Vacation Revelations

We just got back from a week at Disney World. We went with my sister’s family (mom, dad, 5 year old niece, 2 year old nephew), my sister’s mother-in-law, my sister’s sister-in-law, and my mom. Everyone but Tom, Lydia, and I flew. We drove. Why? Because I didn’t want to deal with airport security with an infant and then didn’t want an infant meltdown on a plane. Also, in order to go on vacation with an infant, you have to bring half your house.

Princess Vespa has nothing on Lydia.
Princess Vespa has nothing on Lydia.

So, we drove. We split the conservatively estimated 9.5 hour trip in to a two day trip. I know everyone knows this but it really is interesting how much easier it is to get somewhere than to come back in terms of enthusiasm. You go from “WOO HOOOO! On our way to the best place ever to have the best time ever! A couple of days of driving is nothing compared to the nice real-world-problem-free time we’re about to have” to “Why there gotta be so much fucking land between here and home? Fuck land.” But we made it there and back easily, with only one true infant meltdown, so I consider that a success.

We decided to stay at one of the nicer hotels on property (Polynesian), mainly because the monorail provides people a way to get from one place to another without having to fold the damn stroller. This meant there’s aggressively helpful bell services, which meant tipping. I’m not a fancy person. I know this shocks most of you. But, every time I have to do it, which is rarely, I astonish myself with how utterly bad I am at tipping people in person. I can sign a receipt at a restaurant, easy, but literally having to hand someone money in a suave, subtle way is not something I’m capable of, apparently. Have you seen the Seinfeld where Elaine tries to tip a restaurant host to get a table right away (it’s the Chinese Restaurant episode)? I’m only slightly less bad than that. I hold the money as if it’s a magic wand, kind of jerk it up and down and brightly declare, in a sing-songy manner, “HERE YOU GO!” Which is only a little better than the approach I’m trying hard to suppress: awkwardly laughing, “HA HA HA!” then yelling, “MONEY!” But I do know that Tipping Anxiety is suffered by many and I console myself that I’m not the only one.

Another realization has to do with the previously mentioned strollers. A stroller provides you with a power you must fight against at all times. A stroller can make the meekest, most polite people monsters. I’m surprised that a comic book supervillain hasn’t been created whose weapon is a stroller and a place he or she needs to be. If you are the one with the stroller you are a sad, suffering human trying to maneuver through the throngs with your equally suffering children.  If someone else has a stroller, what an asshole. You must resist the urge to ever so gently plow people over with the stroller, and it’s really hard because here you are with this thing that can totally plow people over.

Speaking of strollers, if you’ve been to Disney World, no doubt you’ve noticed the large number of people on scooters. You don’t have to have any kind of ailment or anything to use one of these things, just some money to rent one. At the beginning of the trip, I look at many of these people and scoff, thinking how silly and lazy it is to have one of these scooters. But mid-week I’m contemplating scooter jacking.  There’s a seat! And a basket for your things! And you just scoot around in it and don’t have to move your legs! These people I previously looked down on have become the geniuses of our time in my mind. My sister and I came very close to trying to sit in the strollers ourselves. She even wished that there were strollers big enough for adults and then realized, “oh, wait those are called wheelchairs.” I don’t think anyone caught me, but if someone on a scooter looked at me at the right/wrong time they would see me staring at them as if I were starving and they were a hamburger.

Now we’re home and I’m back to spending much of my time on my butt on a couch. Which I suppose gives me the opportunity to intensely study the art of giving a tip, but knowing me I won’t do that and just panic again like always.

I gave birth to a baby and an amazing hair rat nest.

Two weeks ago yesterday, on November 5th, Tom and I welcomed a bundle of joy covered in goo into the world and she returned our hospitality by making me push her out of my body. Rude.

That’s her – the one that lived inside me for nine months and couldn’t come up with a better way to get out despite having all that time to plan.

I spent roughly 8 of my 10 hours in labor in a bathtub filled with my own filth. And I do mean filth. My hair was in a bun at the top of my head and stayed that way for three days, marinating. When I got home and finally felt up to taking a shower, I took a deep breath, and removed the rubber band.

If you’ve ever worked in dog rescue, you know that quite often, long haired dogs arrive with their coats in such terrible, matted shape that they have to be shaved as there’s no saving the mangled, tangled hair. I thought my hair had reached that point. I tried to take a picture of it and it really doesn’t do it justice, but you CAN see a nice big chunk that sits away from my head of it’s own volition.


I’m glad I wasn’t so sleep deprived that I just went right at it with a pair of scissors, although I was close. I doused it in about a half a cup of conditioner in the shower and managed to salvage it.

I do realize that I’m spending most of this post about the best thing to ever happen to me harping on my hair but you guys, it was REALLY impressive.

So now you’re all caught up on where the baby is in regards to inside/outside of my body and the state of my rat’s nest.

Pregnancy Observations

I’ve got five weeks to go. Here’s my observations and truths based on the past few months of being pregnant:

1. You can always get bigger. I look back and laugh (but not really because it can be uncomfortable) at the past me at 25 weeks who thought, “I don’t see how I can get bigger than this.” Stupid, stupid fool.

2. Crumbs. I think it’s the combination of lower cut maternity shirts, pregnancy pant stretch panels, and truly more slovenly eating habits that have caused me to have to empty out my bra, shirt, and pants of leftovers on a regular basis. I don’t know how I haven’t been attacked by a colony of ants, yet.

3. “That’s where that stays now.” If anything ends up on the floor – money, trash, clothes, remote controls – that is their new place where they belong. It’s fate.

4. “Washing your hands is overrated” and other such disgusting compromises you make with yourself. I’m starting to have trouble reaching the faucet knobs. People don’t have to shower EVERY WEEK, for Christ’s sake. I’m just going to pretend I don’t see the dog eating the cat vomit. The five second rule becomes the 10 minute rule, Etc.

5. My niece is very flexible when it comes to still being able to play with her aunt. “Ok, let’s pretend we’re napping and we hear the pirate bear in the distance.” Done. “You can walk and I’ll run from the pirate bear.” Deal.

6. I’m completely screwed if I encounter a real pirate bear.

Pirate Bear
“Argh, when ye ‘r nappin’ is when I get to treasure grabbin'”

7. A LOT of plots of TV shows and movies involve children and babies and pregnant ladies in peril. Almost every show I’ve been watching: Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Bridge, Luther, Orphan Black, The Blacklist pilot, The Walking Dead, has had terribly perilous situations for kids and babies. After a century of film making it’s good so see people can still come up with creative horrible ways to put children in the line of danger.

8. No strangers have touched my belly so far. One of my biggest anxieties about being pregnant was this idea that obnoxious women would be lurking around every corner, waiting to feel me up and ask invasive questions – like that’s what they do for a living somehow. I feel fortunate that no one has done this but that could also be that I rarely leave the house, am covered in crumbs, and haven’t showered.

9. Tested truth: If I go to the Wizard of Oz theatrical re-release (which I did), and you bring your adorable twin three year old daughters dressed as Dorothy and the Wicked Witch (which someone did), I will have to work hard not to break down in tears. This is despite my continuing to be pretty even keeled and robotic even through pregnancy.

10. Tested truth 2: Driving two and a half hours to the nearest Ikea and then spending 6-7 hours there, only to find out they don’t have the couch and loveseat you chose in stock, can be an unpleasant experience for all involved, pregnant or not. Also, wandering around an Ikea for hours on end can get you a little dehydrated and cause Braxton Hicks contractions (harmless contractions named after Toni Braxton and Bill Hicks for some reason). Your only comfort is seeing about 3 other pregnant ladies in the same situation, testing every bed and chair they come across in an attempt to make it a little more tolerable. FYI, when you hit the textile/frames/shelving areas – that’s where you’ll find the largest chair testing shortages.


Beach Week – Highlights

Last week I bitched about the wonderful week I just spent at the beach. Now it’s time to discuss the interesting and fun things that happened.

– “I would use my magic wand on her, steal her powers, and then throw her in a trashcan.” – my 4 year old niece on what she would do to the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

When I suggested she was sounding a bit like an evil queen herself, she denied such accusations.

She’s an interesting little lady. She loves princesses, in theory, but her true passion is for villains.  Her favorite character was the Evil Queen in Snow White, which she watched for the first time last week. Her favorite character in Wizard of Oz is Glinda, but we all know Glinda is a a mega bitch and the true villain of that movie.

– Salt water taffy. I have a serious salt water taffy problem. The only time I eat it is at the beach once a year, but I REALLY go all out. There’s a specific candy store/gift shop where you can get flavors like honey, caramel swirl, cinnamon, etc. So of course as always I bought a big bag of the stuff.

Salt water taffy is a bit like my tumultuous love affair with candy corn. It’s bad for me, it makes me feel like shit, but I can’t stay away. But since I’m supposed to be reminiscing positive memories, I’ll move on.

– My two year old nephew got a hold of my phone camera (ok, I gave it to him willingly). I’d like to present to you The Toddler Collection: Beach Edition. Prints can be purchased if desired.

"Chaise Lounge Tableau"
“Chaise Lounge Tableau”
"Bottom of Side Table" (1 of 20)
“Bottom of Side Table” (1 of 20)
"A Father's Foot"
“A Father’s Foot”
"Pepperoni on a Plate"
“Pepperoni on a Plate”
"The Creeping Abyss"
“The Creeping Abyss”
"Ed's Butt with Besocked Foot"
“Ed’s Butt with Besocked Foot”

Fancy Catch Up

Hoooo, boy. I’m suffering from a serious bout of “writer’s block.” I put that in quotations because I think it’s kind of silly to say that I can’t think of something like how a pillow with a mustache scares me to write about is actual writer’s block. I have Stupid Observation Worth Coming Up With Accompanying Dumb Words and Images Block.

So, while I suffer from the lack of things to point and laugh at, I guess I’ll fill you in on what I’ve been up to as a living human being.


On Monday, I was outside with my adorable 4 year old niece. She was on her scooter, having a good time. She reached a spot in the middle of the road that caught her eye. She called me over, “CARRIE! Come here! Come look at this! I want you to see something!”

Awww, I thought to myself, she must have found a caterpillar or a penny. It’s so sweet that she wants to share these little moments with me. I jogged up to the spot she was pointing at, and looked down. I didn’t really see anything.

“That’s where I threw up.”

It wasn’t where she had just thrown up, it was where she had thrown up some time in the past. I’m guessing there’s not a historical marker up yet because of the typical snails pace of the government.


We bought a house! And in even more amazing news: it’s within walking distance of the throw up spot!

It’s been a little crazy. It’s supposed to be a buyer’s market but there was another offer so we had to compete and negotiate and such. Tom said it kind of felt like the negotiation scene in Bad Santa (R.I.P. Bernie Mac and also there’s a lot of cursing):

It was stressful but worth it, I hope. We’ve been trying to sell our Atlanta house and move back up to N.C. for over four years, and I’m hoping as we settle in and I unpack boxes of things I haven’t seen in nearly half a decade – there will be at least one motherloving thing to write about in them. That’s what I’m hanging my hopes on these days.

Anyway, it’s a nice house, and we think we’ll be able to have a home theater, which is awesome.

And to be able to walk to that throw up spot and see it whenever we please? What a dream come true.

Any big news you’d like to share here in my comment section for some reason?