Thursday, November 29, 2007

Moldy Mini Fridges and Static Cling- Dryer Max Dryer Balls

I am perturbed today. You see, I bought a mini-fridge about a year or two ago. Not a cheap Wal-Mart, Square mini fridge for $30. But a nice, rectangular, black, sleek Kenmore mini fridge from Sears. I keep it in my office at work. I keep it clean. So when I left for maternity leave, I was naturally concerned about it's well-being and decided (especially upon my husband's suggestion) that all my personal office things needed to come home with me, including my refrigerator.

So it was promptly cleaned out and brought home. We put it in my sewing room, empty. We left it unplugged. I assumed that when I went back to work I would just wipe it out and then take it back and plug it in. It was clean. It was empty. And now, it's MOLDY! Argh! I had no idea that a clean empty fridge would get moldy! I am so pissed! Now I have to scrub out a moldy fridge! Good GOD! just what I want to do. So that makes me frustrated. I shoulda left it plugged in, but I wanted it to save electricity and there is no use plugging in an empty fridge... right? WRONG.

Another thing. A review of the "As Seen on TV" Dryer balls. Remember back when I bought them? Well, I am only so impressed with them. They seem to work really well in Ardyn's little clothes, because they help keep them seperate and allow them to dry nicely. But besides that, I have been using them for a month now, in every load, and as it has gotten dry in the house and winter is here... we have a massive static issue. If you plan on buying these as a replacement for fabric softener to eliminate static cling... don't even bother. In fact, they may make it worse! Now I kinda get a "charge" out of separating 50,000 towels from each other while emptying the dryer. I feel kinda smart, like Ben Franklin, and I get a little hungry, because the snap crackle pop reminds me of rice crispies, and then I think of Rice Krispie Treats. But my husband is not so much thrilled with the snap crackle popping of his clothing. When taking a load out a couple of days ago, I recall the phrase "those $*@#& ^%$ Dryer Balls Don't do shit!" and then an entire conversation ensued. He was angry because "You (meaning Meagan) should have used a dryer sheet" and he proceeded to rant about the dryer balls and how I didn't use a dryer sheet and I said to him "But Honey, YOU put that load in the dryer. If you wanted dryer sheets, they were right on the counter in the laundry room. YOU are the one that didn't use one." First he came back with "No I didn't put this load in the dryer" and eventually it was "Well maybe I did but YOU are the one who bought those dryer balls" as if the mere presence of them in this house has ruined his life. Ha ha. Cracked me up.

So for Ardyn's little baby clothes, when I can't USE a dryer sheet, they work well to keep the small pieces separated and drying nicely. But for everything else.... they don't do much static stopping. They MIGHT fluff things a bit, but when you have to scour the load of laundry to see where the blue balls went to, and eventually find one of them in the arm of a long sleeved t-shirt.... the benefits seem a little less profound. Guess I could've read here to find out the same thing before I bought them....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Meagan's 29th Birthday

I had a nice Birthday out on Saturday night. Evan and I went to the Kaiserhoff German Restaurant with Josh and Lisa, and then to the two bars in town, and heard Driftwood play.
At the Kaiserhoff, I had Ham Shank. And a glass of wine. And split a Double Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with Lisa. My parents watched Ardyn.
Saturday afternoon, we had Thanksgiving at Evan's grandmas. Ardyn got passed around. And around. Here are a few photos of Ardyn and I before going to Thanksgiving... these were taken on my birthday. Click to make them larger. There are more on Flickr for friends/members.

Germ Guardian Nursery Sanitizer Review

Retail Price: $48-$59
Lowest Price: with 97 cent shipping or with free shipping

I bought this item before returning to work because I thought it would simplify my sterilizing routine for my breast pump parts. I also liked that It was dry sanitizing, so I was excited to sanitize items like teethers, small stuffed animals, etc. I wish that I had seen all the reviews on amazon before purchasing. I assumed by the photo that this was a much bigger item, and that I would be able to fit lots inside.

I was sadly mistaken. When the germ guardian arrived I was shocked at how small it was. Unlike other reviewers stated, I was able to fit all of my double pump pieces inside, both horns, both diaphragms, and all the sterile caps, etc. However, that was about all I could fit. If the unit is completely empty, I can fit four, 4 ounce avent bottles in it, but none with the pump horns. The avent 4 ounce bottles must be in the 4 corners, otherwise the lid hits them and won't close. Anything larger than a 4 ounce bottle will only fit on it's side. Because of the strange plastic divider pieces that are in the container, only ONE 8 oz bottle will fit inside, on it's side. Strange! So when I thought that I would be able to come home and sterilize Four bottles and all my pump parts in one load, I was sadly mistaken. I can fit almost 50% more items in my Avent Micro Steam Sterilizer.

If I didn't have to pay for return shipping on this item, it would be going back. The small size of the chamber is just ridiculous. They could have at least made it deeper, if not wider dimensionally... that way it would take up very little counter space and still handle a nice sized load.

Another thing I wasn't expecting, the bottom of the container is "open" with spoke-like dividers radiating out from the center. Instead of being a nice grid design like say, a colander, it allows smaller pump parts and even pacifier handles and small MAM Pacis to fall through. That is crazy to me. I am always afraid this will cause something to melt or drop through.

That said, the sanitizer is easy to use. It does it's job. It's nice to walk away and come back to clean, dry, sterile pieces.

Another thing I was shocked about? You can't use this to sanitize teethers! The directions state that no toys with liquid inside can be placed in the sanitizer in case they get too hot and burst. I was shocked and disappointed at this. You also can't put in any toys with light or music/sound features. So no light up keys or musical rattles. I thought that as a dry sanitizer, it would be able to do these things for me. That even ruled out the stuffed animal that I wanted to sanitize, because his hands are plastic and filled with a teething gel.

Another downside is that wet items cant be placed inside. So while I thought I would save drying time, I still have to wash and hand dry all the parts before they can go inside. I thought they would probably dry while in the sanitizer, since it uses heat much like a dishwasher. However, the directions tell you that it is NOT A DRYER and that Wet Items are not to be placed inside. If wet items are inside, they won't get hot enough to be sanitized.

I was extremely frustrated with the lack of information about the product that was available before I purchased.

This could use some serious improvements. The idea is great but the design is not.

Last Christmas

Last Christmas, originally uploaded by Dazed81.

December 22nd, 2006
We got the best Christmas Present EVER!
A Big Fat Positive after 17 months of trying to conceive.
This year, Christmas will be spent with our 3.5 month old daughter. It Truly Is a Wonderful Life.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I lived. Through Thanksgiving. It really was very nice. Although my in-laws arrived about 2.5 hours early and I was still in a nursing bra and pajama pants with a bottle of pledge and a rag in my hand and my hair in a ponytail/headband combo and the baby was sleeping in her crib in her pajamas, and Evan hadn't showered yet and none of our food was cooked or started to cook.

I had just made my schedule for when I had to get everything in the oven in order for everything to be done by 6pm. And I was going to head for the shower after I dusted off the coffee table... and I was so pleased because the baby was sleeping, and I had an hour to get ready before I even had to start baking, and then they arrived and I felt like all hell broke loose. It was okay. Really it was, but it ruffled my feathers and took me from a perfect state of calm and happiness into a state of frustrating edginess. The outfit that I had picked out to wear, a new brown cable knit sweater and khaki pants- wasn't even DRY yet. I mean, seriously, I had at least two hours before I had to be presentable. I was in shock.

So I skipped a shower. The baby heard them come in and she woke right up. I had to feed her, and changed a wet diaper, followed immediately by a poopy diaper. Then I wet my hair down and dried it, and wore whatever I could find in the closet because I didn't feel like walking through my house and in front of the in-laws in my underwear with a towel on my head to the laundry room to pick out my clothes, and because my outfit wasn't dry yet. Ugh. So although the table sparkled and the food was all done appropriately and the company was fabulous, I was feeling quite edgy and tried my best to be relaxed and enjoy. Evan helped with that. It was a nice night.

Michelle's Sweet Potato Casserole was a huge hit, especially with me. I was so pleased! It tasted FABULOUS and I have enough leftover to enjoy for a while. It almost tasted like a Pecan Pie, but better. My mom was like "this could be a dessert!" Ardyn was very well behaved and went to sleep well that night. She also sat at the table with us, in her high chair. I have TONS of pictures to upload to flickr and I might or might not get to them today.

I should be cleaning today. But, no thanks. I cleaned and cooked for days before thanksgiving and tomorrow is my birthday and Evan and Ardyn are both sleeping, so I have been online, chatting with my cousin in Alaska, and checking email, writing reviews at Amazon, and researching car seats and video baby monitors.

I might go to the mall tonight to pick up my ring that's arrived at Zales, and get the raincheck filled (hopefully) for the Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncy Seat ($20 off at Target.) Tomorrow we have another Thanksgiving and my husband and I get to go somewhere TOGETHER for the very first time since... well... since I guess we went to Joe's wedding together when I was just about 7 months pregnant. I can't wait. Now... what to wear!

Hope your gravy was thickened and your mashed potatoes not lumpy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shoe Addiction, Oreck Air Purifiers, etc.

Well, I have a headache. I took Ibuprofin, so I think it's on it's way out. I am a little frustrated today because I wanted to order another Oreck Air Purifier. We have one in our room that I bought about two years ago. The damn things are INSANELY expensive, but they work great and you never have to replace the filter because it works forever and has a lifetime warranty. So It's $349 ON SALE for the holidays and if you buy one, you get one half price. I wanted to buy one for the baby's room and get rid of the old loud one from Kenmore that we have to buy filters for, because it's old, loud, large, dirty, and the filters are expensive and can only be ordered via this great big telephone process because the damn thing is like 5 years old and they never know what I am talking about and the part number is no good anymore.

Anyway, I called to order another Oreck, and they now have a new policy. When I bought the previous one, you pay like $30 a month for a year until it's paid off, and I gave them my debit card. Now they have this new "rule" (supposedly because the governement passed a truth in lending law) and they can't use DEBIT cards but only CREDIT cards... which is a royal pain in my ass. I don't run around with an extra $349 to spend on air purifiers... so to make a long story short, I don't have a new one coming now. Frustrating.

So while the Oreck works great, and they have a great payment plan, and I don't have to buy replacement filters, I can't get one and I blame the government.

So, enough of that. Now that I have my groceries bought, I need to make Sweet Potato Casserole on Thursday and Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars on Wednesday. I also need to clean off the dining room table because there is a flower faerie factory there, from last night when I got started making flower fairies like this cottony candy pink one and this mandarin orange one... and this really cute one with a teeny tiny updo.

Last night I organized Ardyn's shoes according to size. My shoe addiction is getting crazy when it comes to her. But keep in mind that all of these shoes (which don't include any of her slippers) are in four different sizes, so she will be able to wear them for like the first year of her life, and they are all pretty much steals on ebay or on clearance at stores. And 5 pair of them were gifts. Many of them I bought before I was even pregnant, some of them while pregnant, and some more recently. Like the newest acquisitions... the Gymboree pink double strap mary janes, Gymboree furry leopard printmary janes, Gymboree Brown Puppy Boots, etc. The brown puppy boots are my stinkin favorite, as soon as she hits 3-6 months she should fit them, and I have all the outfits that match them, and the socks that match too although you won't see them under those lil boots! But the tag shows the retail price of $44.5o and I got them NWT On ebay for $3.25- that's cheaper than almost all the shoes at Wal-Mart!

So anyway, now you know what I've been up to. How about you?

And I need to find a home for the new crock pot while I try to evict the old one on freecycle.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Little Ham in the Crock-Pot of my Dreams!

Well, a nice weekend is almost over. I can't believe that it's already almost Thanksgiving! And my Birthday! And that I will be going back to work in 3 weeks. That seems SO imminent now.

Saturday was a pretty nice day, I went to my card class, toting two dishes to pass, and made my cards. It was nice, and the only strange thing was my almost choking on a chicken bone that was in some chicken tortellini soup someone had made. It made me all depressed and worried because of course I took it to the fullest I could and thought of how horrible it would be to die in someone's basement while choking on a chicken bone and leaving behind your husband and 2 month old daughter. Morbid. SO I didn't want to finish my soup but I did. To be nice and all.

Ardyn was fussy while I was gone but so glad to see me return. She just wasn't feeling well still, and I could tell because she just wanted to be held (more than usual) and didn't even want to pick up her head and look around while on my shoulder, instead, she just lay her cheek on my shoulder and relaxed, for hours and hours all afternoon and evening. She would eat, and lay on my shoulder. No fever or anything, but her tummy was upset and she was burping and farting and spitting up and having explosively poopy diapers. Poor thing.

Saturday night we all went to Josh and Lisa's as they had tons of food and wild game. Danny fried up dove, deer, and duck, and they grilled duck and deer also. They also deep fried a turkey. There were baked potatoes, beans, green bean casserole, and little weenies. And Linda made some crazy good macadamia nut cookies that I couldn't stay out of. Lisa's parents dad and his wife were also there, just back from Safari in Africa. They had lots of good stories about playing golf on the equator, and the tents they stayed in that had marble bathrooms and ceramic tile floors. Crazy!Today was spent cleaning. Picking up that is, and running the dishwasher and doing laundry. Putting laundry away. Also doing things like packing away Ardyn's first pair of tiny jeans and her little newborn hoodies. I also folded up and packed the co-sleeper, and it was all kinda melancholy. You moms know how it is. So excited to be seeing her grown and change. So sad to realize that she's not so small anymore and that she is outgrowing things already. It really makes returning to work even harder. I was excited about it, but as it gets closer I feel myself getting a little more worried. Not about Ardyn, I know she will be fine, but about me. It's been more than 3 months since I have been at work, and more than 4 months since I was full time. So even though I am not going back at full time, I feel lots of pressure to remember how to do things. I also worry about keeping up with everything, work, home, family, and even having enough quality time with Ardyn... but still being able to relax and enjoy life and hopefully even get in a few hobbies here and there. I feel like it's thinking of the impossible, and the fact that I am even attempting it is kinda scary.

I am crazy good at multitasking, but when Ardyn is my top priority, over myself, over my work, over the condition of my house, it makes it harder, because multitasking doesn't mean much when you want to make sure you are spending time with your child. Several weeks ago, when she was just starting to smile, she did most of her smiling in the morning. Giggling and smiling and making faces when she woke up each day, I found it really important to devote an hour to her each morning, and I don't mean while feeding, changing, or dressing her. I mean when all of those tasks were put aside, just spending time with her, making her laugh and enjoying every minute of it. Just she and I sitting in the glider in her bedroom. And I had a bit of panic about how in the world it would be possible for me to get up, get myself ready, get her ready, have my breastpump ready and her diaper bag ready (which I do plan on the night before) and feed her, eat breakfast myself, and get to daycare and then work... AND spend an hour with her just enjoying her. Well, I was really upset by the thought of losing that time. But as she grew more, and started smiling all day long and giggling and playing all the time instead of just in the morning, I started to relax an realize that I could still have that hour with her, and it could be before bed. Not a huge deal. But little changes like that will be the hardest on me.

So, off I go to finish up around here and grab a bite to eat. I have tiny jeans to pack away and beds to make and laundry to finish... and 10 packages to ready for the mail tomorrow (ebay sales) as well as some Tivo to maybe catch up on. Tomorrow we are going grocery shopping for our ingredients for Thanksgiving.
I will leave you with photos of Ardyn in my NEW fabulous crock pot! Evan's parents bought this for me as my birthday/Christmas present. I love love love it and it will certainly make going back to work more fun. It's programmable and has an auto-warm feature, as well as a meat probe thermometer and a hinged lid so that you can just lift and serve without looking for the safest place to sit the lid. That's always been my pet peeve, and I would feel horrible if I ever broke someone else's crock-pot lid. I have broken a lid and crock of my own, and I know that I cried.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Nice Long Day Coming to a Close.

Well, today was nice. The olive oil on the hair thing seems to have worked well. I washed it once last night and will do so again today. Ardyn was up at 7:30, as her little internal clock usually crows about then. Today I learned the tummy to tummy hold in the ring sling, and conquered nursing in a hip hold/tummy to tummy hold. Cool. Nothing like hands free nursing!

Then I made 7-layer salad. Tomorrow I am going to a scrapbook day where we do a potluck for lunch. We are actually making Christmas Cards. Yeah! I love 7-layer salad, except mine is actually 6 layers, unless you count the mayo. I hate celery so I leave it out. You MUST use canned sweet peas and mayonaisse or the salad tastes ickier, as I know from eating OTHER people's salads (sorry, truth hurts) and so I had a fun time making the salad while Ardyn watched from her bouncy seat in the kitchen. Then I realized that unless I cleaned out the fridge, there was nowhere to PUT the salad. Ugh. So I started to clean the fridge. And it was full. And things were bad. Lotsa leftovers. And it had dog hair in it. I hate that. It sucks into the fridge when you open and close the door. People with dogs know this. And they don't usually talk to it with people unless those people have dogs. It's a fact of life with dogs. So I scrubbed with a brush, and used the Our House Sanitizing spray. Then I took out all the drawers and all the tempered glass shelves and scrubbed those too. When I put everything back, it was practically empty in there. I even took a picture it was so sparkling.

We spent about 3 hours trying to get Ardyn to take a nap, which she is waking up from now. She fell asleep three times and slept for a total of 10 minutes each time. So she just had her third 10 minute nap of the day. Jeez. I really wanted to shower and such. And pack my scrapbook stuff.

I also made Hot Howlin Crab Dip for tomorrow. That was also fun.

I need to get ingredients for Michelle's Sweet Potato Casserole and my Top Secret Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert... as well as turkey and wheat rolls... for Thanksgiving next week. The family got our thanksgiving invites, and mom mentioned that I put the wrong date on the invite. DAMN IT! Well that's what happens when you get interrupted 10 thousand times while trying to make it.

Tonight Lisa and Ardyn and I went to Peru. It was Lisa's birthday today! We went to Jimmie John's for supper. On the way to Peru, Ardyn had a poopy diaper, and we could smell it in the car. She had been fussy all evening and hadn't pooped yet, so I was prepared. I had a spare change of clothes. Of course I ended up changing her diaper on the FLOOR in Jimmie John's (We have a pad/mat to change her on) and she had pooped all over, leaked out of her diaper, up her back and clear to her neck. Through her shirt... and we used 10 wipes and ran out. What a mess! Poor little thing was all naked on the bathroom floor with me, in nothing but her shoes and pink tennis shoes. I ended up nursing her in Jimmie John's too.

We went to Target and bought more wipes and it was a good thing we did because she pooped again. We also got a raincheck for the Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer, $59.99 down from $79.99- and a purple pair of socks. Lisa got a raincheck for a Christmas Gift for her little sister. At the mall we each got a new purse, they were the same pattern, but different sizes, mine small so that it will tuck inside the diaper bag. I also bought a $100 Sapphire Ring (Ardyn's birthstone) at Zales, that was on sale for three days for $29.99! Sweet! I got the flier in the mail and instantly Evan and I agreed to get it, and someday I will pass it on to Ardyn as a gift and an "heirloom" that her mom bought when she was small, and wore to remind her of Ardyn. I think she will enjoy it since it is her birthstone and was "mom's" ring. It is getting sized.

We went back to Josh and Lisa's for a while and watched TV. When we got home, I kept hearing noises in the bathroom that were freaking me out. When I went in the bathroom to investigate I was super freaked when I saw a mouse staring out at me from the bathtub. When I was younger I was NEVER freaked out by mice, and I really am not now either. I would never stand on the furniture or any of that crap, but seeing a mouse still spooks you, especially when it moves and scares the crap out of you. I called Evan and he came home and extricated the little guy out of the tub and turned him loose outside, where I am sure he will be coming right back into the house. My dad used to step on their heads and crush them!

I even took pictures of him in the bathtub for proof in case he escaped before Evan got home. I will share them tomorrow!

Designer Babyhawk and Boyd'sTumor

Okay, I know that I SAID I was going to bed. But then I thought of a couple more things I forgot to mention. The first is that I ordered my custom made Babyhawk Mei Tai Baby Carrier. Yep. And it was EXPENSIVE. I made it reversible, with two pockets and a toy ring. I am attaching a photo of the fabric swatches. It has espresso colored straps and reverses to the two fabric patterns you see here. I can't WAIT to get it, but since they have to custom make it, it will take a little longer. Is it wrong that I will now have 5 baby carriers? I have to say that they all serve their purposes. I love my ring sling and my two hotslings, but they just hurt your back after an extended period of time. And the bigger she gets, the worse it gets.

I also like my front/back carrier that i have, but it was more of an inexpensive "test" and it isn't as comfortable as it could be. Since I now know that I use the carriers and that I will wear the baby plenty in the first few years of her life, and hopefully many more kids are to follow her, I see it as an investment and I am excited.

I wore Ardyn in the patterned hotsling when we took Boyd to the Vet in Rockford on Wednesday. It was funny because the girls behind the desk were like "What a neat sling! Do you have a BABY in there?" and later, Evan was like "What did they THINK was in there?" SHe stayed in the sling the whole time. It was nice and made things so much easier. I also take the sling shopping, so if she gets fussy in the stroller I can then walk holding her "hands-free" and continue shopping. I can also feed her a bottle while shopping if I have her in the sling... or nurse, but I don't nurse while Moving in the sling yet... I just haven't done it enough. But I did watch some good videos online last night with tips and tricks on sling wearing and nursing while in the sling.

So, the last thing I wanted to mention is that BOTH vets who have seen Boyd have said that he has the worst tumor they have ever seen growing "there" and it's been estimated at about $200-300 to remove. Right now they have him on some medicine to help with Colitis, and we are planning on scheduling his surgery perhaps after the holidays. I need to get back to work so that we can have the money to do the surgery.

It could be cancerous, but we don't intend to find out. Just remove the tumor with laser surgery to make him comfortable. The biopsy is another $100.

That's all. To bed. Olive oil and all. Promise!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Crazy Happens Everyday...

I know this. Because at 11:56pm I am sitting on the couch with a big stuffed dog, with a breastpump in one hand, and a towel on my head. And under that dryer-warmed towel, is a slow cooker liner. Yes. As in Crock-Pot. And under that plastic crock-pot condom? Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. On my hair. And my scalp.

I don't know if it's dry weather or postpartum hormones but my HAIR and my SCALP are so dry! I haven't had my hair colored since sometimes July or August. But it is dry! My scalp itches. My scalp NEVER itches. It hasn't itched anytime in my life. Really. But it's been itching for WEEKS and I am really sick of it. My hairdresser gave me some deep conditioning treatment stuff. I leave it on for 10-20 minutes. It helps my hair for that day... but then it's dry again. But it never stops my itchy scalp. EVERYWHERE online recommends Olive Oil. You get people who do it on a regular basis. And then you get the 1% that say "Don't do it! It won't wash out! Your hair will smell! It will be weighted down and greasy!" And I can believe that is possible, but my opinion is that you just wash it out (shampoo, rinse, repeat) until the olive oil is out. And I have to say that I can't trust someone whose response says something like "don't do it! itll nevr wash out and yur hair will b greazy 4 weeks!" I want to say "Are you like 12? Did you TEXT MESSAGE your answer on a cell phone? Are we going to be BFF's if I do what you say?" Christ. I hate it. Too lazy to type? Then your answers don't sound very intellectual to me.

So here I sit with olive oil on my locks. My hair already felt better when I was pulling it through my hair. I was trying to get it massaged into my scalp, but my hair was so dry and soaking it up, that I think I would have had to put half a bottle on my head to soak my scalp. Some people recommend putting it on and leaving it overnight, with the towel laid out over your pillowcase. I am considering that but I am not sure what will happen when Evan unexpectedly climbs into bed with me and finds me wearing a crock pot liner over greasy hair and smelling like Olive Oil.

For some reason I am having a problem getting letdown with the pump today. my usual 4-6 ounces per session has been reduced to a meager 1-3. My back hurts and my neck hurts and I am tired. Probably too tired to wash the olive oil out of my hair. I guess this means it's off to bed scary after all. Pull it into a ponytail, maybe ditch the crock-pot plastic and just put the towel onto my pillow. But then the last thing I want is un-removable grease stains on my comforter or something crazy like that. Goodnight.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Project #3954

Another project? But what about all those unfinished projects? The dollhouse (okay, more un-started than un-finished)? The baskets that you haven't finished? The skirts for the tables and the curtains in your sewing room? Ardyn's scrapbook? Your Pregnancy Scrapbook? Your Altered Journal? The 7-year purple afghan? Ardyn's baby afghan? Your unfinished Bead Kits? The embroidered Drumset Onesie that Ardyn will already be too big for by the time you finish it? The Embroidered Cornucopia towel you got 3/4 finished last Thanksgiving (started after the turkey towel) and haven't touched since? The weavette loom and project book you have never used? The 15 Altoid Tins you have saved so that you can create more of these? I know, I know... but life is nothing without projects! How does one LIVE without a creative or crafty project!? Or two. Or 34.

Well, I guess I just need to make myself a list of projects. Schedule time to do them. Fill up my calendar, then find a babysitter who is willing for each project time slot. Ahh... in a perfect world.

Well, about the new project. Waldorf Dollmaking. What you say? Well, either you know about them, or you don't. It all started with natural family living magazines like Mothering. They are full of crunchy, granola-y, earth-loving, tree-hugging ideas. I believe that once in the past we talked about my shock in discovering that there are such things as washable maxi pads and sea sponge tampons. The funny thing is that as I go back and read that post I have to laugh, because I am now the proud owner of three baby slings and I breastfeed exclusively and I have to admit that I have done research on cloth diapers and that I use washable breast pads. They are getting to me. But I still shave my armpits. LOL. Anyway, back to Waldorf. In the back of Mothering, next to the ads for fuzzibuns and sea sponge tampons, you will find TONS of advertisements for natural toys. Natural wood toys and all organic cotton and wool toys. I was of course intrigued.

One day in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a catalog form Rosie Hippo. I was enthralled. I pored over that thing. I highlighted toys that I wanted Ardyn to play with someday. And I instantly adored the Waldorf dolls. Gnomes and Faeries and Knights and Dwarves. Little Girls and Boy Dolls. Babies. Teething Dolls. Pocket Dolls. You see, when I was a girl, Dolls were my thing. I loved dolls. Cabbage Patch, Baby Alive, Barbie, pretty much any doll. Porcelain, Cloth, Plastic. Dolls were my thing. I had doll clothes, doll bottles, doll strollers, doll beds, doll shoes.... I was all about dolls. And as I got older, I became all about faeries. All about Brian Froud. All about faerie dolls and faerie art. I drew faeries. I drew Gnomes. I drew trolls. I read about faeries. My husband, being huge into art, fantasy, and role-playing (not the bedroom kind) encouraged me. He bought my Froud books as gifts. So, I have always loved dolls and faeries and all sorts of tiny creatures. I loved my little ponies, but my favorites were BABY ponies. When we were recently in Wal-Mart, my husband pointed out the new LITTLE little ponies and I gasped in excitement! I said "I would have been ALL OVER those as a kid." He laughed. He knows about my adoration of all things small. (hence the dollhouse.)

Another thing that is cool about natural toys, is the whole concept of it. I don't mean because they are all organic or all natural wood. That is a plus, but I mean the Waldorf concept. You can read more here, but the idea is that children learn and become individuals when the toys allow them to use their imagination in play. They develop into freethinking, artistic, and moral individuals. The dolls generally have expressionless faces. They are likely poseable. Mainly made of cotton or wool. I know that the natural toys are inspiring to a creative mind like mine.

Even though I am no longer a child, as soon as I see those dolls, my mind starts to roll forward, my imagination takes off. Oh all the things I could DO with those dolls! The things that the gnomes and the faeries would eat! The things they would make! The things they would sit on and the houses they might live in and the places they might go. The other people and creatures they would meet! How the world would look to them! These are things that are instantly set forth in my mind, and I can only imagine what is set forth in the mid of a child.

I could hand my daughter a Sponge Bob Square Pants Doll, where everything is already laid out. He lives in a pineapple under the sea. He flips Burgers. He has a pet snail named Gary. While this is all very entertaining and imaginative, it has already been decided for them. There is no need to conjure up an imaginative place and imaginative activities. They have all been conjured up by someone else. And I am NOT against cartoons, but I want to give my child the opportunity to use her imagination to conjure up her own world, in addition to seeing mainstream cartoons and characters.

When I was small, my aunt was phenomenal at sewing. She made accessories and doll clothes. She made hair ties and TONS of clothing. She made cloth gift bags that looked like giant santa sacks and put all our gifts in them. She made blankets and all sorts of other creative goodies. And she taught me to sew. And I took Home-Ec. And I learned to follow a pattern. And I learned to stitch by hand, and to use a sewing machine. And when she finished her sewing career with some creative burnout, she let me have her Singer Sewing Machine. And years later when a friend of hers was giving away a newer model Singer, she called me and I went and picked it up. I love to sew. I love to create. I love to make stuffed softies. The more of these natural toys that i see, and the more that I see the PRICES of a Waldorf Doll ($40-$110 each) I understand that this is something that i can DO. This is something that I can do as a creative and fun outlet for me, a sense of accomplishment, and this is also something that I can do for my daughter. I can provide her with a unique and adorable world to play in. I can do that. How awesome is that?

So to get started, I have done online research on Waldorf Dolls. I have compiled an electronic portfolio of images and patterns of dolls and softies (things like felted food and animals.) I have researched the best starter kits to make my first things, and the best books and DVD's to teach myself how to make my own. I started off by buying a Waldorf Doll-Making Book, and a Waldorf DVD that is HIGHLY reviewed. And a fairy pagoda pattern and supplies in a kit, and a fairy petal dollmaking kit with book and materials. I hope to start small and grow into making Waldorf Dolls for my children. I was so excited when I found a breastfeeding Waldorf Doll online. You can buy her with her baby for $70. Or I could make her! They make a tiny sling that the mommy doll wears, and the baby goes in the sling. They also use snaps to demonstrate the breastfeeding relationship between mom and babe. The mom has the half of the snap that looks like a nipple, and they sew two of them to her chest like nipples. The baby has the other end of the snap sewn as her mouth, and she can "latch on" to the momma doll when you lift up her shirt. I know that sounds SO crunchy but I am okay with that.

I don't want my daughter to be taught about breastfeeding as I was. I was lead to believe that women who breastfed were strange and that feeding your baby that way was creepy or unnatural. I don't think it was an intentional thing, because my mom wasn't taught any differently. But I don't think I knew that there was any other way to feed a baby until I was babysitting as a teenager for a mom who breastfed. I don't want my daughter to lean about breastfeeding as an adult. I want her to view it as a natural part of life, and of HER life. I want her to know that mom wore her in a sling and breastfed her. I'm okay with that.

So, now you know about waldorf, if you didn't already.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Let's Go Jogging!

Well, the day went well. Ardyn and I went to my computer user group meeting at the library this afternoon. She did fairly well, only fussing a little bit. They have a rocker in the children's section so I was able to rock and she fell asleep. Then we went to the Coffee Depot where I had a chicken salad sandwich, cottage cheese, fruit, and cinnamon ice cream for lunch. Then (after making all those healthy decisions) I ate Beef Jerky, Cheese and Cracker Combos, a bottle of water, and a Reese's Crunchy Candy Bar. Yeah. Not all at once, I just bought it all and spread it out from 2pm-8pm. Ha.

Ardyn was SO stinking tired tonight. She refuses to nap for longer than 10 minutes at a time during the day, so most nights by 7:30 she has been awake 12 hours without any more than two 10-20 minute cat naps. It's insanity. She gets SOOO cranky. But you can lay her down all you want, and she wakes up in about 10 minutes or 10 if you are lucky. Then on a rare occasion she will take a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. So today, only that one quick nap at the meeting. So by 4:30 she was a BEAR. Crying, cranky, and fighting sleep. By 6:30 we decided to just put her to sleep. I changed her diaper, swaddled her, nursed her, and put her in bed. Now it's 8pm and I am going to bed so that I can get some sleep and hopefully so that I can get up with her at whatever time she sees fit, if she sleeps for her regular amount of time, that should be 4:30am. Let's just hope that she eats and goes back to sleep, because being awake at 4:30am just plain sucks.

I will leave you a picture of Ardyn today, just for fun. She is wearing a pink Adidas Suit and Pink Puma "tennis shoe" socks. Too cute, eh?

Mail Call!

Well, I got all my packages priced at the post office. That was a treat. Lots of struggling to carry them without dropping them all and opening the stupid pull out doors with both hands full. Damn.

In the mail today we got Ardyn's personalized name labels, for her bottles (and someday for her sippy cups!) We got 4 pink and 4 purple and they stretch to fit all sizes of bottles and cups. You can run them through the dishwasher and sterilizer safely. They have her name on the one side and her name in Braille on the backside. They are wicked cool. I am totally jealous. I really hate the idea of writing on her bottles or cups with permenant marker, because our next babies will need to use them too, and I think this is an excellent alternative.

Also, a couple few pairs of mary janes arrived. I bought them all from one seller on ebay, who obviously had a little girl. The cherry ones are my favorite, because she has the outfit to match them already, but the others are also super cute. I am hoping the two bigger pair will fit around 6-9 months because I have that super cute skirt from Children's Place that matches the houndstooth ones pretty well. And the red ones, well, you just don't need an excuse to wear foxy red shoes, even if you are only a few months old.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Of course the post office had to be closed TODAY.

Well, today I got all 13 of my ebay items packaged and ready to ship, but of course the post office was closed today so I have to go tomorrow.

I got my hair cut. Added some layers. I will get it colored in December.

Unloaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen, did two loads of laundry, and organized my hair clips and brushes tonight. Then I washed my white bras and washable breast pads and bleached them. I try to bleach them once a month to kill any residual germs that hot water doesn't get out. Hoping that will help prevent thrush.

I really need to go to bed now. Tomorrow I have a computer user group class at the library. Wednesday Boyd goes to the vet for his tumor. Thursday I pick up a prescription and pay for my health insurance at work ($418 while I am off work, that's my "half" for each month. Insanity.) Saturday I have a Christmas Card Class and potluck.

My 29th Birthday is just around the corner! So is Thanksgiving, and we are hosting per usual, so I need to get a menu together. Ack. I need a good sweet potato casserole recipe. Anyone care to email me theirs? The more the merrier. I know I can google it but I want to say "This is (insert friend's name here) sweet potato casserole recipe" and then I want to add it to my recipe binder.

We had Yankee Pot Roast with Potatoes Carrots and Gravy for supper, and sweet corn. And Apple Pie with Ice Cream for dessert.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ardyn and Mom

I have so much that I wanted to write about tonight, but it's past my bedtime and I have spent the ENTIRE night uploading photos to Flickr because I was so behind! If you want to see new pictures, it's the place to go. For those of you who don't know, I have made Ardyn's photos all private, and only my friends and family can see them. So if you want to see them from this point forward, you will have to join Flickr (or just login if you have a yahoo account) and then I will have to add you as my friend... so shoot me a Flickr mail once you are logged in and you can see all the new pictures once I add you. There has been lots of recent activity with photos of children on flickr being stolen and posted on websites for pedophiles. Yes. Therefore Ardyn is now private.

We have photos of her being bundled up for winter, playing and laughing, being held by family members, with mom, with dad, and out and about. Plenty to check out.

Tivo shows are getting pretty good. How about The wolves surrounding Marin on Friday night? I think that it's CASH that will be hospitalized, as he walks back to Marin's cabin and tries to save her from wolves. Or perhaps his health issue causes a problem when he encounters the wolves and that's why he goes in the hospital. Speculation. Which I am good at. And How about the Tornado on Wisteria Lane? Victor being found? Lynette Crying and bloody? Whoa.

Today was pretty productive. Ardyn slept through the night in her crib last night. 8 hours. That was the first time I tried putting her in her crib to sleep. She's also been in there since 7:30 tonight when she fell asleep. Poor kid was exhausted tonight as she fought a nap all day and finally took a one hour nap. So she was awake 12 hours with only a one hour nap. Wow.

I picked up a bit around here, loaded and ran the dishwasher. Made myself cereal for breakfast, soup for lunch, and mexican rice for supper. Watched some TIVO. Spent the entire day trying to lay Ardyn down for her nap after she fell asleep 524 times only to have her wake up in 5 minutes. Talked to two friends on the phone. Checked my email. Sold 13 items on eBay. Uploaded all of Ardyn's photos from the end of October and November so far. Organized all those photos into folders on the computer. Damn Firetrucks keep going by here with lights and sirens and so far they haven't woke Ardyn up. Hope they don't.

Evan and his dad finished plastic on the windows. I took a bath. Wrote in Ardyn's baby books. Made a haircut appointment for this week and asked Evan's mom to babysit.

I also had to confront an old friend today. Someone who I have known since kindergarten showed up on my doorstep today to see the baby. Instead of letting them in, I had to ask them to leave and let them know that I never wanted to see them again. That was difficult. I felt badly but I knew that moment was coming. It's hard to see someone that you care about constantly make bad decisions. It's even harder to see those bad decisions become worse decisions. But there comes a time and a place where you realize that you can't jeopardize your family and that it becomes more stressful to be friends with someone than it does to cut those ties. I have never even broken up with a boyfriend, let alone a friend. I think that's the first time I have ever had to do that. But the line was crossed when this person hurt one of my best friends and did something that is unforgivable (not to mention illegal.) Because it's not my story to tell, I will leave it at that. Hopefully having this all over can bring some peace to all of us and I can stop worrying about how it will all play out. I tried to remain calm and just state the facts, and how I felt, and to be very clear that this was the last time we would talk. While I didn't want to hurt an old friend, I didn't really have a choice. I am proud of myself for making a decision for my family and myself and sticking to it despite being uncomfortable.

Oh and this photo is of Ardyn and I tonight, in our pajamas.

Weekend So Far.

Saturday was a BIG day! Ardyn (and in effect, me too) was up at 6am. Awake. So we got up and got dressed in layers and ready to spend the day outside. Then we woke up Evan and he got ready, and we loaded up the truck and drove to Mendota for a daycare auction. The daycare went out of business and they were auctioning off EVERYTHING. We were actually pretty excited, we planned on bidding on a PVC Fence and on some Little Tykes outdoor equipment. When we got there, it was much warmer than it had been at 8:30am when we left home... which was nice, so we were able to shed a layer. The fence wasn't in bad shape but it was cemented in at the corners. The little tykes equipment, and pretty much everything else at the auction, was in ROUGH shape. Rough. Cracked and faded plastic, all the toys and puzzles missing pieces... everything was pretty beat to hell. We were a little shocked at that. Of course they had the entire building, inside and the entire outside hayracks to sell before they even got to the fence or outdoor playthings, so we left bids on the items we were interested in and I bid on a couple of hayrack items. Things were going WAY over what most people would be willing to pay. There were lots of bid happy moms there, paying $20-$40 for a tote of crayons or pom poms or play-doh. It was kinda crazy sometimes. I did end up getting a BIG box full of art goodies. Probably almost 30 boxes of crayons, and about 10 boxes of markers, tons of boxes of chalk, unopened construction paper, unopened glue and glue sticks, that sort of thing. It was pretty cool. Glitter and pom poms and pipe cleaners. It was my one big box and that's all we brought home. The fence went for $100 more than our highest bid, and the little tykes pieces that we bid on went for double what we bid. Insanity. I came home and looked through the step 2 catalog just to refresh my memory on pricing, and sure enough, people were paying dangerously close to retail for outdoor pieces that were rough and faded. Strange.

So we went to the new super walmart in Peru for a bit, to grab some toilet paper and look around. Then we went to Arby's and grabbed lunch for the road and came home. Last night Evan made steak stir fry and we had apple pie and vanilla ice cream for dessert. My parents stopped by after eating at Cajun Connection. Evan and my parents have both been through the new captain swift bridge (the back way from Wyanet to Princeton) and say that it's really nice. It's a replicated Red Covered Bridge, like the original that is located north of Princeton. I don't know if yesterday was the first day it was open... but I intend to see it myself soon. I instantly thought about how soon it will be vandalized. There are a lot of people pissed about the use of so much money to build the bridge. The only thing I am upset about is the fact that it took them an entire year (or more?) to get the damn road open again so we could use it. I go that way ALLLL the time to Princeton, as it's right in my backyard. What a pain it's been. I can't imagine how the people who live just on the other side of the bridge feel. Jeez.

So Ardyn for some reason did NOT want to sleep last night. We put her down 5 times from 9pm till 12am, and each time she woke up again. Finally I got cranky at midnight and swaddled her and this time put her in her crib in her room instead of the co-sleeper. And she went to sleep. And slept 8 hours straight. In her Crib. For the first time ever. She naps there but has never slept there yet. So that means that I got 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Unheard of. Awesome. So while I am not taking the co-sleeper down yet, I am putting her back in her crib each night to see if this will stick. Before she was sick twice and before she had shots, she was sleeping through the night for a full week.... but then her schedule got all screwed up and she wouldn't get back on it. I hope this is a good sign!

I think I forgot to mention that at her two month appointment she weighed 10 pounds 14 ounces and was 24 inches long. Excellent. She gained 2 pounds 9 ounces in the past month. That's wonderful weight gain. Go breastmilk go!

She is now finally able to wear some 0-3 months clothes... although others are still way too big. But that brings promise that she can wear the Hanna Anderrson dress that I bought for her Christmas pictures and for pictures on Santa's lap. Cross your fingers. Of course if she gains another 2 pounds this month, it seems like she is more likely to fit the dress.

Yesterday marked the "one month" till I go back to work milestone. Whew!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Survived the Shots!

Well, Ardyn survived (and mom and dad survived) her four shots yesterday. She was smiling and happy and kicking and laughing and then about 3/4 into her first shot she INSTANTLY turned red, then purple, and had her mouth open in the silent cry that you know is going to get loud very soon. You can see from the first picture, that the needle is already in and the shot is being given and she hasn't started crying yet. She turned SO red and SO purple SO fast that it shocked me. I didn't expect to cry at all, even though I am (or at least I was) deathly afraid of needles. I knew that she needed to get shots, and I knew that she would be pissed, but of course I cried anyway. I think it's something deep inside that you can't control. When you see someone so small and innocent be so happy one second and then so incredibly upset the next, and you know it hurts her, you just can't help it. I think the fact that she turned so red so quickly really made me feel bad for her. You can see in the pictures that I was trying to comfort her, and I think it helped, but you sure couldn't tell. Luckily I know the nurse well, and she was super at giving the shots. She was so polite! I think Ardyn almost made her cry! Ardyn was good last night until about 30 minutes before her tylenol was going to wear out... and then she flipped out and was inconsolable for probably two hours, right up until bedtime. She slept fairly well at night, only needing one dose of tylenol at 1:30am.

Today we were up at 8am, and I picked up the whole house, did dishes, vacuumed, and took care of Ardyn. She was great today, and took one big 3 hour nap as she seems to do on her regular schedule now. She's not like those sleepy babies. She only naps once a day, and it is usually from 2-3 hours long. Otherwise she is awake, unless she catches a 20 minute cat nap after eating a meal. She almost NEVER sleeps in the swing, or the bouncy seat. I can only think of once she has slept in the bouncy seat, and twice she has slept in her swing, and one of those swing times was tylenol induced, yesterday when we got home from the doctor. She only sleeps in her crib or the co-sleeper... and sometimes on the couch. People always say that babies "sleep all day" but she chooses to sleep all night instead. Fine with me.

Today Evan and his dad put plastic on all of our windows and cleaned the gutters. Then his mom brought over roast with carrots and potatoes and biscuits that she had made, and we all ate supper at our house. It was nice. Tomorrow we are getting up early and going to an auction where a daycare is closing, and hopefully bidding on some little tykes outdoor equipment and a PVC fence for the front yard. I am excited about it, but worried that things will go for too much money because it's bound to attract lots of bidders. Cross your fingers for us! We are taking the truck so I hope that means we can bring something home with us.

Today I paid for our first two weeks of daycare, submitted the last of my paperwork including her vaccination record, and went through a stack of papers and took care of them. I ended up calling a few physician offices and the insurance company to iron out some confusion. I also mailed about 15 things, and paid for Ardyn and My insurance for the month of November.

For those of you who have been here for a while, I am going to be sticking in some baby product reviews here or there, if they aren't your cup of tea, just skip on over them. But since this is my blog, I get to do everything I want. Well, almost everything.

Have a great weekend!

"Summer" Spray Brush and Comb Set

Okay, I admit. This is one of those things that you really don't NEED but I find myself using and being pleased to have. It's the super quick solution to bed head and what Evan and I call "Mad Scientist Hair." Now granted, if your baby is... ummm... not blessed with hair, this might seem like a complete waste. But in our case, Ardyn came out with more hair than some babies have at 1 year old. We love her hair but after a nap, or a while in the sling with mom, or after wearing a stocking cap or cute hat, she gets CRAZY mad scientist hair. And she hates it when I stick her head in the sink to flatten it down. In previous times, I was wetting her baby hairbrush and then brushing her hair down. Not the most convenient when out and about, if you have a vain baby that is. Ha.

Made by Summer Infant Products...This brush has a BUILT IN sprayer! You fill the handle with water or if you have serious tangles, no more tears spray... and then, spritz and brush. I read tons of reviews online, and many moms thought that it didn't spray enough out with each pump. I disagree wholeheartedly... I think it sprays the perfect amount, and I can smooth out her hair in seconds, anytime, anywhere. She doesn't mind it one bit. Quick, Painless, and Convenient enough to toss in the diaper bag. So if your baby brought you lots of pregnancy heartburn... and you turned out to have a head full of hair to deal with, this is a great buy.

Baby Smart Cooshee Tub Guard (Kneeler)

This is one of my favorite products for MOMS! The Baby Smart Cooshee Tub Guard is great for moms and dads who are destined to spend hours kneeled by the bathtub. The price is wonderful, especially considering that I will probably be using it for MANY years to come, and for multiple children.

It is a soft, foamy pad that sits outside the tub to cushion mom's knees, and slips over the edge of the tub for your forearms and elbows. Until this little goodie arrived, I was putting a folded towel on the floor and another over the edge of the tub. And mom's with those annoying shower doors (you know who you are!) this product will work for you too, thanks to a genius little foam piece that you just remove to accommodate shower door rails. The pads can be removed if desired (they aren't stuck down with any type of adhesive) but they don't get in our way, so we tend to leave them where they lie. We just toss our bathroom rug over the top of the blue kneeler when adults take a bath or shower. I like them because it also makes a nice slip free place for little ones to grab and step while exiting the tub.

The only downside that I can see (which isn't really the manufacturer's fault) is that the armrest really needs to be right in the center of the tub to fit properly, because my tub has curved sides, so it's thicker on each end than it is in the center. It works anywhere on the side, but stays put better when centered. This wouldn't be a big deal, except we are using an infant tub right now and I slide the tub close to the front of the adult tub, so that the spigot can pour right into the tub, and the shower hose reaches better.

This is worth the money, and I purchased mine from Leaps and Bounds, I believe for $24.99

Sock Pro Sock Holders

I got a cool new product that I just love. "Sock Pro" Sock holders.

Ardyn's sock drawer was such a mess. I never matched the socks up because then the tops stretch out and they are too big for her and fall off all the time. I needed them to remain in their original non-stretched out state. I saw these in the One Step Ahead catalog, (I love them, and Leaps and Bounds also) and ordered them right away. The order comes with a quantity of 30, that's 3 packs of 10. They sent me red blue and black.

The cool thing is that when you put the socks together you can just toss them in the drawer and always find the match, but the sock thingys also stay on in the washer, and the dryer! Seriously! No more matching socks! None! It's totally awesome. I've put them on from the toes, and from the cuffs, and I think it's easier to put the toes through first. I don't think they are big enough for adult socks, but I haven't tried them. It looks like they use them for adult socks on the package also.... I think for infant and children socks, they are great, but if they are big enough to walk around and get the socks dirty, I would suggest making sure that the sock pro things go around the cuffs and not the feet, to make sure that they come completely clean. Now I know how easy it is to lose little socks in the wash, but I have been using a lingerie bag and putting all her socks in there with my washable breast pads in order to keep them all together in pairs. Otherwise I might end up with a infant sock in one bra cup, and a washable breast pad in the other.

But now I don't even need the lingerie bag for the socks, they are so easily matched. Even with a very full load they don't come apart in the wash. They are inexpensive, and the only thing I can say is that 30 weren't quite enough (Ardyn has lots of socks!) and I need about 10 more. I think it was $9.95 for 30 sock pro holders.

Check out the pictures of her sock drawer BEFORE and AFTER! Neat! Highly recommended.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mom on the Loose.

Free!! Two hours and 11 minutes! Alone! No car seat to haul. No Diaper Bag! I got to carry a PURSE! LoL. I cranked Pat Benetar about as loud as I could possibly stand it on the way to the meeting and home.

The meeting was great and I didn't even have to skip out early because it only lasted just over an hour. Then I went to Wal-Mart and returned the robe that didn't fit right, and got anotehr two pair of pajamas instead.

When I got home Ardyn was smiling and happy and hanging out with Evan. Ah. Nice. She went right to bed at 9pm and I was able to start a load of laundry, wash breast pump parts and pacifiers, wash all the dishes from today and from making Chex Mix, and sterilize stuff for tomorrow. I also made a cup of mint tea and ate a Johnagold apple. Yum. Watching today's episode of Ellen from Tivo, I was pleased to see Jenny McCarthy. I was never a fan of hers when she was on MTV. Just didn't care for her, but once she got pregnant and became a mom, I read Belly Laughs and Baby Laughs, and really enjoyed them. She seems to have really changed for the better, and I do enjoy her. Her hair is so cute! It's killing me because I keep telling myself I promised.. no cutting my hair after Ardyn was born... and it's so long. I can't imagine cutting it now cuz it's so long.

I checked my email and the weather. It's gonna be 19 degrees tonight. Ack. Tomorrow is a free day, but Thursday are Ardyn's first shots. Advice moms? I have read everywhere that babies who are allowed to breastfeed during their shots don't even cry. But they said that some pediatricians won't allow you to breastfeed during the shots. I wonder why? I think I might ask.
Well, off to change the last load of laundry and go to bed!

Stupid People.

We had a rough weekend. Ardyn was still sick and it peaked on Sunday when she woke up with dry heaves and eventually throwing up. She also had diaper blowouts and was really fussy and upset in general. Today (Tuesday) is the first time she seems to be doing better. Saturday night she was awake every 1-2 hours all night, not feeling good and wanting to be held or nursed for comfort. Sunday night I got her to bed on time but she continued to wake up and want to be fed. Evan then also got sick and it was not pleasant to be the only well one... but I am thankful that I didn't get sick (yet) because who would take care of me if I was taking care of everyone else. I never knew a baby could have dry heaves. It was horrible. I have had some crummy tummy but have just been very careful about what I eat in general. Yesterday I had toast for breakfast, Turkey sandwich for lunch, and Chicken Pot Pie for supper. Today I had toast again (out of milk) and turkey on a croissant with apples dipped in yogurt for lunch. Safe.

Sunday night was the hardest, but luckily I had taken a nap that evening. Ardyn was up and I didn't get to sleep till 2:15, and then it was on the couch with Ardyn's co-sleeper next to me, because Evan was so sick and I had quarantined him in the bedroom and bathroom. Ardyn woke up every hour and ate every hour to two hours... she was fussy and her tummy was upset so she would eat a little bit every hour. By 6:30am I had slept for almost 2 very interrupted hours... but then I got some sleep later that morning, for an hour at a time from 7:45 till 10am. Ack.

Last night I went to mom's and visited her friends who came out to eat supper. My cleaning people came and disinfected our germy house. Thank God. Of course, then today, the day after my house is clean, Hadley peed on the porch and I dropped a whole box of chex upside-down while making Chex mix. I got a hair up my ass and then I had to call Boyd in to eat all the chex off the floor while Ardyn watched amused from her bouncy seat.

So tonight I get to go to my Computer User Group meeting. It's my second "official" time away from her, and I am not counting the hour that Evan took her to his mom and dad's, because it was barely even time away. I am excited, so excited that I think I should be blowing off the meeting and getting some stuff done. Shhh... no one has to know! Just kidding. I will go to the meeting. But I might sneak out early for a pumpkin spice cappuccino all to myself. Drink my latte and pump breastmilk in the car. How romantic!

Ardyn and I went to Wal-Mart today and my main goal was to return a robe that I bought and get a different size, and to get some more milk, bread, etc. $106 and one annoying cashier later, I forgot to even BRING the robe with. Ardyn was getting a little fussy at the end of the trip. I had everything up on the conveyor, although it took the girl FOREVER to clear me off space. Usually I am annoyed because the damn thing is moving too fast... and I can't organize my groceries by size and type (cold, frozen, boxed, bagged, breads and cookies, you know?) and it really pisses me off to have space between my food. (OCD, what can I say) but this time I was constantly standing there trying to have a square inch to put all the crap I was holding in my hands. And she scanned my groceries with the speed of a turtle, I swear she read the label on each freaking item I had, and then would hold it in her hands for 10 seconds before deciding how to put it in the bag. I wanted to strangle her. I was putting bags in my cart twice as fast as she was filling them. Annoying. Then I had already scanned the credit card, put in my pin number, and answered all the questions. I packed it back in my wallet, back in my diaper bag, put the diaper bag UNDER the cart, loaded the cart, put the hat and mittens on ardyn, and was waiting for her to give me my receipt when she goes "scan your card." I said "I did" and she goes "put in your pin" and I said "I did" and she turns around, looks at the receipt printer, gestures to it as though it is god, and OBVIOUSLY if it isn't printing, then I didn't scan my card. If she hadn't been so busy reading every label on every product I bought, she might have SEEN my scan my card. I Said "I already scanned my card, put in my pin, and said NO to cashback. It was approved. I just need a receipt. " She just stared at me. Then she goes "Well what does your screen say?" with a huge attitude. Then I said "It says NOTHING." and she just stood there and stared at me. I wanted to say "YOU are the one who works here, why are you asking me?" She said "scan it again" and I said "I don't want to be charged twice." and she said "scan it again" Oh I was pissed. So I scanned it again, put my pin in again, said NO to cashback AGAIN. I had better not get charged again or it is Cashier Elizabeth's Ass.

Anyway. More later.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gerber Grins n Giggles Roll On Baby Powder

This morning we tested out our roll on baby powder from the Gerber Grins and Giggles Line. When we took our prepared childbirth class, the instructor (an OB nurse for 23 years and the director of the Women's Health Department) told us that we shouldn't use baby powder for the first year of the baby's life because it poses a respiratory hazard. Interesting. I had seen somewhere previously that they make roll-on baby powder. I was intrigued. I wanted to try it. But once we had the baby (and even before) I couldn't find any, until our Toys R Us trip yesterday.

Last night I had the thought that there would be an issue keeping the roll-on applicator truly "clean" if you were just going to roll it onto her skin. Then I read the packaging (duh) and it recommended rolling it onto the clean diaper to maintain the integrity of the roll-on applicator. Aha! Mom brain!

So this morning I wanted to try some on her first diaper change of the day. I have a routine that every night before bed she gets a coating of A&D Ointment before a clean diaper and her sleep sack. This prevents her from getting any rash or any poo stuck to her little butt from a long night in the same diaper. It makes the morning diaper change much easier, I don't have to rub and scrub her with wipes, it's like a non-stick frying pan in there. So after a greasy wet night, I thought it might be helpful to have a powdery dry morning diaper.

The excitement ended when I opened up the packaging, and screwed off the lid to a dust explosion of baby powder that covered my hands and the changing table. So much for avoiding a respiratory hazard. Overall the roll-on feature worked well. The downside is that you could never carry this in your diaper bag because I am assuming that the transporting to the store and home from the store caused it to leak all over into the cap and when the cap is removed you have about 2 full tablespoons of baby powder that flies all over the place and makes a mess. So this isn't a bad product, if you open it over the garbage and keep it upright on your changing table. But the fact that's it's really just loose powder in a roll-on container, which costs you probably 4 times more than a huge container of baby powder, makes me wonder if this is a product I would recommend to anyone. Packaging improvement is necessary. Perhaps an adhesive seal over the roll-on applicator to prevent leaking before it gets to the consumer. And if it were a perfect world, the ability to unscrew the lid, refill the bottle, and clean the roll-on applicator. But that would probably not happen as that would mean you could refill it with any old cheap baby powder. It makes me wonder if one couldn't find any refillable applicator bottle with a roll-on head, similar to ones used for perfume, and make their own roll-on baby powder.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Would you see this on TV today?

Probably not, and it's a shame!

Tivo Catch-up

Well, today is going well. I am just sitting here in my pajamas catching up on TIVO. I finished Dirty Sexy Money (and can I say I totally knew that Nick and Tripp were conspiring against Simon? The whole time?) and I am watching Men in Trees. Ardyn went to sleep just after 8pm.

I am doing some baby laundry, specifically some sleep sacks that I am doing product testing on for Halo Innovations, the makers of Halo sleep sacks and Swaddle Sleep Sacks. Also bought a Kiddopotamus Swaddle Sack. Just to try it out. She uses the newborn size sleep sacks with swaddle from Halo, but we had two that we bought in August (we bought three total) that I had issues with because they had either NO tabs on the back, or only one tab, and she could pull the swaddle piece up over her face.

So I contacted Halo and got in touch with a marketing rep and she sent me replacements, as well as a proto-type for a size small sleep sack with swaddle that isn't on the market yet. And also a size small sleep sack made of velboa as a gift. So we are getting ready to test the small sleep sack that she sent. Ardyn just in the past week has started to become Houdini and escape all of the swaddle sacks in newborn size, I think because she is too string for the velcro, and because she is too long. They are supposed to fit up to 10 pounds, and she isn't yet, but she is LONG and she is ESCAPING which leads to her waking up about twice a night when she WAS sleeping through the night for a whole week before the escaping started. We MUST get her into the next size! Lucky for me I got to test because they don't even manufacture a smaller size (with a swaddle) by Halo... but they do make them by Kiddopotamus. And their small goes up to 14 pounds... so I bought one for $9.99 at Toys R Us today so that I could see how I like it. What I DID like about the Kiddopotamus ones is that you can wash them without a bunch of exposed velcro, AND the swaddle is attached at the back so it can't be pulled up, AND the diaper changing can be done without unswaddling, AND (one more) they are half the price of Halo's sleep sacks. But we have 7 total Halo sacks. Yeah. So we will have to test and see.

I have the worst luck at Toys R Us. When we went shopping a couple of weeks ago they left the security tag on the Adidas suit and I had to take it back to the store with receipt today to have it removed. What a pain in my ass. I called the store where it happened after calling the Toys R Us Customer service line, and neither one had any real help or even remorse for their screw-up. So also today I went to buy some OxyClean baby and grabbed a spray bottle of stain treatment by OxyClean also, and when we got home it had built up a bunch of pressure and almost exploded, and the bottle had crunched outwards and the bottom pushed out so it wouldn't stand up anymore. What is WITH That? Toys R Us and I don't mix well apparently. And can I just say that they had some "doorbuster" sale today and the customer service desk was SO insane. There were literally only one group of people ahead of me in line and no one behind me, so yeah, two of us, and I waited about 10 minutes before anyone even looked at me. There was one girl working the counter and she apparently had an attitude and was being bitchy to the people she was helping, and never once even acknowledged that I was there. Eventually another woman came up and helped me... but it was rather rude. No one even apologized to me for having to make another trip to the store to have the security tag removed. Whatever.

One good thing I can say about Toys R Us, they have a nice selection of certain baby items that you can't find at stores like Wal-Mart or Target. They carry the Gerber Roll on Baby Powder, and they carry Menthol Baby Bath, which you can't get at Wal-mart here anymore, and also alcohol-free kid safe hand sanitizers. I bought a three pack of travel ones and a two pack of ones for the house.

Well, Ardyn woke up at 10pm and needed to be topped off with some milk. he.
The stupidest commercials. I tell you. How about the one where the woman is at Lowe's acting out all the things she wants to buy as Christmas Decorations. Yeah. Retarded.

Well, this weekend I have people coming to pick up the table from the front porch that I want to get rid of (gonna put the Christmas Tree out there from now on) and a basket full of cans of baby formula that I didn't obviously need to use. The Freecycle network is good for that. Sometimes I know that I am giving away some REALLY good stuff that I could probably make money on, but it's nice to just give it to someone who will enjoy it, and to have it gone fast. The first come first serve nature of freecycle usually ensures that if someone WANTS it then it will be gone right away.

Can I just say that I love on Men in Trees when Annie and Sapphire mud wrestle at the Chieftain? LOL. I am really dying to see if Jack is like LEAVING the show? Hmmm. I mean, going to the Bering Sea, and then next week supposedly getting attacked by a wolf? Dying to know.

Well, that's good for now. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Retail Therapy

Well, shopping made me feel better. It always does. Retail Therapy. Even if it's just Wal-Mart I can find shit to buy. We needed toilet paper, and laundry detergent. I needed a tote.

Ardyn was still so fussy... that when I put her in her carseat she was SCREAMING at me no matter if I gave her a pacifier, rocked her, swung her seat around a bit.... nothing. I finally had to get like 1 inch from her face to talk to her because she couldn't even hear me through her screaming. I got her calmed down and then I defrosted 2, 2ounce bottles of breastmilk and fed them to her in the carseat. She was out in an instant. The fastest way to soothe her without taking her out of the carseat, swaddling her, and breastfeeding her. We were on the road by 9:15. spent about an hour in the mart. I bought new super soft pajamas and a new robe. The robe is fitting, but I think I would like it bigger. Must exchange it. I bought brown, tan, and cream socks. All of mine seem to be mismatched now, and even after cleaning the laundry room, I have about 25 tan socks, and only two of them match. Seriously, that is no exaggeration.

Every single time the shopping cart sat still, Ardyn was crying. Cart stops, pacifier goes flying out of her mouth, and screaming ensues. Don't stop to look at anything. I meant to try the robe on before I left the store, but I guess it makes sense that I forgot. I also got a cool thing for the laundry room that I can put each person's foldable laundry and underwear/socks in until I can match them. Or hey, how about husband can match his own socks? Yeah. That's a great idea! So I got to the checkout and had to exit with TWO carts because I had a giant tote that took up one entire cart and another stackable unit that took up another cart. I Was trying to push both carts (with the baby) and a friend Jen (HER husband Evan is friends with MY husband Evan, and she once sold Pampered Chef as one of my recruits) was shopping there and offered to escort me and help by pushing one cart. She did, thankfully, even though I told her no (why do I refuse help? What the fuck is wrong with me? Martyr much?) and then she put the tote and the other stuff IN my car while I got Ardyn snapped in, AND she took both carts back inside the store. Doesn't she deserve like a medal or something?

What I love more than anything is women and moms reaching out to help other women and moms. What I love is when you are shopping and you see another mom and she looks at you with a look of "I've been there!" and it's such a good feeling to know that she understands the exhaustion on your face, or the fact that you are changing a diaper in the backseat of your car, or breastfeeding in the middle of the mall, or trying to contain a tantrum, or anything mom related. I get so sick of moms who compete with everyone. My kid did this and this and this and has this and that and this. It isn't a competition! Everyone is proud of their child. That is natural. But at the same time, be proud of another person's kids. Be happy to help. OFFER to help and I guess sometimes, when I mom refuses or seems overwhelmed or too proud or feels guilty for accepting, insist on helping her. Please. I don't mean overstep your bounds and invade on her privacy, but please offer to help. Two or three times.

Today makes me want to read the book "it takes a village" and Honestly I never even gave a second thought to that phrase or anything in the past. It just made me laugh about all the people that I don't want influencing my kids. But moms have to stick together. And when I think about all the favors that I have done for other moms over the years, before I had kids or realized how much of a big freaking nice deal it was to have someone who gave a crap.... I realize that there are a lot of people out there who owe me. And I mean owe me BIG TIME. And when I also think about it, several of those people have disappeared out of my life. Mostly because we got too busy, sometimes because I get sick of giving giving giving all the time and not getting anything in return. A lot of those people were "users." And I don't do favors to get things in return, but getting respect in return is my number one goal. I think of friends who had kids in high school, and friends who had kids after high school, and I spent lots of my time with those kids. Babysitting for free. Buying BIRTHDAY presents and CHRISTMAS presents! Giving them rides to doctor appointments and family member's houses. Helping decorate for parties and dress up for Halloween. Taking them Trick-or-Treating. Taking them shopping. Taking them to movies. I bought their parents baby shower presents and bridal shower presents and wedding gifts. And those people have taken advantage of me and disappeared. I never saw a shower or wedding gift from them, not even a card. And here I sit with a 2 month old and I can literally count on one hand the people who would do anything for me in return. And two of those people live in Alaska and Chicago respectively. Isn't that crazy? I guess this makes me realize that while it takes a village, I still need to start looking out for my own family. And how lucky I am that some of those people aren't in my life anymore. Because I don't need things from people who aren't truly my friends. I don't need the hassle... and I don't need to be used.
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