Did you know that if you sit long enough at the dinner table with Us All* after dinner plates have been cleared that desert will be put in front of you.  Any kind of desert.  Ice cream.  Cake.  Pie.  Something sweet you didn’t even know was cooking.  A Tupperware of cookies (during desperate times).  As if the meal cannot possibly “be done” if this doesn’t occur.

The alternative is to glance around and wait for everyone to be done.  But don’t be obvious about it.  People don’t like to be rushed.  You also, interestingly enough, cannot rush awkward silence.  But… as soon as the “that was such a good meal” and “thank you for cooking!” is uttered and the forks and knives are crossed on the plates, you can start your silent dessert-avoiding negotiations.  This means, though, that you are either on table-clearing and/or kitchen cleaning duties.  Or, worst case scenario, both, with a side of “Bring the desserts out!  We’ll clean later!”

I’ve started the Whole30 again today.  I decided I would do this back in December, before I know about Dessert Complications.  My mother-in-law has decided to do it with me, but we all know that her version last time involved having “bread only once a week!”



Anyhow.  For those of you keeping track at home, food-wise, today for breakfast I had some black iced coffee and smoothie with some Primal Fuel, spinach, fruit, and whatever else my wife put in it to make it delicious.  Lunch was a spinach salad, two hard boiled eggs, and an avocado.  Tonight’s dinner is pork chops, kale, and apples, with a side of Dessert Avoidance.

Regarding this morning’s smoothie, RR mentioned though that she also “wanted food” for breakfast.
“Mama, this is a drink.  I’d like some food.  Some oatmeal food.”

This will be my first Whole30 going solo.  I was also a little loosey goosey with my dairy last time, so I’ll try to keep that shit in check.  This also means that at the end of January, my bottle of John Bowman will be waiting to give me a big, warm congratulatory hug.

*M, M’s mom (who, admittedly has “issues with food”), M’s dad (who doesn’t talk, except to ask for the salt, pepper, and/or butter), RR (who prefers to be addressed through Mr. Fork or Mr. Spoon, depending on the dinner she’s eating), and Moses (who sits Very Nearby as the Official Dinner Supervisor.)


I feel like I need to stretch before blogging, it’s seemingly been so long that I’ve written anything, really.  My wife‘s been keeping everyone up to date with a lot of shenanigans.  Her parents moving in with us.  Potty training, and the lack thereof.  Marriage equality (and the lack thereof).  Thanksgiving with my family at the beach.  See?  This is why I love her.  Apparently, when I get overwhelmed with feelings, I just stop talking.  Or I got to shg‘s house to drink.

So I’m back from having so many feelings.  Feelings about flying to Arizona.  Feelings about inducting more friends in the Dead Parent Club (another new member merely a week ago).  Feelings about feelings about Christmas and my mom and RR and my wife and church.

In the meantime, I’ve kept myself busy totally revamping the basement into a semi-finished in-law suite.  I sat in the recliner and imagined myself as my father-in-law, watching Fox News.  I programmed the cable box with all his favorite channels.  I put the end table where I’d want it to be for my coffee/bourbon (his coffee/gin and tonic).  I’m scratching my chin and imagining where the three new cat inhabitants might want to find a litter box.  There’s a bed, a couch, two recliners, two dressers, a desk, and a coffee table.  I feel like, after a good vacuuming, it will be ready.

(Yes, three cats.)

I’m sick and it’s the holidays and so I’m binging on all things sugar-related and alcoholic.  Don’t worry – another Whole30 is coming in January.  Aren’t YOU so lucky?

January will also bring gymnastics classes for RR.  Oh yes.  Y’all, did you know that there are PLACES where you PAY for people to take your kid to a whole other room for AN HOUR while they spin and bounce and roll and jump?  While you fucking finally finish that Candy Crush level?   Holy shitballs.  She tried out a class last Saturday, and nearly before she was done putting her shoes back on, we pawned everything in the house, and signed her up for the remainder of the season (through June).  This, a kid who Can’t Stop Jumping most of the time.  Give that girl a trampoline, for Pete’s sake!

Right.  So now we’re those people sitting on the sidelines during “a lesson.”  Crazy pants.

We also got her 96 hand-carved wooden African animal figurines for Christmas.  For $30 from a lady on CL.  For all those times where she’s not jumping.

That allllll said, I’m reminded every day, however, how lovely my wife is, and how lucky I am to have her.  How smart and charming RR is.  How warm my house is.  How warm my heart is.  Merry Holidays, y’all.


Today I’ve:

  • Let the dog out at 3am for a random, but apparently urgent need to pee
  • Woken up to horrible cramps and heavy flow
  • Tried to coach (while soothing and encouraging) RR through a constipated bowel movement
  • Given RR half of a suppository due to said constipation
  • Put ear drops in my wife’s ear because she has an ear infection
  • Dropped RR off at school, where she refused to walk in on her own, due to feeling sad (I don’t blame her)
  • Dropped my wife off at the doctor’s office for ear infection (her) and constipation (RR) remedies and treatment suggestions
  • Took my cat to the vet for a vaccine and post-nasal-infection check-up
  • Drove to work
  • Biked from my parking spot to a local sandwich shop, where I bought lunch for myself and my wife
  • Sat down at my desk (now, here at noon)

No one on Facebook needs to know all of this, and Twitter is just too damn limiting in characters.  That said, I need a drink.  Criminy.

I didn’t know this little girl.  But I know a lot of people who did – schoolmates, friends, parents.  She was the victim of an unfortunate accident the other day here in town – after stepping past a parked car, she was hit by a truck and died later at the local hospital.  She was six.

How many times does RR drop my hand and dart in front of me… too many to count.  This could be any of our kids.

Death is expensive, y’all.  If you have the means to donate, even the smallest amount helps a lot.



Well here we are.  With our one child.  Moving right along in the world of one-childness.

Have I told you that she’s still not potty trained?  Quick – mask your surprise.  We did get an update this morning that she’s sitting on the potty, wiping, and flushing whenever she changes her diaper at school.  Progress, I suppose?  Nothing ever goes in the potty, mind you.

Did I tell you I was taking a parenting class?  I AM!  It’s offered/sponsored by RR’s school, so every Wednesday night, I sit with around with other parents (usually there’s six-to-eight of us) and we learn from this older southern woman who has never had children, but has been certified in teaching these classes.  She says she’s perfect to teach parenting classes, because she’s uncontaminated.  It’s a STEP class (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting).  I have homework.  And lessons.  And I pay attention and try to tell my wife when I get home everything I learned, and when I do this, I swear I sound crazy and like I’ve spent an hour and a half at some kind of parenting cult class.

Wednesday nights are after Tuesday nights, when I go hang out with eight OTHER people (also parents), drink beer, play instruments, and sing songs (Bob Marley, Queen, Prince, Michael Jackson…).  I’ll be stoked when I only have one weekly obligation.  Phew.

RR moved to a toddler bed this past weekend.  Exactly.  She not once ever tried to get out of her crib, but when she requested last week that all she wanted to do is “go cry in my crib!” well… we figured it was time to give her access.  Cause who doesn’t need a good cry in the bed some days?  The first couple of nights, she woke up a hundred times, but never once got out of the bed.  Just cried until one of us came.  It wasn’t until I turned on the heat (SIGH) and gave her an extra blanket that she stopped waking up.  Whatever, 62 degree thermostat.

So now she can get up and out on her own, which she has only done, so far, in the mornings.  At totally appropriate times.  It is, however, a little like living in a horror movie, as she tends to move slowly and creep around when she does get up, gradually opening doors to say good morning.  Boo!

Gah – is this the most boring post ever?  Maybe.  Rah rah rah.

This weekend is some Fall fun with friends, and then we head out of town to Arizona (ah, warmth!) to celebrate M’s birthday, meet the new baby niece, have Mexican food, and try to ship back as many tortillas that will fit in the suitcase.  Carry on!

Spinny Ride

When I was 8 or so, I went on this ride once at an amusement park that was one of those kinds that spun you around and around and, using centrifugal force, would plaster you to the sides of the wall and drop the floor out from under you.  I hated every second of it, and when I finally got off, spent the rest of the day moaning and looking green.  Ever since, even looking at a spinny ride makes me queasy.

Last night, I dreamed that I was on that ride again.  I can only imagine that it was my brain trying to reconcile the emotions of this past week.

As my wife has been documenting, this cycle has been decidedly wackadoo.  Compared to the previous cycles where everything has been like clockwork, the lateness, the symptoms (or lack thereof), the pee sticks (and frustration) and FEELINGS associated with this being The Last Try has, apparently, sent my inner self on a spinny ride of doom.

We don’t typically linger long on things.  Anything, really.  Deciding to have a baby – bam.  Buying a house – bam.  Trading in the hatchback for a convertible – bam.  We do sudden, big decisions REALLY WELL in our house.   We do in-between things terribly.  In fact, my wife won’t even stand in between a doorway.  True story.  I do really well in daydreaming, but have learned (in nearly nine years of marriage) that if I daydream about anything too loud, it will happen.  Bam.

So the uncertainty in anything is awful.   But the uncertainty about whether our last cycle worked is dizzying.  Yes, time will tell.  We’re even pretty sure, at this point, that it’s telling us no.  But we’d like to keep moving forward.  Mourn the loss of our potential two-child family.  Be grateful for the three year old who will be our (beautiful, healthy) one and only.  Support and comfort my wife, who may be resigned, but doesn’t mean she isn’t emotionally broken.  Try to find the right words and actions.

I’m not moaning, but I might look a little green.

Prison House of No Toys

OK, so here’s the deal.  I know the answer is “we’re totally NOT doing it wrong,” but it can’t help but FEEL like we’re doing it wrong some days.  Doing WHAT?  Raising up a kid, that’s what.

My wife wrote about RR’s recently play date.  What she failed to mention, though, is where the play date took place made our house look like prison.  We dropped RR off at Jane’s house, where, as soon as we walked in, there was an entire room gated off and covered in primary colored cushiony alphabet letter flooring, with wall-to-wall toys and bookcases full of FUN.  A tent, a tunnel, a battery-powered thing that played songs and used air to pop up little plastic balls.  Behold, the play room.

I’m sure these reasonable (and VERY nice folks) were actually very proud that their playroom wasn’t the entire basement floor.  Seriously – Google “playroom” images.

And honestly, if you look at any new construction for sale, the basement is always either staged as a Man Cave or a Play Room.  And yes, we have a hybrid of things in our basement, but it is most certainly not a Play Room.  Unless you’re a spider.  Then it’s TOTALLY a Play Room.

Anyhow – we dropped RR off, got in the car, and kind of moaned to ourselves.  OMG.  What on earth must they have thought when they dropped Jane off at our Prison House of No Toys.  But that’s not totally true.  She has toys.  (SHG can confirm.)  They’re just… not a LOT.  They are, actually, more than my wife is comfortable having, truth be known.  There’s a small toddler table with RR’s “things” on it:  a school bus, some figurines, a tiny blanket that Granny knitted FOR the figurines, and maybe a stuffed animal or two.  There is no Play Room.  There ARE a lot of African masks and a pretty nifty fetish.

She doesn’t really play with toys.  Well, she plays with a toy, singular, for a very long time.  But nothing lights up.  Or takes up more than two square feet.  Or is even primary colored.  She has a bookcase of puzzles in her room that she never plays with.

But then there are other things.  Like the fact that she doesn’t know any princesses, really.  That, at her playdate, Jane’s mother said, “I gave her a Go-Gurt, and it seemed like she had never had one before?  She kept asking me to open it.  But it was open…”  And that, on weekends, she prefers to wear her Scratchy Shirts.   The red and gold one – the “Redskins” she says.  The “Bears” one, which is actually an Official NFL Jay Cutler jersey that her fake rich uncle sent her.  She likes to watch the “men running” with me on Sundays after her nap.

And speaking of naps.  That she still takes three-hour long ones on the weekends.  IN HER CRIB.  That, the other day after her nap, she wanted to be left alone, in the dark of her room, sitting in her recliner with milk and goldfish crackers.

I know we’re doing it right.  I do.  I very much do.  That’s not to say that everyone else is doing it “wrong” as much as doing it differently.  But a lot of them are doing it differently, the same way.  There’s princesses and Play Rooms and Go-Gurt and wanting to wear something specific (that isn’t a football jersey) and peeing in the potty.  Instead, we have Mr. and Mrs. Spoon at the dinner table and sitting along in the dark in her room and diapers.

Not wrong, but different.  Right?

Hey thanks…

Y’all are pretty awesome, ya know that?  Thanks thanks thanks, for all of the kind words, and cheers of encouragement, and pick-me-up’s when we’re down.

And no, I’m not just saying this all because Bob is going out of the country until November.  (NOVEMBER!)

But really.

We’re here in the wait.  As ya do.  Tomorrow, we’re heading, new annual amusement park passes in hand, to take our minds off of waiting by not riding rides, but seeing Halloween themed amusement park shows.  Sunday, I will be blissfully watching football, despite the Redskins’ AWFULNESS.  Next week, perhaps I’ll get inspired to mow my lawn.  Seriously, y’all.  That shit is TALL!  I can hardly find the dog out there anyhow…

Then it’s nearly my birthday.  In fact, we’ll find out about this cycle probably right before.  Which is kind of when we found out about RR in 2009.   Which is kind of when I started this blog.

Also in the meantime, I need to stop eating so much sugar.  Stop drinking so much beer.

I also miss my mom a lot this week.

Thanks for always listening.  High fives and finger guns all around.

Take Five

This afternoon at 3pm, we’ll be doing this one more time.  Cross all the things.  Pray all the prayers.  Think all the good thoughts.  Let’s make this one count, hm?

The Stick

This morning, RR and I walked through the wooded pathway in between the parking lot and her school, as we do every weekday morning.  She had her lunchbox in one hand, and my hand in the other.  There is a tree stump she likes to jump off of every morning, so I let go, let her jump, and carry on.  At some point, she picked up a stick and carried it with her to the front of the school.

I thought to myself, “Man.  We have done so well this morning.  No tantrums.  No screaming.  She’s gonna blow a gasket when she’s asked to leave her stick outside.”

As we approached the gate to say Good Morning to the director, she happily showed off her stick.  The director said, “Oh I LOVE your stick!  It kind of looks like the number “seven”!  You should go show that to Aimee (her teacher)!”

Happily, RR tootled down the stairs, telling me that the stick ALSO looked like an “r.”

We got to her classroom, Aimee opened the door, and RR showed off her stick once again.  Aimee said, “That’s a great stick!  Let’s go find somewhere for you to put it to keep it safe!”  I told RR goodbye, and she had a quick wash of panic-face, and then said, “I need a big hug and a kiss!”  I complied, and in she happily went.

Four weeks of tears at drop-off.  Of “DON’T YEAVE ME MAMA!” as I’m walking away.  This morning, not only was she not forced to leave her stick outside, her stick-havingness was acknowledged and its value (to her) was appreciated.  Four weeks of tears were suddenly SO worth it.  All it took was a stick.