#NaBloPoMo Day 19: The Sting of Halloween

Nineteen days into NaBloPoMo, and today’s theme is Injury.  I’m talking about a serious one today, folks!  By the way, if you need some help in the toddler raising department, be sure to read yesterday’s post about how I discipline my demonic two-year-old.

If there’s one thing I lack, it’s experience with bee stings.*   Or wasp or hornet stings, what have you.   Rumor has it that when I was a little kid, I was stung by a wasp on the butt while I was using a training toilet outside (as you do).  But that was the last and only time I’ve ever been stung, and I obviously don’t remember how it felt.

I do remember feeling pretty smug when, a few years back, my cousin’s family was visiting and her husband would not shut up about the wasps in our back yard.  “Katie, we CANNOT let our kids get stung,” he said to my cousin emphatically.  “That would just ruin our WHOLE DAY.”  I rolled my eyes inwardly, thinking he was being overly dramatic.  That was two years ago, but unfortunately there’s no statute of limitations on karma.

So let’s flash back to Halloween of this year.  We were at a “Boo at the Zoo” event, and K-Man was having a grumpy day.  He’s really not into dressing up in costume, but we bribed him into a fireman outfit by telling him it was just a jacket he needed to wear because it was cold outside.  Hah, sucker.

Once K-Man realized the event was an exercise in collecting candy, his mood brightened somewhat.  Nevertheless, we sighed loudly when he suddenly screamed and threw his pumpkin bucket to the ground.  Hubby made no effort to hide his annoyance as K-Man’s sobs grew.  But as I stared down at his sad little shaking body, I started to realize something was actually wrong.  Though there was no offender in sight, we thought maybe the poor little dude had been stung by a yellow jacket. I had seen them everywhere all morning, and of course his hands were covered in sugar.  When his finger turned red and started to swell, we were certain that’s what we were dealing with.

Since I had no recollection of how much a sting hurts, I didn’t know what I was in for with my injured toddler.  When the initial tears dried up after a few minutes, I figured the episode was behind us.  But no, every 2-3 minutes, K-Man would break down crying in long, morose sobs all over again.

It really was a “bless his heart” kind of moment.  Some of the attendants felt so bad for him — without even knowing why he was crying — that they gave him extra candy as he made the rounds.

Eventually we gave up and left the zoo.  K-Man’s tearful outbursts became fewer and farther between, but still lasted for several hours.  He even woke up early from his nap crying about how his “finguh huht”.

To make him feel better, I told him the story about getting stung on my butt when I was a toddler. Well, that surely left a mark. Here we are, three weeks out, and I will still hear K-Man whispering to himself in the back seat: “I got stung by a bee on my finger and Mom got stung by a bee on her BUTT!!” I guess we’re bonded now.

Until next time,

Vee

*I’m totally joking.  I am abundant with flaws.

#NaBloPoMo Day 14: Dolla’ Dolla’ Bill Y’all

Happy NaBloPoMo Day 14, where my self-assigned theme is Money.  As Wyclef Jean would say, dolla’ dolla’ bill y’all!  Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post, where I admit I would pay so many big ones to get my daughter to sleep through the night.

Allow me to get a bit inelegant up in here as I crudely discuss my family’s finances.  So Hubby and I, we have an MD and a JD to our respective names.  We must be rolling in it, right? Well, no, not so much.  Not when you consider the fact that I left my high-paying job to be a stay-at-home mom indefinitely.  And not when you consider the fact that Hubby is in his first year of residency, and residents are paid almost zero dollars.  I’m not even joking when I say his salary is 1/6 of what my salary was when I left my biglaw job.

We’re a family of four living on a pretty meager paycheck.  Are we broke or what?  Thankfully, we’re not about to be in the poorhouse.  When I was working and Hubby was in med school, we weren’t the most frugal people you ever met.  But we were careful enough to pay off my loans, cover about half of his education bills, and build a nice little nest egg in a savings account. And now — as we’ve always planned — we’re tapping into that nest egg so we can afford for me to stay at home with the kids for a bit.

That being said, we’d like to have some savings left on the other side of Hubby’s residency.  Our lifestyle still has to change drastically.  Drastically.  When we crunch the numbers, after everything, we’ve really got to be spending about 1/4 as much as we did before I left my job.

So how do you do that? No, seriously, this isn’t a how-to post. I need somebody to tell me how to do that.  Here’s what we’ve figured out so far:

 

  • We did ourselves a big favor by leaving the DC metro area.  Thank you, Upstate NY, for being about half as expensive.
  • We can no longer eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Sometimes, I actually have to cook meals.  Which means I’ve had to learn how to cook.  Which means I’ve had to learn that I’m not very good at cooking.  Which is a hard pill to swallow, since I’ve made a bit of a career out of criticizing my mother-in-law’s cooking.
  • We have to stop going to fucking Target.  WE HAVE TO STOP GOING TO FUCKING TARGET.  Sorry, I’m still trying to convince myself of this one.  Because I heart Target so freaking bad.  I know it is a perilous money pit, but it is my true happy place.  Bored? Let’s go to Target. Kids are acting crazy? Let’s go to Target. Need Starbucks? Let’s go to the one in Target.
  • Getting paid to take online surveys will earn you about $1.00 an hour.  That’s 4.5 hours of work for a Starbucks chai latte.
  • Goodbye Starbucks, hello Dunkin’ Donuts.  (But really, goodbye Dunkin’ Donuts too, because see bullet point #2).

It’s a steep learning curve, but we’ll figure it out, right?

Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 10: A Former Daddy’s Girl

I’m still here blogging my way through November, NaBloPoMo style.  We’re in the double digits with Day 10, and today’s theme is Fathers.  Yesterday, I blogged about my experiences at boarding school, which my own father was nice enough to pay for.

Shout out to my dad, who is another member of the November birthday club.  When I think about it, it makes perfect sense that my dad and I would have birthdays so close together.  We’ve always been kind of in sync.

Now if you ask my dad about me, the very first thing he will tell you is that he held me first.  You see, he and my mom kept having all these babies together, and it was starting to annoy him that she always got to hold the babies first thing after they were born.  (I mean, I think she kind of earned that right, but whatever).  Anyway, when I was born, my dad allegedly insisted that he get to hold me before I was passed over to my mom.  And thus a special bond was formed.  You can guess how much my siblings love hearing that story.

My dad was amazing when we were growing up.  He devoted a lot of time and energy to raising us, and he was always around.  He encouraged our imagination, our education, our physical prowess.  He invented fun games that we played for years and years.  He made up characters and told us stories on long car rides.  He was the perfect tutor and the perfect coach.  He was a shoulder to cry on, always.

He was so good at his job as a dad that I didn’t realize how rough things were for him sometimes behind the scenes.  Not only were finances extremely tight in the early years, but he was also suffering from a dangerous depression.  I was oblivious to all of it; he was my hero and I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world.  So I really think that’s a testament to him.

Of course, as most people do, I grew up and realized my parents aren’t perfect.  As I moved away and was able to analyze our relationship with a little more objectivity, I discovered that my dad was just as flawed as everybody else.  He was emotionally manipulative, belligerently opinionated, overly critical of others.  I found myself having to take a step back from the close bond.  It was important to preserve my own independence, and I couldn’t do that if I regarded his opinions above my own.

And in the midst of all those adult realizations, my parents went through a heartbreaking divorce.  Heartbreaking for me, anyway.   It put a huge crack in the foundation of my relationship with my dad because I couldn’t help but feel like it was his fault.  You see, my parents got married really young, after only a few months of dating.  And my whole life, it was uncomfortably obvious that my mom loved my dad more than he loved her.  He was the center of her universe, but you couldn’t help but feel like he was just staying together for the kids.  So my mom walked away from the marriage heartbroken, and my dad walked away relieved.

And as I was healing my heart, trying to accept that this lifelong bedrock was gone, my dad moved to a new country and married another woman.  Someone he only knew for a few months beforehand.  It didn’t help that he married her secretly, without telling us when it happened.  And then a few months later, she was pregnant with his child.  Just in time for him to bring her to my own wedding with a full baby-bump on display.  My poor mom.

I could forgive that my dad moved on with another woman and had another kid, though I would have loved for him to wait a little longer before doing it.  What I can’t forgive, though, is that he made himself miserable all over again.  If he would have paused for a second before marrying this new woman, he would have learned that she is certifiably crazy.  Instead, he just made the same mistakes all over again.  Met a woman, fell passionately in love in a matter of months, got married, had a child, and then was stuck in another relationship he wanted out of.  He is still hurting.  Which makes me hurt.  Which makes me mad.  I know that sounds self-centered, but it’s how I feel.

So here we are in present day, working to mend a relationship that was never explicitly broken, though I think we both know we fell pretty far from the paradigm.  Luckily, our hearts are open and we both want the same thing.  And what’s really helping bring us back together is the common ground we share in my own kids.  One thing I couldn’t appreciate more is that my dad is an excellent Grandpa. Of course, he doesn’t like to be called  Grandpa, he thinks he’s too young for that.  Haha, time to face the music, old man.

Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 6: Birthday Month

Welcome to NaBloPoMo Day 6, where the theme du jour is Birthdays!  Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post, where I talk about how jealous I am of my sister-in-law’s very ripe cervix.  How’s that for a non-sequitur?

November is my Birthday Month — no wonder I love it so much.  (And yes, forget birthday weeks, I’m all about birthday months).

This year I am turning 32, which sounds just so old to me.  But then I think about the year I turned 12, when I ugly cried because I was sad about how ancient I was.  So maybe with a little perspective, I can appreciate that when I turn 52, I’ll also feel like that sounds pretty old.  And I’ll laugh back at my 32-year-old self because I was actually so young back then.

Honestly, I’m quite tempted to feel sorry for myself on my birthday this year.  Because I’m going to be spending it so very, very alone.  I’m introverted, and shy, and awkward, and most of the time, I don’t even care.  But there’s something about birthdays, at least for me.  As much as I don’t want to be noticed in general, I do secretly always hope people will make a big deal on my birthday.

But alas, I’m alone in a new city, taking my sweet introverted time making new friends.  No extended family within hundreds of miles in any direction.  So all of my birthday hopes fall on my husband.  My poor husband who is in the throes of his intern year.  My poor husband who is working six or seven days a week.  Who leaves the house every day at 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t get home until 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.  Yeah, that husband.  I don’t expect much from him, but it’s a bit of a bummer that we won’t really get to spend any time together.  Maybe I can I count on my two-year-old and my 11-month-old for some birthday love?

I guess the good news is, no adults will be around to witness my annual birthday face-stuffing.  I’m going to shot-gun an entire pizza, Liz Lemon-style.

And as I’m eating my way through my feelings, I’ll try to remember that a birthday is just one day in a year full of other days.  And that year is just one year in a lifetime full of other years.  So what if  the actual Day Of is kind of underwhelming? It’s been a good year, and it’s been a great life.

Until next time,

Vee

#CuteKids

Hi, I’m Vee, and I have cute kids. Two, to be exact. And a pretty darn cute husband too.  While I used to be a corporate litigation attorney in Washington, D.C., my family recently moved to upstate New York for my husband’s new job.  And with the move, a new title for me: stay-at-home mom. Yay? Yikes? Only time will tell.  I will say that this career change was very much wanted, and I will say that I have a lot–a LOT–of reservations.  I’m giving myself grace and if it’s too fricking* hard, then bully for me for trying, and back to the lawyering world I go!

Since this is my inaugural post, I guess a few more details about me and my cuties are warranted.  As for me, I grew up in the American southwest.  Love me some cactus, hate me some rattlesnakes.  I went to college in Canada (ice ice baby), and law school in the northeast (clam chowdah baby).  Then it was 3 years in New York City as an associate at a top-tier law firm, and 4 more years in D.C. as an associate at a satellite office of the same law firm.  I guess that’s not a small amount of moving around.  I’m 31-years-old (almost 32 but shut up ok?) and I’m a Scorpio.  Not that I know anything about astrology … but maybe that detail is relevant for those of you who do.

I met the husband (“Hubby”) in high school, but we didn’t start dating until the end of college.  We’ve been married for just over five years, and I think we’re pretty good stuff.  We certainly have our issues, but they’re workable.  Hubby just finished med school in D.C., and then started his residency program up here in July.  He is a 33-year-old Gemini, for those of you keeping score.

Our son, who I’ll refer to as “K-man” for now, is a glorious little tow-headed two-year-old.  He’s my world.  He’s a nightmare in the flesh. Like, good lord, are all two-year-olds sociopaths or is my kid broken? K-man, an Aquarius, enjoys playing with Hotwheel cars — like, ALL the Hotwheel cars — and munching on bowls full of Pepperidge Farms goldfish.  I have a sneaking suspicion he’s a genius, but it’s hard to wade through the bias.

Our daughter, “Ell-Bell” for the time being, is almost eleven-months-old.  Girlfriend is chuuu-bby.  Like, that’s the first thing strangers will say about her when they see her.  I hope they stop, soon, before she develops a complex.  She also has the most mesmerizing blue eyes I’ve ever seen — swoon!  Ell-Bell is a Sagittarius who enjoys cheese sticks and stealing Hotwheels from her brother.  They already love each other so much.

So that’s our little family.  Why this blog, why now? Well, I used to blog feverishly about my efforts to get pregnant with K-man, and I found it very therapeutic.  Alas, that blog has served its purpose, and I feel like it’s time to start fresh. I find myself narrating blog posts in my head all the time, so why not put pen to paper?

I hope that this will be a blog about everything.  Parenting, marriage, extended family, life up here in the frigid north, shower thoughts, etc., etc. I’m not that picky.  Honestly, I’m just a girl who’s alone in a new place, with an isolating job, and I need someone to talk to!  A blank screen will do the trick.

Until next time,

Vee

 

*Sometimes I get a little excited and use “colorful” language. I’ve tried to be good in this post, but I can’t promise future posts won’t drop a few four-letter words here and there.  I’d love to say “sorry not sorry” but I actually am kind of sorry. So, yeah, sorry in advance.