Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's a Matter of Time

Whenever I've had to list out my strengths in a job interview, I usually say that I'm organized, proactive and very healthy. The healthy one usually gets a laugh or a perplexed look so I then add, "I really never get sick. It's helpful at work because I always show up."

It's true that I am still very healthy and I rarely get sick. It's also true that I generally show up--to teach spin class, to an event I've RSVP'd to or to appointments. I cannot, however, seem to show up anywhere on time.

I wouldn't say that I'm chronically late. I'm just always rushing and cutting it close. I don't allow time for any mishaps or mini-catastrophes. For instance, the other day I was heading out the door for the kids' doctor's appointments and I was proud of myself because I was leaving at 10am and the appointment was at 10:30. I then discovered ants in the house on the way out the door and that set me back about four minutes. After starting to leave again and then going back for Leo's favorite muffins, a pit stop and dropping something in the mail, I had lost about six more minutes. That's how I ended up leaving at 10:10 instead of 10am.

Woah, did I just write a whole paragraph on the tragedy of leaving ten minutes later than planned? And did you just read it?

I'll try to liven up this blog. I DO have a point or two:

1. I am addicted to being productive. That is why I cut things so close when it comes to timing. Now, this is not like saying "I'm a perfectionist" as many people do in the aforementioned interview scenario. I'm not masking a strength as a flaw. It really can be a flaw. If I have an hour, I want to get as many things done as I can in that hour so that, when that hour is over, I can say, "Wow. I did a lot." So if it's time to head out the door to go somewhere but I think I can cram in one more thing, I'll do it. The idea of showing up somewhere early makes me feel like, "Well, I could have put those clothes in the dryer. I could have sent that email. I could have brushed my teeth (Ew, I hope I didn't leave the house without doing that.)"

So I think if I could just accept that I can't get 27 things done in an hour, I think I could better manage my time. Also, I need to get comfortable with the idea that being early is okay.

2. I've realized that if I don't feel like I have TONS of time, like the kind of time where you wonder how you will ever even need all that time to get ready, then I will not leave on time. And if I think I have just enough time, that's a recipe for being late.

Yikes. Even my two points didn't do anything for this topic. Still, it was cathartic for me and hopefully helped you explore your own issues (if you have any) with time management.

Or maybe it just put you to sleep and therefore made you late for wherever you were going after reading this blog. If that is the case, I apologize.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Big Boy + Zoo

I'm telling you, these boys are sucking the creativity right out of me. I can't think of a clever way of tying together Gus' two month doctor visit and a trip to the zoo. So pardon the disconnect.

Here's what we learned at the check-up: Gus is big. Huge. Enormous. He weighs 15 pounds and is in the 95th percentile for weight! He's 24.7 inches and is in the 92nd percentile for length. I think his head is big too but in proportion with his body. The doctor actually sympathized with me about the spit-up and gave Gus some meds. (It probably helped that he spit
up all over the exam table as you can see in one of the photos below. This, however, was a very light spit-up day for Gus.)

And here are some zoo shots. It was Gus' first trip and, although he was very excited to go see the pandas, he fell asleep by the time we got to their exhibit.

And this is just me and my big boy, Gus! I mean big baby. Leo would correct me if he saw this. HE is the big boy. Gus is the baby.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bumbo Practice

I remembered that Leo started sitting in the Bumbo chair around 12 weeks. Here's Leo back in the day!

Since Gus is 10 and some change, we thought we could attempt the Bumbo with him too:

I now know why they call it the Bumbo. When he sits in it, he starts to fall over to one side and drool. And he doesn't care at all! He looks a little pathetic--like a Bumbo.

Here's Leo trying to play peek-a-boo with Gus while he's in the Bumbo. I told Leo that he liked peek-a-boo a lot when he was a baby. Gus isn't into it yet (and Leo probably wasn't at this age either). But Leo said, "I liked peek-a-boo and Gus doesn't. We are opposites!"

Had to emphasize that you put the cloth over your OWN face and not the baby's!

Now he's getting the hang of it!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Sam's Shake-up

Overall, I've really been impressed with the kindness of Georgians. I rarely have trouble switching lanes in traffic; most people I encounter use their polite words; folks are always careful not to offend each other. But everybody can't be perfect. Never was this more clear than the woman I encountered at Sam's today.

As a precursor to my story, can I just give a mini-rant about shopping in the 21st century? I've said it before but I just want to shop anonymously! I don't want another card in my wallet; I don't want to be part of your club; I don't want to give you my phone number, email or social. I mean, whatever happened to going in a store, buying some things, paying for them and leaving? It's impossible!

Back to my real rant: So I walk into Sam's (with Gus, by the way, who is a ticking time bomb like all babies) and the woman who checks my membership card starts asking me if I've heard about some program they have...savings...all kinds of discounts...I'll love it...blah blah blah. I should have just said "no thanks" but I made the mistake of nodding I guess so she then leads me over to this other guy and says I'm interested in this program.

Then the guy explains it in a way that I decide that yes, I do need to upgrade my membership and I follow him over to the customer service desk to do this. But the whole time I'm thinking, "I need to really hurry because Gus is going to wake up and I don't have a lot of time..."

When we get to the desk another employee says to my employee, "Oh, can you ring her up real quick?" about some other customer. He said, "Yes, as soon as I help her" (about me). The customer who needed to be rung up (again, we're at the customer service desk, not a check-out lane) asks me, "Do you mind if I go ahead of you? I'm kind of in a hurry."

I was actually speechless. No, it's not the craziest request ever but what about me made her think I wouldn't be in a hurry too? I mean, she didn't have a two-month old baby with her! And even if I didn't have Gus, she knows nothing about what's going on in my life. I remember when this happened to my friend Claire she fired back: "I guess you think your time is more valuable than mine?" That's totally what I wanted to say but I was really frozen. And since I didn't say anything she said, "Thanks" and got in front of me.

I glared at her. I glared at the guy who HAD been helping me. And then I stormed off. He yelled, "Miss! Miss! Come back!" But I didn't. I just went on with my shopping. If he really wanted me to upgrade my membership that bad then he could have said, "I'm sorry. This lady was here first." And THAT LADY! I have never in my life asked someone if I could go in front of them. And I have been in a big hurry plenty of times. But I figure it's my own fault that I'm in a hurry. I obviously didn't calculate the time correctly. I would never expect the person in front of me to have to wait because of my poor time management.

Then, get this: I'm in the frozen food aisle and the guy comes back there and finds me. Now, I have to admit, that's pretty good customer service, even if it is a little stalkerish. I glared at him some more and rolled my eyes. He said, "That lady was so rude! I'm so sorry. But you could save $2 on these paper towels if you upgrade your membership!" After telling him I felt bullied into that whole upgrading my membership thing anyway, I carried on with my shopping.

But ultimately, I did upgrade my membership...but not until I was checking out, just to make him suffer a little.

Oh, and while I was upgrading my membership and taking a new Sam's picture, Gus screamed his head off.

Thanks, lady. I blame you and that hurry that you were "kind of in."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Potpourri Pics

Usually I can wrap my pictures up in a neat bow, all relating to one topic--something quirky Leo does, a milestone for Gus...but this batch is just that, a batch.

A Grumpy Gus says, "Do I have to go to church?"

Brothers hanging out: one is going for the "no pants" look...

...while the other is going for "pants too high."

SSC! So Super Cute!

Leo was the leader of story time at our house. He told Gus and me to be quiet!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Small Sacrifices for Somalia

Anderson Cooper totally got to me the other night. His coverage of the famine in Somalia made me cry. There are a lot of sad things in the world but people going hungry, to me, is one of the worst. And let me just give a quick shout out to Anderson Cooper, who I think is an incredible journalist. See, AC doesn't treat reporting like a job. It's clearly his passion. He's so sincere when he covers these tragedies. You can tell it really affects him. No wonder he turned prematurely grey.

He talked about a family in Somalia who had lost all their children to the famine. Their last one had just died and they still had his body because they couldn't afford to bury him. Anderson paid for it because, he said, "It was the humane thing to do."

So I started thinking about what I could do to help Somalia. First, I went to the website that AC told me about: and gave money to Save the Children. And then I started thinking like Oprah: how could I make my donation go further?

Here's my idea: I'm going to encourage people to make "small sacrifices for Somalia." Just think of some little luxuries you could give up for a month so that these people in Somalia could have the simplest necessity. When I told Frank about this he said, "Oh, so you could give up the housekeeper for a month?"

Now that's just silly. No reason for the housekeeper to suffer too!

Instead, I reasoned that if our family could give up going out to eat three times in a month, I could save $100. (I'm talking about restaurants with a waiter, not Chick Fil-a). So I was able to give $100 to Save the Children.

And $100 feeds a child for 100 days!

Here are some other ideas:

Skip the movies for two people one time and you could give $20. If you usually get candy and drinks, you could give $30.

Give up a Starbucks froo-froo coffee (the kind that costs $3+) @ twice a week for a month and you could give $25

Usually buy wine at the grocery store? Sacrifice two bottles at $9 each (you don't spend more than $10 usually do you?) and you've got $18 to give (although you could probably round that up to $20, don't ya think?)

Instead of buying ten shirts at $20 each for your fall wardrobe, buy eight. Then you've got $40 for the famine.

The point is that these are little things that you probably wouldn't even miss anyway. Now, the housekeeper, that I would miss. But going out to eat, that's a small sacrifice. You could also look at it this way: would you really miss a dollar a day for the next 100 days?

And yes, it's true that insecurity in this part of the world sometimes makes it difficult for aid to reach the victims. However, organizations like UNICEF, the World Food Program and Save the Children are constantly on top of this and they do manage to get in. So don't think that your donation won't go where it needs to go.

So make a small sacrifice. Feed these hungry kids. Don't let Anderson Cooper's hair get any more grey than it already is.

Please comment on this blog if you give and then we can really see how much my "campaign" generated!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gus has been here two months

Gus is excited because he turns two months during his favorite month!

Here is what our little August has been up to:

He's getting really big! I don't know how big he is but he's got rolls everywhere. I love his little thunder thighs and his muffin top that hangs over his diaper.

He's still very content. Smiles are fleeting so they're special. He'll give us a big grin and then immediately it's back to serious-face. The word "poo poo" seems to give him the giggles.

I'm afraid we've got another spitter-upper on our hands. I put him in this outfit this morning and by the time I took the picture, he had made his mark. We had to remove it after this photo shoot. The other day I put him in his car seat, a good 15 minutes after he had eaten, and he started spitting up like Niagra falls. His entire onesie was soaked through; he was swimming in it! I've already traded burp cloths for receiving blankets and I think soon he'll become the bib kid, like Leo was.

He coos. It's cute.

Just last night he slept in his own room for the first time! He still wakes up once at night (or sometimes it's like 5:30 or 6:00 which I count as the morning).

He's often mistaken for a girl. I think it's because of his pretty eyes.

He's just a good, sweet boy. He really only cries when he's hungry or when he's hurt (like if big brother pulls his hand a little too hard).

Leo is very protective of him and every time someone looks at him Leo says, "No! Don't take him! He's ours!"

I can't blame Leo. I mean, Gus is so adorable it makes sense that people would want to take him!

We tried to take the "Gus 11" picture (Thanks, Jacquie, for the awesome t-shirt!) but I think we need a re-do. I must have forgotten that Gus can't hold his head up by himself yet.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Friday Night Bites

The other night Frank and I took “the kids” to Bahama Breeze. When we told the waitress that she could feel free to bring out Leo’s mac and cheese before our food she said, “Hey, were you guys here last week?”

She remembered our mac and cheese request from the week before. And when the guitar player recognized Leo we knew what was happening…

We were turning into our parents.

We now had a Friday night place…a restaurant that we keep coming back to every weekend, rather than venturing out to a new one or even a different one.

For my family there were three restaurants that we frequented on  Friday nights. Now, I don’t mean that we rotated these restaurants. I mean that for a period of about three to five years we patronized Wendy’s (back when they had the salad bar). Then it was Grandy’s. And finally, Golden Corral. (Or it may have been Grandy’s and then Wendy’s but it was definitely GC when I was in my teens.)

It was like a ritual. There was no discussion of where to go. We would just automatically go to the same place.

In Frank’s family it was Little Caesar’s Pizza. Every Friday they would pick up Little Caesar’s and bring it home. Never did they have it delivered. Never did they venture out to Domino’s. And never did they eat it on premise (although I’m not sure if LC’s has seating.)

I guess once you become a family of at least four, you’re so tired of making decisions that you need one thing that’s just consistent. Or maybe you just go with the one that works—the one that makes the majority happy.

But we were surprised that our Friday night staple would be Bahama Breeze. For one thing, when we first moved to Atlanta we made a point to only go to restaurants that we couldn’t go to in Texas. But after four years, we feel like we’ve tried enough Atlanta originals and we’re fine with the familiar. Plus, Frank likes the Aruba Red beer, I like the food and fun drinks and Leo likes the mac and cheese and guitar player. Oh, and Gus thinks it’s a great place for sleeping in his car seat.

Still, if you had told us four years ago that we’d repeatedly visit BB, we’d say, “No way!”

Also, it’s a little pricey for a weekly trip. If we’re gonna adopt a restaurant and become true regulars, we’re gonna need to take it down a notch or we’ll go broke.

Easy problem to solve: There’s a Golden Corral right across the street from BB. I don’t think they have Aruba Red but I hear the mac and cheese is excellent. 

Gender Roles

Here’s Leo being silly in front of the mirror one night before bath time: