Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Ted Eytan

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

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159 Comment

  • Neither Rant, nor Rave: how does one pronounce Swampoodle? Is it swamp oodle, or is it swam poodle?

  • Revel: it’s summer vacation and I made it through the year!
    Revel: flight to Quito at 3pm
    Rant: several days are overlapping with this boy I’ve had a um…complicated relationship with. I didn’t expect he’d actually want to come when I said “wanna go?”. It seems like such a coupley thing, to travel together but here we are. I did get twin beds for our room though

  • Rant: Forgot bottles for pumping and had to turn around on way to daycare and go get them. Then got to daycare and realized that baby is out of diapers. Aigh. I am not winning any parenting awards today.
    Rant: Still so sick and still so many night sweats. At least the baby and I both managed to sleep more last night.
    Rave: I was only ten minutes last for work!
    Rave: All the coffee. PBJ for second breakfast.

    • For the pumping–I keep a package of bags and the adapters to attach them to the pump at work in case I ever forget to bring bottles to pump in. I also keep spare parts in case something happens to the ones I usually use. Can’t help on the diapers, other than maybe keeping some in the car if that’s your usual mode of transportation? Glad you got a bit more sleep last night!

      • This is such a good idea. I’m going to bring some bags as a back up method. I also know people who have used a water bottle in a pinch.

        I realized after I left daycare, that I always keep a few extra diapers in the zip up section of my stroller. I think I’ll put a few more in there for emergency stash. And I”m just going to bring in two sleeves of diapers tomorrow so he has extra (and put a ticker on my calendar to replenish every third week). So much of parenting is logistics, huh?

        • It totally is!! And with the “mommy brain” that comes with pregnancy/having an infant/losing sleep/etc, having back-ups and routine is the only way I manage.

    • @artemis. I’m the father of a 2 year old, and tried to support my poor wife as much as possible during the pumping phase. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, there will more days when stuff like this happens. It’s hard, it happens to everyone. Don’t be hard on yourself. Working full-time with a baby is just brutally difficult, physically and mentally.

      • Good for you!! The pumping really is a drain (pun intended!) and all help goes a long ways 🙂

      • Well, this made me tear up at my desk. Thanks for the reminder to be gentle on myself. I’m good at telling that to others, but less able to apply the practice to me. I think being a high achiever and slightly neurotic person my entire life that I can have really high standards for myself as a mom/employee. Remembering to cut myself some slack is important. Thanks for the kind words and support.

        • the fact that you were only 10 minutes late to work after what sounds like a super hectic morning makes you a hero in my book!! on diapers…our daycare has a stash of diapers parents have donated for a number of reasons (kid outgrew a size overnight, brand they no longer use, etc etc) and the teachers use the stash when someone is out. in an emergency, they will also borrow from another kid. since my son has a mom with a sieve for a brain, we’ve “borrowed” from the stash AND from other kids, and then replenished everyone’s supply. you are doing a great job balancing all this…don’t be too hard on yourself.

          • +1. I’ve gotten so used to having mornings like the one you had that I basically consider it a good morning when I *don’t* forget something important for the babies or myself. Today, for example, I felt really accomplished because I got the kids to daycare in record time and with no fussing. Then I got to work and realized I had left my lunch at home. I think it’s going to be quite a while before this routine really feels like a proper routine.

        • @ artemis. Original “anon” here. You’re welcome. @artemis. Hang in there. I’ve yet to meet a working couple with a baby that wasn’t hanging to their sanity by a thread. (Unless they’re rich and can afford a maid or a nanny. grrr:-). Things become a lot easier post-pumping and whenever he/she starts sleeping through the night. You’re doing good!

        • I am also a high achiever and thought I could return to work, be exactly the same high performing employee I was pre-baby, and also be an awesome mom (why I thought this, I don’t know). The first month back went okay because I was happy to be back and interacting with adults, but the second month was terrible. I felt like I was failing in all areas in my life. I had to come to terms with a new normal and accept that I am doing the best I can.
          Also, on the night sweats, I can’t remember how far post-partum you are, but I distinctly remember getting those and waking up drenched in sweat every night for a week or so. Fortunately, it went away relatively quickly.

  • Rant: Had a pulled muscle in my back on Sunday. Had to go to urgent care center to get it treated. It was so bad that I had to take leave from work yesterday.
    Rave: Able to get to work today.
    Rant: They took my weight at the doctor’s office and I found out that I am 200lbs. I clearly need to do something. I’ve been in shape my whole life. Now that I’m 40, my slowing metabolism and emotional eating have really taken its toll. This is really making me depressed. I fell like I’ll never lose this weight and get back into shape. Looked at myself in the mirror this morning and go really upset.
    Rave: went to the Newseum and the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon for the 1st time on Saturday. The memorial caused me a little sadness, remembering that day. But the memorial itself was beautiful. The Newseum was amazing, too much stuff to see. Will have to come back. Loved the balcony.

    • I feel you on rant #2. It really sneaks up on you. I’m 35, and was shocked to see yesterday that I’m knocking on the door of 200 lbs. I was 145 my senior year of college. I’m trying to channel my disgust into something positive and attack the gym, though it’s so much harder now with a small kid. I’m trying to fit in workouts at work. I feel ya.

    • I feel you too, H. Getting older, a desk job, and too much indulging has caught up with me too. After beating myself up about it, what made me feel better (in many different ways) was joining a gym and getting a personal trainer for a few months. It is a financial outlay, but I really needed to get myself out of a rut and take some positive and concrete steps to be stronger and healthier. (Plus I found that I will not break an appointment with my trainer, when in the past I would skip planned exercise if something else came up.) Once you’re cleared from your back injury, maybe that would work for you. And don’t let it get you down!

  • Rant/fyi: If your husband (in a suit) rides a mountain bike (silver, full suspension?) with your adorable blond daughter down 15th St to work, you should know that he jumps red lights and bombs down 15th. I regularly see buses blow through the red light at Vermont and H, right where he jumped the light today meaning it’s not safer to ride that way (his words). And the cycletrack down 15th by the WH is full of hazards especially during tourist/marathon season.

    Rave: none yet, hope the day gets better

  • Quotia Zelda

    Rant: So tired.
    Rant: Maryland drivers. My 5-minute drive to the Metro station this morning was full of dumbasses.
    Rave: Refinance closing today, which means the whole long, stupid ordeal is almost over.
    Rant: For some reason, even though I’m not on the new mortgage, I have to be there and sign. I guess because I’m on the old mortgage and on the title?

    • Yes – even though you’re not obligated personally to pay the mortgage, you are allowing the bank to take a security interest on the property. Since you’re on the title, you have to agree to it. (I don’t think it has anything to do with the old mortgage, though.)

  • Rave: The Sleep With Me podcast. Boring bedtime stories for adults. These past few months I’ve been tossing and turning to try and get to sleep but since I started listening to this, I’ve been able to fall asleep in record time!
    Rant: I got a mosquito bite on my face.

    • I just added Sleep With Me to my list! I go back in forth between podcasts and amibient noise. I usually stick with the ambient noise machine, but I like to listen to podcasts when I don’t want anxious thoughts creeping up on me while I’m trying to fall asleep.

    • Oh! Thanks for this suggestion, I’ll have to try that podcast!

    • Sleep With Me is the BEST! I’ve been listening every night for the past 3 months- never made it to the end. Just make sure you set your podcast to turn off at the end of the episode!

      • Yes! I think I’ve only made it past the introduction once. I have close to zero storage space on my iphone so I can only download one episode at a time. :-/

    • I’ll have to check out this “Sleep With Me” thing!

  • Rant: Our neighbors who live in another unit used our grill for a party on Saturday without asking us. I do realize that maybe they thought it was a communal grill. BUT, they also just covered the grill back up without cleaning it at all–didn’t empty the coal ashes and didn’t scrape the now stuck on meat pieces. The grill was a gift to my DH and he takes impeccable care of it. We are emailing them to ask that they give us a heads up next time they want to use it and to clean up after themselves, but I am still a bit annoyed.
    Rave: Super productive at work yesterday!
    Rave: Finished OITNB yesterday. The last 3 episodes were emotionally difficult to watch, but I thought the season was great.

    • Your neighbors sounds awful. Even if it was a communal grill, to leave the grill without cleaning it is boorish. I hope they apologize and clean it for you. Also agree with your rave on OITNB. The last 2 episodes are have really stuck with me.

    • Re the grill: you sound a lot nicer than me. I would have been over there knocking and telling them that is not a communal grill, it belongs to us, and that they need to clean it up RIGHT NOW.

      • +1

        Emailing? FridayGirl has the right attitude lol. They would be cleaning the grill and returning it how they TOOK it.

    • That’s just wrong. They know it’s not communal. However, it might have been an AirBnB renter. I’d inquire.
      If possible, you may want to add a thin cable lock to the lid so it can’t be removed without a key.

    • I agree with skj84, even if it were a communal grill it should be cleaned after! Sadly, the communal grill at our condo building is not well taken care of, so we have to clean it before and after using it each time. I’d be so upset though.

    • I Dont Get It

      If you want to continue to allow people to use it as a communal grill (which is nice of you but I wouldn’t), I suggest you place a note inside the grill on the grates reminding folks of the rules. Replace as needed.

  • Bear

    Rant: Fun new pregnancy symptom – nosebleeds. WTF? So gross.
    Question for POPville: I suspect my stepson has inattentive type ADHD (the kind that doesn’t have hyperactivity/impulsiveness and therefore doesn’t get diagnosed as often). Does anyone here have experience with getting a child tested/diagnosed?

    • I really disliked all the nosebleeds I had in my first pregnancy. It was probably my most bizarre and embarrassing side effect since I never had any forewarning that it was about to start.

    • Bear

      Double rant: This is so heartbreaking. She did everything she was supposed to do, and still would up dead. http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Woman-Killed-in-DC-Home-Had-Restraining-Order-Against-Ex-Boyfriend-383715091.html

    • Blithe

      If your stepson is in school, you might want to speak with the school’s counselor as well as someone on the Child Study Team about your concerns. I’d also speak with his pediatrician. At least one of these people will probably give you behavior check sheets that track his behavior and focusing in multiple environments — school, at home, etc. If he does other significant activities such as sports or music lessons, it could be good to track his behavior there as well. I would also discuss your concerns with your stepson and ask him to fill out the check sheets with you as well and to think about environments, activities, supports, etc. that make it easier/harder for him to pay attention — if, indeed, he perceives this as an area of difficulty.
      Once you have all the behavior check sheets, and possibly some observations at school, all of this information can be used to support a diagnosis (if any) and a treatment plan (if any). The pediatrician can make the diagnosis, if it’s warranted. You could also consult a child psychiatrist for the diagnosis and treatment recommendations, and other mental health professionals for treatment planning.
      – If you want to simplify this, you can start with the pediatrician and take it from there.

  • Rave: Blood donation was successful! I really hope that my blood does end up helping someone. On a personal note, I’m terrified of needles and blood, so this got me over a personal hurdle. I do plan on going back to donate when I’m eligible again.

    Rave/Rant: I’m a super anxious person who is afraid of a lot of things, and I let that hold me back. But after giving blood yesterday I realize I am a bit stronger than I give myself credit for. Its a process, but I hope I can get better about letting things that freak me out go.

    • I hear you on your rave/rant, I’m the same way. I push myself in a lot of ways but there are just some things I won’t try because I know the anxiety won’t be anywhere near worth it.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Have you read Shonda Rimes book – saying Yes. She was on Ellen (repeat) yesterday and talked about saying YES to things she was afraid of.

      • I just started reading her book! I actually read a chapter before bed last night. Her story is definitely a bit of inspiration.

    • Glad to hear your blood donation went well and hopefully helped you continue to overcome various fears! As a person whose life has been saved on several occasions by donated blood, I thank you for overcoming that one!

  • Rant: Dumped cereal & milk on myself with my elbow at breakfast this morning.
    Rant: Still need to plan trip to Seattle.
    Query: any opinions on whether it’s best to have mtpbaby as a lap baby (he’ll be 10mo) and plan on taking up one row vs. two pairs of seats to get a seat for him too, but need to split up into two rows? I’m torn.

    • Blithe

      Is it possible to request the bulkhead row so that there’s room on the floor for the baby’s car seat? That way all of you could be together in the same row, but the baby would have an option other than being held for the duration of a long flight.

    • Definitely go bulkhead if you can! He can sit in the bassinet that attaches to the wall. When we did it (last time was 7 years ago) there was no extra fee. Or maybe a nominal one. But definitely not like buying a whole seat.

      • Interesting–I was nervous about car seat on the floor, since that didn’t quite seem safe. But is the bassinet large enough for a 10-month old? I’ll have to check in with the airline on that.

        • I would check to see if they will let you do carseat on the floor. The last time I flew I think that if you didn’t gate check the carseat, that the baby had to be buckled in car seat in an airplane seat. But I’m not 100% sure.

          • +1. I’ve never flown with a child seat but I would be shocked if they let you just put it on the floor. It almost certainly needs to be buckled into a seat or stowed like any other kind of luggage.

          • Bear

            Yes, it’s required to be buckled in the seat – and if you don’t have a bulkhead or economy plus seat with extra room, it’s nearly impossible to get it buckled in there. I don’t have kids (yet) but I travel a lot for work and have witnessed some pretty upset parents who ended up having to hold their babies for the entire 10+ hour flight.

          • Just for a reference, during take off and landing, the stewardesses made me unbucket the baby from the baby carrier and hold him in my arms. I found that odd. Isn’t he more secure when he’s physically strapped to my body?

          • I’m pretty sure there is no baby carrier that’s certified by the FAA for takeoff and landing. For very little ones it’s a lap, FAA-certified car seat or nothing. For slightly older kids there’s a relatively new shoulder harness product that’s approved for all phases of flight. But no Bjorn-type things have been approved as far as I know.

    • It’s been a while since I’ve flown with a baby (my kids are 11 and 10 now) but here was the deal back then — and I frequently read/contribute to Flyertalk.com and probably would have noticed if things had changed that much lately.
      -Don’t count on a bulkhead bassinet to be available on a domestic flight, and unless you have status with the airline don’t count on a bulkhead seat being available at check-in.
      -Unless you want to hold the baby the whole time, book a seat. This will help the baby sleep and will greatly contribute to your own sanity. The 1 row v. 2 thing makes it more of a tossup, but I still come down on the side of separate seat, especially because turbulence can lead to an unsafe situation.
      -You absolutely cannot put a car seat on the floor, especially with a human being in it. Don’t bother asking.
      -Your baby will need an FAA-approved car seat. Many, if not most, are. There will be a decal somewhere on it.
      -Pre board, and take your time getting the seat installed properly. It’s easy, actually, as the lap belt just threads into the base or back of the seat, depending on the model.
      -Ignore every single dirty look you get from your fellow passengers, have a cocktail, and enjoy your flight. They were babies once themselves. Good luck.

    • Thanks for the input everyone! We may be best off with 4 seats in two rows. Ugh.

  • hammers

    rant: passed over for yet another thing at work. I’m being placed on the B team, despite being here longer, and consistently putting out great work that receives praise and recognition. One part sexism, 2 parts personality. All demoralizing.
    rave: enjoying the strawberry moon with some petworth/park view ladies last night! It was a blast.
    second rave: the 63 bus.
    rant: woke up early, all ready to go to bootcamp…and I couldnt find my shoes. So I said F it and made breakfast and watched HGTV and got into work early. Wait, maybe that’s a rave. Aside from loosing one of my two hours of exercise per week… ugh

  • Rant: People who put tiny items on the bottom shelf of the office fridge. There is little room to spare and that shelf has the most height, so please put your piddly jar of salsa on the shelf that is almost the exact same height. I hate to move people’s things, but my lunch bag won’t fit anywhere else.
    Rave: lovely night last night with neighborhood ladies, the strawberry moon, and celebratory cinnamon buns!
    Rant/Rave: I feel the same way as H above. I’ve gained 20 pounds in 4 years and I feel gross. It’s like I hit 30 and the flood gates opened. I joined weight watchers on a bit of a whim during a half off sale this weekend. They say they steer you towards protein, but apparently not from nuts. They’re not super into milk either and there’s no way I’m quitting my latte habit. I need to enjoy some things in life.

    • FWIW, a good friend lost 20 lbs on WW.

    • I lost 20 on WW a few years ago, but they re-did their “formula” a few years back and I just can’t do it. It’s almost carb-free. I couldn’t do it.

    • hammers

      I have also gained a ton of weight. I’m struggling with discipline. Let me know how WW works for you.

    • Same here. I’ve come up with lots of excuses not to monitor my calorie counts but it’s time now that I’ve regained all the weight I lost since college despite being much more active.

    • Are nuts approved or not approved on WW? If they are, maybe see if almond milk lattes work for you? Also, I’m thinking of joining WW and will be curious to hear your ongoing reviews!

      • Nut are allowed, but they are a lot of points. I get 30 points per day and 1 cup of marcona almonds (not that I would eat one cup) is 26 points. I love PB and 2T is 6 points. So, you just have to budget the nut products.
        I’m pretty much flying by the seat of my pants, I did no research and already had all of my good for the week before I started. So, it’s an adjustment.

        • Interesting — it sounds like a half cup of Marcona almonds it like eating a steak or something. Yikes. I’d still suggest looking into almond milk, though! The unsweetened kind is tasty and surprisingly low in calories and fat.

          • Nuts are very high in fat and calorie dense that’s why most diets recommend limiting them.
            Milk= high fat and sugar, but maybe one of the non dairy options would be less points and calories

          • I didn’t realize how many nuts I consume in a day until I read this thread. Sliced almonds in my Greek yogurt, walnuts with lunch, PB sandwich… Hmm. May need to reevaluate my lunches.

        • If I can offer some unsolicited advice (I apologize if I’m over-stepping): eat **all** of your weekly points (and don’t be afraid to dip into activity points if you’re pretty active). Not only are they there for a reason (your body needs a certain number of calories), but using the built-in flexibility that they provide makes the program so much easier for me (at least psychologically). And, for what it’s worth, on the weeks where I’ve left a ton of weeklies on the table, my weight plateaued.

          • Thanks! You’re not overstepping at all and I can use the advice. I dipped into the weekly and I already felt guilty, so this is helpful.
            Congrats on the 30 lbs!

    • I’ve been on WW since February and have lost a little over 30 pounds. I do eat nuts/nut butters, (whole grain) carbs, and avocados all. The. Time. Granted, I’m not a vegetarian (but I also see plenty of successful vegetarians and vegans on the message boards), but I don’t eat a ton of meat. I *do* eat mostly whole foods and cook almost every thing I eat myself–I only eat at a restaurant if it’s a social occasion. But I can also eat sweets and stuff in moderation. I’ve found that it’s really all about creating some balance. So far, it’s working for me.

  • Rave: Nausea. It sounds like a weird rave but it’s oddly comforting to me in pregnancy. It means things are going okay.
    Rave: Pretzels and ginger ale
    Rave: While there is a chance I may have to cancel my trip to Seattle, there’s still a chance I can go. The RE has final say on this matter.

    • Your news yesterday was one of the happiest things I could imagine. It’s still making me smile a bit this morning! Also, I thought “preggie pops” were good for nausea, but sour gummy candies (like Sour Patch Kids) were the best by far!

      • Aww thanks Shawess! I’m currently waiting to hear back from the RE as to what my beta levels look like. There’s a decent chance that there’s more than 1 in there so hopefully the beta tests will give us a clue. I was looking at the preggie pops online but I think I might try Sour Patch Kids first (I’m a wimp when it comes to sour flavors).

        • I would do a wild happy dance if you were also having more than one!!! One of my closest “infertility friends” is also expecting twins right now and I completely flipped out when she shared the news.
          My beta tests all came back super, super high but until I had my 6-week ultrasound they kept telling me it was “still in the normal range” and that twins were unlikely. Then they wouldn’t even confirm it was twins until week 7 or so because there wasn’t much to see or hear on the RE’s little ultrasound machine. But here we are now….

    • Lemonade and ginger chews helped me with the nausea. Sea-bands provided some mild relief too. Hang in there. And I second Shawess’ sentiment. So happy for you!

    • I totally understand the relief that comes with morning sickness. I had barely anything this pregnancy and it left me in a jumble of nerves!!! I hope it stays reassuringly mild for you.

  • Rant: Colleagues who leave and fail to tell you that they have several outstanding things they haven’t finished and that some of those were never saved on the shared drive, causing you to have to do it all over again. Who even does this?
    Rave: Lovin’ the photo PoP. Hahaha…..
    Rave: THREE DAYS until I am done with my Master’s! FOREVER!

  • Rave: FaceTimed with my parents after work last night and got to hear about their various Alaskan adventures. So glad that they had a great time and did not get mauled by bears (although they did have a couple of assorted minor injuries.) It’s nice to have them back in the same time zone.
    Rave: Drinks and kanelbullar on the rooftop watching the solstice sun set and the Strawberry Moon rise with some local PoPville friends. Hosting people for food and drinks is one of those things that makes me feel so happy and comfortable about where I am in my life – I may not have it all figured out (and no one ever does, really), but I feel certain that I’m on the right track, and enjoying as much of life as I can.
    Rant: The anxiety that creeps in and says “it’s all going too well, something’s eventually going to go wrong.” Gah! Shut up, head!
    Rant: While out enjoying the evening, we heard what we were hoping was fireworks, but based on PoP’s post, I’m thinking some of it was the gunfire over in Columbia Heights. Lovely.

    • I feel you on your first rant. I’m almost scared to be happy sometimes. I feel like the other shoe will drop spectacularly.

  • Question: I reserved an AirBnB for the first time ever a couple weeks ago for a weekend in Harrisburg mid-July. Having never done this before, I figured I’d ask here: Should I reach out to the owner in the next week or two to find out how to go about getting the key and getting in, etc? Or should he reach out to me? Don’t want to step on his toes or commit some kind of AirBnB faux pas haha.

    • Don’t have any advice to give, but Harrisburg is my home town! Are you going up to Hershey?

      • No, we have a baby shower in Mechanicsburg but decided to stay in Harrisburg to be closer to other things to do while we’re there!

        • Ah. Well if you get a chance, check out the dinosaur installation scattered downtown. I got a few pics last time I was home, its really cute.

    • Andie302

      You can reach out! Normally (as a host) I reach out with access details 2-3 days before the persons arrival unless they request them sooner. It’s all the same information, so if you’d rather know now, I would definitely send them a note.

    • Accountering

      I would also say take a second read through all the details provided. If they are on their game, they tell you the system and when to expect things. If they aren’t quite up to par, feel free to ask, they should be happy to answer. Enjoy your trip!

      • Thanks! A bunch of the reviews say the person isn’t great with communicating and wouldn’t answer for over a week so I was thinking of reaching out soon.

    • If the host hasn’t already given me “instructions”, I generally reach out a few days before I’m planning to stay there. Haven’t had any problems yet. *knocks on wood*

    • Absolutely the host should be reaching out to you immediately after booking to give you all the information you need. There is no such thing as ABB “faux pas” unless you are being a crazy demanding weirdo, in which case the host can cancel you. But within one day of booking you should receive direct contact information, explicit directions about entry, and ideally, lots of info about the neighborhood etc. If the host is not offering this, send them one email asking about it. If they still don’t respond – cancel and look elsewhere. Seriously.

  • Rave: Damnit, I’ve decided to be happy. Life’s too short.
    Rant: Nothing worth typing

  • Rant: Really, really missing the east coast today. Feeling way too far away from friends and family.
    Rave: Husband is open to moving back and we’re having some good conversations about what that might look like.
    Rant: This is likely to be something like a 5-year plan, and I’m pretty eager to move back sooner than that.

    • Is it just too far from friends and family so you want to be on the east coast? I have to say I LOVE the west coast, but yeah it is really far from 95% of my friends and family, which would be tough.

      • It’s needing to take two planes (x2 for a round trip) to see family and most friends, requiring a full day of seemingly hellish travel in each direction. Plus the time difference, which isn’t enormous, but it’s enough to make me feel like it’s really hard to stay in good contact. It may also just be the challenge of meeting new people in your 30s, combined with having two small kids, is starting to really get to me. I’m a super independent person, but I haven’t found anything close to a “village” here yet and am having a hard time seeing how I will.

        • Are there any new moms groups? I ended up joining a PACE group here in DC right after I came back from maternity leave with my daughter (and took annual leave to attend) because I was still struggling so much. You mentioned day-care drop off above–we’ve also made new friends with other parents from our kids’ day care, so that may be another avenue.

          • Oh, I’m a member of all the groups I can find — local mother’s group, parents of multiples group. I participate online and in person. I even organize a local playgroup, to which all the daycare families are invited. I’ve met some nice people but also some sort of tough personalities. And at the end of it I wind up feeling almost more isolated than if I had just sat it all out. It’s very possible that this is a temporary feeling and that it will improve over time. But I also think it would be good, if only for my mental health, to put plans in place for an eventual exit.
            What is PACE?

          • I don’t know how practicable this is for a parent (especially of twins), but what about groups based on interests other than kids? Say, Meetup groups where you could brush up on your Portuguese, go to museums, explore SF sights?
            On the one hand, you have a lot in common with fellow parents (especially of similar-aged children), just because it IS such an absorbing/time-consuming/full-on experience. But it sounds as though you’re running into some people who just aren’t very nice, and having parenthood in common isn’t enough.

          • Shawess, check out pacemoms dot org. It is an organization that pairs local mothers (who have children around the same age) into a weekly support group. I didn’t do it when I was on maternity leave, but friends have. And they found the community/solidarity immensely helpful. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are groups in the Bay Area.

          • And I spoke too soon. It looks like it may just be DC based. Sorry!

          • Ugh, sounds like PACE is just a local thing. And boo that the things you’ve joined/set up haven’t really worked out. Another option–just getting out and about with your babies may allow you to meet others with similar-aged kids. While I agree with textdoc that finding friends with other similar interests might be useful, there’s something really nice about being able to commiserate about the never-ending slog of having young kids. That said, it sounds like you’ve spent a lot of energy trying to set things up and get involved; I wonder if you just need to sit back and give it a bit of time/allow some friendships to develop organically. I’m sorry this is so hard. Feel free to reach out via email anytime you need some extra support or want another perspective on things!

        • I don’t really have any solutions to offer but I do hope things improve. I had a hard time being away from my family this year and I can only imagine the challenges that a time difference bring. I think having a timeline for an eventual exit would be very helpful (its what kept me moving forward) so I hope that falls in to place soon for you, Shawess.

    • Would love to have you back in D.C.!!

    • I’ve been off of PoPville for a few hours, so I missed a bunch of this in real time, but to answer all (?) the questions above, I think mtpresident is right that it may just be a matter of time before friendships develop organically. I think some of what I’m observing as “tough personalities” may actually be really overtired, overworked people whose lives recently have been fully upended, trying to come to grips with their new reality and not always being able to do that with a big smile on their face. So free pass to them on that for now. Especially because I am in the same boat and may not be looking at this through the lens of generosity and openness. No one has been rude or anything close to it. It’s more the sense that all of us are just in our own little cocoons and there’s little space for real connection.
      I’m not sure if it would be better if I sought out that connection in non-parenting groups since I’ll be the first to admit that right now my only “hobby” is parenting. (And babywearing.)
      To be honest, I’m not sure another cross-country move would really resolve the problem. Although it is nice to imagine an alternative reality in which I’m bringing babies to a PoPville HH at La Jambe, or living on the Upper West Side or in a house in Upstate New York or…. We’ll probably end up back in New York state eventually, but that eventually could be in a year or ten years or 20 years.

  • Rant: Roommates didn’t do their dirty dishes for over a week. So so gross. This will probably be my repeated rant all summer.
    Rant: Networking functions. I still have not figured out how one is supposed to hold a glass of wine, carry on a conversation while making a good impression, and eloquently eat passed foods on skewers.
    Funny: My mom and I overheard a bunch of friends of friends (at an event this weekend) telling each other how they better not only have one kid. “You KNOW you don’t want an only child!” I loved being an only and think the judgment people have towards it is kind of funny.

    • Regarding your second rant: the trick is to only be doing two of those three things at any given point in time.

      • Yes, I generally skip the food part (most people seem to do the same) since I can’t eat most of it anyway. By the end of the event, I’m pretty hungry though and there is a ton of food wasted.

    • Rant 1: Lived with someone who would keep dirty dishes in her room. Figured it out when I went to reach for something, and we were out. We had a dishwasher, so it really made no sense that she’d go pack a lunch then leave the dishes in her room.
      Sorry you’re dealing with such grossness.

      • Eww, why would she want dirty dishes in her room? I’ve started washing my dishes in my bathroom because I just can’t handle the kitchen sink but I don’t hoard them in my room or let them sit out dirty. Luckily this is just a temporary roommate situation. but I appreciate the solidarity!

    • Accountering

      If you are trying to network, easiest option is just avoid the food completely. Have a granola bar or something beforehand, much easier to just have the glass of wine or beer and avoid chewing 🙂

    • i’m an only, too, and it was amazing! i am so thankful for my parents’ decision. it is really irritating when people treat having or being an only child is like a social or developmental death sentence.

      • It really is! I’m glad you also loved your experience as an only. Its also such an insensitive thing to judge since a lot of people are unable to have more than one.

    • @AliceinDC. I had slob roommates when I was back in college. Wait til one of them comes back home from a date and make sure the dirty dishes are strewn all over the bed.

    • I had a roommate in college who never did his dishes. They pilled up in his bedroom and none of us wanted to go in there and clean them out because it was so gross. When he moved out at the end of the year, he shoved all his dirty dishes into the cabinet underneath the bathroom sink for my roommates and I to deal with instead of cleaning them.

      • wow! What a massive @sshole!

      • I always wonder how that works out. Is there an endless supply of dishes or did he go to paper once they ran out?
        People like him and my ex-roommate are 2 peas in a pod. Some people must get off on the smell of filth. Only explanation I can muster.

      • That is awful!! I really really don’t understand people.

    • Rant #2: Plate on top of glass. Don’t load up your plate too heavy and opt for cleaner finger foods (I go for crackers and cheeses or fruit/veggies or food on toothpicks that won’t drip). For me, this only works for the first two-ish glasses of wine. It isn’t perfect, but this is my solution after years of networking receptions.

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: Managers of a certain age who don’t get the concept of internal collaboration sites, feel threatened by them and want to set up approval processes for posting. Yes, I’m being ageist but since I’m also a baby boomer I can point the damning finger!
    Rant: Lucy has been piddling a lot. Old lady dogs!
    Rave: Sleeping last night wrapped in sheets and blankets that had been dried in the sun and fresh air. Don’t you wish you were sleeping with me?

  • Rave: My mom kept me out until 11 drinking on her roof deck. I love it when she’s in town without my dad!

  • DC lifestyle question: does anyone keep a modest apartment in the District and a weekend house elsewhere (Eastern/Western Shore, Shenandoah, etc)? How do like the lifestyle? How often do you get to the country house? Any experiences/issues renting out the country house on AirBnB/HomeAway? Is it easy to find service providers?
    I think may be a good lifestyle compromise for us. I’m finding lots of great fixer-upper waterfront properties in the region (within a 2 hour drive from DC). I’m handy and need new projects. And I’d really love to be back on the water.

    • Quotia Zelda

      I don’t have any personal experience, but I have a colleague who has an apartment in DC and has a country house. Hers is close enough (maybe an hour away?) that in the summertime she lives full time in the country and drives in. The rest of the year, she spends about 2 weekends/month in the country.

      Her country house has an apartment attached, so she rents that out. That way, there’s always someone on the property who can alert her to problems (like when a big storm knocks a tree down).

    • No, but this is a life goal/fantasy of mine. I’m curious to see if people actually do this!

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Where would the cats live? 🙂

    • Andie302

      That’s a pseudo goal of mine based on two friends already doing it in Cambridge, MD! Real estate there is so cheap and I think the boat slips are also less than $100/month (but this might require membership in the country club, which is also comparatively cheap from other places on the water.)Two weekends a year when they host an iron man will cover about 4 months of expenses – so I’m thinking I SHOULD be able to manage most of the remaining costs with available time the rest of the year. Although the rental income gets a bit addictive (my one friend will only be at her home twice this summer because the rest filled up before she planned on weekends there). Happy to talk off line with you about this if you’re interested. You could also just start setting aside weekends at different rental in order to check out places and see if you like them. Lost River WV is another good one, but not as much water!

    • Start by looking at Homeaway.com listings, or abb for the location you are interested in. What are properties renting for? How full are their calendars? How many listings would you be competing with? What rent would you need to charge to be attractive (understanding that abb adds on a 9-12% booking fee + tax to the guest.) What other properties – B & Bs, hotels etc. would you be competing against?

      A good property manager is hard to find and will charge you 10% or more. (A bad pm will also charge you the same!) Being handy is great – but are you ready to drive 2 hours in the middle of the night to fix a broken toilet? Or can you count on a nearby handy-person to do that?

    • We live in DC and spend almost every spring/summer/fall weekend at our place Cambridge – discovered it doing the Eagleman tri. I’m biased, but it’s great! Dochester County is a maze of waterfront creeks, rivers, not to mention easy access to the bay.

      Considered WVA, but the many advantages of the Eastern Shore sold us. It”s less than two hours away from DC and Baltimore, so friends can easily come for the day or stay over. And we are only an hour from the beach, if we want to do a day trip there. Cambridge is a lot less expensive than Oxford, St. Michaels, Easton, etc and since we bought, there are a lot of new restaurants – RAR Brewery, High Spot, Rock Lobstah, and more. But again, I’m biased.

  • Rant: Groggy. I probably ought to get a sleep study done; it’s so rare that I actually feel rested.
    Rave: Had a nice time last night meeting up with some neighborhood PoPville folks.
    Rave: Managed to get some plant-watering, weeding, etc. done this morning while it was relatively cool.
    Rave; Snuggly kittycat.

  • Rant: Coworker who thinks she is superior and talks down to me. Get over yourself. The office can function without you, but without me they break down! That’s what I keep telling myself, at least.

    Rave: Phantom of the Opera at the Kennedy Center this summer!

    Rave: My birthday party is this weekend!

    Rant: My circle of friends has grown much smaller over the past year…this will be a small shindig compared to previous years. Makes me a little sad.

  • This is a little late in the day, but does anyone have any recommendations for how much to pay someone to come by and walk our dog three times per day and feed her twice (with walks) while we’re out of town? We have a couple neighbors with older kids that have offered the services, but I want to know what’s fair to pay.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    in light of my friend’s death I have decided I need more joy in my life, so to start I’ve signed up for Brew at the Zoo. They recommend downloaded a beer tasting app Pombe. Any one here familiar with it? Any other things to bring joy other than buying lots of new socks?

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I downloaded Pombe for last years Brew at the Zoo. It was a decent app, you were able to track all the browse visited and beers tasted. I believe it also listed where you could get the beers? I don’t have a huge amount of space on my phone and deleted it soon after, but if you attend a lot of events it might be worth your while.

    • I think that’s a great intention!
      I used Pomba somewhere, maybe it was Snallygaster and it was awful. But that was years ago, hopefully it’s better now. The concept of it is helpful, research ahead of time, mark your favorites, easily find them when you get there.
      I think what brings people joy is pretty personal. For me it’s spending time outside and making sure to plan time with friends.

      • Jeslett – I was trying to come up with a Father’s Day gift idea for my dad, do you think tickets to Snallygaster would be a good purchase? I’ve never been and would love your take on it…

        • It really depends how much your dad likes beer. If he’s like mine and a saison is outside of his comfort zone he’d likely be overwhelmed. While it’s a festival a lot of people go to to get bombed close to home, it’s also a massive event for beer nerds with beers that only come to the US for this one fest.

          • yeah, he’s definitely not in it to get blitzed! He’s a beer nerd who would love to try some of those special beers he reads about in his beer magazines.

    • anonymouse_dianne, I agree with Jeslett in that what brings a person joy is pretty personal and variable. But it sounds like you’re off to a great start. Maybe also dig deeper into what you’ve already chosen – Brew at the Zoo and lots of socks – to give yourself ideas. If you’re into beer, maybe start doing some tours of local breweries – or go on a grand adventure to tour the monastery of your favorite abbey dubble. If it’s the animals, maybe getting involved with some sort of charity that brings comfort dogs to hospitals and nursing homes. Go on a quest to find the most luxurious pair of socks ! These are obviously all just suggestions, but I just figured if you’ve already found a couple things that bring you joy, maybe using that as a jumping-off place.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Thanks y’all! I have plenty of ideas for myself… I’m a FONZ for the animals and have volunteered at WARL and WHS in the past.

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