Search This Blog

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thick as Thieves

Leo told Frank that he can't wait until Gus is four so that they can have even more fun playing together. Of course Frank had to quickly do the math and explain that Leo would be seven by then. But they are having plenty of fun playing together now (when Leo's not taking toys he's deemed too "special" away from Gus, "accidentally" smacking him with something or stealing Gus' precious blanket).

At the YMCA Play Center Frank said every time he walked by he saw Leo just following Gus around. And at the church nursery, Leo would only enter if Gus was going too. When I peeked I saw them sitting next to each other.

And then tonight Gus was sitting in his high chair having a snack and Leo asked if he too could have a fruit bar. When I gave it to him I said he could eat it anywhere in the kitchen and he pulled his little chair up right next to Gus because he wanted to sit next to him. Aw...

I Love Lamp...The Sequel

Okay, so I've got some bad news: Remember my awesome lamp? It was destroyed in an unfortunate incident involving a four-year-old boy, a husband and a football. That was weeks ago but I have yet to find a replacement because a). I was in a mourning period and b). It's hard to replace something that you adored.

The good news is that the lamp shade remained unscathed in the tragedy. So I searched online for a non-breakable lamp to go with my super cool translucent shade with no luck. My mom and I even carted the shade around the Frisco Mercantile (the suburban equivalent of a flea market), looking for a worthy base. Nuthin'. The always helpful Thea emailed me a link to a metal, round-shape lamp that might be indestructible. Alas, I told her that half my household would probably think a round lamp was a ball and use it as such. She suggested that I get a rubber lamp in the shape of broccoli.

So, as you're starting to understand, it is quite difficult to properly light a home with rambunctious young males. Oh, and then I had one other criterion that was hard to fulfill: I didn't want it to be wooden/brown. I really wanted a tiny bit of red, to match my rug and the lamp shade. But really, any splash of color would do.

And that all leads me to today when I went shopping with my mother-in-law, Granny Jo, at the biggest Kroger in the whole world. It is so big, in fact, that you'll need to remind me to write another blog about it. So we're in the furniture department (yes, it has an extensive home decor section) and we see that they sell lamp bases.

And...ta da...we got this one! It was $31.99 with my Kroger card. And yes, I know it's kind of brown. But it's like a shiny, metal brown and when my lamp shade shines upon it, it has a tint of red. And y'all, it SWIVELS! So if you're on the love seat, you swivel it over there and if you're on the couch, you can swivel it that way.

And if you're a four-year-old and a toddler, you swivel it round and round until it breaks. So we'll see how long this lasts. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Santas and Syringes--in one place!

We used to make fun of this store in my hometown called "Video and Yogurt." We thought these types of combination stores were just silly. Where do people come up with these ideas? Well, I recently found one in my new hometown. I don't want to disgrace this establishment by saying its name ("Video and Yogurt" is long gone so no harm there). But this place sells "medical supplies and collectibles." It's a strange store. You walk in and to your left you see things like bandages, tape, gauze, blood pressure monitors, nebulizers and wheelchairs. To your right you've got about a gazillion Christmas ornaments Santa statues and Disney figurines. They're barely separated. The adult diapers are right next to a Snow White ornament. But that's okay because each ornament has a tag that says, "Not a toy. For adult use only." (Hmmm....not sure about the wording choice on that one.) Oh, and since these ornaments are "collectibles," they're like $125!

And speaking of high prices, their medical supplies ain't cheap either. I glanced around and couldn't see why someone would schelp over to the medical/collectible store for overpriced bandages when they could get them at their neighborhood Walgreen's.

So where did this business model come from? "I want to start a medical supply store but I also have all this Christmas crap lying around my house. BRAINSTORM!!"

OR was it like, "I know a lot of people want to buy overpriced Christmas stuff but they're always driving out to the big Canton flea market for it. Maybe I could mark it up here in town and save them a trip." And then someone else said, "And you know a lot of people who like to buy adults-only ornaments also need Depends and crutches. So maybe you should sell those too."

So like I said, I'm not here to slam any small business owner so I won't reveal its name. However, if you are in need of a Donald Duck knick knack and a walker but really don't want make two trips, send me a note cause I've got JUST the place for you.


Gus LOVES being able to walk down the street. He would never stop!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Smart Phones and SAHMs

Back in 2008 when I accidentally became a Stay at Home Mom, (I thought I was primarily a writer with a baby as my secondary job but it turned out to be the other way around) I joined a playgroup. The moms in the playgroup were emailing about getting together--what time, where, which type of Goldfish were preferable--cheddar or multi-colored, typical SAHM chatter. One mom sent this email:

"I can meet up at 10am. Sent from my iPhone."

This was amusing to me. Why would a SAHM need a smart phone? I thought. I even mentioned it to Frank later. "What does she do with this iPhone--Schedule play dates? Answer time-sensitive emails about poopy diapers? Navigate her way to Kroger's?" Ridiculous. No, me and my flip phone were just fine.

But quickly all the other SAHMs started sporting Blackberries and iPhones. They were all checking their email on the go and using the apps and the calendar. I realized that I, too, was always out and about and if I had to wait to get to my home computer, I would miss out. SAHMs plan everything via email and Facebook--parties, playgroups, meet-ups. We share tips; we commiserate; we sell, trade, barter. It's like a business and it's all done online. A computer just doesn't cut it. Because another thing I found out is that, even at home, the only time you can look at your computer is when the kids are sleeping. Well you could miss a whole day's worth of business if you waited for that.

So in 2009 I got a Blackberry and became a SAHM with a smart phone. And I LOVED it. When you're home with kids you can feel isolated but when you can quickly check your smart phone, you're able to text with other SAHMs, read their Facebook posts and plan quick trips to the park. I went from knowing one SAHM with a smart phone to knowing only one SAHM without one.

Just last week Apple announced the iPhone 5 and who was one of the million-plus people who pre-ordered one? ME! Not Frank, an important business executive. Me, the Stay at Home Mom. It was critical that I not only had a smart phone but I had the latest and most up-to-date version. I'm supposed to get it sometime this week. I'm so excited, considering some sort of bejeweled case. I'll have to see what the other SAHMs in Frisco are doing. I bet I can even blog from it! So from now on you may see posts that end with "sent from my iPhone."  And the best part is that the kids can play with it when we're at restaurants so we can eat in peace.

I'm also excited about Siri. Hmmm, I wonder if she can advise on important SAHM matters like the pros and cons of a carpool drop-off,  what will happen if my kid eats mac and cheese for dinner every day and which is superior--the Diaper Genie or the Diaper Champ?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Leo Goes to School

It's been a long, hot, school-less summer. And to add insult to injury, the preschool we selected for Leo didn't start until today--9-13! But it was worth the wait. So far, St. Francis' Little Friends Kids Day Out seems like a good fit for Leo. The teachers are so warm; they hugged him when he got there and when he left.

As part of the drop-off routine in the "Doves" class, parents have to read the "question of the day" to their kids and then the kids graph their answers using a magnet with their name on it. The question today was "Are you excited to be here?" The choices were "Yes," "No," or "Not Sure."

Most kids had put "yes" and one had said "not sure." Leo immediately answered "not sure" so we moved his magnet there. I appreciated his honesty and if I can be honest too, I was glad he didn't say "no." I also thought this might earn him a little extra attention from the teachers.

So when I went to pick him up I asked him how he felt about that question now that he had spent the day at school. "At first I wasn't sure but now I'm happy to be here!" The teachers heard us talking and said, "Yes, he even moved his magnet!"

I was so happy I cried. And then I could feel myself crying and thought, "stop crying, you idiot" which made me cry even more. And then Leo was like, "Why are you crying, mommy?" The teachers had to explain that mommies cry because they're happy and it's silly but we do it.

Here are a couple more pics. One is Leo and his giant back pack and the other is at school with his nap mat.

They're really cute but try to hold back your tears.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

A Day at the Beach

I LOVE the beach.  I love palm trees. I love looking at the ocean. I love the sound of it. I love beach grocery stores. I love how most people there are on vacation. I love beach houses. I love shells. I love sand dollars. I love swimming in pools by the beach. I even think I love "long walks on the beach." I just love that whole beach vibe.

I used to use that phrase "A day at the beach" to describe something that was carefree, relaxing and easy.

But when we were in Galveston last weekend, I said, "Why do people say 'a day at the beach?' This is hard work!" My brother-in-law, David, said, "They aren't talking about the beach with kids."

Exactly. The beach with kids is totally different than the beach I was describing above. The beach I'm talking about involves sitting in a lounge chair under an umbrella. Or even better--when someone brings me a drink with an umbrella in it. The beach with kids involves about an hour and a half of preparation before even stepping foot on the sand:

--Locate swim suits and swim shirts for two kids--12 minutes
--Slather on sunblock--22 minutes (includes squirming, protesting and sometimes escaping)
--Find and pack beach shovels, buckets, toys, floaties, hats, sunglasses and towels--18 minutes
--Prepare for an inevitable beach diaper change--extra swim diapers, wipes, trash bag--6 minutes
--Pack snacks--My God, the snacks!! Leo--Mr. "I can eat a piece of cheese and be full for 4 hours"--is somehow ravenous at the beach. He requires a yogurt tube, a Luna bar, infinite Goldfish and a juice box--24 minutes
--Get myself ready--swim suit, sunblock, cocktail--8 minutes

Then there's the schlepping. Even though we were beach front, we were still weighed down with chairs, boogie boards, bags and babies.

So the kids play in the sand which is kind of cute but ugh, who wants to play in it with them? Not me. But you HAVE to! These are memory-making moments, people! The sand-throwing, digging and the burying, you gotta do it all. And you must photograph it. I usually leave most of that to Frank but still, sitting in your chair and sipping a fun drink is frowned upon when you're supervising sand play. The chairs we brought are really just for stowing all the stuff.

After about 45 minutes of quality beach time, you gotta schlep back to the house for another hour-and-a-half of de-beaching--taking off the wet bathing suits and de-sanding the kids. Sometimes this involves a full-on bath which means no way are we going back to the beach that day.

Sure, it's all cute in the pictures but if you were the one who had to clean out the sand in the crevices of these children's bodies, well, you'd be begging for a drink with a little umbrella in it.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Need for Speed

Last week--Gus' first full week of walking--he waved his arms around and moved at about .25 miles per hour. Now he's FAST!  Check out our speed demon! 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Walking Man

This past week, while we were visiting family in Houston, Gus decided to become a walker. The first day he walked 40%, crawled 60%. Each day that walking percentage got higher until he got to his current state of 90% walking, 10% crawling. 
I think people stay that way for a long time. I mean, just today I was crawling on the floor to pick up Goldfish and clean poo poo. So I guess I'm 90/10 as well. 

Here is a phone video of him walking AND kicking a soccer ball.