Robin and I took a rather extended vacation this Christmas. He happens to have the same winter break as your average college student now that he works at a university, and I, of course, am able to set my own hours with freelance work and the whole mom deal, so we took advantage of it. We were able to hang out around Philly, where Robin’s parents live, then spend a few days in D.C. with his grandparents, and stop back in Philly for a few more days before we got home. We did a similarly long holiday trip a few years ago, but now that we have so much going on with Tommy and a dog and everything, it felt a bit like an epic journey. In any case, we did a lot of stuff.
We have an agreement that Thanksgiving goes to my side and Christmas goes to his. And this is totally reasonable since I care more about Thanksgiving, and my family does it up way bigger than Christmas. But since he’s been dealing with his health so much lately and neither my sister nor I was there, it felt kind of bad. (For the record, he seems to be doing really well.) So here’s a full report on what we did in an effort to share my holidays with the family.
First, and perhaps most importantly, I got stuck in the bathroom. The door to the guest bathroom at my in-laws’ house has always been tricky, and I’ve usually been careful not to let it latch, but I was a little too hasty on one occasion, and no amount of twisting the knob could force the mechanism to work. I was very lucky that Robin was close by and heard me struggling (valiantly staving off a full-on meltdown) and was able to dismantle the door, otherwise I might have been stuck in there for hours. I didn’t have a phone, and the only way to remove the knob was only accessible from the outside. I COULD HAVE DIED IN THERE. Ever since I got inexplicably stuck in a Wendy’s bathroom as a child, I’ve always been slightly paranoid that this will happen to me. The tricky bathroom door at the last office I worked at only implanted this fear more permanently in my psyche. Now I’m sure I’ll be haunted for the rest of my days. I may never shut a bathroom door again with full confidence that I’ll be able to get out.
I got my hair cut. Apparently, your hair falls out after you have a baby. I thought I’d gotten away without this happening, but lo and behold, it started to happen after about three months. It’s ridiculous how much is falling out, and the fact that my hair was pretty long made it even worse. I figured I couldn’t stop the hair from falling out, but I could at least reduce how much there was landing on the floor every day. Plus, Tommy has really taken to grabbing handfuls of my hair whenever I pick him up. He’s in that stage where he grabs everything and attempts to get it into his mouth, in the process getting everything disgustingly drooly. He’s super gross. In any case, I took off about four inches, but it’s still below my shoulders, and he can still grab it, but not quite as easily.
Robin and I came to fully appreciate having a king-size bed. We spent the better part of two weeks sharing a small bed with an 85-pound dog (she doesn’t understand that sleeping on the floor is an option), and let’s just say we were thrilled to be able to reclaim our space when we got home.
I got a Roomba. Amid the crazy abundance of Christmas presents this year was one shining jewel. I have a dream of one day being able to hire a once-a-week maid, but I’m pretty sure that won’t happen for a really long time. Short of that, having a vacuuming robot is like heaven. I get so grossed out by all of the animal fur (and my own hair) and dust bunnies, and now I have a trusty vacuuming side-kick that freaks out the pets. It’s like a double-win. I’m so excited about it, I just can’t even deal with it.
I talked various family members into going to museums with me. I love museums. There were some really good exhibits, and I got to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and in D.C. to the National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery (aka the historical selfie museum). My favorite what the Degas exhibition at the National Gallery featuring the original “Little Dancer” statue.
I played Nerf Wars with a bunch of other adults, and it was truly amazing. We went to the birthday party of one of Robin’s college roommates, which would have been a great time all by itself. But the guy’s brilliant wife had bought an arsenal of Nerf guns in the hopes of re-creating the wars they used to have in the dorms. I don’t know quite how it measured up to the past, but it was my first Nerf war, and it won’t be my last. It was extra kick-ass during the round when my team beat the team featuring a certain someone who has been trained in combat. Ahem.
I decided to get serious about losing the baby weight I’m still carrying around. The last fifteen pounds seems determined to stay put unless I put in an actual effort at losing weight. I was going to do this whole blog series involving cooking and eating food and then writing about it, but that’ll have to wait a while. Lame. So after looking at various devices and programs, I’ve decided I have no use for a Fitbit or the like, but I’m using My Fitness Pal to track calories (hooray, math and dieting). It seems a lot like Weight Watchers, which I used before the wedding, but a key feature is that it’s free. I’m also slowly—oh so slowly!—getting my strength and stamina back up so that I can exercise, but these single-digit temperatures are not helping. Being healthy really blows.
And now for what Tommy’ been up to. I know that’s what you all really want to know anyways.
Tommy got spoiled rotten on his first Christmas. Nevermind that he doesn’t have any idea what Christmas is; his grandparents and great-grandparents that he saw wouldn’t let anything as insignificant as that get in their way. He may have been forced to wear a dopey Santa hat (which he weathered with surprising dignity), but it was well worth it. He was showered with attention and got tons of awesome gifts. I actually probably enjoyed this as much as he did. There were free babysitters in abundance, and the bouncer he got is an amazing way to entertain the kiddo for a few minutes if I need to do something.
Tommy may or may not have rolled over. He’s been well on his way to rolling over for a while now, but he generally gets hung up on an elbow. Robin’s dad claims he rolled over twice one day, but he was the only witness, so we’re all a little dubious. Not that we don’t trust you, but he hasn’t really done it again since then. He’s been developing so steadily that I sometimes miss that it’s happening. Like he can now play with toys instead of just figuring out how to get his hand on them. And he’s a chunky little dude, weighing in somewhere around 17 pounds.
Tommy let us know that he really hates being in the car at night. He seems okay during the day when he can look around, although he doesn’t fall asleep like everyone says babies do. But at night he seems to think he’s in a black hole or that he’s being kidnapped, because he absolutely loses his shit. He did this literally when we were driving home the other night, and we had to pull over to deal with a serious diaper blow-out. I ended up ditching the onesie he was wearing in the trash at a Dunkin’ Donuts because it was just too spectacularly disgusting. I guess such a great trip needed to have a notable ending.
And now for some pictures of Tommy, because he really doesn’t do much, but he’s cute.