Monday, December 29, 2014

On Santa

**UPDATED BELOW**

I was informed that there was no Santa when I was six-and-a-half years old, on a June day, on the way to the local community swimming pool.

By my sister.

Who had just turned three.

Rachel and Jenna, circa 1991. Don't be fooled by Jenna's sweet face in this picture. She is the Santa-dream-killing devil.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Dear Seattle Drivers....

You are awful. I won't say that you are the worst, because Massachusetts has that market pretty well cornered, but you are bad. The thing about you is that you are uniquely bad. While Massholes are renowned for their aggressiveness and wanton disregard for things like traffic lanes, which I'd say is classically bad, you, Seattle Drivers, are actually killing each other with kindness. Add to that a complete lack of awareness of your general surroundings, and you have a recipe for me wanting to strangle all of you.

Friday, December 12, 2014

On dentist visits and moral superiority

Within the next few days, I'm going to be seeing the dentist for my semi-annual visit, scheduled well in advance out of a deeply-rooted sense of moral obligation about my oral hygiene as instilled by my parents. All dental visits are essentially exactly the same, and I'm sure this one will be no different.

Make no mistake, Comcast is f*cking you over.

Let me just say right out of the gate, I have been a Comcast customer on and off in varying cities for the better part of the last 9 years. I have power cycled routers, power cycled modems, power cycled cable boxes, and spent countless hours on the phone with "customer service" when those things failed, only to be told (after unspeakable amounts of time on hold) that I should just go ahead and try those things again.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

According to Avery (3 months old)

If this is Avery at 3 months, imagine what we're in for when she's a teenager.

 
Mmm-hmm, Mmm-hmm, yes, yes, very interesting.

Oh, pardon me! Turkey sandwiches always give me a touch of indigestion. 

Anatomy of a Parenting Fail

7:15am: Temporary nanny arrives at our house so that we can show her the ropes before we entrust our child to what is essentially a (23-year-old) total stranger.

7:20am: Realize that said 23-year-old total stranger is probably more qualified to take care of our child than we are when she already knows how to use every single baby apparatus in our house.

7:21am: Watch as my child gently caresses the nanny's boob and realize that (1) she knows where food comes from; (2) she is not picky; (3) I'm just a walking milk keg.


Monday, December 1, 2014

A transplant's guide to living in Seattle

These are just a few of the things I've learned during my four and a half years as a Seattle transplant. I'm sure I've missed a ton of stuff, so feel free to add suggestions in the comments. I'll update this post with the best contributions.
 
On Proper Pronunciation...

It's Pike Place Market, not Pike's Place Market. Just Pike. Not possessive. Mispronouncing this is a dead giveaway that you're not from these parts.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

On the selfishness of motherhood

When Avery was two months old, a bicyclist died in Seattle. It was a regular morning commute. She was riding down 2nd Ave. It was three days before a new light system for the 2nd Ave bike lane was installed. She was going straight. A truck was making a left turn. They didn't see each other. She died. Instantly.

I didn't know this woman. I had no connection to her, nothing in common with her, beyond the fact that we were both mothers to young babies.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Child Care (aka paying 2k a month to have your balls in a vice)

We found out that we were pregnant about 7:30pm on Friday, October 11, 2013. By 8am on Monday, October 14, 2013, we were on two daycare wait lists. A third soon followed. We knew generally where we would be sending our baby to daycare before the doctor even confirmed I was pregnant.

When people tell you that you need to be on a daycare wait list the minute the stick turns blue, they are not kidding. Avery was three months old when we were notified that we'd gotten off the wait list at our last choice daycare. We anticipate getting off the wait list at our first choice daycare about the time she turns 18 and we send her off to college.



Friday, November 7, 2014

Requiem for my hair

There are a lot of things people don't tell you about the process of gestating, birthing, and sustaining a child until you are already pregnant. It's the grand conspiracy of the human species: only disclose the unbelievable indignities of the process when it's too late for the poor mama-to-be to change her mind.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Black Plate, Chapter 3: Swearing at the Receptionist

My first day back at work after maternity leave was emotional one to be sure. But it also had its moments of wonderfully delicious randomness and absurdity -- you know, the things that make blog fodder.

The most prominent of these moments arrived at about 9am. On my way back to my office from a meeting, I ran into our receptionist, who gleefully exclaimed that she's just dropped off something fun for me on my desk (did that read creepy? I think it read a little creepy. I didn't sound that way when she said it). Clearly excited to see my reaction, she trails me back into my office, actually clasping her hands in the way that bubbly people do as my eyes alight on the plate of homemade brownies that some loving soul had hand delivered for me that morning.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I voted. So should you.

This year, I voted. Just as I have every election since I became legally eligible to do so at age 18 (that magical age when I was deemed old enough to help decide the fate of our country, not to mention die for it, but not quite old enough to have a beer. But that's a rant for another day.).

The process of voting in the 2014 mid-term election was not any different for me, but the meaning behind the ballot I cast has changed. Today, for the first time, I voted not just for myself and my future, but for my daughter and hers.

Friday, October 31, 2014

To sleep train or not sleep train: why the f*ck is this even a question?

From the moment our parents found out that we were having a baby, Mark and I heard (from both sides, repeatedly) about how little sleep we were going get. Mark and I were apparently both colicky babies and terrible sleepers, and our parents were perhaps just a hair's breadth shy of outright gleeful that we were about to get our comeuppance.

Fast forward a year, and Mark and I are the proud, happy, well-rested parents of a four-month-old who sleeps remarkably well. As in, insists on going to bed between 6:30 and 7:00pm and doesn't wake up again until between 6 and 7am. For good measure, see below.

 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Like an otter to water

A month or so ago, I posted about something called the Otteroo, a floatation device for babies that looks vaguely like torture but a lot of people swear is super fun!

Without consulting a pediatrician or any other parent who had actually used one of these devices, we purchased one and gleefully unwrapped it when it arrived a few days later. Naturally, once we had it there was no chance we were going to wait to try it, so out come the Otteroo, off came the baby's clothes, and into the tub the pair went.

Chestnut Wars: Squirrels vs. Old Asian Ladies

I wish I had a picture of this to accompany this post, but alas, every time I see this happen it's because I'm on a run and don't have a phone or a camera with me to capture it. Unless you live in Queen Anne in Seattle and have seen it for yourself, you're just going to have to take my word for it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mark has a delicate sense of smell

Last night, as I was nursing/rocking the baby before bed...

Me: Mark, honey, can you get me my water bottle? I think it's in my gym bag. 

Mark: Sure, one sec.

Me: Thanks!

(rummaging from the next room) 

Mark: uggghhhhhhhh

Me: What just happened?! (assuming water had just been spilled everywhere)

Mark: I opened your damn gym bag and got bowled over by the smell. 

Me: What do you want from me? I'm a sweaty person.

He knew this when he married me. I have no sympathy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Boobs on a plane

Last week at work, I was having a conversation with a couple of colleagues who travel a lot. When I say a lot, I mean they were both in agreement that "17 Charlie" is the optimal seat on 737s, and apparently seats in the last row on "intercontinental birds" have leg rests because they're designed for flight crew use, making them optimal for passengers when not otherwise occupied by a backup flight crew. Who knew?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A new perspective on pumping

Day 4 of pumping at the office. On the recommendation of another mommy friend, I have been using a pump bra so that I can be hands free and productive whilst I'm being milked like a common dairy cow. In case you're unfamiliar with a pump bra, here's what it looks like, sans the rest of the pumping accoutrement.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Black Plate, Chapter 2: UPS Signature Required

For the full run down on the black plate, visit The Black Plate, Chapter 1.

Per Chapter 1, the last time the black plate changed hands, Sarah and Peter actually arranged to have it served to us during brunch with our rug rats. It was a bold stroke on their part. Like hell were Mark and I going to be outdone.

Naturally, in our frenzied hubris aimed at one-upping our dear friends, there were a few things that we didn't think through as carefully as we probably should have. Such as what "signature required" actually means to UPS, versus what we thought it meant. This caused us a good deal more pain than we expected. The end result, however? Totally worth it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A mother's first day back at work


Before you have a child, everyone with children tells you that you will never truly grasp your own capacity to love another human being until you become a parent. While I think I understood this in the abstract, looking back, I really did not come anywhere close to comprehending the magnitude and intensity of the love I would feel for a child until I had my daughter Avery.

My sister-in-law once described a parent's love for a child as having your heart walk around outside your body for the rest of your life. This is more accurate than I could have imagined. Loving a child means walking around constantly terrified and simultaneously fearless. The fear of losing your child is so great that you would, without hesitation, face down any obstacle, overcome any phobia, sacrifice limb/life/dignity/sanity, do anything to protect that child. All other terrors become obsolete in the face of just one.

When you become a working parent, you are forced to confront for the first time the only thing as terrifying as losing your child: the fact that, at some point, you really have no control. You do the best you can, you would do anything, but the reality is that this giant chunk of your heart is a separate, autonomous person with whom you cannot spend every waking second for the rest of your natural life. Even if you don't go back to work when your baby is still a baby, some day, she will go off to pre-school or kindergarten. She'll have her first sleepover. She'll have her first boyfriend. She'll go off to college or on travels around the world. She'll get married (or not), and have babies of her own (or not). At some point, all you can do is watch and trust that you've done all you can.

This is why I'm back at work. I won't lie, I cried this morning at 5:30am when I left for the gym and the office, leaving Avery in her father's capable hands. I'm sure there will be lots more tears in the days and weeks to come. There will be moments and firsts and milestones that I miss because I'm at the office, and this breaks my heart. There will be times when I desperately want to be home with my baby girl and not at work. But at the end of the day, my daughter, this giant chunk of my heart, is her own person who will have her own identity and her own life. And for me, that means that I need to preserve something of mine that is separate and distinct from being her mom.

Because while I am now a mom, I'm a lot of other things. I'm Mark's wife. I'm Bonnie and Brian's daughter, and Jenna's sister, and Madelyne and Liam's aunt. I’m a friend to many. I'm a communications manager at a technology company. I'm a food lover. I'm an exercise fiend. I’m a football fan. And I want to show my daughter that she, too, can be so many things, and still be a mom who loves and adores her child. These things don’t have to be mutually exclusive if you don't want them to be.

Maybe Avery will grow up and decide that parenthood is not for her. Maybe she’ll grow up and decide that her life’s calling is to be someone’s mother. Perhaps, like me, she’ll find a way to be a woman who has both a career and a family. Most importantly, I want her to grow up knowing that she can make these choices for herself, because she is her own person, and not just my daughter.

Here's to surviving day one, and learning to enjoy all the days to come.

Reminding myself that I don't want an HOA

For those that did not grow up in the suburban jungle known as the "planned community" you may have no clue about HOAs. Let me enlighten you. "HOA" stands for "Home Owners Association." The notion of an HOA isn't a bad one: set up policies about what you can and can't do with your house and yard to make sure that no one does anything wildly tacky, and then enforce those policies. In theory, great. In practice, well, dictatorship.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Good Vibrations, Breastfeeding Edition

You don't realize just how much your boobs have personalities until you have a baby. I certainly didn't. Within a few weeks of popping out the kiddo, however, it became abundantly clear that Hefty Lefty was a take-no-shit kinda gal who was happy to do what was necessary to ensure her comfort (namely, leaking excessively). Mighty Righty, on the other hand, has proven to be one stubborn mofo. What she produces, she holds, often to her detriment.

Monday, October 6, 2014

That time when I almost killed my husband during a Seahawks game

Tonight, after Avery's bath, Mark marched back to our basement to, apparently, continue watching the Seahawks game. The DVR'd Seahawks game. That I was also watching. Per usual, I was tasked with nursing/rocking her to sleep.

After a less than awesome nap day, I was faced with a seriously fussy budget, so I was less than thrilled when shouting from the basement resulted in Avery thrusting herself backward off the nipple to howl in protest/commiseration.

If you are under the impression that my first thought was, "he's disturbing the baby," you would be wrong. My first thought was "he's watching the DVR'd game without me. Bastard!"

Only then did I get pissed about the whole baby thing. 

The mama is cranky.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Importance of Running with the Herd

There's a great Q&A with essayist Eula Biss on Gawker today about her new book, On Immunity: An Inoculation, about the vaccine controversy. I haven't read the book, but after reading the Q&A, I intend to. Her arguments are calm, reasoned, respectful. I appreciate that.

As a parent, you cannot escape the vaccine controversy. It appears on nearly every news show, every blog, every parent group. I have friends and family that vehemently disagree on this issue. But when you're the parent of an infant, the question of vaccination is not only staring you in the face, it becomes two-fold. (1) Do I vaccinate? and (2) Do I need to worry about where I take my child until she is fully vaccinated?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The baby giveth freedom. The baby fighteth like hell to take it away.

At four weeks old, darling baby Avery took a bottle for the first time. Said bottle was administered by her loving father. In true tank fashion, she chugged down nearly four ounces. By all accounts, it was a success.

Avery, post-first bottle. A placid little angel.


The ability to pump milk and have my child eat that pumped milk from a bottle represented freedom. I was now free to leave Avery for longer than 30 minutes at a time. I could work out. I could have a girls night. Let's be honest. What it really meant is that I could work out. Can I get a hallelujah? Hell yes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Birds


3:15pm: Baby Avery is napping soundly. The dust bunnies are now growing legs and starting to hop around the house. It's taken me nearly 3 days, but I'm finally going to get around to vacuuming.

3:30pm: Merrily vacuuming the main floor, congratulating myself on this small accomplishment of house-wifery.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Spidery Hellscape That Is My Lawn

There are many things that people will tell you about when you move to Seattle. The weather. The winter darkness. The frosty approach to social connection employed by many of its residents (aka "The Seattle Freeze.") Not one single person saw fit to inform me that Seattle is a spidery hellscape, especially between August and November.

To the strangers who saved me today, thank you.

Today, we took Baby Avery to her first UW Huskies game. By all accounts, it was an unmitigated disaster. While she largely slept through our 45 minutes of token tailgating, within 5 minutes of entering the stadium, meltdown ensued. Turns out that noise cancelling baby earmuffs aren't sufficiently effective for our baby. After 2 minutes of screaming, I was desperate to get her out of there.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

That Special Moment When Your Pants Fit Again

Within approximately one week of finding out I was pregnant, my jeans became insufferable. I tried to do the whole rubber band around the button thing, but it became obvious quickly that it wasn't going to work for me. I was bloated. I was constantly throwing up. I couldn't stand any pressure on my stomach. I resigned myself to living in leggings until I got big enough for maternity clothes.

Lo and behold, 3 months and 3 days after giving birth, I just successfully buttoned my pre-pregnancy jeans again. That's not to say I want to spend a whole day in them, or that there isn't a bit of a muffin top there, but they button without requiring me to lie down or perform other superhuman body contortion tricks. I consider this a win.

Now I just have to wait 9 more months for my boobs to deflate and I'll have my wardrobe back! More on that later...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Mommy Shame Game (alternate title: Let's Stop Being A**holes to Each Other)

As many of you have noticed, I try to be funny with this blog. Often I'm bitching, but I try to infuse some humor into my bitching. But sometimes you just have to have a good old-fashioned knock-down, drag-out, throw-the-book at 'em rant. This is one of those.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Live Blogging a Dishwasher Installation

For additional context, please see "Finding Religion Before a Scheduled Appliance Installation."

***

12:15pm: Installation crew arrives with new dishwasher. Being an idiot, I realize that I've not yet unloaded the old dishwasher. 

12:16pm: Begin unloading old dishwasher, get angry with husband for forgetting to run it. Realize that he did run it, it just failed to clean the dishes. Curse old dishwasher.

Finding Religion Before A Scheduled Appliance Installation

Before I got pregnant and had a baby, the only good reason I could come up with for having a blog was to complain about the immense inconvenience of home ownership. Don't get me wrong, it was good blog fodder, just infrequent. Also, don't get me wrong. Owning a home is a privilege and a blessing. But damn, it is such a pain in the ass.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy Anniversaries Come in Many Flavors. Preferably Chocolate and PJs

You know you married the right person when you find yourself happily celebrating your wedding anniversary by eating steak and mashed potatoes, followed by chocolate cake, off of your wedding china, while wearing pajamas.

Today Mark and I officially celebrated our second wedding anniversary. Our beautiful daughter, Avery, also turned 3 months old today. Do the math on that one. I promise, it'll be fun (#hinthint, our anniversary will forever be a reminder for her first-born of how much fun her parents had celebrating their first wedding anniversary!).

Another indication that we married the right person? We decided that the official celebration of our anniversary would be attending the Broncos/Seahawks football game, during which we talked a copious amount of shit, drank beer, and ate bad cheese steak. I wouldn't have it any other way. Neither would Mark.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Apparently Old Men Blow Dry Their Balls in the Locker Room

Yay! My first click bait blog post title! I bet it convinced you to click. Don't lie to yourself. I promise, more on that later, but first to the planned topic of this post: acceptable parading of boobies in the women's locker room.

If you are a girl, chances are you had your first encounter with old lady boobs and the magnificent full silver bush in the women's locker room when you were a child -- you know, when you were old enough that staring was rude but still too young to help yourself. Don't lie.

When you were a teenager, you probably either avoided the locker room altogether, or performed towel/clothing acrobatics to avoid having anyone see your perky young boobs -- the ones you'd miss desperately by the time you hit your mid-20s. Don't lie.

By the time you were out of college and were faced with paying for a gym membership, getting naked in the locker room had probably just become par for the course. Everyone else stripped down and then concealed themselves in a tiny within a respectable period of time, so you just fell in line with the crowd. You still saw plenty of exposed lady bits, but everyone saw yours as well.

This is why you'd think that it wouldn't be a big effing deal to nurse your 2 month old baby in the women's locker room. I certainly didn't think it would be a big deal. Good lord, was I wrong. Apparently, women of a certain age have no problem parading around their old boobies and splaying their legs luxuriantly in the sauna, but if you so much as put a baby in the vicinity of a boob, someone is going to ask you to cover up. I have attempted to nurse my daughter in peace three times in the locker room at my gym so far. Each time, without fail, I have been offered a towel so that I can "cover up" -- sometimes by other members, sometimes by employees.

A digression on the subject of breastfeeding in public. While I try to avoid overt displays of nipple in the public arena, I am completely unconcerned about breastfeeding in public. If someone is offended by catching a glimpse of nipple in the .05 seconds it takes my piranha (ahem, baby) to latch on, that's their damn problem, not mine. Other mommies, if you feel uncomfortable about nursing in public, that's totally your choice. Everyone has different comfort levels. Just as I refuse to be shamed about nursing in public, I refuse to shame others about deciding not to do so.

Anyway, every time some scandalized looking woman in a towel offers to help me cover up, I've politely declined by saying that breasts are a fairly regular siting in a locker room, and I'm all good. Then I go back to paying attention to my personal vacuum (ahem, baby).

Today, in an attempt to comply with the new workout plan and thus avoid another night of terrible consequences, I found myself in the women's locker room, hitched to a pump like a common dairy cow. Naturally, it took approximately five seconds for an aging biddy to sidle up and offer me a towel -- this, despite the fact that my shirt was covering the pump apparatus. Honestly, it's an effing locker room. I will never understand.

So, now to the part you've been waiting for. As I was bitching to Mark about the incredibly hypocrisy happening in the women's locker room, he suddenly decides to inform me that apparently some old dudes in the locker room blow dry their balls.

Questions:

(1) Their are blow dryers in the men's locker room?
(2) Do they use the cool setting?
(3) If not, does this result in swamp balls?
(4) Or worse ... chestnuts roasting on an open fire?

So many questions!

Mark has asked me to inform you that he does not participate in this activity.


Consequences of Ignoring the New Workout Plan

When it comes to maximizing exercise, my common sense is often minimal. As noted in my earlier post, intellectually I understood that pumping prior to doing an interval training workout made sense; however, I only had an hour and pumping was going to cut at least 10 minutes from my workout. So I went ahead and exercised while a little engorged. That was Tuesday at 5pm.

Wednesday at 3am I paid the price. I woke up to a crying baby and a very plugged milk duct. Always the same duct mind you. Right side, upper right quadrant. It's a weak spot in the truest sense of the term. Anyway, rather than my usual routine of grab baby, change diaper, attach baby to breast, and half-doze until she is sufficiently sated to be deposited back in her crib, I found myself engaged in strenuous negotiation with an intractable duct.

A digression . . . for those that are dismissing the pain of a plugged milk duct (ahem, men and childless people), I would like to state for the record that I gave birth naturally. No epidural, no drugs. If you need a visual, I pushed a watermelon out a hole the size of lemon with no analgesic assistance. This should lend me credibility when all I have to say about a plugged milk duct is: "F*** that sh**. Where's the Vicodin?"

Returning from my digression, it took 90 minutes, including a good 30 minutes of pumping, 20 minutes of standing in a scalding hot shower, and breaking the cardinal rule of having a baby -- waking the baby -- to unplug said duct. Needless to say, I will not be making this mistake again. I paid dearly for those extra 10 minutes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oral Fixation

Over the past few days, Avery has discovered that she has these magical apparatuses called hands that she can use to stick things in her mouth. Her mind is blown. The dog is confused about why she isn't allow to put the toy in her mouth. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Water Torture / Parenting Entertainment

The Otteroo
After reading about Float Baby in Houston, Texas, I became vaguely obsessed with the notion of floating my child in a bathtub / swimming pool, etc. I looked for a Float Baby equivalent in Seattle to no avail. Turns out that when it comes to shoving your child's head in a donut and using it to float her in a body of water, Texas is more progressive. Who would have thought . . .

Then lo and behold, one of my favorite blogs, Lucie's List (precisely the correct amount of snark peppered in with parenting advice!), posts to Facebook about how you can create your very own Float Baby spa . . . in your own bathtub. This miracle comes courtesy of a company called Otteroo*. Ding ding ding... SOLD! For $35 I can provide myself with at least several hours of priceless entertainment as my 3 month old is magically transformed into (hopefully) smiling, giggling, disembodied head in my very own bathtub. I just ordered one. If Baby Avery doesn't vociferously object, I'll post some pictures.

Can I get a hallelujah for the Texans? Amen.

*Mark refers to this as the floating donut hole. I don't really think that's accurate considering that it's a head floating in a donut. It's more like a jelly donut. Or better yet, one of those Hershey's Kiss cookies. But whatever. These are minor parenting disagreements. You can judge for yourself below.


Hershey's Kiss Cookie
Donut Hole

The New Workout Plan

Working out used to involve putting on workout clothes and, well, working out. When you are a breastfeeding mother, working out must first involve either breastfeeding your child or hitching yourself to a pump. Should you fail to do either of these things, as I did today, lo shall you be punished, up to and including the dreaded clogged milk duct. Needless to say, the girls hurt like mofos. I've made a terrible mistake.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Black Plate, Chapter 1

The name of this blog is not creative. It refers specifically to an inside joke between Mark and me, and another married couple with whom we are close. We'll call them Peter and Sarah. We are the only four people on the planet who find this joke hilarious, but that's the joy of these kinds of jokes. You can collectively laugh your asses off while other people look at you and wonder what you smoked/imbibed/ingested.

A few months after Mark and I first bought our house, our next door neighbors (a revolving door of female renters attending Seattle Pacific University), came by with a plate of cookies to welcome us to the neighborhood. A black plastic resin Ikea-caliber plate of the variety one has when in college.  It was very cute. They deeply underestimated just how sorely lacking we are in neighborly skills.

At first, I vowed to reciprocate and return the plate with a fresh batch of cookies. But then days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Too much time had passed for us to actually return the plate (and thus tacitly admitting that we are jerks) and suddenly we found ourselves with a random black plastic plate that was too decent to just throw away but not nice enough to actually hang on to. So like the mature adults we are, we decided to pawn it off on our friends.

Sure enough, next time we went to dinner at Sarah and Peter's, I baked a cake, slapped that sucker on the black plate, and then insisted that they keep the remainder of the cake. On the plate.

A few weeks later at the next dinner, the plate came back to us. We tried to politely decline. We explained that we didn't want it. We explained that we couldn't give it back to the original owners. We tried to refuse. It didn't work. And thus a tradition was born.

For the past three years, the plate has been traded back and forth. The means of transference have become increasingly sneaky, from hiding it in a gift bag to slipping it into a cupboard. The last transfer occurred at a restaurant during brunch, when the plate was served to us with a scone on top.

We have only two words for Sarah and Peter: GAME ON.


Pillow Talk

Me: "Until I carried and birthed a child, I never understood women who wanted all of those pillows. Now I totally get it" (this as I lounge back on two pillows and clutch a third).

Mark: "What the hell were all of these pillows we had before you got pregnant?"

Me: "Decorative."

Mark: "I will never understand."