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Ho Ho Ho! Happy Holidays!

That's totally me in the photo, yessiree!
Image credits: Corey Shuff,,

A toast to 2014, a year of firsts!

There's been a lot of terrible news this year--MH370, Ebola, Boko Haram, Ferguson, to name just a few--but I think there are also a lot of good people doing good work out there that balances it all out. Malala's still campaigning for girls' education, Obama is all "GREY HAIR, DON'T CARE", Tina and Amy are hosting the Golden Globes again, and Kosuke Fujishima finished his Oh! My Goddess (ああっ女神さまっ) series after only 26 years! Yes, it only took almost my entire lifetime for Keiichi and Belldandy to get married!

But back to the post opener...our little family got a tiny expansion this year, causing Fragrant Husband's beard to go even more salt-and-pepper. We are now parents to one of our own species, homo sapien nerdus, rather than to a pair of senior felis catus. The demands are...different.

As an older and wiser Fragrant Elephant, I can now pass on these lessons to the next generation:

1) Pregnancy is weird. Think about it. You grow another human inside you. It hiccups and bounces around in there, too. Then it you push it out--or have it cut out of you!--and it poops on you.

The upside, apart from the baby, is that you immediately bond with other women who have been through the experience. You will become part of a club of women who know. They know. We know.

2) Parenting requires special skills. Namely, the ability to plan out the intricate logistics of getting out the door with some semblance of punctuality, as well as the ability to clearly communicate to one's partner the exact steps required to achieve such a feat. To wit:

"Okay, going to a party! I'll change his diaper and put him in his new clothes while you pack up the appetizers."

"Got it. Done. Is he strapped in to his stroller now?"

"Yes, except he pooped again. Your turn to change him."

"Right. ...Finished, let's go! Wow, we're only 30 minutes behind schedule!"

"...We forgot the appetizers."


3) Choose your partner wisely. I cannot stress this enough. The right person will inspire you and help you grow, possibly horizontally, but also definitely as a person.

Step one: Know what works for you. Have standards. When I stumbled upon my now-husband, he passed my first set of criteria: he was Kind, Had a Job, and was As Smart As or Smarter Than Me.

Step two: Get to know your intended victim partner. Compatibility is key, and having similar interests helps enormously. My target owned a cat (+100 points), loved video games (+50 points), read a ton of books (+50 points), and was a great cook (+all the points).

Step three: Get to know each other's family. If all y'all can stand each other, you're golden. You'll know s/he's a keeper if a member of your family is a complete douchenozzle and your partner decides to marry you anyway.

Step four: Profit! (obligatory)

4) Sleep is precious. I just realized that I haven't slept more than 3-4 hours at a stretch since I went into labor. No wonder I can't remember things, like what is the point of this blog post.


Oh, yes! 2014 was a global shitshow, pardon my French, but it was a good year for the Fragrant Family. I know we're lucky and I'm thankful for that.

Dear readers, my warmest, most fragrant wishes for an AWESOME 2015 for you and yours!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

This post brought to you by Junior's 1 am, 3 am, 4 am, and 6 am wake up calls! (falls over)

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