Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dear Babies R Us,

Please pay your workers more. Because if you did, you would probably have employees who would actually study and know the products you sell. They might even stick around for more than six months. And then I might have bought that stroller I was interested in, because I would know if when it was collapsed, whether or not it would fit in my car.

The employee who "helped" me seemed like a very nice young man, however, he did not know anything about any of the strollers you sell, and the young lady who did know something was too busy helping some one else. He also said "Dude, I don't know," at least 10 times. I realize everyone needs to have an entry level job, but dude, I don't know why someone who doesn't know anything about strollers should be trying to sell them.

That's all.

Lauren S.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

This is all my fault

Last night, Hannah and I both feel asleep on the couch err, reading, no just kidding, watching American Idol. I woke up at midnight, grumpy that I forgot to go to bed, and picked up Hannah and laid her down in her bed, collapsed in mine, and in about 2 seconds she starts whining/crying, saying she's hungry, wants her back rubbed, wants to hold my hand, every trick in the book. She wakes up Jason, which makes me irate, because he wakes up so early and has to work his tail off all day. She finally sleeps and then she continued to do the same thing every hour on the hour. I was livid. I had my angry mom voice, but what leverage do you have in the middle of the night to get a kid to stop crying? "If you don't stop crying/whining right now I'll take away your blankets!" HUH? That's not going to work. I actually threatened to give her a spanking, which I'm not sure she even knows what that is, but I was desperate. And I'm kind of anti-spanking. So that was weird, and that's when Jason, sweet husband he is, said, "Honey why don't you just go sleep on the couch?" So I took up the offer. But I laid there for hours, so wound up I couldn't relax, and the boy in my belly decided it would be fun to practice his Kung Fu. By the time I started dozing off, Jason's alarm went off, and it was time to pack his lunch. I finally got back to bed and got some sleep early this morning, but now I'm just beat.

I am so ready to ship our kid out of our room to sleep on her own. Last night was the last straw. Supernanny, come help me! I am dreading this transition about as much as I dreaded potty training, which wasn't so bad after all. I've been horribly lax on the sleep issue with my daughter. And now, I am paying for it. I don't regret having her in our bed during the baby/breastfeeding stage. It worked for us and for the most part, it was great to have her so close. So I transitioned her to sleep on her crib mattress next to our bed, which after a minute of back rubbing, she goes to sleep and some time in the middle of the night, or very early morning, I have no idea when - she crawls back in bed with us. I don't really mind this either. But it's nights like last night that I feel like I'm going to pack up her suitcase and find out where attachment parenting guru Dr. Sears lives and drop her off on his porch, ring the door bell and run.

My first mistake - we don't have a bed time. She just sort of goes to bed when we do or falls asleep on the couch with us. We do the brush teeth, pick out jammies routine, but then I'm too lazy to actually put her to bed.

My second mistake - when I'm super tired and I don't feel like getting her in her own little bed, I just let her sleep with us all night.

So now what? Should I just rip off the band aid and start a new routine and sleep situation tonight? I'm just so pooped in the evenings and so is Jason, who wakes up waaaay before the sun even thinks about rising, so he's no help. I wish I had someone to delegate this task to. Should I wait until we get her a real big girl bed, with cute new sheets and blankets? I think it might be a bit easier. I know, I know, I'm the parent. Be the parent. Be the parent. Be the parent.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It can be done.

I went to Target today, and I only bought what was on my list. I couldn't believe it when I checked out at the register. I almost didn't go to Target at all for the very reason that when I go there I end up compulsively purchasing junk (but really cute junk) I don't need. Sometimes I force myself to go to Kmart, because, though Martha has really turned that place around, they don't have Isaac Mizrahi shoes, or those $3.99 shirts I always end up buying for Hannah. It's much easier to leave Kmart with just what you need (sorry, Jacqueline Smith.) But today, I had to go do some other shopping, which was by Target, and I hate going back and forth across town. So, there I was at Target, hands clenched on my list. I didn't even stop at the $1 section, where I always feel suckered into buying Hannah something. I just walked away. And I'm really excited about using my extendable shower scrubber, which, yes, was on the list.

I think Jason is slipping me some Mother's Helper pills somehow.

Friday, March 09, 2007

My New Mantra

First, let me just say that I'm not one of those people that goes around saying things like, "this is my new Mantra, blah blah blah." I'm not sure if I've ever used the word Mantra out loud in a sentence either. It makes me feel kind of funny for some reason. But thanks to Xenia Katherine's comment on my last post, I will be saying my new Mantra every time I get into my large, grumpy, beast of a truck. So, my new Mantra is, "I'm bucking the system...I'm hardcore."

It won't be the first time I give myself affirmations while in a vehicle. When I was a preteen, in my gawkiest of all gawky stages (and yes, I know I am still gawky thank you very much) my parents were concerned with my self-esteem. Who feels great about themselves when they're 12, look like the spitting image of Blossom minus the goofy flowered hat, and has to go to school with evil peers every day of the week? But as we all know self-esteem is a buzzword in parenting, so my beloved folks tried to give me some tools to build myself up, and buck up for the day. (They could have just bought me those awesome LA Gears with the 5 sets of sparkling, multi-colored shoe laces I wanted). So my mom made me recite the most embarrassing phrase ever known to adolescence on the way to school each and every morning. I had to say, "I am bright, I am beautiful, and I am going to have a wonderful day today." Needless to say, it never worked, and I went on to successfully hate myself for at least another good six years.

Nevertheless, there could be something to saying a little positive phrase in situations that are less than favorable. I think I'll give it another whirl. Maybe on days I'm feeling particularly envious, I'll just randomly go up to other moms in my grocery store parking lot, and while they leisurely load their groceries into the spacious backs of their SUVs, recite my new Mantra, "I'm bucking the system...I'm hard core," and then fling all my groceries in to the truck bed and drive off with the music blasting.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Keep Truckin'

The spirit of Lent has finally reached my heart. Unbearable as the pruning process is, I am thanking God for it. Jason and I were recently blessed with some financial breathing room and while one of our goals was to get out of debt, we were also hoping to upgrade to a nicer "family truckster" of some sort. I generally drive around Jason's beast of a truck, because I don't drive far and it's a gas guzzler, while he drives my Honda to work during the week which saves us substantially on gas. However, I find that driving the beast makes me want to crawl out of my skin. It's awkward to get in and out of, quite inconvenient for shopping with children and car seats and strollers. I was really having my heart set on something, anything that was more family friendly. Minivans have never looked so luxurious. But now the truck is payed for, and we have no car payments! What a blessing! I've been sensing that Jason would prefer to not buy something right now, since it would be a chance for us to get ahead financially. I had also had a conversation with my dad, the ever-provider of good sense and wisdom, and after I described how impractical it would be to KEEP the truck, he reminded me that it was payed for. There I realized, while it is inconvenient, the truck isn't impossible for me to deal with. I was beginning to feel a tinge of guilt for being so insistent on something.

Then yesterday I went to a Bible study with some friends from my old church. They are my dear friends, friends whom if there ever were a tragedy in my life (God forbid) would leave a casserole or other hot meals on my doorstep, and you don't just forget about friends like that, even if you make a church change. So I shared that I was sort of feeling like I needed to tell Jason that we should not buy a new car yet, as much as it pained my ego, and fleshy, evil, selfish side. I had explained the whole situation, and they all agreed and supported me with Godly counsel and gentle pats of encouragement. I told Jason last night about my thoughts, which he appreciated, and I think he felt kind of relieved. I feel awful for burdening him with my silly expectations. In some ways I feel free from the chains of consumerism. But I find myself wrestling with thoughts of jealousy towards all the young moms I see in their cute little SUVs. Why do I mourn a loss of some material possession I never even had? Am I really that shallow? With all the Lenten self-examination, yes, I am that shallow. A shallow sinner. Lord help me to get over myself.

Tulips and Chap Stick

Ahhh...my favorite flowers. I wish they were mine, but I took this photo at the Getty. Jason had the day off on Friday and we squeezed in all kinds of errands, as well as made a trip to see the icons before they made their way back home to St. Catherine's Monastery. Hannah was content wondering through the gardens there for a while before we had to leave to make our tax appointment. It was a crazy day, a day I would never dream up with all the stops and driving (it was all Jason - sometimes he's more adventurous than I think) but fun because we were all together.
Here is my girly girl hiding beneath the coffee table with her prized chap stick. I'm sorry to report, not shortly after I took this picture and started to walk away, there was a loud CLUNK, and some crying. Poor little head.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Lofty Aspirations

Not feeling very well yesterday, I was asking Hannah a bunch of questions to keep her occupied while I laid in a fetal position on my bed. One question I asked her was, "So what do you want to do when you grow up?"

Hannah answered, "I use scissors. When I get bigger bigger. I be real careful."

I love that she added, for my sake, that she would be real careful, so I won't worry too much. When do kids start using scissors, anyway?

Thank God I feel better today. After weeks of a very easy pregnancy, I'm getting closer to the due date and I'm starting to feel really tired, achey, and perhaps a bit abused by the little stinker in my belly who keeps karate chopping my insides. I still have about 10 more weeks to go, so pray for me if you think of it.