Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reassuringly Human


Every once in a while, it's nice to have overwhelming evidence of your child's humanity.

Adrianna has been demonstrating her amazingly human tendencies through baby food (a loose term to cover a variety of gooby substances to be coaxed into the unsuspecting mouths of babies).

She will squawk loudly demanding more pears, and on occasion bananas.

She finds carrots and sweet potatoes to be palatable (and an excellent source of face paint).

And she thinks smushed peas are the most disgusting creation on the planet.

(And this is from a child who eats carpet lint!)

She will, quite literally, start gagging on the first bite of peas, and if more get shoved in through thanks to my amazing food-shoving skills, she will start spitting up/hurling (whichever adjective you'd like for peas forcibly coming back out while gagging) and look at me with this horribly hurt expression of "how can you do this to me mama".

See, baby books LIE.

As a first time (and fully otherwise unoccupied) parent of Kristina, I took the introducing of "solids" (again, a very loose term for a fairly liquid substance) very seriously.

I read about it, consulted the experts (aka grandma), and planned it.

Yep, I set a date a week in advance for when my child was to have her first food.

And videotaped it.

Turns out rice cereal baby mush is universally unpopular with all babies.

Because it tastes like chunky milk flavored cardboard.

So we quickly moved onto the other food items.

The baby books advise starting with the vegetables so then your baby will eat them because if you start with fruits your baby won't like vegetables.

(So for two weeks you feed the uninformed veggies which they will like until they get some fruit, when they will use their taste buds and neural processors (they are human, after all) to determine veggies suck.)

Yep, made perfect sense to my mush-of-a-new-parent brain.

And I even took the logic another step, and decided to start with the worst vegetable I could think of: green beans.

AND I was going to make green bean goob myself and not use those oh-so-convenient-and-cute baby jars.

So, it took exactly two feedings for me to determine a few key things:
A) Making babyfood yourself is both hard if you have no idea what you're doing (or how to cook green beans), and generally a pain in the ass to do
B) Kristina does not like green beans

Luckily, a jar of sweet potato goob was just a Target store away.

With Adrianna not only did I not bother with the rice cereal and dove right into the jarred sweet potatoes, but I haven't even bought a jar of green bean mush to try to feed her.

Yep, the second child definitely gets jipped by mommy having pathetically low feeding standards.

Sorry Adrianna, mommy forgot to buy green vegetables for you to hate this week, would you like some more pears instead?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reality


Yep, so totally my life.

Harsh harsh reality always crushing in on the most brilliant of brilliant plans.

The little details like physics and finances causing horrible disruptions to otherwise flawless schemes.

Like snow removal this past winter.

We were set, we had an old decrepit snow blower that came with the house and a snow shovel, of course I could clear off the drive way as needed.

(Which wouldn't be often because Peter's truck has 4-wheel drive, and why on earth would I shovel stuff I could drive over?)

And then we got two feet of snow in one night, the snow blower decided to move onto a better place (in snow blower heaven), I was substantially pregnant, and life just didn't work the way it was supposed to.

But it was ok, we had fudge.

And then (eventually) managed to get dug out with some grandma muscle and neighbor help, and got an arrangement with a landscaping company to plow regularly.

But the original plan was so perfect, except for a few, tiny (6 pounds located in the stomach region) details.....

Realty and physics, my most evil arch nemesis.

(nemesises? nemesi?? ok, maybe we should add grammar/spelling in there too.......)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Boy Scouts


Reason #54 why I'm glad we have girls: boy scouts.

Or rather, the lack of boy scouts that having girls brings about.

Peter was a boy scout, is an eagle scout (since as I understand it's a lifelong appointment), and has many fond memories of the whole experience.

Most of Peter's male cousins were scouts as well, and I have been regaled with many of their scouting adventures (all to the good) over the years.

Friends of mine have sons in scouts and husbands who are scout leaders.

My father-in-law is still involved in the local troop that Peter graduated from and regularly hosts camp-outs and the like on his farm.

And you know what, I just don't get it.

Like, I understand the vague overall concept of boy scouts.

And I myself was a girl scout for a solid 4 years of my childhood (and probably would have continued longer had troop resources been available).

But I don't get why boy scouts is such a big screaming deal.

I'm sure girl scouts continues through the "ranks" from brownies (or even the littlest daisies) on up to... um....... whatever the top girl scout would be, just like boy scouts start off as cubs and end up as eagles.

And girl scouts earn badges and go to summer camp, just like the boys.

And girl scouts sell cookies while boy scouts only sell popcorn.

But being a girl scout (or doing 4H, or boys and girls club of America, or any other "extra curricular" program on the planet) just isn't seen as all that important.

Being an eagle scout though, well that's seen as almost as big of an accomplishment as going to college.

Peter was advanced a rank when he joined the Marines becasue of his avian status.

The United States Marine Corps!!

Because he went on camp-outs and learned to tie knots for a quantitative amount of his childhood.

Yes boy scouts is a good program and earning the top rank is a childhood accomplishment.

But there are many other things that one could spend their childhood doing which are equally accomplished and much less recognized.

And eventually, even the best boy scouts still grow up.

(Where they then join the military and make a career out of sleeping in small tents in the mud.)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Play Clothes

We (meaning the female chunk of the household) attended a (princess themed) birthday party for a preschool friend of Kristina's this weekend, and several of the other mothers were discussing the preschool program.

Specifically, their children (or even more specifically, their children's clothes) coming home dirty.

I was very well behaved and merely nodded with a faint look of mild interest on my face.

For you see, those parents are idiots.

Kristina is purposefully dressed to attend preschool in clothes that I have already deemed "play clothes".

She has an entire dresser labeled "play clothes" where every item in there (98% of which are hand-me-downs I don't like or already stained) is totally expected to become covered in mud, spaghetti sauce, grass stains, paint, chocolate milk, and anything else that she may come across in a day.

(Although actually her "nice clothes" often encounter all those things too, just merely under my supervision.)

Yep, I can pick her up covered head to toe in god only knows what, and it's A-ok with me.

Because she wears play clothes to school.

Because at school they do things like paint.

Because it's good for their development.

Because it means she had a fun and interesting day.

Because her teachers are doing the right things.

And because the clothes are only going to be outgrown in a few months, so what's the big worry anyways.

(So dress your kid to get dirty, and stop worrying about all the little things.)

(Even the chocolate milk stains.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Peter's Homecoming



Alright, I'll say it.

The Army's homecoming ceremonies are hot miserable affairs that are only remembered fondly because they are the key to getting your soldier back.

They herd you into a gym where you sit sardined in on bleachers for the entire two plus hours (as they strongly suggest you to be there two hours early, presumably in case they start the shindig early, but Peter claims they were done with all their out processing stuff nearly 3 hours before ceremony time and they didn't budge it an inch) and have bored children running around like little maniacs to make sure they're exhausted and cranky and needing a nap by the time things actually get going.

But as it all does lead to your soldier being released into your custody, sweaty pits is a small price to pay.

Oh, and they have popcorn.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Spit Up Etiquette


For the uninformed, spit up is the glooby substance constantly spewing out of the mouth end of small babies, and because of the constant nature brings one to pose some very serious spit up etiquette questions.

How much spit up is permissible on the baby before needing to be changed?

How much spit up is permissible on YOU before you need to have your clothes changed?

And what to do in a situation where you fully concur that you and/or the baby need clean, dry outfits but have none available?

How many random droplets of spit up on the floor require a mop?

Or carpet cleaning?

And what do you do when the baby spits up all over the floor in Target?

Or worse yet, on the clothing items in the store which you do not want to buy?

And how do you gracefully excuse your child who just soaked the front of the random kind stranger you asked to hold her while you did ____?

Or when she leaves a signature wet patch on every shoulder of every person who has ever held her?

And can you still take pictures of your slightly damp child?

You see, spit up etiquette is a complex subject that is never appropriately covered in parenting books. So I have taken it upon myself to attempt to answer some of the pressing questions of how to gracefully and practicably handle the unexpected wet slime that is suddenly slipping down your collar line while holding your precious bundle.

The best approach when dealing with others is humor.

And a well timed baby smile never hurt.

When people have been playing pass the baby and she spits up on each holder in turn, I like to tell them she's just marking her territory (single person: oh she likes you!).

Random kind stranger: profuse apologizing, possibly with sleep deprived half incoherent sobbing babble about how hard everything is and fast approaching tears, usually brings about quick forgiveness.

Floor spit up: big cleaning of the floor will happen at most once a day (or when really, REALLY needed), in the meantime a spit rag, paper towel, or sock should take care of the problem just fine.

Store spit up: quickest departure of that particular aisle/area possible, before anyone notices, and a generous donation to the Salvation Army Santa out in front to alleviate guilt.

Baby clothing: change it when it's wetter than dry, but don't obsess about spotlessness (I'm a lazy changer and still regularly have the girls in new outfits two or three times a day), you will be running out of clothes and constantly doing laundry enough as it is.

And the same general rule goes for your clothing, for you will never, ever leave the house with your baby and wearing a clean shirt. And if by some minor miricle (and changing tops after the baby is strapped into her carseat) you do manage it, she will promptly spit up all over you within 10 minuets of getting wherever you are going.

Accept it.

Deal with it.

Laugh when people mention you have spit up on your shoulder.

And move on.

Now to handle the baby spitting up to the point of needing a change (or having a blowout diaper, or being a toddler with food, etc) you will need to always have an ample supply of extra clothing with you.

I like the approach of having an extra fully stocked diaper bag which just lives in the car, with extra clothes for all members of the family (including at least one shirt for YOU), for the times when you really were only running a quick errand and didn't bother to bring full supplies (because really, you should be able to run by the pharmacy and Chinese food pickup with only your wallet and car keys (and baby) in tow) and have something disastrously messy happen.

But should you end up out of extra clothes (you would be amazed the quantity of dirty-beyond-possibly-wearable clothes I have managed to go through in a few hours), remember that babies are adorable in just a diaper (warm weather permitting), a onsie counts as a full outfit when pressed, and no-one can really see your child's clothes underneath a well tucked blanket anyways.

Your on the other hand, will just look terrible on spit up occasion and there's not much you can do about it beyond actually buying a new top.

Which in some instances, is a perfectly reasonable and necessary solution to life.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Self Checkouts


I really like self check outs, and have a weird obsession with bagging groceries myself.

Because I really dislike my sandwich bread and a 2 liter ending up in the same bag.

Or bananas and chocolate milk.

Or cleaning chemicals put on top of cupcakes.

Also, I often times don't get all the shopping bags into the hosue from the car immediately, and like to have the refrigerables nicely clumped so I'm not missing the tub of margarine in amongst the cans of soup and boxes of pasta when I select which bags need to come into the house in my one mega trip which also includes children, diaper bags, etc.

And I like being able to not worry about Kristina helping me at her oh-so-helpful pace, or the baby needing to be held and slowing things up with spitting up all over me in the middle of the checkout process.

So I use self checkouts whenever possible.

But recently there has been a disturbing trend: overly helpful people.

Self checkout lane = do it myself.

By choice.

Because I'm weird and like presorting my groceries (bag of treats to mail to Peter, bag for the pantry, bag that needs to go into the fridge ASAP, bag not to smush, bag of what I'm cooking for dinner TONIGHT) which makes my life substantially easier when we get home.

But I have no idea how to politely express that yes I'm holding a baby and scolding a toddler while attempting to delicately place grapes in a bag, and it's really all ok.

The children aren't on fire.

There's usually not a big long line of people waiting impatiently behind me.

We may take a little longer, but you should see the production just to get out the door in the morning, a few extra minuets in the checkout lane is nothing.

And I really do have everything under control.

Regardless of what volume they are at or how limited my arm reach may be.

(I can also carry loaded McDonalds trays while holding a baby, diaper bag, related paraphernalia (pacifier, toys, blanket, etc) and verbally guiding a toddler to the table. Because I rock and have some serious balancing talent.)

So kind people of the world, please feel free to offer "can I help you with something?" (and holding doors is ALWAYS appreciated).

But please do not insist on doing things for me which I have already selected to do for myself.

I may be crazy, but bagging my own groceries really does make me happy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

Hasbro is the company that makes My Little Pony, along with many other small plastic toys (Transformers, Littlest Petshop) that I'm sure anyone with children will have bins of by the time their child is 8.

And admitedly, much of it is trending towards the 'cheap plastic crap imported from China and made with lead paint' end of the spectrum.

But they brought us My Little Pony!

Not only in the 80s for us to enjoy in our childhood, but have re-released them so we can live out all our unfulfilled pony dream castle needs through our children.

So they get a little slack on the plastic nature.

But they've also been doing a downward spiral of pony renovations with their current production line.

(Note to self, make full blog post devoted to MLP history.)

Their latest horrifying creation:
Fish tails!!

FISH TAILS!

I don't care how popular The Little Mermaid is, ponies should not have fish tails!

See, and these aren't even real ponies.

A few years back Hasbro decided to introduce a line of itty bitty hard plastic ponies in compliment to the normal beloved bovines.

(ok, bovines are cows, but it sounded good......)

And then Hasbro remade the entire pony line and cut it down to only 7 ponies (from hundreds).

And then gave the ponyville (mini) ones stupid hair.

And now, flippin fish tails!

And these ones Hasbro hasn't even bothered to NAME as something different than normal ponies!

At least with the old school ones, the fish tailed water loving branch were actually called seaponies (if still a horrible misconstruction of mermaid horse breeding).

But don't worry, there are many pathetically wimpy themed (and practically insulting to call girly) sets available, for all your fishtailed pony getting pretty tea party needs.

And newsflash to Hasbro: girls do more than have tea, could we occasionally expand playsets beyond that?? Mattel at least has some of the right idea, even if it only comes in platinum blond.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Baby Don't Cry


Adrianna rarely ever cries.

Which does not mean that she doesn't make noises, she just communicates in a wide variety other than the standard baby cry.

She makes a very cute grunting cooing noise at night when she wants to nurse ("now where'd that nipple go? I know I left it around here some place... nipple.... oh nipple.....").

And she has several articulations of a loud squawking noise: happy (screechy), bored (pterodactyl cry), and unhappy (Kristina).

She murmurs when she's falling asleep, and when she just woke up and is playing in her crib.

And just recently she's started making 'talky noises' when she's playing (nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah).

And she laughs! Laughing babies are one the most adorable things in the world!

(Even if when she's really really happy it turns into screechy noises.)

Yep, we got ourselves a non-crying baby.

Except when she launches herself headfirst into Kristina's plastic helicopter, that results in both girls sobbing, Adrianna because she just smacked her head, Kristina because "the baby broke my hebercopter!"

Monday, June 21, 2010

Organic


I often feel torn about whether or not to buy organic.

My liberal hippie roots often beckon me towards the coops and organic aisles, if for no other reason than for a long time they smelled like "home", the looked like "home", they carried products that Iowa Walmarts didn't but were readily available everywhere at "home".

And yet, the rational budgeting part of me does start to ask whether a $4 peach is really worth it.

But then buying organic (everything from food to clothing to toys to college savings bonds) for your children is all the rage, constantly tooted as being the best way to go, and adds guilt to choosing the cheap stuff for your precious bundle.

I mean, what if they can't go to Yale Law School because you didn't use organic cloth diapers to hold their crap when they were babies?? Oh wait, what am I saying, elimination communication is the way to go, hand stitched organic butt ruffles are only for hippie poser wannabes.

The obvious solution to the cloth vs. disposable diaper dilemma is to buy the really expensive imitation cloth disposables, so you feel like you're giving your child the best and minimizing environmental harm while being financially invested enough to suspend reality to fit your ideals, which include a strong does of being a lazy parent living in a disposable world.

(And they're really soft.)

But then, you still wonder if it's worth $4 for a peach that your child will take one bite from, declare she doesn't like peaches, and throw it onto the ground.

Even IF they're better.

I tend to split the difference, buying whatever produce looks good for the price at the time (while completely ignoring labels applied to the fruit bins) but sticking to organic whole milk because it usually has an expiration date way out and we go through white milk slowly.

(Why is there not a line of premixed organic chocolate whole milk??)

Oh, and organic baby food.

Because I feel like I should be motivated enough to actually make babyfood (since yes, it's not that hard), but I'm totally not.

So I reason that little jars of organic mushed peaches are just as good as buying organic peaches to make mush out of (and possibly cheaper, if you're buying the organic babyfood at Walmart prices).

Plus, they're really cute little glass jars.

I like little jars.

And they're now owned by the Celestial Seasonings Company, which is in Boulder Colorado (and hippie central of the midwest), so I feel like I'm supporting my home town (despite the fact that they grew out of that 'small town operation' a long time ago, which is clearly evident by my ability to find their products all over the United States).

I do like some of the wooden toys, and tend to disdain much of the toy selection in Walmart as "cheap plastic crap imported from China" (which it totally is), and have had some luck finding good prices on such toys online (which is good because you sure can't find them in stores in the last couple states we've lived), but also appreciate the pure joy that a $1 miniture babydoll can bring my child as a reward (aka bribe) while shopping.

So I suppose all this boils down to me being selectively organic, highly influenced by availability and price (and number of other snooty parents I need to impress with my 'good feeding/dressing/toying' of my children. With most of the other military families, I'm considered the healthy parent for having Kristina drink chocolate milk with her McDonald's lunch while the other kids get orange soda....), and hopefully the girls will still make it into top tier schools despite being allowed the occasional Oreo.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A REAL House

Despite being married, having children, and having lived very much in "a real house" the last two years (to include owning the house we've been in for over a year), I'm still amazed when people I went to school with buy houses.

Like, REAL houses!

(For adults, even.)

They can't possibly be doing that, it would mean something about us all not being stupid college punk kids anymore, but actual adults.... now, where did I leave that baby of mine?

I do think a little of what throws me off is the fact that those who I know who are doing this don't have children, and half of the people who I know who DO have babies or are pregnant (all two of them) that I went to school with are living in little apartments.

And these houses people are buying are in.... *dun dun duuun*...... SUBURBIA!

They don't have children, how on earth can they be buying a three bedroom house with a fenced backyard in suburbia?!?

Now I suppose there are some people in this world who would see getting a nice house as a nice step on the path of adulthood which precludes having children.

These are also the people who probably do crazy things like financial planning before deciding to have a baby.

(And they might even be of that really crazy sect who think one should be married before getting pregnant!)

All in all, I think it makes them wimps.

Life doesn't go according to plan!

You must improvise, adapt, and overcome!!

Or maybe that's just my life......

Of course, had I done any of that long term planning and thinking through of life I probably wouldn't have gone to Cornell, definitely wouldn't have taken the LSAT (and as a result of such decided to do lawschool, which was then derailed due to pregnancy), possibly not stayed with Peter when he went off to bootcamp and we were just "dating", certainly would not have gotten engaged after being together less than a year with him going off to war (the first time), never would have gotten pregnant with Kristina, might not have married Peter, and who even knows at this point about whether Adrianna would exist and where I/we would be living.

My entire life at this point IS what wouldn't have happened had I done long term logical rational planning.

And sometimes it does make me cringe, and think that for all my academia and good grades I was (and probably still am) an idiot.

But most of the time it makes me smile.


Because some of the best moments of life are just unscheduled, unplanned, and unstructured living.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Welcome Home Ceremony

So as of RIGHT NOW, they're coming in at noon, but since I'd already written such a nice little blog post about them coming in at insane hours, I decided to leave it in.

And just in case you were wondering, the redeployment was scheduled, canceled, rescheduled a month later, and has had the date/time changed 4 times thus far.... but luckily Kristina's concept of time is still vague, so it's totally ok that daddy's been coming home "tomorrow" for the last three days.

--------------------------------------------------------------
This was written several days in advance, as I am not actually crazy enough to be blogging 6 hours after my husband's arrival. An entry about the actual homecoming (with pictures!) should be showing up eventually. You know, after I get some sleep....


Peter's arrival time back stateside and subsequent welcome home ceremony kept getting changed, first by months, then days, then hours, until it finally arrived at 1:30AM this very day.

But no worries, just because that is one of the few hours that the entire household is usually sleeping doesn't mean it'll be bad to be awake then.

After all, daddy/hubby IS coming home from war.

Oh, and we have to be there two hours early??

Alright, so I just won't go to bed the night before. Nothing like starting off possibly hard family transitional adjustments with staying up late.

Gee, and we probably won't get home until 2:30 or 3, and who knows what the girls will be doing and how settling them back to sleep will go...

But it's ok, surely they'll be tired and sleep in, probably at least until 6:30 or 7.

And I'm sure the first thing Peter will want to do when he gets home is jump into bed.

Oh wait..........

Ok, so maybe I'll just pull an allnighter.

It's ok, I certainly end up doing it some nights without him getting home (thanks to my darling insomniacs), I'm youthful still, and surely he'll want to go to bed early again the next night.

Oh wait...........

But Peter will be home, so he can help do stuff.... like all that "man-work" I've been neglecting....

And then we can go to bed early the next night.

Oh wait............

Gee, and they're probably going to expect him to show back up at work sometime too, that mean old Army....

No wait, I totally have a backup plan for this:

***CAFFEINE***

Friday, June 18, 2010

Awful Beautiful Life

I have no sympathy for most other people at this point regarding the hardships of their lives with small children.

I know, I'm a horrible person for this, and really do try to just not say anything at all most of the time.

But I'm also cranky right now because I'm very sleep deprived, have a delayed returning husband, and haven't eaten enough chocolate today.

And although I don't doubt that it was difficult and exhausting to get a toddler and new baby ready and out and of the house without another adult, it is also every day of my life since February.

Yep, no sympathy available.

(Sorry)

I have braved air travel on two occasions since Adrianna was born (and at least a dozen times before that with just Kristina), regularly tackle things like doctor visits, grocery shopping, and late night vomit solo mio, and haven't seen my husband in 5 months (when he was home for a two week post-baby-birth visit).

The house is a mess, the yard would be equally so if not for a kind neighbor's occasional mowing, my average amount of sleep is laughable, and I'm waaaaay beyond caring whether clean laundry gets neatly folded into drawers or simple gets worn right from the basket.

But you know what, I'm doing it.

Life.

All by myself.

With minimal problems (granted with much lower cleaning expectations), I am surviving.

We are surviving.

The girls are fed, clothed, cleaned, played with, snuggled, read to, and loved.

They are happy, fairly well adjusted, beautiful children who are at or above all possibly measurable milestones and markers of childhood achievement.

And all in a very real way because of me.

Because I'm freaking awesome!

(And sleep deprived.)

But do not have sympathy for many, for I do not see what I am doing as deserving of sympathy.

It is not a hardship undertaken, but merely my life.

And sometimes life is hard.

And sometimes life requires great things from us.

And it is the same for all the other awesome Army wives I know who sit here alongside me waiting.

They are not whining or complaining (much) while waiting, but rather living life and being incredible examples of what motherhood and marriage mean.

(Some of them are even more awesome than me, and manage to keep their houses fairly neat while doing so.)

But seriously dearest husband (and I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way), get home soon.

I need some sleep.

And we all need the love and laughter and fun you bring us.

(But really, I need some sleep.)

I love this crazy tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful beautiful life.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Emergency Response Plan Delta

Every family should have a plan for what to do in an emergency.

And I'm not talking about the gushing-blood-from-a-head-wound-call-911 plan.

Or the house-is-on-fire-how-do-we-get-the-damn-cats-out plan.

Or even the I'm-having-this-baby-NOW plan.

But the much less glamorous (and far more frequent) the-kid-is-puking-their-guts-out-at-2:30AM emergency response plan.

Because it will happen.

Probably when you are alone, because that's just how life is.

First off, do not panic. Even if disgusting slime is coating every imaginable surface in the child's room and you're really not sure whether you can manage to not add your own to it, do not panic.

After all, you are the adult here, and you can handle anything.

((Even big creepy spiders.))

(What, did you not get that memo? Must have gotten lost somewhere between the birth certificates and deployment orders....)

DO reassure your (probably slime covered half asleep sobbing clinging) child that everything is just fine (preferably in a calm, confident tone regardless of how much you're internally going ewewewewew *sob* ewewewewew), and that you will be right back.

Because you will NEED to go get the following things:
~Several plastic grocery bags
~Empty laundry basket
~Roll (yes the whole roll) of paper towels
~Favorite cleaning product
~Clean bedding, pajamas, etc
~Ratty towels

After procuring the necessary items, turn your attention to cleaning your child.

Vomit in the hair? Into the tub. Vomit mostly on the bed and the floor, with just a little patch on the pajamas? Clean pjs and sponge off of the affected area will probably get you through till morning.

After getting them cleaned up and repajamaed, put them someplace cozy. Like on the rocking chair with their second favorite blankie/stuffed animal (because odds are the favorite ones are covered in puke along with everything else), or in your bed (if you can stomach the possibility of a repeat hurling happening there).

And then we get to the really bad part, cleaning the room.

All effected bedding goes straight into the laundry basket to go straight into the washing machine after you get the kiddo tucked back in. Be sure to check stuffed animals and whatever other bed companions your child keeps for contamination.

Next, spray and paper towel (or use more environmentally methods if you really want to, but I think vomit totally qualifies for disposable cleaning) the stuff that won't go into the wash.

If you have waterproof covers on your child's bed and pillow (by the way, it is strongly recommended to have waterproof covers on your child's bed and pillow, as well as your own if your kid ever (and I do mean EVER) steps foot into your bedroom), do NOT remove them unless you have replacements to go on!

You think kids only puke once in a night??

Spot clean the pillow and mattress(dirty paper towels go into a grocery bag for easy trash disposal), and then cover with the old towels (never ever through away towels again, children necessitate copious amounts of extra towels) before putting clean sheets back on. The whole cover can go in the wash later when you change the sheets at a non-sick and non-middle-of-the-night time.

Oh, but do read the washing instructions on those things, it is possible to melt some types of covers in the dryer.... not that I would know that from personal experience or anything..........

Next clean the carpet, walls, curtains, bed frame, and anything else not machine-washable that was in spew range (6 to 10 feet from wherever your child was when they became sick).

And it is also important to note why your child was sick.

A stomach bug will bring lots of vomit (and sometimes even diarrhea!), and will just run it's course in 12-24 hours. So make sure you leave them with a puke bucket, and stay on top of getting those sheets clean.

Eating something that disagreed with them (whole chili pepper, questionable milk, etc) would cause them to vomit (and if you're really lucky, the other end too), but once everything has gotten out of their stomach they should feel much better.

And then there's vomit from fever (and actual medical attention needing illness).

Kristina often spikes a fever when she gets sick with something like strep, and the fever spikes causes her to vomit.

Unless there's other symptoms of grave illness (or you just really like late night ER visits), if a does of Motrin (excuse me, generic Ibuprofen, as Motrin's been recalled for quality control) brings the fever down you are probably just fine to wait until morning to go rush off to the doctor. Both you and your sick child need your sleep, all the ER will do if you bring them in is give them a big dose of Motrin to bring the fever down and a script for antibiotics, and pharmacies aren't open that time of night anyways (not even Walgreens! Or at least not around here........).

Also be sure to give your child watered juice, Gatorade, or Pedialyte for rehydration regardless of what brought on the vomit, but hold off on the lobster ravioli and six cheese souffle for the next day or so.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Redeployment

I have had to explain this to many a person, and even used to make this mistake (back in my unproperly-military-educated youthful days... so like, 3 years ago......) myself, so let me explain the terms to you.

To deploy means to leave the United States and go to another country.

To redeploy (according to the military) means to leave the other country and return to the United States.

If they leave the United States to go to another country again, they are deploying again. It is NOT a redeployment.

Redeployment does NOT mean they are going from one foreign country to another.

It does NOT meaning they are leaving from home to go overseas.

It means they are coming home from being overseas.

Redeployment is a good thing.

(So are homecomings, R&R, leave, and retirement.)

And it would be really, really nice if the resources specifically designed for and distributed to military families could understand this and use the term 'redeploement' correctly.

In a completely unrelated matter.... *ahem*..... the blog may be taking a brief hiatus through the weekend and may have late, missing, or otherwise random updating. I have a slight suspicion that life may be a little crazy here and I may be distracted and otherwise occupied for the next few days.

You know, for totally unrelated reasons.

Like to celebrate 45 days of blogging without missing one, nothing like missing a few to make it momentous!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This Old House

Peter and I are both big fans of older houses.

Particularly the more Victorian-esk with unique architectural details.

And no place is better for finding a plethora of fairly reasonably priced old houses (ok, so old pretty much is the only option besides the new stuff being built on-post) than upstate New York.

We did not move into a Victorian.

(Seriously considered one though...... such a pretty house.......)

But our house was built in 1930, which makes it just old enough to have developed some of the classic old house quirks while new enough to just be a fairly standard looking house from the outside.

Like being required to sign a lead paint acknowledgment upon purchase.

Because, apparently, ALL house around here have lead paint in them. But don't worry, they test your children periodically for lead poisoning at their well child checkups. You know, just in case they were chewing on the bathroom door which hasn't been repainted since the 60s, or were chipping pieces off of the original exterior paint which is now on the enclosed front porch.

(And you thought toys from China were something to be worried about!)

And uneven floors.

There's one wall in Kristina's room that has a huge rise in the floor right next to it. Like, the only thing that can be put there is the hamper because her book case or dresser would be leaning out so far that there's a good 30 degree angle created between them and the wall. And I'm convinced they'd fall over on top of my child at the slightest touch.

And no closets.

Who needs closets? Dressers and armoires (or whatever the German word for them which Peter uses that I cannot spell) are totally awesome to use, although a little less fun to move every 2-3 years.

(But that's why you want to use the military movers, then it's their problem to try and fit a queen box springs up a teeny tiny closet stairwell. Unless of course your husband is supervising and suggests sawing it in half.....)

Especially when the bedroom floor is uneven making positioning of large pieces of furniture a little extra difficult.

And partial cosmetic updating.

Our kitchen is superb.

Brand new, granite counter tops, dark cherry wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, wine fridge, the works!

I was convinced when we walked into this house for the showing that we could not afford it because the kitchen was so nice (especially compared to the normal or slightly outdated kitchens in all the other houses we'd seen that were in our price range).

And behind the kitchen is a just-as-new and just-as-nice (jacuzzi tub!) bathroom!

Except that the bathroom gets no heat, because it's an addition and despite the heat vents being run over to it they make a couple of sharp turns in addition to being the point farthest away from both the furnace itself and the thermostat.

The dining room and living room were repainted and had very pretty new molding put in.

Except that this has made every single doorway on the ground floor have different molding on each side of the door frame, which only matters when trying to hang a baby jumping seat where you need equal sized molding to attach it to.

And then there's the third bedroom/office/toyroom/strange-random-space downstairs, where one wall has the strangest zigzag (for no discernible reason). And although it came with a new coat of paint (which Kristina has since nicely decorated with crayons... did you know that yellow crayon, regardless of claimed washability, does NOT wash off while most of the other colors do?), had horrible carpeting.

But that's ok, because now there's plenty of playdough ground into it as well, to give the holes a colorful accent.

And then we head upstairs....

Where updating has NOT been done.

Old ratty wallpaper (to which Kristina has added chocolate fingerprints), chipping paint, and the most unsafe railing imaginable.

Kristina's head still fits through the spaces between the rails, and it's nowhere near current standards for height.

And I have the strong suspicion that it was original to the house, with perhaps having received a new coat of paint some time in the last 80 years.

And as Adrianna has managed to squirm her way across the toy room, and pull herself up from sitting my lap, it seemed time to order some gate-like device to put up around the upstairs banister.

Now if only I could cover all probably-lead-infused painted surfaces as easily....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dance Recital

Kristina had her spring dance recital on Saturday, and it was simply adorable!

There is nothing quite like a bunch of little girls in matching tutus and pigtails to bring out the awwwwww factor.

I DID take a video of her actual performance, but blogger has not been able to upload it (I have been trying!), so I do appoligize for that lack of uber-adorableness.

(And for a double shot of everyone who was emailed the exact same pictures I'm posting here.)

(However, if anyone would like to come visit and view the video on my computer, July 11th would be a simply superb day to do so. Have I mentioned we need an overnight babysitter that night for an Army ball (yes, ball)?? If anyone feels like a visit to the north country, I'd be more than happy to loan you my children in retribution... wait, somehow I think I have this wrong..... ;-)

These pictures are from before they went on stage, as I as videotaping their actual performance (while also attempting to not drop a squirmy baby, which should do a lot to explain the video quality if it ever gets uploaded).

However Kristina was dancing her heart out during these (other performances were happening on stage, thus filling the auditorium with music), and being pretty stinking cute about the whole thing (even if she was being wild with her double trouble best dance class buddy Evie).

And then afterwards they all got little personalized trophies!

Amount of time from receiving trophy before poking mommy in the eye with it: 2 minuets.

Amount of time before trophy went into the mouth: 3 minuets.

Amount mommy threatened to take away the trophy before we got home: 6 times.

Amount Kristina loves her "happy dancer" trophy: LOTS

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ten Years Older

Today is my 25th birthday, and despite now being able to rent a car without exorbitant fees and restrictions added on (cause I'm such a crazy driver with the small children I'm renting car seats for with me), I still don't feel particularly old.

My father likes to say (that his father used to say....) that 'old' was ten years older than he was.

And you know what?

I think it's totally true.

35 sounds unbelievably ancient still, and despite what insurance companies think, I still feel like some punk kid just pretending to be an adult.

(Although I have been getting A LOT of practice at this game recently...)

Which makes me wonder at what point I'll decide I'm no longer just pretending.

Surely by the time I'm 35.

Afterall, people in their 30s are old....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baby Hair

Both my girls were born with fairly substantial heads of hair.

Kristina came out with fullest blondest hair I've ever seen, and never lost any of it.


Adrianna's was dark, and not as substantial.


But still a fairly reasonable full head of hair.

(It was surprisingly hard to find pictures showing such, as it was in the single digits when she was born most of her early life was spent wearing a hat.)

Especially when compared to my bald headed baby pictures.

And then I realized something the other day, when somebody commented to me how cute bald babies are (in reference to the baby I was holding).....
Adrianna's hair has gone missing!

It's NOT just my imagination that it keeps getting harder and harder to put a bow in her hair, there's a lot less hair to attach it to!!

And of the few tufts that remain from when she was born, they appear to be growing just as slowly as Kristina's hair.

Kristina's only had a few teensy trims (to help it not looking quite so shaggy, nothing at all to do with making it shorter) in her life, and her hair still just hasn't gotten much of anywhere in length in it's nearly three years of post-utero growing.
Although it has increased in blondness.....

With Adrianna's loss becoming a negative starting point, she may not have any length of hair until she's starting Kindergarten!

Ah well, bald babies are cuties in of their own right.

And who knows what color her hair hair will grow in as.

There are some family votes (and even more important, recessive genetics) for a redhead.....

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Lies We Tell Each Other

Ever stop to think about how many polite utterances you make in a day?

And how many of those range anywhere from misleading to bold faced lies?

My favorite and most frequent:

"How are you doing today" from complete strangers.

Especially the gate guards.

(Although that may just be because I see them more often than the Target cashiers.)

To get onto military bases you go through a checkpoint (not dissimilar in appearance to a toll-road stop) where you stop, present to the guard your ID (along with IDs for all people in the vehicle over the age of 10) where they are usually scanned (I believe to both record who is entering as well as to see if there are any arrest warrants out for you, similar to what a police officer would do with your drivers license if it's from a bar-coded state, although nobody's ever actually explained to me why exactly they do this or what the information is used for), and then continue on your merry way (assuming you're not on the FBI's most wanted list, which I really do think would pop up on their little bar-code scanner).

Well, most of the guards (the Army uses civilian law enforcement, while the Marines Corps uses Marines to check, who also salute officers, or at least the officer sticker on your car) say "how are you doing today" as they scan my ID, and I always answer "I'm doing fine, thank you" absolutely regardless of whether or not there are two screaming children in my backseat and we ran out of chocolate last night and the toilet overflowed this morning and Kristina decided to get artistic on the walls with her crayons while I was nursing and....... yeah..............

Because the guard really could care less how I am doing, or how my day has been.

And in fact, me discussing these things with them would only serve to cause a major traffic backup of people needing to go through the gate.

But they still ask.

And it's ok.

And I still answering "I'm doing fine, thank you".

Even when I'm not.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hair

When Kristina was 5 months old or so, I cut my long, long hair (that I'd spent the last, you know, 12 years or so growing) to be up just above my shoulders.

This would be the before, at my college graduation (with the hair!), almost exactly 4 years ago (and there's nothing like realizing how incredibly different life can go in 4 years when digging up old pictures for a pointless blog post.....)


And this was at a Marine Corps Birthday Ball, shortly before Kristina was conceived, with pretty pretty curls.

And now that Adrianna's 5 months old, I totally remember WHY.

Little grabby baby hands like to hold on tight to mommy's hair, unless it's severely bound up at all times.

And this is also why I'm terrified of wearing dangley earrings.


But getting back to hair, despite liking the shorter hair (the cut really did look cute on me, I think), I was wanting to grow it back by the time Kristina turned one.

I keep reminding myself of this, as I untangle clenched baby fists from my lovely locks every 5 minuets, for I have spent the last year and a half trying to get it grown back out.

And I really like the length where it is right now.

Except that it puts my hair into perfect baby range.

And babies learn to grab on months before they learn to let go.

Also, it's good to note that activities which put the baby into slightly perilous positions and in close association with hair should be avoided at all costs.

Like sticking that cute little ball of chub up on your shoulders in front of the mirror.

Because in addition to making her giggle, she will instantaneously grab on to whatever is in front of her (that would be hair for most people) with those lovely monkey reflexes which would allow her to hold onto me climbing through the tree trunks if only she had matchingly gripping feet.

(Although to be fair, she does have some crazy double jointed pinkie toes)


And without a helpful spotter to lift the baby off of your shoulders while you extract your hair from the babies clinched fists of doom, you'll end up uncomfortably bent over with your head two inches off of a bed attempting to remove the urchin while not causing her bodily harm when you finally (hopefully...) get her unattached from your head.

Just theoretically speaking, of course.

Also good to note that attempting to wear the baby as a hat causes similar tightfisted results.

So always practice baby hat wearing with a helpful spotter.

Or on top of a really big bed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Little Bit Racist

Note: The first link is to a youtube video with mild language.
Everyone's a little bit racist
I couldn't find a decent video with the actual puppets on youtube (probably because it's a live show which doesn't allow video recording), but the piece is from Avenue Q, which is a show done with muppet-esk characters (think Sesame Street) but for an adult audience (so it includes adult topics and language).

And one thing that I really like about this song is the point about needing to be open and honest with ourselves and each other about feelings regarding race (even if it means you're a little bit racist), so that "maybe we could live in harmony".

Because I've been pondering a lot about how to talk about the idea of race (and all that can go with it) with Kristina.

A few months back, she refereed to one of her dolls as "the brown baby", and this sent me for a huge loop since I'd been extremely careful to only use non-racial generic adjectives like "little" to describe it.

I'd read article after article which states that raising children colorblind doesn't work, as they do see the physical differences between individuals and at some point will make a categorization or question based on this.

And that hushing them or not wanting to talk about it only makes race seem like more of an issue rather than less.

But other than the egg demonstration (brown egg and white egg have the same goop inside) nothing I'd read was particularly helpful on how to address the issue, particularly at an age where an in depth discussion of cultural biases and the history behind them is a little out of the question.

And then I realized that Kristina's term of "the brown baby" was, to her, no different than the yellow duckie or the blue bowl.

It was a baby doll which was brown, which is a noticeable difference from most of her other baby dolls.

(Note to mommy: make sure her doll collection gains more ethnic diversity)

So I settled on just trying to sneak in side comments when she mentioned things like me and her having different colored hair that people have all sorts of hair colors and skin colors and eye colors, etc.

I don't know what her long term views of race will be, but I like the possibility of her just accepting that some people have blond hair and some brunette and some people have brown skin and some people have light (ok, I'm still not sure what label to apply besides the inaccurate and race inspired white.... beige??) without any deeper level behind it.

[Side note: I kinda hope to have the same result with subtle comments about families, and that different families have different people in them... like how her good friend Kadielynne's family doesn't have a baby sister but rather two big brothers. Or that some children live with Grandma all the time. Or that some families even have two mommies......]

And THEN she spent some more time at preschool, and learned that the brown babies are actually called black babies.

Except that instead of making the connection that people of darker skin tone are called "black", she assumed that she had her colors missed up, and that the correct label for all things of the shade of brown was in fact black, and vice versa.

And she does get pink and purple switched on occasion too, probably from there being so many shades which are sorta both, so it does kinda make some amount of sense using small child logic.

But now she refers to her black maryjanes as her brown shoes, and the brown piece of construction paper as black, and I don't know how to explain this to her.

"Well sweetie, we only call brown people 'black' (I know it makes no sense when they're obviously brown, so stop looking at me like that), but dirt and that marker and mommy's hair are all still called 'brown', while your shoes and your school bag are in fact the color called 'black'. Yes, even though they're a different color from the baby doll at school which the black (or should I call her brown?) girl told you was a black baby. Thank goodness I'm not trying to explain 'red' and 'yellow' Indian and Oriental people to you yet..... Oh, and if you ever want to know what nigger means and why it's a bad word, ask your father"

The preschool Kristina attends is on base and only for military children, and as a result has the most ethnically diverse group of 2 year olds I've ever seen.

And as far as I can tell she has no bias or positive/negative association with skin colors and appearance, beyond liking dolls (storybook illustrations, etc) that look like her (which just happens to be the Anglo Saxon fair skin/blond hair/blue eyes, thanks to recessive genetics).

But I still don't know how to explain to a small child the colors of race and how they are different from the colors of life.

So maybe Kristina will just have brown shoes for a while....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Disneyland

While we were visiting southern California for Cassi's wedding, we also took a stop at a Disneyland.


Because Disneyland is awesome.

And even more awesome, Cassi works there and totally hooked us up with free admission.

(Had I known you could work at Disneyland as a child I'm fairly confident that would have been my dream job, to literally BE a Disney princess.... of course, when I was little I didn't fully understand the concept of people dressed up in costumes, let alone what employment was.....)

So I was very excited to get to take the girls, especially since Kristina just recently got on a big princess kick and thought meeting Mickey Mouse sounded like the coolest thing ever!

We were going to take pictures of her with all the characters (there's an adorable one of me walking off holding onto the finger of the Big Bad Wolf from back in the day!), she'd get such a kick out of the little storybook rides, and ones like Dumbo where she could "fly" it would be so cool to her. I checked ahead of time, and the baby could come on most stuff as long as she was in a lap, and we were going to get churros (ranks right up there in my childhood memories of Disneyland, along side chocolate covered Mouse shaped ice cream on a stick) and a balloon for her to take home and stop at the souvenir store....

I had plans! Dreams! Visions!

This was going to be so much FUN!!

AND so totally AWESOME!!!!

So perhaps a little of my disappointment from our Disneyland visit was from slightly inflated childhood memories and high expectations of my children.

Like, for my two-and-a-half year old to mildly enjoy herself on a day entirely geared around fun stuff for her.

But anyways, on the day between the bachelorette party and the wedding, we went to Disneyland!
We met up with Cassi on our way into the park.

(Ok, I may have had some slight difficulty reading the directions and gotten us horribly lost trying to find the stupid parking garage and Cassi had to come rescue us and direct us turn by turn into Disneyland... but getting back to after we met up with Cassi....)

She and Kristina seemed to like each well enough (until Kristina saw her in a wedding dress, at least), and with our expert guide to help us get into the park it was looking like a good day.

The first thing Cassi wanted to do was get the girls some "ears"....
And this would be my daughter picking out one of the ugliest and most inaccurate (as it says 'it's my birthday' when her birthday is in August) Mickey Mouse hats that was in the entire store.

And just in case you haven't been to the Disney mouse ears store recently, they must have had at least 75 choices (of which I sadly did not think to take a picture of), including all sorts of princess ones.

You know, just in case you had a child that liked princesses, and didn't suddenly stop liking them the morning you went to Disneyland.

Adrianna was much more agreeable to mommy and crew's hat choices, but sadly had a head far to small for even the "infant" sized 'my first Minnie' hat.

And THEN Kristina glimpsed Goofy outside the shop.....
The picture is of her being carried out of the shop and away from scary, scary Goofy in an absolute meltdown panic.

Not of her cutely posed next to him.

Or cuter yet, of her and Adrianna with Goofy.

Nor even of Kristina gazing inquisitively at Goofy from afar.

But instead terrified and crying.

The day just never got back up to the levels of anticipation from there....

But some always coveted camera time taking pictures of the pretty-to-look-at-but-terrifying-to-ride carousel (while far, far away from Goofy and co.) did help calm Kristina.
(And leave some nice smudge prints on my camera....)

And Adrianna was fairly indifferent to the whole thing, deciding it was nap time.

Kristina watching (and only watching, mind you) the carousel.

But then I got bored with watching my child watch the carousel, and decided to traumatize her some more by taking her on the......
.....Casey Junior (aka Dumbo) Storyland Train!!

She did stop crying after the little train began to move, and I think even had a few brief moments of almost thinking it was sorta kinda maybe a little teensy bit fun with the theme music and all.

But then wouldn't go back on it or anything else besides the Disneyland Train around the park and the (even bigger train-esk) Monorail for the rest of the day.

There were a few parts that Kristina definitely enjoyed, besides watching others on the rides, including the petting zoo...

..... and drinking Grandma's water.....

Ok, to be fair she did supposedly greatly enjoy the Toontown play area with my mom while Cassi and I toured Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and the Jungle Cruise (while Adrianna took another nap in my arms, limiting picture taking abilities).

And she liked the little bands preforming.

And might have even liked the parade, had we been able to stick it out for it.

(Although since there probably would have been more of those scary characters in it, who knows...)

But we were hot and tired, and after the meltdown from the scary balloons attacking her (ok, there was a big bunch of them that did kinda blow over in her direction because of the wind, but it had been a long day of toddler meltdowns and the mommy sympathy meter was running low....) it was time to call it a day.

There were no churros gotten, nor Mouse shaped ice cream eaten.

Souvenir shopping was frustrating, as Kristina only wanted a princess music box that ranks right up there on the 'not sturdy enough for 2 year olds' list.

(But don't worry, she's totally adopted the stuffed Bambi I'd gotten for Adrianna since getting home, AND I've got a plan in the works with Cassi to get another Disneyland souvenir stuffed animal shipped out here for Adrianna, so they'll both have one and hopefully even before Adrianna becomes old enough to notice!)

And then there was Donald Duck on our way out of the park......

*tiny fleeting hope returns for that coveted Disneyland photograph*

Nope.

And when regaling Peter with this tale of Disneyland, his response was that we'll just have to be sure to wait until she's at least 5 to try again.

I didn't point out that when Kristina's 5 Adrianna will be 2 and a half.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Zombies

I'm not a big fan of zombies.

The whole "living undead feeding off the living" kinda creeps out a bit.

But the do make for easy Halloween costumes involving minimal effort and cost.

(You don't even need to change clothes!)

And I am very amused by some of the pop-cultural zombie references.

Like a guide to child transportation during a zombie attack.

The article not only gives excellent advice on how to handle being chased by the living undead (or is it the living dead??) with small children in tow, but what it says about pros and cons of strollers vs. slings are very true and could be applied to non-zombie situations.

Like being chased by werewolves.

Or even for navigating the mall.

(Especially if the mall is being invaded by zombies!)

And I also find this bib HILARIOUS!!

Of course, if you read the description it discusses purposeful ambiguity as to whether the baby is a snack for the zombie or whether the baby is the zombie and in need of a snack (carrots and braaiiiiiinnns), while when I saw it I totally envisioned it meaning that the baby was a snack for zombies.

(And why is there not an accompanying toddler sized t-shirt with "zombie light lunch" on it to go with??)

Because I have a very strange sense of humor regarding my children, apparently.

(Another one I really wanted when Kristina was a baby: "daddy's little squirt" printed above smiling... um..... white tadpoles.........)

So in conclusion, anyone who feels like dressing up as a zombie and needs a snack sized accessory, I'm happy to volunteer my baby for the task.

(Provided I get some pictures of this and that the baby is not actually eaten by zombies.)

(Cause I just hate it when that happens!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Garage Sales, Take 2

Alright, I was mistaken about few things in my previous garage sale post.

You see, I had written it about Friday garage sale antics.

Turns out Saturdays are much, much worse.

Not only were twice as many going on (solely counting the ones on our street), but at least five times as many cars to correspond with it.

Don't ask me how the math works, perhaps it's an exponential relation.

But regardless, the quantity of cars and people and stuff piled on lawns (driveways, porches, etc) was pretty epic Saturday morning.

And I'm kinda bummed I was irritated by it and not in a picture taking mood, since it would have been some good pictures.

Because our drive was blocked for at least 45 minuets by some inconsiderate garage sale viewing junky's SUV.

But they did eventually return to their vehicle and take it on their merry way.

And it was even before I was actually irritated enough to attempt to 4wheel drive my way out across multiple neighboring lawns.

(But mostly just because I have two small children and it takes 45 minuets to get out the door regardless, not because I was patiently waiting for them to return from their stuff viewing pleasure stroll.)

And when we came back the garage sale crazies had expanded to street fair level, with people grilling (and of course, selling) hot dogs and burgers out on their front yards alongside coolers with soda and water, and there was even one garage sale hostess who had thought to bring out a boom box for some neighborhood radio broadcasting.

But as our driveway was not blocked, and the music was far enough up the street to not be audiable (or disturbing of napping children) at our house, I was willing to let them be.

Besides, I had two napping children, which is an exceedingly rare occurrence demanding of much personal (often computer) celebration time right then.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Garage Sales

I hate garage sales.

Ok, I'm mostly indifferent to them.

People want to make a hobby buying and selling other people's unwanted stuff, good for them.

And here in rural upstate New York, garage (yard, rummage, junk, boot....) sales are a BIG deal.

Like, May until October is garage sale season (the months mostly without snow), where you could easily hit up a dozen every weekend just by stopping at those conveniently located on your drive to Target.

Not to mention the town/city wide ones (where an entire village turns into one ginormous pile of used stuff for a weekend), including two a year on Fort Drum, and which attract garage sale junkies from miles around.

And I don't doubt that there can be some really good deals, like a practically brand new Dyson (supposedly this is a very good (read: pricey) brand of vacuum, although as I attempt to care about vacuums as little as humanly (while still owning and using one to maintain DHS cleanliness standards) possible, I really don't know much about it beyond having heard that one going for $180 at Goodwill is a good price (really?! $180 for a used questionable condition vacuum from Goodwill?!? )), or unused baby furniture for twenty bucks a pop.

And in fact, I keep looking as I drive by them for one of those little plastic playhouses, as I think it'd be fun for the girls to have one outside (but not quite fun enough to make it worth the new-from-store price tag).

But I DO hate there being 6 of them within a half block of my house.

As then it means there are tons of parked cars on a street that normally has very minimal parkage.

And although none of them were technically blocking our driveway, it's still a single car width one and Peter's F250 is not exactly a small vehicle to steer out of it normally.... the added obstacles (mostly in the form of parked cars, although I suppose those people who I almost hit because apparently they assumed they had the right away crossing a driveway on the sidewalk regardless of what size of vehicle was coming out of it while I was focused on not hitting our neighbor's fence should probably count too) are just not appreciated!

So I am declaring this a garage sale free zone.

Unless, of course, you have a plastic playhouse that you're willing to part with for $20.

Or want to buy my (semi-non-working) car that's rusting out in the backyard.

(Cheap!! Was running just fine (until the day it didn't turn on)!! Has tires!! Newer than me tape deck included!!)

In which case, lets talk....