Vale Turns One

Vale turned one recently. We already celebrated her birthday with family a couple of weeks earlier, so we did not have another party. However, she did have a little celebration at daycare, and exhibited some pretty greedy behavior, reaching for a second donut while the first was still unfinished, in her mouth (let’s be honest – there’s no way she can even finish the first donut, much less the second!)  On the actual day of her birthday, she received a visit and some neat presents from her buddy Luka from San Francisco. They played together a little, though Vale was abnormally shy about it.

Later in the day, we took her to the park (her favorite!), where she enjoyed climbing slides, throwing sand, and other playground gadgets. In the early evening, we gave her presents mailed from Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Aaron. She liked chewing on the panda bear’s nose, and was immediately interested in the Chinese version of Hungry Hungry Catepillar. We gave her a percussion instrument set, including a xylophone, maracas, jingle bells, claves, a small drum, and a guiro. She took to it quickly and could be a future bando in the making.

At night, Dad baked her a chocolate chip cookie (from scratch!), and we sang happy birthday to her in Mandarin and English. She refused to try even a bite of the cookie, unfortunately. She appeared confused by this birthday spectacle.

Vale loves animal crackers and bananas and is increasingly developing a personality. Her likes and dislikes are always in flux, and she has even exhibited some rather intense fears. Grandma gave her a pretty cool Curious George-in-the Box for her birthday, but she is not yet a fan. She was initially terrorized by George popping out of the box, and attempted to flee the scene, but also proved curiously drawn to it. Her fears have somewhat diminished after interacting with the toy multiple times, but it seems George still continues to put her somewhat ill-at-ease.

Another toy that has really ruffled her feathers, is a talking teddy bear given by a kind family member. The bear recites a prayer, Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep, guide me through the starry night, and wake me with the morning light (or something along those lines). We actually received this item before she was born, and it creeped me the fuck out, so I put it away in a drawer. Recently, I pulled some toys out of the drawer, including this bear, and pressed its belly to make it talk. Vale immediately dropped to the ground on all floors and started bawling. Due to the extremely dramatic display, I questioned whether her reaction was some kind of a coincidence, and related to another external stimulus. However, when I again brought the bear near her a few minutes later, her lips curled downward like she was going to cry.

In contrast, when I cruised her down the aisle of Halloween decorations at the 99 cent store, and waved dead bodies, bloody skeletons, and murderous clowns in her face, while saying, “oOOooOOooO,” she was much less concerned. The combination of these circumstances could be an indication she is a heathen, or worse, some unholy daemon.

She still loves In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company by The Dead South, and likes to bob her head and bounce her butt to the song, while watching the music video.

She continues to enjoy bath time, and even jumped in with all her clothes on before I could stop her on one occasion. She likes riding around in her Cozy Coup, and has another fun car in the works, a present from her uncle, auntie, and cousins.

Happy Father’s Day

To my dearest love,

It’s not easy to write blog posts one-handed, on the phone, in the dark while our hellion has a death grip on my arm but… This is my last chance to write this message in secret.

One unexpected thing about parenthood is how much more sensitive it has made me to the plight of suffering children. The news, always a source of horror and disappointment in humanity, now has an even deeper layer of poignancy for me when I read about the cruelties visited upon children and sometimes their parents. My mind involuntarily places me in their shoes and I’m frightened, but I take comfort in knowing you’ll always be here for me and Vale.

I wish I had another surprise for you to open since you already know about the botanical gardens, but I’m excited to stop and smell the roses together many times in the coming year.

I love you so much!

“Jen N”

Happy Birthday, Husband

Dear Husband,

You must know this, but I love you so very much. I love your smile and your slate-blue eyes with their gold flecks that are more noticeable in the sunlight.

More importantly, I want to say thank you for how amazing you have been during the last 6 1/2 months. Thank you for researching nutritional information, organizing my prenatal vitamins weekly, buying us books, buying me a body pillow, coming to all my appointments with me, and being especially supportive and comforting. Thank you for putting up with me when I am grouchy about sleep and capricious about food. Thank you for telling me I look great all the time. I am so fortunate and grateful, and could not imagine a better partner for this stage in life. I cannot help but wonder (with horror) how different this would be if I didn’t have you, or if you were not you.

Sometimes you ask how you got so “lucky” to find me. The answer is that I am me because you are you. You motivate and inspire me to be this version of myself. If I were with someone else, I would be just as quirky and have the same smile, but I would not be my best self without you as my anchor.

I hope I make you as happy as you make me. Happy birthday, and coincidentally, since your birthday falls on Father’s Day this year, Happy Father’s Day. Our daughter is going to be one lucky little lady to have you as a dad.

I Feel Like Being A Bitch Today

Some dumb bitch called me twice from a private number and accused me of obsessively calling her boyfriend. I did not pick up the first time and she left a message asking why I was calling her boyfriend repeatedly. The second time, I figured I’d pick up to let her know she clearly had the wrong number, as I’m not undignified and desperate enough to repeatedly call someone who won’t return my calls, and further, have not called anyone from my phone all day.

I initially had some sympathy for her situation, and politely suggested she had the wrong number. I repeated my phone number to her and asked whether she was sure she had the correct number. She interrupted me, said she was familiar with my area code, and said that whether I was the one calling or knew the person who was, that I should “not get involved.” I explained for a second time I had my cell phone on me all day and had made no calls up to this point, and she gave me attitude like I was wasting her time and said she had to get off the phone in order to “enjoy her boyfriend’s birthday.”

So. If this dumb cunt calls again, I’m going to tell her I have indeed been calling her loser boyfriend all day because he knocked me up and I plan on suing for child support. Should make for a nice birthday celebration for both of them. Dumbshits.