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November 3, 2018

Hallowiener

Decisions are so much easier to make now that I'm with Jason. I try to pick what he likes because not only might it make him happy, it spares me from having to spend days stressing over the unimportant things. No matter how mundane the decision, I am obsessed with finding a way to make everyone happy. Then I spend the rest of the time telling people that they can't make everyone happy and to stop stressing about it.

It's true though. There will always be that person who doesn't like a certain food no matter how it's prepared. With kids, it's easier to deal with. You don't like eggs? Then you can't have cookies. They have eggs in them. Grownups are less flexible. They need to be shamed for being uncultured. Unfortunately, there are also people who are proud to be xenophobic and have no problem rudely refusing a meal if it's not staring some kind of meat dish. Then there are the people who, no matter what, say, "It would have been better with..." As I said, it's impossible to please everyone, and some people make sure of it. 

If it truly matters to me, I speak up, like insisting that Jason watch Call the Midwife with me. He did, which is reason enough to marry him. Since then, I usually let him pick what we watch. The only thing I put my foot down about is The Blair Witch Project. Scary movies are too much for me, and just being told the plot of it many years ago gave me nightmares. Jason asks all the time if we can watch it, but I refuse to be worn down. I'm such a wiener that I even got a nightmare from a Halloween episode of Pretty Little Liars. 

So for Halloween, I picked out a lion costume for Zach because it's Jason's favorite animal. In fact, this is why he has been a fan of the Detroit Lions since he was a kid. We brought Zach to the Waterfront mall for trick-or-treating because it was free, easy, and fun. Then I insisted we get in line early for the baby costume contest. It never occurred to me that Zach wouldn't win because Zach is clearly the most perfect baby ever. Then as other contestants arrived, I soon realized that I was out of my depth. One baby was half Zach's size and dressed as a turtle. Two kids were mac n' cheese. There were princesses who looked like contestants on Toddlers and Tiaras. Some had elaborate homemade costumes that their parents had clearly spent all week on. I regretted wasting my time in line instead of getting candy.
The costume came with a zebra to snack on.

Zach without the mane was much happier, albeit less adorable.

Sure enough, when they announced the winners, none of them were Zach. Second place was a radio, but I thought they said "rainbow" and screamed to the girl dressed up as one, "YOU WON!!!" only to be politely corrected by the crowd. The winner was a little girl dressed as an angel on a wagon turned into a cloud of feathers. Her dad was in his army fatigues, clearly to tug their hearts. Well played, soldier. 

Later that night, I put my loser baby in his R2-D2 pajamas. I'm going to try and find him a pair every year because his first Halloween costume was R2-D2. 
2 Weeks Old
One Year and Two Weks Old

October 28, 2018

First Birthday

October 18th was Zach's first birthday, and it seemed like he knew because he was in a fabulous mood all day. That isn't like Zach. He's a very happy baby, but he also whines a lot. Once he made that discontent whining sound for so long, it took everything in my power not to unleash the earth's loudest "SHUT UP!" I've taken videos of him making that sound to guilt him later in life.

We started our festivities after midnight, which is the tradition I created for our family. Jason works evenings, so we are all on a late schedule. I decided that on birthdays, we would have a household celebration before bed, and then a celebration with the rest of the family later that evening. That way we can both start and end the day with a celebration.

I set out the presents people had sent us, as well as the ones we bought. The first one was a plush avocado from my best friend Meghan, which Zach decided he was content with and no longer interested in the rest of the presents. We persevered and opened up the ones from my sister and her family which included his first set of Legos. Instead of waiting for me to step on them, he makes it easy and just puts them in my shoes. His godparents generously sent nearly an entire winter wardrobe, which we needed because Zach went from a size 6m-9m to 18m-24m in a matter of weeks. He somehow skipped over a growth phase. At his 12 month doctor's visit, we discovered that he is in the 97th percentile for weight, which is incredible considering that he started out in the 3rd.

Last of all, he opened the ones from us which included a night light that displays the Lions mascot, courtesy of Jason obviously, and from me got everything needed to convert the walk-in closet into his own bedroom. Jason isn't a fan of this idea because making a kid live in a closet borders on abuse, but I think it's the perfect size for a toddler and a creative use of space.

Afterward, we went to bed and woke up ready to party again. I made his first scrambled eggs, and he spat them back at me in disgust. We played with his new toys until it was time to get ready for dinner. Since we were meeting up with Jason's family at a restaurant, I put Zach in his fancy suit and wore a nice dress. Jason asked if he should dress up too, and I told him no because we live in Pittsburgh. I'm not from here, so it's not pretentious when I dress up. The rest of the city has to wear the standard uniform of cargo shorts or blue jeans.
My little dandy
After dinner, we returned to our place, and Zach had his first piece of cake. I wasn't paying attention, and Jason's kids, in being good siblings, made sure that Zach got enough frosting to eat. By the time I turned around, Zach had gotten frosting all over himself, including in his hair and ear canals. He also got plenty on the inside too because later he vomited and the following day had colorful diarrhea. It reminded me of my twenty-first birthday.

At some point, Jason steered the conversation to wrestling. Unfortunately, I had already fallen in love with him by the time I found out about his WWE fandom. If you are wondering if I'm referring to the "fake sport", nope. It turns out, I'm referring to the "scripted sports entertainment." Jason explained that it's not fake because they genuinely get hurt. Now I just call it his "stories."

He was telling me about a wrestler's intro music being "Line In The Sand" by Motörhead, then played it for me. As soon as it started playing, Zach, who had never heard it before, got a big grin, scrunched his nose, and began headbanging with his arm raised. I'm not making any of this up. Since then, I've been testing which bands he enjoys, and he likes Def Leppard, Kiss, doesn't like Ozzy, and loves AC/DC. I found out about AC/DC because we were watching Daddy's Home 2, and when Will Ferrell's character sees Mel Gibson's, "Thunderstruck" plays. Zach abruptly stopped eating peas to raise his arm and headbanged. Last night Jason asked me which AC/DC song do I consider the best. When I said, "Shook Me All Night Long", he said no, it's "Hells Bells". Then he played it, and as soon as Zach heard it, he grinned, raised his arm, and bobbed his head to the beat.
Thank you for making me a mama, Zachy.

October 15, 2018

Rosie the Robot Vacuum

For my birthday, Jason's parents gave him money to pick out a present from them. Jason picked a robot vacuum because he knows what chicks dig. It was a rose gold colored one, so I named it Rosie.
Like this Rosie, but lazier and less sassy
I used to dream about having a baby and getting it a Roomba to sit on, like in YouTube videos. This proved very disillusioning because by the time Zach could sit up on his own, he was too heavy, and Rosie just beeped while grinding into the ground. 

Soon it became normal to have Rosie buzzing around, and when she would go by, I would say, "Zach! There's your sister Rosie," and Zach would watch it with interest. Since Zach was too heavy, I would put a stuffed T-Rex on it and sent it into the bathroom after Jason. 

After a while, Rosie began getting on my nerves. She got stuck places she never should have been able to fit in, couldn't handle the incline from the floor to carpet, and beeped while being charged. Basically, she was getting stupider. I think it's because Zach had learned how to crawl, and when I had my back turned, he would find her and beat on her with his little fists. 

Finally, the day came when I had to retire her. Zach was sleeping in the bedroom with the door closed, and she kept smacking it, trying to get in. When she finally succeeded, I yelled, "Get out, Rosie, you dumb bitch!" Upon hearing myself say that, I realized that I was taking this vacuum way too seriously. I packed her up and put her in the closet for the time being. In the meantime, I still have two other vacuums I can tell myself I'm going to use. 

October 12, 2018

Cleaning the Irritation Valve

I finally have an opportunity to write, and I'm grumpy. The annoying things in life have crept up on me, and it's finally time to unleash them. Here's this round:

1. Snapchats filters with babies.
Me-ow., Zachy.
2. Jason's crush on late 90's pop musician Michelle Branch.

3. People thinking my social media posts are about them and getting offended. They've been wrong 100% of the time.

4. Stating outlandish things without fact-checking first.

5. Sharing a bathroom with a boy.

6. Having to put on clothes that aren't pajama pants.

7. Hamsters that eat their babies.

8. The weather in Pittsburgh. I've seen all four seasons within the same week. It's creepy.

9. Not changing an opinion despite being given factual information to the contrary.

10. Responding to what they interpret the photo or tagline to mean without reading my blog post. Like, they noticed the post, it interested them, had time to reply, and blatantly decided not to read it.

11. The "Just Say No" campaign of the 80's. It was proven to have done exponentially more harm than good.

12. Unaffectionate people. They're reptilian, and I don't like it.

13. Affectionate people. Gross.

14. Spammers calling when Zach is asleep on me.

15. Having people watch me while I clean.

16. Responses that start with "You just think that..."

17. Blonde jokes because they're generally about women being intellectually inferior or shame their sexuality.

18. Unhealthy foods high in carbohydrates cost the least.

19. How patronizing it is when someone must always respond with "wise lessons" or advice.

20. People grabbing pitchforks because they got their political information from a meme. Just because it's in meme form, that doesn't automatically make it true.