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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Beach ouchie

I fell while trying to get a 'cute' picture of me on a big bolder on the jetty. This is an 'injury' that might keep me from doing dishes, but I think I may survive.

At the beach!

I'm in the highchair...now what?

Monday, July 18, 2011

The JC Penney "Memories in the Making" scam

There are things about having a baby that are delightful and wonderful.  Seeing Lucy giggle in the morning over nothing more than a new clean diaper is a treat.  I'm sure in time this will wear off as a novelty, but these days she's very appreciative.

Dressing our little bundle in all the fabulous outfits that have been generously donated by grandmas, friends and wanna-be grandmas is also really fun.   Dressing Lucy in the occasional skull & cross bones subversive outfit is also something we get a bolt of parental happiness over.

The obligatory trip to the JC Penney photo studio to capture our special princess in all her stunning baby glory is NOT one of those activities.  The photo studio people started out on the wrong foot after their fourth email confirmation and then phone call to confirm that we were coming at 10:40 am.  Appointment times are firm, so don't be late.

You have to know that when they were "running behind" when we arrived that I was less than pleased.  We had timed the photo session in such a way that were in the perfect post bottle, no nap needed moment for our peanut.  She was all dolled up in clothes that she wasn't exactly comfortable in it was hot in the studio.  Waiting was not a welcome activity.  But, for 20 minutes wait we did.  That was just long enough for Lucy to decide she was profoundly unhappy.

I'll give the studio "photographer" some credit as she captured some decent photos of my unhappy baby, but most of them looked like this:
(I had to take a picture of this from their website - and I'll get into that in a moment.)

They took a total of 16 pictures and then all hell broke loose.  Lucy had an instantaneous"Get me out of this dress", "I need a Gosh Damned Bottle RIGHT NOW" and a STINKY DIAPER alarm at the same time.  Usually these are timed so that you don't have wait on one activity for the other, but not at JC Penney.  At JC Penney Lucy had all bio functions alarm at once. 

I tried to focus on the photo lady while Jason dropped to the floor to unclothe Angry Lucy, refresh the diaper and apply a bottle to reduce the head spins.

So, in a "sales pitch" situation it is best if you give me the facts up front.  My "scam" alarm goes up when my requests for the actual price of things is delayed.  I knew something was amiss when they took the cutest picture of Lucy, dropped it onto a background and I cooed with delight.  Then the photo lady - turned car salesman couldn't get off that photo on the screen to save her life.  She wanted to show me the image on t-shirts, purses, a decal for our car (not true mom, so don't even think it.) 

When I FINALLY got her to cough up the pricing for the photos it turns out she wanted us to hand over $250 bucks for the digital images and the "adorable" Lucy on the background photos.  Wow, I love my kid.  I think she's rather photogenic, but I have over 600 digital shots at home many of which are on par with the pictures of Angry Lucy in their packet.  So, we (I, as Jason was still trying to calm the Peanut) decided to go with the cheap persons photo package.  We could choose two different pictures for 8x10's and 3 for 5x7's and another for wallet photos that no one will ever use.  I tried to select the sweet picture on the background and was promptly told that I couldn't select "the premium" pictures for that album.   This really irked me because I understand how printing works... once the image is created (which she did right there in front of me) printing is the same cost and effort no matter what is on the file. 

Thinking quickly I asked how much to purchase the digital images and was told $150.  Hmmm.... $150 for what really amounts to three or four cute-ish pictures.  Sorry, not interested.  For that kind of money, we could skip the 6 month, and 1 year professional photos and buy an awesome light and make our own studio at home.  Heck, I have a dirty sheet and once Lucy is sitting on her own won't need the fancy baby prop thingies that are under the dirty sheet she is sitting on.

We settled on our order, and then got the hell out of the store.  I left with an unsavory taste in my mouth. 

Oh, and here's the other thing that was irritating.  When we scheduled online for our (apparently flexible) prompt studio time I had to give our address, phone number and email.  They had the information for the 4 confirmation emails and phone call, but was it in their system at the store so we could place our order quickly?  NO...  After the parental manipulator (photograper/salesperson) bungled our last name I asked if I could simply enter the data myself.  She seemed hesitant to hand over the key board to let me type my own address, as if customers can't be trusted to do such things for themselves.

If we do professional photos again, I might spring for a real studio with real proofs and a photographer who is not a salesperson.  The prices will be more, but the experience will be more savory as well.  We'll see, Jason HATES the photography session event, so don't hold your breath for stunning studio photos of my beautiful family.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Two in one day...

Don't get use to this, but here I sit on the plane and my book hasn't grabbed me yet, so I thought that I would entertain myself with my own random thoughts.

I'm rather excited about the trip to Maui next year. It's not like there haven't been vacations, but this will be the first significant get away that Jas and I have done since our honeymoon. Lucy will add a bit of flavor to the trip, but other than some anxiety about the flight I think she'll be great.

We have other vacation time planned between now and the date we leave for Maui and I'm looking forward to that as well. Most notably we will be heading to Long Beach for a long weekend and have rented a 'cabin'. This place has 4 bedrooms, a stocked kitchen, pool, foosball and ping pong in the basement. The 'cabin' is about years old and looks fabulous. We'll be in walking distance to the beach and a quick drive into town. I'm jazzed about showing my "hometown" to my in-laws and the rest of the riff-raff that is traveling with us. I hope it is the first of many trips to the beach for Miss Lucy.

I mentioned that we're seeing Harry Potter this weekend. I was surprised at the level of planning it took to arrange a dinner and a movie. I knew that a baby would cause a shift in our world and am not bitching about the complexity of coordinating this event, but it certainly wasn't as easy as calling up my standard babysitter. Firstly, we dont have a standard sitter yet. There's a neighborhood gal who attends our church who we want to build a relationship with, but a quick discussion with her mom and we decided that she needs to com e over for some "mommy helper" time before she flies solo with an infant. The great news is that she's just starting high school so we'll get to build a level of trust and a relationship with Lucy that should last for a number of years. If it goes well I will campaign to have her home-schooled for college so she can be with us until Lucy is 8. I'm sure the cost will go up, but nothing is too good for my baby.

Ha, not true. I'm hoping that we can avoid the "entitlement" trap with Lucy. We're comfortable, but in no way does she get to have everything she wants. Some things will be earned. She may not get a traditional job at the same age that her dad and I did, but she will earn her way to a bicycle and whatnot. Ideally, she'll appreciate how fortunate we are and know that giving back is important.

(as an aside, my chicken salad on the plane is seriously gross. I took picture for your 'enjoyment')

So, Jason is working Sunday and Lucy and I get a mommy play day. I'm thinking we'll play housewife and work up a fabulous Sunday dinner for our working dad. Roast chicken, veggies, smashed potatoes? Sounds like a meal fit for a king. Maybe she'll help me make cookies. By helping, you knowI mean take an afternoon nap. :)

Thats about it, I have no grand pronouncements or even funny bitching about my stay in San Jose. I'm still in a great headspace with my boss, I give her props for all the traveling and useless crap she puts up with and am thankful to be where I'm at. I have a great gig and will continue to strive to keep it going.

Thoughts of the day

I’m a bad blogger. It’s been days and days since I’ve weighed in on any topic, let alone tell you how my wonderful daughter is doing.

I’ve been in San Jose and unlike some trips in the past there has been almost zero down time. I’m using my lunch moment to catch up with you.

Lucy is good. She’s having some professional photos taken tomorrow, so we’ll see if they are any better than our home shots. Both Jason and I are feeling the pressure to come up with some super cute looks, but her hair… oh man what to do about her hair? I picked up a head thingy (hat?) and we’ll see how it turns out. Who knew that having hair you can’t do anything with would be a liability. My dad (kojack) is no help, he has been shaving his head for ages and thinks the wacky messy look that Lucy has with her curly head is sweet.

Lucy and Jason have been managing quite nicely without me this week. Lucy is a bad napper and subsequently comes home from “school” in a ‘put a fork in me I’m done’ state. Last night she screamed and cried for about 60 seconds and then she was asleep until this morning. She woke at 4am but put herself back to sleep. She has a new skill – she has learned how to make the farty – raspberry sound with her mouth. Jason sent me a video of her doing it in her room. It’s a dark image of the monitor and her farty sounds. CUTE.

In the real world, I haven’t weighed in on big topics like the debt ceiling, the Casey Anthony trial and the super important impending possible marriage of Brad & Angelina. Lets not forget HARRY POTTER!!!



In order:

The Debt Ceiling: I think both political parties are using the topic to further their own agenda instead of focusing on what is best for our country. Raising the debt ceiling is a lot like the credit card balance increases I used to apply for when money would get tight. (Note, used to…) It was a long hard lesson to live within my means. It was a multiple part process that included cutting spending, focus on paying what I owed and working hard to bring in more income. We have to do the same thing, and I think it might be time to revisit how we splice our budget. Every little bit helps – and maybe, just maybe defense contracts and our spending in that area should be VERY closely evaluated. I know it’s vastly unpopular to suggest that we not buy any new planes or equipment for a while, but if you can’t buy bread you can’t afford a new F-15. I’m just saying.

Casey Anthony – Don’t hang the jury. While I believe in my heart that that woman was ultimately responsible for the death of her daughter it is not clear if she physically killed her or was simply negligent in her parenting and the girl died as a result. Either way, the prosecution did not have a smoking gun – or a cause of death. The jury could have gone the OJ robbery/kidnapping route and found her ass guilty based on a profound ‘feeling’ that she’s responsible, or they could do what was asked of them, look at the evidence presented and make a call. The inability to pinpoint a cause of death is a serious problem. I think it is highly improbably that the little girl died in the pool, but could they place Casey’s hands on her child? No, I don’t think they could. 

I think life for Casey is going to be rough. Society has decided she’s guilty and it’s going to be a rough road. I only hope she doesn’t have more children. The wackos will flip out the day she shows up pregnant. I dread the news stories already.

As for the law being proposed that it is illegal to not report your child missing - it is a sad sad world where we need laws to tell people how to parent.  But, in this case it might have been the only thing to hang around Ms. Anthony's neck.  As hateful as it sounds, it seems to me like she needs something hanging around her neck. 

Brad & Angelina – er, who cares? Rich people getting married. Good for them, but it’s not news. Brad & George Clooney getting married, THAT would be news.
Harry Potter: Ooooh I’m so excited for the movie. We have a date Saturday. We have a baby sitter, dinner reservations, tissues and pre-purchased tickets. I – CAN’T – WAIT!!!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

4 month update

Lucy got a gold star at the doctor today. She's 26 inches tall, which puts her in the 95th percentile for height (to translate, she's taller than 95% of all babies born on her birthday.

Her weight (which isn't adjusted for her gargantuan height) is in the 75% range. Dr. Robin was pleased with Lucy's growth and size.

Lucy got the green light to start solid foods. Not that extremely soupy rice cereal can be considered solid, but it's on the menu.

In addition to a great physical exam, Lucy displayed all the correct developmental milestones. We knew that she is right on target, but she did a nice job of showing them to the doctor.

This appointment also included the dreaded immunizations. There was only a few tears and Lucy was amazing. (I didn't cry, but I wanted to). She slept in the car on the way home, but that might have had more to do with her lack of naps today vs. The shots. Her mood was good, but getting her to sleep tonight was a challenge. The 4-6 month sheet from the doctor says that we're supposed to wean Lucy off the swaddle. Jas and I will have to work out a strategy, because the swaddle is VERY effective as a sleep queue. We tried putting her to bed without wrapping her arms, but 90 minutes later she was still eyes open and crying. I relented and wrapped her up and she was asleep in less than 3 minutes.

Mind you, im not complaining about the sleep thing, once she's asleep she's really asleep. We'll work through the swaddle transition.

That's the update...

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Thursday

Lucy's 4 month pediatric checkup is tomorrow. It includes immunizations... I'm sad for her impending "ouchies".
Doing things that hurt her in the short run is part of being a good parent- but it still sucks!

The 'New' date night

Monday, July 04, 2011

My new suit

We have crabs!

Happy Fourth!

Chelsey, Jordan, Lucy & me in our holiday gear.

I think we manages the long weekend beautifully. Saturday we gardened, dug up the dead marigolds in our front garden, mixed better dirt into the soil and then planted petunias and little blue plants. The "soil" left for us by our builder is nothing short of a sandy, rocky nightmare. The mulch they laid down two years ago has added some variety to the garden beds but the only plants that want to live are the ones they planted 3 years ago. We haven't been able to keep anything alive in that bed since we moved in. Thankfully, when we planted the rose up front we incorporated enough potting soil to give it a chance. It worked, became it is blooming for the second year in a row.

Sunday we were up a Lucy's schedule, which was a fabulous 7 am and were off to Anacortes to spend the day with Jason's cousins. It is a long drive, but their waterfront home is a great place to spend the day. They were serving a "punch" that packed a wallop. I think the recipe was:

1 can pink lemon aid concentrate
1 bottle cheap white wine
2 cans sprite (not diet)
1 cup vodka -preferably citrus. (this recipe was told to me AFTER a few generous glasses of this refreshing drink and I think if the vodka quantity is correct then it's no wonder I wanted a nap in the afternoon. If I were to make it myself I might start out with 2-3 shots of vodka per batch. No one needs that much "kick" in their punch.

Lucy was delightful for the most of the day. Knowing her signals for "I need a nap" and "get out of my face you nice, well meaning stranger" goes a long way towards keeping the Peanut happy. She took two VERY good naps in addition to the nap on the drive up. She even responded well to the going to bed in Anacortes, waking up for a car ride home and waking up for the final transfer to her own bed. She sleep u til 7 again today. If this is her new weekend timeline I'm in love!

Today, the Fourth our plan is a quiet day at home. We started our day with pecan pancakes, a swim in the tub for Lucy (to remove layers of baby sunscreen) and now at 11:30 a nap. Later we will run some errands and have our own back yard BBQ. Lucy can't stay awake until dark for fireworks so we will skip it this year. I may blow up the mini pool and let it warm in the sun for some outdoor fun later. We'll see.

Right now, Jason is watering the plants, I'm in the front in my lawn chair (blogging) and Lucy is happily upstairs. The garbage truck is going by and picking up under Lucy's window so this nap may be over soon. Last night the infrequent but loud booms from the darned neighbors illegal fireworks were causing her to stir. I hope we are far enough away to not be a bother.

The only bummer about our weekend is that 'The Doug' is with his family in New Zealand rather than with us. His mom is ill and he flew home to be with her. It's hard to see someone go through the serious illness of a parent, but to be so far away is rough. I feel for him, and his whole family. And hope that his mom is comforted by these moments with all her boys. We missed him a lot yesterday and hope for a safe journey home ( for both Doug and his mom).

Ok, the baby is starting to make noise so off I go to be a mom. This sitting in the sun has been great, but responsibility beacons.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Very Excited!

We're finally putting the masses of earned airline miles to good use.  Jas, Lucy and I are headed to Maui next year for a 7 night luxury vacation.

We've rented a condo at a recommended resort on a shallow bay that is supposed to be excellent for kids - not much surf, clear water and 2 pools. Oh, and shuffleboard... did I say Maui, maybe I meant Boca Raton, FL.

The 1 bedroom condo plan is going to work out so much better with Lucy than a hotel.  We'll be able to keep her on a decent sleep schedule and still be able to relax on our lanai without having to tiptoe around a hotel room.   We'll make a trip to Costco when we arrive and stock up on food so we can eat in when necessary, but as a 1 year old we think (pray) that Lucy will be able to sit through a dinner out every now and then.  We won't be dining at any of the swanky hotels, but unlike this month we likely won't have to be in a place where she can go to bed at 6pm.

Since our tickets were 'free' (a $10 charge per person) I opted to rent a condo with a partial view, rather than the bargain garden views.  The extra $30 a day seemed reasonable.  The budget mistress in me couldn't justify the extra $100 a day for the fabulous end unit with unobstructed ocean views.  I don't plan on being in the condo enough to warrant an extra $700 for a spectacular view when we can walk less than 100 yards to the ocean itself.  

I haven't been to Hawaii since 1988.  That trip was nice, but it was to Kauai with my mom.  Kauai is beautiful, but there wasn't much for a 19 year old to do. I came home freakishly tan... it was very unfortunate and to my skin, I apologize.   This tip will probably have more pool/ocean time and far less baking in the sun time.  We'll also do day trips to see the sights.  I'll bring my fun floppy hat and a gallon of sun screen for the kiddo and we'll be happy.

The other super exciting thing is that since we're doing this in the spring (no dates published for safety) we'll still be able to go boating later in the summer with Jason's cousins.  Provided we're invited.  (ha... we'll be invited.)

Thankfully, we're super busy between now and then and I'm sure the long 8-9 month wait before we leave will fly by.   Heck by then, Lucy will be a year old.  We'll be marveling over where the time went.