Friday, June 27, 2008

Fifteen Percent

Wednesday morning I decided to get myself out of the house with Natalie because she was super F*U*S*S*Y and I thought I might be able to distract her with a few errands. We stopped at Kohls and noted all of the stay-at-home moms cruising through at 1030 in the morning looking for bargains. Seriously - there was like one man in that whole store.

Kevin and I were in dire need of new luggage and Kohls had a good sale on it this week so I was on a mission. On my way into the store a lady starts honking and waving at me and I (in all my "maybe-she'-just-friendly-cuz-that's-how-they-are-in-Missouri" fashion wave back). She pulls over and hands me a reusable coupon for the day. Hallelujah! I take back everything I said about east coasters when I first moved here!

Coupon in tow I start looking at everything with new eyes. Now I can get FIFTEEN PERCENT off of everything. That means I can buy more!! That's when I noticed all of the women in there and I snapped out of my greedy little trance. "Stay focused Lauren!" Dutifully I headed back to the luggage and pick out a 7 piece luggage set for $80. Now only $68 with my coupon. Score! I figured even if this stuff dies on us in a couple years its no big loss as there's not a lot invested and we'd definitely have gotten our money's worth out of it. Besides - it looked like it may hold up longer than that anyway.

I picked out a couple birthday presents for myself (at the request of my mother) and make my way to the checkout line. There was one line on my side of the store at the moment and one lady behind me. Then I asked the dreaded question that certainly sealed my fate: Could you reopen my Kohls credit card so that I could use this 15% off coupon? "Sure!" she said as she pulled out a credit card application. She proceeded to ask me for my drivers license, a major credit card and parental rights to my next child. Another couple joined the line.

After giving her my SSN a total of three times along with my telephone number, etc my card was officially reopened. However she realized that my sunglasses I've picked out didn't have a tag on them to scan. There were approximately 4 people in line behind me now. She had already paged someone in Accessories but there was no one in Accessories. The manager gets on the phone as another couple joins the line and says "I'm desperately in need of a checker in mens" as she paces the floor. I debate offering to check the people out behind me. Instead I offer to go grab another pair of sunglasses WITH the tag this time.

I bolt to Accessories and back within 60 seconds and now there's approximately 7 people in line behind me. She rings me up and "whoops" forgets to apply the coupon. So then she voids it all and we start anew. Meanwhile, the old lady behind me rather loudly declares that they should be "giving things away at this pace". I shove my coupon into her hands and say "here... have a coupon". Because that's what us Missourians do.

Well, I didn't see THAT one coming.

It's been a fussy week for Natalie at home. On Tuesday she started showing signs of Hand/Foot/Mouth disease and also an ear infection. The HFM must have been something she got from her last full day at Kindercare last Thursday. What a nice parting gift.... Not.

KC really doesn't want the HFM kids to come back to play with the rest of the healthy ones (understandably) so she's been home this week adjusting to the new caregiver that's been coming to the house two of the days I work from home and then just hanging out with me. But it's been a very fussy and un-Natalie week. When you don't feel good I guess its hard to find the gumption to crack a smile on a regular basis.

So I swung by Kindercare today with Natalie in tow to collect her things as the "trial" period for the sitter had passed and we didnt want to double up on childcare $$ for longer than we had to. When I got to KC I found myself hit with a strange reaction that in a thousand year I didnt anticipate.... lest you forget my initial reaction with taking her there.

Natalie perked up when we walked in and bust into a smile once she saw all of her friend and her teacher. WHAT?!?!? This is my sick kid who has been fussing all morning for me! I was really surprised about how difficult it was to pack up all of her things and march out of there. Not only was I was sad FOR her but she burst into tears when I put her in the carseat! She'd been there for a measly 4 months, but in that time she'd been doted on by some really nice women, she'd developed a ton socially and physically and she had enjoyed the interaction with other kids. I found myself worrying that she might not like it as much at home with me as shd did at this place that catered to round-the-clock entertainment for its kids. Do I sing enough silly songs and do enough educational play? How can I possibly keep up and manage to get things done around the house? Is this kid going to even like me?!?!

I'm sure I'm just being silly and that there are several factors into why she's been a bit fussy (new schedule, sickness, etc). She'll have to get used to not being held 24/7 and going to sleep without someone else in the room - but that will happen in time. Deep down I think that being home with me will be really good for her (and me too), but right now I'm left a little shell-shocked with how it felt to leave. Totally didn't see that one coming.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

She's on the move...

Well the days of "perfect baby" are over and our heads are now spinning by a NEW phase in Natalie's life. Who knew a 9 month old could give us a run for our money? Natalie has started crawling and pulling up all the time now and she has resolutely decided that she does NOT like being penned in with a baby gate and especially in her crib. The past few days have brought mayhem and LOTS of tantrums when she goes down for nap or bedtime. Neither one of us thought we'd have to deal with the tantrum thing quite so early and it's left us wondering "What would the Super Nanny do?" I think she'd be proud at our efforts - but the fight isnt quite over yet!

Last night we had a major standoff. It was 10pm and Kevin and I had just enjoyed a night out strolling though the grocery store, Bed Bath and Beyond and stopping for ice cream. We'd taken Nat with us and, while keeping her out late was probably a bad idea, we needed to get out of the house. She'd done a lot of whining, crying and screaming during what was supposed to be naptime earlier that day and we just needed a break! During our trip out, she stayed in a good mood and fell asleep for a while.

Once we got home, though, she was not content to dutifully go to bed for the night. Instead, she stood in her crib shaking the rails, snot running down her nose, screaming for all she was worth. If there's anything that will break your heart as a parent its that look in your kids eyes when they're competely a wreck and dying for you to pick them up. Kevin and I both looked at each other in bewilderment. What were we supposed to do? She was obviously tired but she wasn't content to be rocked. And the previous trials with naptimes and the crib were making putting her to bed nearly impossible!!

You might be wondering what we did..."did she feel poorly" "is she teething"? But the answer to that was quickly answered when she quieted down the moment she was released from bondage...aka the crib. So our heart-wrenching solution was to sit in the darkened room quietly and lay her down every time she stood up in the crib. I think I laid her down a total of 15 (not kidding) times before she eventually quieted down enough for me to pat her back so she could go to sleep.

This afternoon's nap was the same ordeal, but a bit shorter... Ahh... something tells me that this is a sign of things to come and we should be very, very nervous. Both Kevin and I are strong-willed and something tells me we have it coming to us!

We'll try to get another video of how "on the move" she really is these days. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Goodbye Tinkerbell

It's been a hectic week and while there's been a lot going on, I'll spare you the details because most of them are mundane and involving lots of time in the car. Let me just say... I'm tired. And it's only Tuesday! I don't think that it's going to be this crazy normally - just part of getting spooled up on the new job.

Natalie has totally mastered the crawling thing and is moving on to beginning to "cruise" the furniture. She's not quite there yet - but Kevin and I can tell it's definitely coming. Baby gates are up!

We officially shrunk our family last Friday and let me tell you it's a bittersweet thing. No, I didnt get rid of Kevin... (although he knows if he doesnt pick up his socks he might be next.. j/k!). We found another home for our younger cat, Tinkerbell. It was just time. Unfortunately we had been overrun by cat hair ever since she arrived and had recently found *gasp* lingering dingleberries NOT in the cat pan. Uggggg! We found a very nice woman on craigslist to offload our cat on and she was very excited about it. She was seeking out a friend for her female cat and has someone cleaning her house every other week - so she shouldn't even notice the shedding hair. Hopefully the poo incidents were isolated ... (cross your fingers folks!) I'm celebrating having only one animal. It's helped the house stay clean and I've found that I appreciate Chloe so much more now. It's probably better for all of us - Tinks included.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Words Cannot Express

the excitement/anticipation/nervous energy, etc that I'm feeling right now. Tomorrow is officially my last day at my job as I've put in my two weeks it's all coming to a close. We're so blessed in that I've been offered a part-time work-from-home position with another company. I'll be excited to see a little bit more of the rugrat and hopefully she'll enjoy the extra time together too.

9 Months Going On 15

When your 9 months old, its not hard to do something for the 1st time. Here's a list of several 1sts within the past week....

  1. First road trip (4.5 hours Saturday and 4.5 hours Sunday) She was pretty darn good.

  2. First trip to NY, NJ and Pennsylvania. For the Missouri folks reading this, did you realize we drove through 5 states in that 4.5 hours??? (She'd already been to Delaware and Maryland - of course.) I've been stuck on the road in KS and TX longer than that!

  3. First real crawl. She has to be bribed with things she can't have. Crawl to a toy? No way! Crawl to a sharp object that I can poke my eye out with? YES!!!

  4. First real banana, blueberry and tsaziki sauce. "What??!!", you say? It's what you do when you have a fidgety 9 month old and you're trying to finish your gyro.

  5. First game of mini golf (and she won...don't let the guy with the golf club fool you!)

  6. First pull to stand. This is a big one. What made it so cool is that my mom was there to see it!

  7. First Martha Stewart sighting. We drove past her enormous property and think we saw her from the back on a golf cart. Not everyday you can say you've seen Martha Stewart's backside!

  8. First 95 degree weather. Hotter than HEdoublehockeysticks

  9. First ice cream. And first ice cream in her nose. =)

Happy 80th Birthday Aunt Pat!

This weekend my parents and sister came to town and we had a whirlwind trip up to Bedford, NY (home of Martha Stewart) to celebrate my great Aunt Pat's 80th birthday. She had yet to see Natalie and they took to each other right away!
Aunt Pat is my late grandmother's sister. She reminds me so much of my beloved grandmother and has many of the same mannerisms and hobbies my grandmother had. I miss my grandmother very much but am comforted to know that her spirit lives on!
Aunt Pat

Mom, Dad, Grandpa Frank, Aunt Kathi and Wendell

Natalie and cousin Nola