Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Damned if I Do, Damned if I Don't

After a long summer of dutifully mothering my darling angel, I was given a day off to "play"... sorta speak. Last week, I headed up to Yakima for a day of errands, "shopping" and lunch with friends. Grace was having a fabulous day herself - spending it with Grandma.

Earlier this summer, some friends had asked me to meet them for lunch and I happily agreed. On the day we had agreed to meet, I didn't show up. Not because I didn't want to. Not because an emeregency came up. Because I FORGOT! Baby brain strikes again! How does someone forget something as important as lunch with friends? No excuses but that is what a harvest season will do to a person. During harvest, there are no weekends, there are no holidays, there is no beginning or end of a day. Since that is the schedule Court and I live by all summer, there are times when a day or two slips by unnoticed. Factor in day after day of caring for an infant (who at the time didn't like to regularly nap OR sleep through the night) and maybe you can see how a mother like me might forget about a scheduled event. Not until several hours after our luncheon had passed, did I see the flurry of emails in my inbox about my absence. I felt horrible. It's not like me to just not show up. I at least have the courtesy to call and give some bogus excuse about why I can't be there.

So upon discovering that I was going to have a day to myself, I immediately lined up a chance to redeem myself with this particular group of friends and set up another lunch.

Don't get me wrong. I love staying home with Grace and wouldn't change that for anything, but I was REALLY excited for a "day off," not to mention a day off with friends. For the first time in weeks, I had a reason to not only brush my hair but put on makeup as well! I probably changed my outfit a handful of times before leaving the house. That's how excited I was. For the first time all summer, I was all dressed up AND had somewhere to go.

how_4905620_enjoy-a-hefeweizen.html.jpgBoy! Oh boy! was lunch fun. I hadn't laughed that hard in quite some time. It was great catching up and sharing stories. I even had a lunchtime brewsky - something I never do...especially while undergoing Operation Butterball. (By the way, I am within 20 sticks of butter of my pre-preggo weight. That said, I am aiming to lose more because things just aren't bouncing back to where they are supposed to be...but that's a story for another day...where was I??)

So a lunchtime brewsky, friends I hadn't seen in a while, lots of laughter...let's just say I was feeling pretty good. Unfortunately, the beer was drained and the food eaten and it was time to settle up. To redeem myself from my earlier no-show, I asked for one check and decided to treat the gang to lunch.

Fast forward what seemed to me like five minutes but what must have been...oh I don't know... a half hour. I spot the little black book that contains the bill. Not having noticed it a moment before, I announce to the table..."Oh the bill!"

Laughter erupts. Confusion (on my part) ensues. I open the black book and much to my suprise, not to mention my embarrassment, the bill has been paid!!

In all my chatter and storytelling... after announcing that I was paying the bill... I stiffed my lunch mates. Upon the realization, I turned a shade of red I don't think I've experienced since middleschool. So now I am a flake and a cheapskate. Strike one and strike two.

It looks like with or without the baby, my social life is doomed. If I bring the rugrat with, I don't get to relax, (probably because my beer intake is drastically reduced) and I spend the whole time bouncing her with one hand while shoveling food into my face with the other. Not pretty.

If I leave the munchkin home, I get a bit 'carried away' with all the grown- up talk, not to mention the grown-up drinks, and I find myself committing social taboos. Damned if I do, damned if I don't, I guess. Althooooouuugh, I did get outta there with a free meal...bad news for my social life, but a win-win for my pocketbook!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nine Month Appointment

Grace had her nine month well baby check-up today. All went well! She weighed in at 17.1 lbs (on the light side - 15% percentile) and 28" long (on the tall side - 58%). Still bean pole status and while I am a bit alarmed that she doesn't pack on the pounds quite as easily as her dear old mom, there is good news! Her brain...I mean her head circumference is huge! - 45 cm (75%).

As I hate to post anything without an accompanying photo, (I didn't feel like busting out the camera when Grace got her first flu shot for obvious reasons), here are a few from this past weekend.








I had put Grace's hair up in the cutest bow...it was adorable...but she pulled it out just before I went to snap a few pictures. While it is a mohawk only a mother could adore, I admit, I do love it! Good thing I'm her mother!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Now that's a big baby!

I didn't believe it when the doctors told me that Grace weighed 9.3 pounds at birth. I distinctly remember my first thought being "Why are they lying to me about how much my baby weighs?!?!"


When I saw the scale and realized they weren't joking, my next thought was "Oh my god! That means the next one will weigh 10 pounds!"

Apparently, a 10 pound baby is nothing in Indonesia. For those of you who saw this on the Today show, forgive me. It is still boggling my mind!



Note: Matt Lauer's joke is NOT funny!

If anyone can find a picture of the mother, I would LOVE to see it! I did find this for your viewing pleasure.

kacperskulskiap3.jpg

A baby boy weighing 15.7 lb was born in Poland. Kacper Skulska, who was more than TWO FEET TALL, was born to Bozena Skulska, 44, in Szczecin. The mother was 44!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Conversations with Grace

Instead of cleaning my house today, I made this instead. Much more fun, don't you think?

Note: The technical difficulties with the video have been fixed...I think...I hope. Let me know!



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Joy

I came across this clipping in a Real Simple magazine last spring while I was pregnant. I had recently quit my job as a lawyer to be a stay-at-home-mom. The quote from E.B. White, not to mention the photo, reassured me that I was making the right choice for me and my family.


I hope that whatever path you choose, it is the one that gives you -
 and your family - the most joy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sick Kiddo

Before I had a baby, I hated seeing snotty nosed kids. HATED IT! I couldn't fathom what mother would take her child out of the house without first wiping it's nose...not to mention continuing the clean up every time she looked down at her child and saw crusty snot all over it's nostrils and upper lip. That's what they make those Kleenex handy-packs for, right?

Well, all those pre-baby judgments are coming back to haunt me. Grace spiked a temperature last Friday. We were heading out of town to Boise for my dad's birthday so of course that was the "perfect" day for Grace to get sick.

The whole weekend Grace was a bit on the warm side, a bit crankier than usual and pretty clingy. She didn't jump, crawl or climb for almost 48 hours. I don't think she has gone for more than an hour without moving since...since...well, EVER! It was like Grace disappeared and I was given a baby place holder to keep me occupied while the real Grace recovered.

When we got back home on Sunday, her temperature had broken so I thought we were in the clear. But alas, that is when the clearing of the nasal passages began.

Poor little munchkin. Not sure if you can see it in this photo
but her nose is like an endless fountain of snot.

Mind you...we are in the comforts of our own home
where snotty nosed kids should be.

Ugh. This photo just breaks my heart.
Being sick as an adult sucks, but a sick kid...why that is just plain gut wrenching.

Now I understand that mothers leave the house with snotty nosed kids because
1) babies can't blow their own noses (Why I thought that a human who can't wipe it's own butt could blow their nose is beyond me...the learning curve on this motherhood gig is quite steep ya know!)
and 2) babies HATE having their faces wiped....at least as much, if not more, than I hate seeing snotty nosed kids... or at least my baby does. Sometimes it is worth letting the snot linger a few extra minutes just for the peace and quiet. You've got to pick your battles.

Even with these newly acquired factoids - this new appreciation for snotty nosed kids - Grace and I are not leaving the house. As no one in this household has slept for more than 45 minutes at a time in more than two days, the only thing grosser than seeing a snotty nosed kid at the grocery store is the mother of that snotty nosed kid. I will save you all the horror.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boise Birthday Bonanza

We made it to Boise for my dad's birthday last weekend. It was a good thing too!
We enjoyed...

:::LOTS of great food:::

We had traditional Shish Kabobs.
Grilled veggies and marinated lamb. A true Armenian tradition. YUM!

Dad requested Strawberry Shortcake - his fav!
But strawberries are out of season and the few that we could find didn't look so good. So per Dad's request, we improvised. Voila! Peach Shortcake.

It was delish!

:::LOTS of good wine:::

...which lead to LOTS of good conversation...

...which lead to LOTS more drinking...

:::and a little R&R.:::

This was the first weekend Court and John Andrew had off since May!
I think they were both really grateful for Dad's birthday.

I love capturing firsts on film. And there was a first over the course of the birthday weekend. No, Grace didn't take her first steps or say "Mama, pass me the cake!" Ryan experienced his first Cuban cigar!

Some lighter, huh? :)

After a crash course with Dad,
Ryan looks like he's been smoking stogies his whole life!

Did I mention we drank A LOT of wine?

The biggest and best surprise of the whole weekend? John Andrew and his puppy, Copper, were able to join us. We didn't tell my mom or my dad about their attendance until we rolled into town.

They were the icing on the cake...or in this case, the whip cream.

The cook was not forgotten! She did a fantastic job!

Everyone had a great time.

Happy Birthday Dad!
Here's to many, many more.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Running Start

Look who is off to a running start!

video

This video was taken a week ago. She now tears all over the living room pushing her baby...well, not exactly. She rips the baby out of the stroller AND THEN proceeds to zoom all over the place. Looks like there is only enough room for ONE baby in this house!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Look who's getting her chompers!

Photographing new teeth is difficult.

It took days of springing the camera in Grace's face at juuuust the right moment. I had to keep my wits about me at all times to predict the exact moment when she would widely open her mouth and display her new pearly whites. We endured countless impromptu photo sessions in a balmy 75 degree living room. I am telling you - it was hell trying to get these images for you.

I felt like one of these Planet Earth cameramen trying to document a mother polar bear emerging from her den.




Can you see the two teeth? The one on the right has just barely sprouted.

Bloody fantastic!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Learning the Hard Way

My dad always told me that there were three ways to learn something. You could read about it. Someone could tell you about it or you could learn the hard way. I thought that once you reached your 30's, the latter form of learning faded away, much like your memory and your desire to go to loud, smokey bars. Apparently, I was wrong. I am still quite capable of learning the hard way.

Last Thursday was a typical day of running errands. Vet. Costco. Grocery Store. Load Grace into the car. Take Grace out. Put her in stroller. Put Grace back in car. Load up stroller....aaannnd repeat. You know, the typical day of a SAHM.

Unexpectedly, the day was about to take a dramatic turn.

I loaded Grace into her car seat. I put the diaper bag in it's spot in the car. I closed the door and made my way to the back of the 'Burban to put all of our new Toys R Us treasures into the trunk only to find the tailgate locked. My heart instantly skipped a thousand beats. It was locked. Were the other doors locked? They couldn't be. THEY COULDN'T BE! It was hot out and getting hotter. The doors couldn't be locked.

I tried Grace's door. Locked. The passenger side door. Locked. Driver's side. Locked. The other back seat door. LOOOCCCKKKED.

I locked Grace in the car.

I LOCKED GRACE IN THE CAR!!!!!!!!!! On a 100 degree day. A wave of panic rushed over me as thoughts of Dateline specials came flooding back about mothers who forgot about their children in the car and went to work instead of dropping the kids off at daycare. At the end of the work day, they returned to the car to find a dead baby. CAN YOU IMAGINE? And here I was locking Grace in the car!!

Ok. No problem. We have OnStar. I just need to call the company, give them the secret password and voila, they will unlock the car.

Amazingly, my cell phone was in my pocket. I managed to lock everything else in the car, including my keys, but fortunately, not my cell phone. Small problem - I didn't have OnStar's number programed in my phone. UGH! Are you kidding me?! Ok. Stay calm. Still not a problem. I'll just call Court and he'll give me the number.

I call Court and as much as I'd like to say that I was calm and collected, I was nothing but hysterical. (Imagine lots of profanities coming from Alvin and the Chipmunks.) Court was stunned and, uhhh, shall we say displeased, at the news that his daughter was locked in the car on a day that was sure to soar above 100 degrees. Court didn't have the number and he wasn't near a computer so he couldn't look it up. He suggested calling 411 so I did. Information didn't have the number for OnStar so I asked to be connected to the Chevy dealership in Yakima.

The Chevy dealership gave me the number but by this time my hands were shaking and my brain was starting to shutdown. I asked them to repeat the number at least 10 times, but by the time I got off the phone and went to dial it, all the numbers were jumbled in my head and I kept misdialing.

By this time, people in the parking lot were beginning to notice the crazy woman (me) pacing around the car and peering in the windows every two seconds. No one stopped by and offered to help, but they stared and pointed nonetheless, which induced panic...and guilt... and A LOT MORE PANIC. Grace could see me peering in the windows and must have thought we were playing an uber game of peek-a-boo. Every time she saw my face press against the window, she started laughing. (I'm glad someone was in good enough spirits to see the humor in our predicament.)

(Note: This picture is just a reenactment.)
(Note to the note: I think she might have a flare for the dramatics! Can someone say "And the Oscar goes to...?!?!?)

Another bit of good news - we have a remote starter. I hate the heat so much that I remote start the care EVERY SINGLE TIME I get into my car. The remote starter allows the air conditioning to start running without the key being in the ignition...and I had done this as we left Toys R Us. Thank God! Grace was in the car with the air blowing.

I still hadn't heard from Court so I decided to take matters into my own hands and call 9-1-1. It was the first time I had ever called 9-1-1 (and hopefully my last). I was crying, of course, and the dispatcher was absolutely calm as if this was the 157th call of the day from a mom who had locked her baby in the car. He asked me important questions like what happened, where I was located and then some mundane questions which I am sure he was strategically using to keep me calm - like what is the baby's name? what color are her eyes? when was she born? does she sleep through the night yet? (ok this question made my blood pressure rise just a bit). Just then, the engine turned off. The remote starter only runs for 10-15 minutes and then the car automatically shuts off. Oh boy! We were definitely in crunch time now.

Luckily, the police cruiser pulled up only moments later. I explained the situation to the officer. He was clearly not happy with me and his first words were "These cars are impossible to open. You better get a lock smith on the way." Upon hearing these words, the flood gates opened. I tried to pull myself together by getting a locksmith on the horn but...Oh no! What's this? My cell phone is dead! The one that I bought precisely for a moment like this? How can my phone be dead? It was fully charged just a few minutes ago... not to mention it's BRAND NEW! How on Earth was I going to get a locksmith on site? Would the officer let me borrow his phone? Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Oh nooooooooooo.

And then. A miracle. The officer had been sliding one of those special-unlock-the-doors-of-a-locked-car-gadget-that-police-officers-carry-with-them in the passenger side window. And then. I heard It. The officer heard It too. A POP! Like the pop of a car door unlocking. The car was unlocked! Hallelujah!

She is free at last, FREE AT LAST, thank God Almighty, SHE IS FREE AT LAST!

It was a miracle of epic proportions. Up there with the parting of the Red Sea and walking on water - at least in "my book" it was. I would've hugged the policeman but his gun scared me and I think I heard somewhere that if you touch an officer they can throw you a jail. I decided to play it safe (not to mention cool) so I buried my head in my hands, said thank you about a 100 times and cried tears of relief.

*****************************************************************************************
Fast forward about fifteen minutes.

The officer took a look at Grace to make sure she was ok and determined that she was just fine. Phew! Grace and I get back in the car, AC blasting, my hands still trembling. I needed to call Court. Last time he and I spoke, Grace was still locked in the car. He would want to know that she had been saved. But my phone was dead. The car charger wasn't working and I was an hour from home. I needed to call him but finding a phone was no easy task. It's not like pay phones are on every corner anymore. Again, thank goodness for OnStar. They have these built in phones in your car that normally you would use only when you've wrapped your car around a tree and you can't reach your cell phone, you know, an emergency. Well, lucky for me, it works just the same from the McDonald's parking lot. (Win-win!)

I finally get Court on the phone, excited to tell him that I problem solved by calling 9-1-1 and that the officer saved the day. Court, still displeased, informed me that he had raced back to his office, tracked down the number for OnStar, and called them over 45 minutes ago. It was Court who had saved the day - not the officer! (Good thing I didn't risk giving him a hug!!) Court was not aware that my cell phone had died so he thought that after I had gotten Grace out of the car that I had just gone about my merry little way without calling and informing that our daughter was no longer trapped and cooking in our car. Justly so, some one's feathers were a bit ruffled. It took us both several days to return to normal after this event. In fact, it has taken me over 12 days to write this entry!

Needless to say, Grace and I were lucky. Had we been in a remote area who knows what the outcome might have been.

So what have I learned from this little fiasco?

1. Buy a car with OnStar. Preferably one with a remote starter.
2. Program the number to OnStar in your cell phone. (Or put the little sticker that they give you when you buy the car in your car window that has OnStar's phone number on it. Yeah, they give you a sticker. Oops.)
3. Put a hide-a-key somewhere on your car. That way, even if (and when) technology fails, you will still have access to your car in an emergency.
4. If possible, avoid locking baby in car altogether.

Although I've clearly taken myself out of the running for Mother of the Year based on my above actions, hopefully, by sharing this story, I can prevent this from happening to you. You can learn what not to do (or what to do) by simply reading this post. Lucky for you, I've done all the learning the hard way for the both of us. Uhhhhh....you're welcome!!!