Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Babies, Planes and Crazy People oh my!

When I was a 350 pound person and I would board an airplane I could see the look in people's eyes as I squished down the isle. "Please don't sit by me..."  It is never said out loud but is telegraphed in every look and especially the relief as you look to the next row.    Now, as a parent, I feel the same sort of looks of dread while waiting to board the airplane with Lucy.  Thankfully we have the means to purchase a seat for her, so we are taking up an entire row, but the people around us are clearly worried that Lucy will be a screamer.  So far, on her six flights she has been mostly reasonable.

I read an article about a discount airline that is banning kids from the first few rows behind first class to give their priority customers a more pleasant flight.    The comments to the article were all over the place in support of and alternatively blasting the concept.    As a member of the frequent flyer world with priority seating and boarding benefits on my chosen airline I would be so pissed if told we had to sit in the back because of Lucy.  For the record Alaska airlines has never suggested this and furthermore told us it was acceptable to bring Lucy as a lap infant on our flight class flight to Maui.

Sure, kids are more likely than any adult to scream and yell while on a flight.  However it doesn't mean they aren't expressing the same emotions that we are all having.  Everyone wants to get up, move around, not be hot, eat something, and pee when they want. Actually, the diaper set can make a tinkie whenever they want; they don't know how lucky they are.  

I had to stop reading the comments section on the article when I found myself penning a reply to the 'nice' girl who said that all kids are brats and that people with kids shouldn't fly - ever.  Also, I think if I ever see "JJ Johnson" in person I'll punch him in the face for threatening to hit a mom whose kid kicked the back of his seat.   (Sorry 7A, I tried really hard to get Lucy to stop touching your seat, I worked on that message the entire flight.  But you, crazy lady on the return flight, I didn't work so hard because you reclined your seat.  Have a heart!)

I'm sure the airlines have done a cost analysis about offering child free flights, at a premium I'm sure.  Clearly it isn't worth the effort or it would be available.   I could see offering a kid-free flight to adult type locations such as Las Vegas, but I've been told that families live there too.   Perhaps an all-first class plane to make it financially difficult for the average family to use.  Oh wait, they have those, they are called private jets.

Kids fly.  If you're lucky you get an easy, mostly happy kid with parents that are actively engaged to keep junior happy during the flight.  If you're really lucky they will buy you a drink when the kid is melting down.

But, if they do break down and enforce a kids-free section on flights, I also want one to move those smelly, talkative almost drunk people away, and that know it all guy - he certainly needs his own section.  And the 'dropper' you know that lady that drops and spills everything - put her in a bubble.

Next time we fly with Lucy, I'm going to hand out something like this:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Memo to car salesman


TO: Car Salesmen Everywhere
FROM: tpgal
RE: Back Off

This memo is to inform you that it is no longer 1950.  When you sell a car to a couple you are selling it to both parties and you must not assume the woman is a feeble minded moron who needs your assistance understanding how to operate the vehicle.

You should also know that when you call to follow up and the client tells you that they are in the car, with their wife and that they are using the bluetooth hands-free telephone feature that EVERYONE IN THE CAR CAN HEAR YOU.  When you offer your assistance to Mrs. L to answer any questions she may have about  the car, Mrs. L can HEAR YOU.

Please also know that it is not necessary to offer that assistance again in a hand written letter that you mail one week after the purchase, nor is it required to leave lengthy phone messages on the home phone.  You can stop emailing and calling.  WE UNDERSTAND HOW TO USE THE CAR.

I am providing you fair and legal warning that if you show up on my doorstep to offer to show me how to use the car I will take a rake from my garage and use it to impale you in my garden.  You will be a scarecrow for all door to door solicitors for the entire holiday season.    You may even be adorned for the various holidays.

It may have seemed like we were from another era, or that I am dim witted because on the day we bought the car we split the duties.  Jason went to the 'car store' and endured the first two and a half hours of negotiations on his own and I showed up with the baby for the last hour.  Trust me, we did it this way because we are smart.  I came as the relief pitcher at the end to close the deal.  I understood the terms and the complicated math.

I have had less contact with the pediatrician after the birth of my child than I have had with this "nice" salesperson.  Trust me, a baby is far more complicated to operate than a hybrid car.

You got your commission, now get out of our lives.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


FOMO: fear of missing out.

"I have a bad case of FOMO"

This is not my word, but its a good one to describe that friend who worries you're all going to decide to do something fun while she's in the bathroom.


I'm at the annual book group getaway weekend and have moved from the tiny twin bed in the loft to the couch. It was HOT up there, even with the window open and I was paranoid that any movement or snoring was being broadcast throughout the entire sleeping area.

I realized I couldn't wait any longer for my usual 2pm "break" and navigated the ladder. I won't go back up. I wish I had my own pillow, but I have a swearshirt, a long couch and a cozy throw. (Sweatshirt....a "swearshirt" sounds like something you might buy at a rodeo. "I'm with dip-sh*t")

I have what I need for more why am I alert???

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekend away

The book group ladies (minus 1) are spending the weekend away together. We had planned to go to Plain but the smoke from the nearby Wenatchee forest fires was too much so we borrowed a cabin from a members neighbor. So far, my neighbors only seem able to provide bad yard care service and judgement about our household investments. I'm sure it's envy...especially when the temperatures in the house hits the 80 degree mark at bedtime. Our air conditioner doesn't seem so silly then does it!?

Breathe.... So. This cabin on Whidbey Island was easy to get to and for a cozy cottage is great. It has two queen beds and a loft with two twin beds. I'm in the loft with Amy. We don't have ant curtains, but we have our own beds. Getting up into the loft is ok, a steep ladder, but the lack of a hand rail, or a firehouse pole is frightening. If there is a need for a 3 am pee break it's going to be interesting. For sure, it is incentive to limit the wine intake.

This cabin has a quaint kitchen which was fun for one meal. ONE. Thankfully, I am now off kitchen duty for the remainder of the weekend. The only short coming, other than the lack of toilet paper is the single toilet for 6 women. I'll shower tomorrow and be fine, but waiting in line to pee and not being at a bar or a rock concert is wrong.

There have been multiple ideas thrown around for tomorrow such as biking, a jog ( hell no) and...pedicures. I brought my bike AND my toes. I think the ladies should know.

It's very quiet here and I hope it is not a bright sunny morning. Sleeping until 7:00 would be heaven. I'll let you know how it goes.

Ninja Lucy

Want some cereal?
Mommy did something strange to my hair today.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

That's better!

Miss Rosario was in class this morning. Lucy hesitated at the door but by the time I stepped in and stowed Lucy's replacement diapers Lucy was happily sitting at the breakfast table with cheerios, toast and juice. "Mama who?" I gave her a quick smack (kiss) on the head and off I went to start my day. So much better than tears!
In the "maybe a gadget will do it" category I bought a cute toy that seems like a good find.  The OK to Wake! Owl has a couple features that I think I'm going to love.  The primary thing is that his little face lights up and turns green when it is ok to wake up.  (I set it for 6:00 am.)  She can touch his tummy at anytime (like she does the glo-worm) and if it isn't 6:00-6:30 the face is a soft yellow and it says nicely, it's not time to get up yet, and then plays music for a minute and then goes back to "sleep".    At bedtime, it plays music for 5 minutes (about 4 minutes and 45 seconds longer than the glo-worm.)

The reviews say that once a kid masters the tummy activated sound that they adjust well to the green light approval.  To make sure she understands I will make sure to be there when the Owl turns green to reinforce the message.   Well, I'm actually away this weekend, so Dad will be on Owl duty this weekend. If I come home and the clock is set to 9:00 am, someone will be in trouble.    HA HA  as if she wouldn't body slam her bed through the doorway by 9:00 am.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Don't leave me!

not my legs
According to the National Institute of Health, and every mom friend I have in the world, separation anxiety is normal at this stage of the game with Lucy.   The NIH says she will grow out of it by the age of two and that leaving her with trusted care givers is a fine way to help her learn that mom & dad are coming back.

This is all well and good, but it is hard to hear her cry the ugly cry when I leave her at school.  She doesn't do it every day, but now that it is fall the primary morning teacher Miss Angelica is on a personal errand - dropping her own kids at (real) school and the office manager Ms. Lindy is holding down the fort with the toddlers.

Ms. Lindy is a kindly lady who likes the kids, but she has a different rhythm and Lucy feels it.  The 'regular' teachers say that Lucy is fine after I leave and we were told before SA started that the best thing to do is to make the good-byes quick and loving.  It's hard to muster a breezy "bye-bye" with kisses when she's experiencing a real emotion.  As MOMMY my instinct is to hug her and hold her until she calms down.  OBVIOUSLY that instinct is 100% counter productive in this scenario.  She's safe, all the other kids are fine (even little Lily who was the SA queen 2 months ago) and time will take care of it.

It's funny how some of the mommy instincts will actually bite you in the butt after a while.  One mom friend from work told me she was exhausted (her daughter is a year old) and I sympathetically asked "what is going on?"  "Nap training" was the answer.  What?  I've never heard of that as a thing and I wondered is there an Olympic sport in the art of napping?  If so, my dad might be an Olympic medal contender.

No, it's not a sport but she shared that now that her daughter is a year old they (she and the nanny) are training her to nap without being held.  WHAT!?  Yes, you heard that right.  For the entire first year of this lovely child's life the mom or the nanny has cuddled her during daytime naps.  I'm sure this felt natural and wonderful.  I mean who doesn't love a sleeping baby, but holy cheese balls batman baby naps are for the entire family.  During naps I have napped, done laundry, showered, done my hair for real (not just a pony tail), worked in the garden, read, cooked, taken baths, mowed the lawn, painted (yes), had personal moments with Mr. tpgal, and cleaned house.  Clearly, some of those activities are far more fun than others and seldom did more than one or two ever happen at each nap time, but I can't imagine sitting quietly in her room for two hours each day.   Our situations are different, their daughter is home all day with a nanny and a works at home some of the days mom and ours goes to a day care.  The option to hold and cuddle her during naps wasn't present for us.  However, now that their little princess is a year old, being held for naps is her expectation and she's not transitioning well.  When I talked to the mom they were four days into this adjustment and I do hope for their sake that they stuck it out and now have a routine.

Lucy will put up a fight at nap-time from time to time, but it is short lived and she always ALWAYS wakes up a happier, more pleasant child.

At bedtime, we have a routine.  A bath (now around 6:30)  which is followed by reading books (1-5 depending on her ability to participate. The more active she is at reading time the more tired she is (again, that doesn't seem right, but it is true.)     Once the books have been read, we put them away and go brush our teeth.  She happily walks over to the sink, and starts to climb the step-stool.  She plays with her tooth brush and with that one or the one in my hand we brush those little pearls well.   Once the teeth are brushed she wipes off her hands and then gets to shut off the light in the bathroom.  (why this is fun I don't know, but she loves it.)  Then it's kisses and dad puts her to bed.  By the time he gives her her blanket she's doing the cutest yawns.   Sometimes she talks and jabbers away, but she's not unhappy.    We know that putting her to bed while she is awake had saved us and will continue to save us hours of agony.

The NIH says that in a severe case of separation anxiety that it can extend to bedtime, and we have our fingers crossed that she knows we are here for her even if she doesn't see us in the room.

For the record, in no way do I feel that our parenting techniques are perfect and the comments about my co-workers situation shouldn't be considered mom against mom judgement, but merely a "damn girl, that sucks".

Monday, September 17, 2012

Our weekend

The newest member of the family
A Toyota Camry
Bye Bye Cute Highlander.  You have been replaced by a green Camry.  We've been talking about trading in one of the gassy cars for one that will get better MPG for Jason's commute. 

It was not our intention to buy a car Saturday, but while Lucy took her short nap (grrr) he went online and did the Costco Car Buyer inquiry.  Our phone rang three minutes later and off he went to just see how things would look.

About 3 hours later, Lucy and I drove up to help finish the transaction.  She mostly was loud and unhelpful but in the end we traded the Highlander for a new hybrid camry and a much lower car payment.  

Our plan is to continue to make the higher car payment each month toward the Camry as if it were the other car and then pay if off early.  However, our interest rate is 2.24% and if we just pay the car on the regular time frame we're not even talking about $1,500 in interest.  I just want the car paid off sooner.  

It's a pretty metallic green with a cream interior.  I like how it drives, but now I'm the primary driver of the mini-van.  It's a bit of a drop in the car-cool factor, but I suppose it was the more practical car to keep.

Now I just have to master getting it in and out of our tiny garage.  For a year and a half I have been able to avoid it but there's no getting around it now.  Soon I'll be a pro, I'm sure of it.

We also send Lucy to cousin Jordan's for a sleepover.  Jas and I went out to dinner Saturday and then 'slept in' at our own house.  Sadly, we couldn't extend the no-baby sleep beyond 7:00 am, but we enjoyed our morning of breakfast out and running around without worrying about the happiness of Miss Lucy.  She had a very nice time and came home EXHAUSTED.  She was snoring in her car seat and didn't even wake up enough to help me lift her out of the car when we got home.  She slept for three hours and still went to bed at her normal bedtime and slept all night.  Sleepy Peepy.

I'm glad she slept well Sunday and last night.  The last few days have been rough.  She's asserting her independence and has been a little challenging to hang out with.  She is cutting teeth and has a stuffy nose, but sheesh, why can't she be happy all the time???

On the kitchen front, our tile installers are coming on the 24th and I'm inclined to hope that all will go well.  If It does our kitchen will be officially complete on Saturday the 29th.  I give myself a couple days extra for paint touch up after the tile/grout people leave.

Lastly,  here's a video of Lucy and the words that she has thus far.  However, please be warned that she has a stuffy nose and there is a gross nose situation.  If "bubbles" of the non-soap variety make you gag (and the do me) STOP AND GO NO FURTHER.

Friday, September 14, 2012

This is how we really live...


Today is Cleaning Fairy day and I totally forgot.  Normally I pick up in the rooms where she does her work - the bathrooms and the kitchen as well as the common areas so she's not cleaning around our stuff.

I arrived home from my morning meeting and realized my error and can see that I left every bit of morning hair and face prep on my bathroom counter, Lucy's pj's and toys were strewn about our bedroom and downstairs there are all manner of dirty cups, sippy containers and glasses on the counter.  Thankfully they hadn't worked their way into the kitchen yet , so I was able to clean a path for them, but still it's embarrassing.  What is even more embarrassing than the chaos of a quick clothing change for Lucy this morning is that I'm in the midst of a laundry cycle - there are piles of dirty in our closet and piles of clean folded items draped over the couch.

clean piles....
Miss Angelica laughed at me when I apologized for the state of the house.  I know they don't expect the house to be clean when they arrive to clean, but sorting through piles of stuff and picking baby clothes and toys off the floor is not what I pay for.

So not only am I horrified, but now I have to finish the laundry.  Yuck.

Busy week

I was in San Jose this week. It was a 3 day trip and while I was there I was running from meeting to meeting. I think the days of going and just hanging out with the team is over. I do like being more involved in projects. It helps make me feel like I actually work there.

I am still at arms length from all the corporate rah rah stuff. I am proud of where I work, but I'm not a kool-aid drinker anymore. Sometimes I feel like someone who was wounded in a bad relationship and is lest apt to trust the new guy. Thanks MegaBank for killing my corporate joy.

Yesterday was just as busy as the previous days but at least I am home.

I made the effort to go to the quarterly security networking event today. It's the one local event where all my security colleagues gather. Informative and fun. I have skipped quite a few -I was pregnant the last time I went. I'm glad I made the effort.

Tonight is home cooked dinner night with pie!!! Tomorrow Jas and I are doing date night while Lucy has her first sleepover at Doug & Chelseys. We'll see how I do.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

If I ran the presidential election...

At one point in my house cage fighting idea was also suggested but it would be hard to turn it into an intellectual discussion.  We thought it would also be really unfair. If we put Hillary C. and Sarah P. in a cage and asked them to duke it out, Sarah clearly would have the advantage - she's scrappy.  But, if you could work in an intellectual angle she'd be outmatched and you might have to give her a weapon to even things out.  It doesn't sound very dignified.

I'll chew you up!

I'm pretty

It's interesting to hear the from the smart people in my life their different perspectives on the national presidential convention speeches.  The majority of my west coast people are leaning left and were inspired by Mr. Clinton's speech last night.  My middle of the country people aren't moved at all and are expressing that they feel like the current president has been bad for our country.    I've heard sound bites from both conventions that set my hair on fire, but haven't been able to watch much of either show.

To me the conventions are a colossal waste of money - what is the point?  The skeptical side of me thinks that the DNC and the RNC leaders have made their decisions as to who would represent "their" party in private sessions and the convention is for show.  I'm sure it energizes the delegates who get to attend, but isn't that like throwing a Christmas party for your close friends and expecting the Muslim neighbors down the street to convert to Christianity?

I'm going to suggest a different solution.  I want to know what these candidates actually think and I don't think we will ever know as long as they are able to consult with their political advisers, and are 'on topic' with whatever the message of the day is today, (i.e. Romney is out of touch with regular (non-rich) Americans, Obama is bad for the economy.)  To keep the rhetoric down I propose that we lock both candidates into a separate small box for the period of one month.  They may eat and read classic literature (the same offerings to both dudes) but they may not tweet, facebook, teleconference, consult or communicate with anyone. On day 30, we will unlock the box, let them shave and then bring them to a stage with two sound proof booths where they will be asked the same questions and allowed to answer but without the benefit of hearing the other person's answer.

Another idea is a CBS Survivor style show that places the candidates on a deserted island and they have to duke it out for the right to be the next most hated person in our country - er, the President.  However, this plan needs some tweaking.  Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should the candidates be allowed to wear standard bathing suits.  They should be in the Lucy swimsuits.  They cover all manner of bumps and lumps and would prevent nip-slips or having to view the accidental crack exposure.  The weekly challenges could be working out how to pay for day care and car repairs for a family of 4 on minimum wage or explaining a standard insurance bill, or explaining so idiots like me could understand it how "futures" work. Frankly, I don't know why anyone would want to be POTUS.  As soon as you win, you are instantly to blame for everything and people lose their memories as to who initiated which policies that are under fire.  Is Obama the reason you don't have a job, or is it Bush, or Clinton, or Bush, or Reagan or Carter or Nixon, or Adams, or Jefferson...

Election season makes me crazy.  It is hard to get real information that isn't muddled by opinions and then there's the terrible fact that neither candidate is PERFECTLY Perfect nor are they EVIL.  It's not like we're choosing between Darth Vader and Jesus Christ.    Although... that would be a very interesting cage fight.
That isn't the real Jesus.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

First day of school

Today is the first day of school for many people. My kid is still in day care, but our day care is closely tied to the local school district and there was an air of excitement at DC this morning.    Over the long weekend they deep cleaned the classrooms, had the carpets spiffed up and I think some of the areas were even painted.

The first day of school is also "fly up" day and some familiar faces in Lucy's class were gone.  They had transitioned into the next class.  The empty cubbies were kind of sad, I'm sure they will fill up soon with the coats of younger kids.  Lucy now is one of the "older" kids in her room.

I thought that the drop off this morning would be difficult.  We just spent four solid days together and usually after the weekends she isn't too happy about being left behind.  However, once she let go of my hand she was happy.

Saturday marked the achievement of her one and a half birthday.  We celebrated in our usual manner, a trip to the pediatrician.  Lucy weighs in at 24 pounds and stands 33 inches tall.  She is trending tall and her weight is right on target for what they want to see.  Her eye teeth are coming in on the top, which explains disruptive sleep the last few nights.

As part of the development checklist, we were asked if Lucy had four words.  Certainly, she uses these words with frequency:

thankyou (one word)
letsgo (one word)
aaarrhhh (a growl that means dog)
uh oh
Words like grandma and papa pop up from time to time.

In sign language we have milk, water, all done, and more.   Then there's a whole host of babble sounds she makes when she's holding conversations.  It seems like we are getting new words every day, that's good because her frustration level is high when she needs/wants something but can't express it, and I can't figure it out.

 Thankfully, she does accept that sometimes the answer is no, or that we don't have any more of whatever item she is wanting.  Sure, she has her moments, but for the most part the brat factor is low.

We were busy all weekend, Marty & Lynne came and helped us install the new cabinets in the butler's pantry.  Sunday, after church while Lucy napped Jason and I moved the glassware into the new cabinet which resulted in rearranging a number of cupboards including the pantry.  Our incomplete kitchen is very organized at the moment.

Monday we invited cousin Jordan and her parents over for a play date.  As you can see the weather was perfect and Lucy took to the pool with the sand toys.   You may remember the pool from last year. - it had a crab head on it, but we cut it off this year.

We dined on red meat, salad and fresh bread in the back yard.  It was a nice way to end the holiday weekend.  Summer is over, but the weather will remain nice for a while, so the pool and the toys aren't packed away just yet.

We're supposed to hear today or tomorrow from the kitchen people about our tile re-do and when we can schedule the completion of our kitchen.  I'm not complaining, I like the black foam core backsplash.  It's quite attractive.