiling of my car and practically landed ON MY NOSE, which, as you can imagine, is why I backed into my MIL’s car (hangs head in shame).  I was under attack!  War had been declared!  The spiders were using guerrilla warfare tactics!  I had no refuge!  Not my house, not my office, definitely not my car… I was doomed!  And also late for work.

The only upside to the incident was that I thought the Great Arachnid War of 2013 was finally over.  The pests got their revenge (because really, is there ANYTHING more awkward than hitting your MIL’s car and blaming it on a spider?).  I waved the white flag.  I gave up.  And Friday passed without incident.  I regained my confidence, stopped looking over my shoulder, and tried to scrub all this from my mind to prevent future creepy-crawly nightmares.

That night before bed, I opened the front door to take the dog out, and realized the conflict wasn’t over… it was escalating.  Hanging onto my screen door, Mission Impossible-style, was a FROG.  Seriously!  A frog!

So I did what any gal would do – screeched (without waking the baby), pulled the dog back inside and begged my husband to walk her.  And he’s been walking the dog at night ever since.  Because once multiple species get involved, you KNOW you’re in trouble…

And yeah, I called Terminix for an extra visit the next day.

love mother in law

Rich People Problems

July 9, 2013 at 11:37 am | Posted in Family, Married Life | Leave a comment
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The other day the hubs and I were bickering about household chores – he feels like he does the lion’s share and that I spend more time reading baseball blogs than helping.  I feel like he needs to relax every once in a while and understand that our house will never be as clean or tidy as he imagines it should be.

Okay, okay, it was the opposite, but sometimes it’s refreshing to pretend it’s the gal who puts sports over washing bottles.  Annnywho, in one of my dramatic retorts, I said something like:

“Fine, I’ll just get the maid to do it!  But you never help plan menus with the chef, the gardener is still waiting to hear exactly how many millimeters you’d like him to hand trim off the lawn, and the chauffeur has really been slacking on polishing the dipstick handle.  Can you get off your lazy butt and order people around for a change?  Or do I have to manage the staff alone as usual?”

I think my golden throne (haha) needs polishing!  Where's the bathroom maid?!?

I think my golden throne (haha) needs polishing! Where’s the bathroom maid?!?

It was enough to break the tension between us, but that got me thinking: is that how fights between the uber rich actually sound?  What do the gajillionaire couples of the world squabble about?  Because I’ll bet it’s not dishes, laundry, or which bill to pay first and which to postpone.

I think an experiment is in order.  Here’s what I propose: give me a few gajillion dollars (one of you can give me a lump sum or take up a collection or something; how you make this happen isn’t the important part – don’t be penny wise and gajillion foolish).  I’ll move into a mansion, hire a full-fledged staff (first hire: a personal assistant and then a household manager who will actually hire the rest of the staff for me – that’s not something a gajillionaire like me should have to concern herself with), and report back.  I promise to answer this, and any other questions you have about how the upper crust lives.  We’ll all be the wiser!

You can’t put a price on knowledge like that.  But do try.

Confessions of a New Mom, Part Deux: Mom of the Year

June 7, 2013 at 10:18 am | Posted in Family | Leave a comment
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There is one more important lesson I’ve learned over the past “trimester” which I didn’t include it in Part One because, in my opinion, it’s so important, it deserves its own section.

Say this ALOUD with me:

You are a wonderful mom! 

Even if you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing, or you’re not following every piece of advice to the letter (because let’s face it, there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there, and there’s a lot of advice that’s not “real world friendly,” too), you are a wonderful mom.

True story!

True story!

Nap in bed with your newborn because that’s the only way she’ll sleep?  You’re a wonderful mom (with a well-rested baby)! 

Can’t remember those lullabies and baby songs from your childhood, so you sing ‘80s Monster Ballads to your little one?  You’re a wonderful mom (with a nice set of pipes).  

Using the bottle instead of the breast?  You’re a wonderful mom (with a well-nourished kiddo). 

Body not bouncing back at celebrity-speed because you’re prioritizing your kid over four hours a day in the gym?  You’re a wonderful (and beautiful) mom. 

Break down in sobs when you can’t stop your baby’s tears?  You’re a wonderful (and empathetic) mom. 

Don’t even realize that you’re covered in spit-up when you leave the house?  You’re a wonderful mom (with this season’s hottest new accessory ;)). 

We all do things that make us feel like we’re not “mom of the year,” but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past few months, it’s that if you’re doing the best you can for your kid, you ARE mom of the year to that little one.  So keep up the good work!  And go easy on yourself, momma.

* Provided you aren’t endangering or harming your child, of course.  Duh!

Feeling like you're not the best mom in the world?  At least you aren't taking your baby tanning!!  This really happened...

Feeling like you’re not the best mom in the world? At least you aren’t taking your baby tanning!! This really happened…

Confessions of a New Mom: What They Don’t Tell You

June 7, 2013 at 8:56 am | Posted in Family, Pregnancy Fun Time | Leave a comment
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Nearly three months ago (or, as I recently counted the passage of time, one trimester ago), I became a first time mommy!  Since then, I have experienced the most profound love and happiness in the world.  I’ve also changed approximately 1,100 diapers.  I’ve laughed, cried, panicked, smiled, screamed, worried… I’ve done pretty much everything except sleep (and write blog posts, as you already know).  And one of the things I’ve done most often is ask: why didn’t they tell me that?!

Sometimes it’s a happy surprise; why didn’t anyone tell me how drastically my world view would change once I “became” a mom?  Why didn’t anyone tell me how even a gas smile (as opposed to an emotion-based smile) on my baby’s beautiful (if I do say so myself) face feels like I’ve won some sort of cosmic lottery?  Probably because no one could tell me; no one could possibly find the right words or depth of meaning to convey this to me.  Just as I can’t properly explain it to you (suffice it to say: being a mom is, quite literally, awesome).

But there are some things that could have been shared, some things that would have been useful to know before I took the parenting plunge.  I can remember the day we left the hospital – the hubs and I were excited but slightly panicked as we got in our car, looking over our shoulders like we were making some sort of get-away with our baby.

Note to self...

Note to self…

Why compare going home to a get-away?  Confession number one (of which there will be many to follow in future blog posts): we felt like we were absconding with our baby.  You see, we had made this beautiful, perfect, amazing, little human, and after five days of excellent care in the hospital, we three were set loose upon the world with nary a pamphlet, let alone a handbook – we walked out the doors (okay, I was wheeled out the door but you get the idea) and I thought to myself: What now?  How can I possibly care for this beautiful little baby?  What do I do??

Yes, I am fully aware that babies don’t come with instruction manuals, but come on, people!  A head’s up about common occurrences couldn’t hurt.  And so, my dear reader(s), to save you from a similar panic, I will share some of the things I wish someone had shared with me, and hope that, should fate smile upon you with a magnificent child of your own (because your child will be magnificent – they all are), you’ll find this information helpful (and not write your own missive about how ill prepared you were, too).

Umbilical Cord Stumps & Bloody Tummies

Pediatricians will tell you to expect your baby’s umbilical stump to fall off somewhere between a week and three after birth, and if you have a very thorough medical team, someone might tell you that there could be a little blood when it does fall off.  Okay, sounds reasonable.  What no one told me, however, is that there could be blood in the days preceding its detachment, too, and if you open your baby’s cute little outfits and find blood on her clothes and skin, DO NOT PANIC (unless it is a lot of blood, of course).  Imagine me, a gal prone to worries already, who is completely sleep-deprived and out of her league, finding blood on my little one even though the stump was still attached!  Needless to say, I put my pediatrician on speed-dial…

Maybe I just need Alka-Seltzer!!

Maybe I just need Alka-Seltzer!!

Attachment Parenting?  Try Exhausted Parenting

Have you seen that video of Alicia Silverstone pre-chewing her kid’s food?  Yeah.  I thought that was weird before I had a child, and guess what?  Now that I have a baby of my own, I still think it’s weird.  But it brings up an important point I want to share: you may feel like you are flawed if you aren’t immediately all-consumed with this spiritual connection to your baby.  And THAT’S OKAY!  Trust me.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT DOUBT YOURSELF AS A PARENT!  It takes time for a bond to grow and, while you may love your little bundle from the moment you see her, no one expects you to have established the strongest bond known to man immediately.  Get to know your baby, give yourself the grace to heal and adjust to your new life, and don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t ready to regurgitate like a momma bird on day two (or ever… but you get the idea).

You Will Fight With Your Significant Other.  A lot.

Whether it’s the temperature of the bath water or the frequency (or lack thereof) that s/he washes the bottles or the way s/he tries to comfort your mini-miracle (which will, inevitably, differ from how you do it), or something you can’t even put your finger on (but you know it’s there), you and your significant other will feud.  H-E-double-hockey-sticks, you may even want to kill each other some days.  And guess what?  That’s normal, too.  Your lives have changed so dramatically and so quickly, and that, combined with exhaustion (not to mention physically healing), leads to natural feelings of frustration (to put it nicely).  Don’t immediately run to Judge Toler.  Take a deep breath (or a nap), give each other some slack, and if all else fails, remind yourself that new parents around the globe are probably feeling exactly the same way you are (the word mariticide exists for a reason, I assume).  And then throw something (soft… and preferably not directly at your sig. o.).  Or, even better, put him/her in charge of the little one for a few hours and go do something nice for yourself.

But do not, under any circumstances, wake the baby!

Pregnancy Moodiness Was (Pre) Child’s Play

If you think the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy ends immediately after your little one enters the world, you’re in for a rude awakening (and with a newborn, it’s just one of many awakenings).  Your hormones are wackadoo, you’re exhausted and adjusting, and maybe a little anxious, and you’re going to have extreme highs and lows.  Take heart, new mommies: this is NORMAL (and knowing that should help reassure you when you feel off-kilter and out-of-control).  Of course, if things don’t even out for you emotionally after a few weeks, I urge you to seek the advice of a trusted medical/psychological professional.  But if, on day seven, you can’t figure out why you’ve gone from laughing to sobbing faster than you can put a new diaper under your baby before s/he pees again, trust me, it happens to us all.  Sometimes big girls do cry, and there’s no shame in that.  (N.B. This section and the one above are related – your moodiness will contribute to the feuding and vice versa.  Gotta love it!)

Sleeping Through the Night?  Ha!

One of the kookiest phrases I hear from parents relates to kids’ sleeping habits.  Not long after your beautiful little angel is born, people will start asking if s/he sleeps through the night.  Haha!, you think, I wish!  But alas, your child may technically be already doing so!  Let’s say you put your bundle of joy down to bed at 7:30 p.m. and s/he is up again at 1:30 a.m., and then 4:15 a.m., and again at 6:45 a.m., technically your little angel has slept through the night.  Yeah.  I’m not kidding.  While there’s conflicting views about this, sleeping through the night is generally considered a good five-to-six hour stretch.  So congratulations, exhausted mommies and daddies, your kid has achieved the holy grail of slumber.  <yawn>

Mommy readers, what do you wish someone had shared with you before your parenthood adventure began?  Any sage wisdom for future parents? 

And stay tuned, dear reader(s), for my thoughts about advice like “breast is best,” and “colic is a myth.” 

Practical Pregnancy Advice

December 19, 2012 at 10:20 am | Posted in Family, Pregnancy Fun Time | 4 Comments
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There’s a LOT of advice out there for those “in the family way” – from the best position to sleep in (on your left side, apparently) to what not to eat (while still eating almost everything in sight) – you could Google your every move and still not find all the info available.  But even with the overwhelming amount of advice out there, there are some very practical things I wish someone had shared with me before I found out the hard way.  For example:

The Wet Badge of Pregnancy: When leaning over to wash your hands, reach for something, etc., be sure to wipe off the counter area that your belly will touch before you reach out (because your belly will touch it!).  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a wet line across my midsection and had to walk around with water (or tomato sauce…) cutting across my protruding belly.  Not attractive, especially at work when you’re trying to appear professional.  (And yes, “trying” is the operative word here).

Pregnancy Weight Gain

Strangers Know Best!  Or so they think.  And they’re not afraid to tell you.  Everything.  Last week I was in line at the grocery and a TOTAL STRANGER approached me to let me know that “claims” that cocoa butter lotion like Palmer’s helps with stretch marks is a BALD-FACED LIE perpetuated by corporate America.  True story.  I didn’t even have any lotion in my cart!  Her recommendation?  Gotu Kola supplements.

Ohhh-kay.  First of all, lady, I certainly don’t want to discuss anything about my pregnancy or the evils of corporate America in the middle of a grocery store with some strange gal who lacks boundaries.  And Gotu Kola supplements?  We’re in Stop & Shop!  I’m exhausted, my back is killing me, my feet hurt, and even grocery shopping feels like a herculean effort.  The last thing I’m going to do is follow a random stranger’s advice, hunt all over the greater Boston area to find a supplement that my doctor hasn’t approved that may or may not help with stretch marks.

So ladies, when some wackadoo approaches you in the grocery or any other public place – and trust me, a stranger will approach you – do what I do and pretend you don’t speak English, or you’re about to yak.  Works (almost) every time.

And speaking of stretch marks…

Stretch Marks are Horrifying!  No one, NO ONE, tells you this, but it’s true, and it’s also true that it is okay to think that.  Yes, they’re natural.  Yes, they’re unavoidable for those who are susceptible to them.  And yes, in the grand scheme of things, they’re NO BIG DEAL.  But this blog is about being honest, and honestly, my stretch marks startle me every time I catch a glimpse of them.  It looks like my baby is trying to claw her way out – like she’s either auditioning for the next Alien film or she’s so miserable in there she’ll do anything to get out!

Clearly this is not the case.  Obviously the red gashes have nothing to do with Baby L-ski’s state, other than to indicate that she’s growing (thankfully) and I need to make more room for her!  But I’m super self-conscious about them, even when I’m alone.  And it’s okay to feel that way, dagnabbit!

Worrying About How Much I Worry… Should I be Worried?  Around the middle of my second trimester, I started thinking.  Okay, okay, it was more than just thinking; I started worrying, particularly about silly things.  For example, a few weeks ago I was up all night worrying that both our cars were too small to have a baby and a dog, and that there was no way we would be able to fit everything for both of them in our little sedans should we need to travel for a weekend.  I was up all night long considering what our next vehicle should be, when we could swing getting a new one financially, and if it should be Andrew’s or mine that we replace.

In the morning I was exhausted and cranky, and shared my concerns with the hubs.  His response?  “It’s going to be okay.  We will figure it out, and if we have to travel before we get a new car, we can always just rent one.  And next time you think you’re going to worry all night long, just wake me up and we’ll talk it through together.”  He was absolutely right and totally logical, and that made me worry.  Why was I worrying so much?  Was something wrong with me?  Should I worry about how much I worry?

The short answer is: Sarah, don’t worry about it.  Worrying (to a certain extent) is, apparently, totally normal.  So as long as your worries don’t interfere with your life or become debilitating, you probably don’t need to worry about them – even though it’s natural to worry.

And those, my friends, are some of the nuggets of truth I wish someone had shared with me early on in my pregnancy.  I may be taking my factinis virgin these days, but I’m still serving ‘em up!

Baby L-ski is a…

October 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Family, Pregnancy Fun Time | 6 Comments
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Is it tacky to announce our little one’s gender on my blog?  Maybe.  But it’s also the fastest way to disseminate this information, so you’ll have to excuse this uncouth post if you want the dish.

It’s a mystery no longer!

Predictions have been pretty even – at last tally, 45 percent of our friends and family (well, those who are involved enough to want to make the prediction, that is) said boy (the blue faction), 50 percent said girl (the pink faction), and 5 percent refused to make a prediction (the party pooper faction).

It is with great joy that Andrew and I announce that we are having a GIRL!!!

All those who voted PINK, go buy a lottery ticket.  Seriously.  Go.  And we won’t say no if you throw a portion of your winnings Baby L-ski’s way for instilling in you the confidence to play a game with such lousy odds.

I’m THAT Mom

May 17, 2012 at 10:38 am | Posted in Family, Married Life | 2 Comments
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As many of you know, the hubs and I recently adopted a beautiful little girl (of the canine persuasion).  It has been about a week and a half since she joined our family, but I’m afraid to say that I’m already “THAT mom.”

(Act surprised).

I admit it: I’ve gone on a few online shopping sprees, but as package after package arrives at Chez L-ski, I assure Andrew that I’m only getting “what we need.”  From toys to treats, food and water bowls to a crate, a dog bed to a harness, these are all important doggie supplies.  Andrew agreed: this was not frivolous spending, I was being responsible.

And then a few days ago, he opened one of the boxes and found a Halloween costume for Cadie (it’s a really cute bumble bee costume, but I understand how that might be “beside the point”).

“Really??” he asked.

“It’s not as extravagant as it seems,” I protested.  “It was on clearance AND I had a gift certificate!  It didn’t actually cost us a cent!”

But I admit that I may have gone a little too far in my doggie retail therapy.

The good news is that I think this bodes well for my future/potential children.  They always say you are worst with your first kid, so my current behavior is probably helping my first human child!  Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Say what you will about me, but I haven’t gone THIS far with Cadie. Yet.

Puppy Love!

May 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Family, Married Life | Leave a comment
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On Sunday, Andrew and I welcomed Cadence (or Cadie, as we call her) to the L-ski family.  A sweet, beautiful, tiny Black Lab (she’s less than 40 lbs.!), Cadie is about two-years-old and was rescued from a shelter down south and brought into our lives by New England Lab Rescue.

I’ve wanted a dog for years, so when we saw her sweet face, we fell in puppy love and immediately decided to adopt her.  We knew she would be a lot of work, but we also know she will be worth it.

For those who love dogs, or for those who just want to chuckle at the craziness of our first 48 hours together, here’s a sample of what we have learned about dog ownership so far…

Ensure closed doors are really closed!  Yesterday I took Cadie out for her first morning walk as a member of our family.  She was energetic and happy, did her business like a champ, and I was feeling pretty good about our second day together!  Until she ran away…

I’m sorry I ran away and got your shoes muddy… but wasn’t it a fun morning? Huh? Huh?

After our walk, I brought her in the house, took off her leash and started to remove my shoes when she darted through my legs and managed to squeeze out the front door, which I thought was closed!  Apparently, she got to it in the instant before it clicked firmly into place, and I felt like a grade-A rhymes-with-glass-bowl.  I got in the car to circle the neighborhood and Andrew sprinted through yards until he caught up with her (she was happy and wagging her tail, assuming this was as fun for us as it was for her) and brought her home.  Phew!  I’m pretty sure this makes my husband a super hero.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch – unless you’re our dog.  When Andrew raced out to “retrieve our retriever,” he was in the middle of making his lunch, so naturally the two pounds of sliced turkey, bread, etc. were unguarded on the kitchen counter.  I say “were” because the second he brought her home, she darted into the kitchen, jumped up on the counter and brought a week’s worth of lunch supplies down in her slobbery (yet adorable) mouth.  Andrew, once again acting as super hero, managed to get the food away before she ate it (and it gave her a tummy ache), but we had to throw it away due to floor cooties and doggie slobber.

Sittin’ pretty!

Some dogs, like some people, make a list and check it twice. I understand that dogs are prone to “mark their territory, tinkle-style,” but apparently Cadie is fastidious about tasks like this.  On Sunday, she peed in her crate twice, and peed in the house by the back door twice, and… you get the picture, and I’ll spare you the details.  The good news?  Consider the territory marked!  The bad news?  We need more paper towels and cleaner.

The health care debate in Washington is incomplete!  That’s not a plug for or against Obamacare or any political statement.  But after my first vet bill (Cadie had an ear infection, needed to get a microchip, various vaccinations and tests, etc.), I am starting to understand the pull of pet health insurance, because if this is a sign of things to come, Andrew and I may need to start the Ramen regime.

(I’m kidding – of course we budgeted for vet bills, within reason, before agreeing to adopt).

I could go on and on about our new pup, but I don’t want to be one of “those mommies” so I’ll summarize by saying we’re head-over-heels in love with this little mischievous pooch, and have signed up for training classes to ensure we three remain in love for years and years to come!  And we’ve give her a new nickname; henceforth we shall refer to her (in certain circles) as “the Devil Dog,” both because she’s as sweet as the Drake’s cake and because she’s a troublemaker we love to love.

Happy tails to you!

My new people are exhausting! (And yes, I’ve been spayed)

What I Learned in San Diego

April 25, 2012 at 10:10 am | Posted in Family, Home Ownership | 2 Comments
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Nota Bene: If you have a weak tummy, skip to the second paragraph. 

When I last blogged, I was sitting in the airport terminal after having tossed my cookies on the Logan Express.  My Mo’s guess (that it was a result of taking ‘roids on an empty stomach) may have worked for that first instance, but the rest of the flight will need further explanation because I ralphed the entire way.  Seated between a very proper gentleman and a 15-year-old boy, I was that girl in the middle seat who got sick over and over and over again.  The one who used every barf bag within a two-row radius, and who grossed herself out, along with most of my fellow passengers, on the flight now known as The Great Disgust of 2012.  I arrived in San Diego exhausted, ill, slightly dehydrated and thrilled to see my besty, even in the state I was in.

Anywhoodles, what I really wanted to talk about today is the surprising insight I had about my parents while visiting Rhymes-with-Tzarina.  Tzarina and I did not make any plans for our visit (other than attending a Padres game).  We hung out, watched silly TV, ran errands, walked her dog and did some apartment decorating.  And then it hit me…

I finally get it!

One night Tzarina was making dinner and I started cleaning her refrigerator door handles (of all things – weird, I know).  She gave me that look – I know because I give it to people, too – the one that says “please don’t judge me; I know I’m not perfect.”  And this realization hit me like a hipster on the latest iGadget: when my parents visit and My Mo cleans my counters or puts away dishes or brings groceries or does whatever she does, when RWFOTB works on my jungle of a yard or makes suggestions about future home improvement projects, it has nothing to do with my inadequacies (of which I have many, though they would certainly contradict that statement in the public domain) and everything to do with how much they love and want to care for me.

What I was doing had nothing to do with critiquing Tzarina (who is amazing) or her refrigerator door handles (which were fine before I even touched them), and everything to do with demonstrating my affection for someone who is the closest thing I have to a sister.

I traveled across the contiguous United States and felt closer to my parents – and that’s what family is all about. 

And because I rarely write anything too saccharine, I’ll bookend this blog with the ridiculousness of my journey home.  Waiting to board the red-eye back to Beantown (cough cough never again cough cough), I noticed the fella standing in front of me was none other than the very proper gentleman who was unfortunate enough to have had to sit next to me en route to SoCal.  He did a double take when he saw me, and, in the most polite way he could, said:

“I hope you’re feeling better… what row are you in on this flight??”

Awkward, people.  Very, very awkward. 

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