Monday, December 28, 2015

Sad

In case you were wondering how things are going here, this.

One happened just a few blocks away from me on Saturday around noon.

This was a crazy year.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

To Keep or Not to Keep

I'm approaching a point where I have to decide what to do with some of the baby things I have.

I've already been saving all the clothing; NB - 9 mos are at my mom's house.

I just purchased a convertible car seat, and am unsure if I should hang onto the infant car seat. And then, if I sell the infant car seat, should I sell the stroller that comes with it? And purchase a different stroller?

My main problem is that I have no shed, no garage, no spare bedroom. There is NO place to store these toys and car seats, etc. It will just be stacked on top of an already growing pile of buckets and things in the only free corner of Claire's room (her room is probably 8'x8' or something similar). The armoire/closet is so overloaded in her bedroom that it is bowing in the middle.

I could hang onto the car seat and extra stuff, but realities are that we likely have to make at least 3 more moves in the next 2 1/2 years or so. And another baby may not happen for quite a while. Almost 100% likely to happen before the car seat would "expire", but still....

I realize there are far worse problems to have, but - UGH.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Payback

Tonight, as I was putting our trash out at the road, a young man, probably around my age, came walking down the street singing obscene lyrics to a popular song, and it felt, right at me.

Not unusual. At me, yes, unusual - at the top of their lungs and not caring who hears, not unusual.

I finished putting the trash out and walked in and closed the door, right as the man came past my house and subsequent garbage.

As he came across it, he let out some more profanities, gagging and acting as if it was the smelliest garbage he had ever smelled in his life.

I hope it was.

Thanks Claire!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

We Went on a Little Christmas Adventure

Last Monday we piled into our little car and drove over to D.C. to the free parking for the Jefferson Memorial. We got our gear together and walked 2.5 miles over to the International Spy Museum, for which I had previously purchased discounted Groupon tickets (woot!).

It was a really fun museum! Caleb got to crawl around in the air vents, we got alternate spy identities, and got to explore the 50 years of James Bond exhibit. Well worth the time. Still an expensive place to visit. Ah, well.

After we were done there, we walked through a mini Christmas craft fair, and then walked a mile over to the Capitol. We got there as it was starting to get dark, walked up the lawn to stand right in front of the Capitol tree, and right as we got to the tree, the lights came on! It was pretty magical, especially with less than 10-15 people there with us.

After spending a few minutes there, we turned around and walked 1.5 miles over to the White House to see the national Christmas tree. Unfortunately, right as we got to the pedestrian gate to get onto the south lawn, police came and shut down the area, citing a previously scheduled event. Too bad I didn't check their schedule before coming down. I had just assumed that since it was a national Christmas tree and there aren't that many days in December, it would be available for public viewing every night. Oh well. We were able to see a distant little gathering of lights and a huge menorah out front as well. It would have been cool to get up close. But not til next year! Not going out there again this month.

Then we turned toward our parking lot and walked 1.5 miles to the car.

We did a lot of walking, in case you hadn't noticed. And my feet hurt. And my muscles stopped working.








LEST you think we were pansies and gave up after this, we DID NOT!

We drove our tired fannies in rush hour traffic up to the temple, where we walked around to the lights and nativity scene there. We got there during one of the performances in the theater, so we had much of the place to ourselves. Lots of fun for Claire to run around.



Then we went to Cafe Rio and THEN we went home.

The end.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Finalmente

When you watch your western friends awake on Facebook with snow complaints, storm worries, etc, and it's already 60+ degrees at your house:



THIS is why we chose Baltimore over Duluth....

mainly.

It's just taken 3 winters to come to fruition.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Medicine Woman

No matter how hard I try to keep it away from her, Claire has this obsession with tracking down and finding any container of medicine - liquid or pill, does not matter. We don't have too many places that have space to keep the container up high away from her. Most days the box goes on top of my bed when I get up, and back to the night stand when I go to bed or if she gets on my bed to play.

If my purse/diaper bag is left on the floor, she will go through the whole thing until she has ripped apart my wallet and then is satisfied once she has my mini Tylenol bottle in her hands.

She never attempts to open these things (and of course they're taken out of her hands as soon as she is found out), but she just wants to hold them and walk around. And she can open things. She likes to take down soap containers in the bath and open them....lovely...

Can anyone explain this desire of hers? I'm at a loss for the reasoning. It's somewhat entertaining, but mostly just a wild ride around as I try to figure out how medicine is magically appearing in new places and I try to keep it all in the same spot and away from her cute little fingers.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Love This Group

Ever heard of the Maccabeats? They are a Jewish male a capella group.

I ran into their music on Youtube after the film version of Les Miserables came out. They have a really good version of that score turned into the story of Passover.

I actually have some Jewish friends now since we've moved to Baltimore. I enjoy seeing things pop up in my Facebook newsfeed surrounding their religious holidays.

This song was on my Youtube front page today - it's catchy!!




Side note - there is a lot of uplifting Jewish music out there on Youtube. I really love this video parody of Let It Go for Passover:

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Time Is Here

So I'm pretty sure that I am all finished with Christmas "shopping" and deciding, except for 3 projects that might take the rest of my life to finish. But they need to be done by, like, Friday, so I can ship them out in time for Christmas.

I also need to pick out which car seat to ask Santa for for Claire. Sensible gifts while she's little, right?

She'll thank me later.

Wish me luck!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Oatmeal

Because you know you wanted to see this.





Sunday, November 29, 2015

While deciding on my menu for the next week, I came upon a link to a recipe that said "Easy Mac and Cheese with a Surprising Ingredient".

I clicked on it.

The surprising ingredient was cottage cheese.

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

times infinity forever

I Suppose the Weekend was Pretty Great: A Report

Wednesday: I spent the night trying not to throw up, worried about giving a talk. Caleb told me he would give the talk instead.

Thursday: I enjoyed Thanksgiving with a few friends from church. We brought mashed potatoes, carrots, ice cream, whipping cream, orange Jello (woot), lemon meringue pie and pumpkin pie from Costco (aw yeah). Lots of fun and eating was had. It was a good time and we enjoyed ourselves. We got home and Caleb asked me about the talk I was going to give on Sunday. Cue anxiety.

Friday: Caleb and I drove to Harrisburg, PA, to visit the National Civil War Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution. Now, I realize that things like museums are going to be a bit harder to enjoy with young children under your watch, but this museum was a big disappointment to me. I had heard it was a great museum, thorough and unbiased (from both the North and the South perspectives). I felt like more than half the exhibit was spent on before and after the war, and then half the exhibit that focused on the war was spent talking about Gettysburg. Also, I had to pay to get in (which isn't that big of a deal), and there was a lot less to look at and learn about than any of the free Smithsonian museums on the National Mall. Soooo....kind of disappointed. But it was still a nice day out. We also stopped at Walmart before our drive up to PA, and picked up a few pretty good leftover Black Friday deals, without the crowds (a running shirt for Caleb, some Carter's jammies for next year for Claire, and some cheap new movies that we will probably never actually watch). Leftover turkey and mashed potatoes was had for dinner, and all in all it was a pretty good day. Then I remembered I had to give a talk.

Saturday:  Caleb and I spent the majority of the day at home. I sat down at the computer a few times to try and type out a talk. I spent a lot of time on "productive procrastination": listing some items on eBay that have been waiting for weeks, catching up on laundry, thinking about putting out Christmas decorations (only thinking), etc. Every time I sat down to type, I just froze up and started sobbing. I know, completely irrational. Finally around 6 or 7 Caleb told me he was just going to do it. Yes, I am a baby. I will deal with this another day, but this weekend was not the right time for me. I realize that it will never feel like the right time. But oh well.

Sunday:  Claire slept in until 8 (after waking up at 5 to nurse). SCORE! Caleb gave the talk at church and totally rocked it (regarding Sabbath day observance). Several people came up and told me they had things to work on in their life, and thanks to Caleb for bringing it up in such a great way (I think this is a good thing, as they didn't look ready to hurt me). Claire and I walked the hallways for all of Sunday School, and she passed out asleep halfway through the third hour. After church, I practiced a piece for the upcoming ward Christmas party, practiced a piano duet with my older friend in the ward, and just as she was leaving, she turned back around and invited me to be her plus one at the Christmas fireside for temple workers tonight. It wasn't really convenient, but decided to do it anyway. Caleb was very supportive, even though he had schoolwork to do, and encouraged me to go. So 1 hour after getting home from church, I drove over to her house and off we went to the temple. It was a great fireside. All the temple workers and invited family (or invited plus ones in the case of a single temple worker) were in the top floor of the temple in the priesthood room. The fireside's music was provided by the Mormon Choir of Washington, and the speakers were the whole temple presidency, and 3 area authorities. It was really great being in a giant room filled with people singing "O Come, All Ye Faithful".

As we walked out of the temple, they had turned on the festival of lights display just for the fireside as it let out. It was absolutely beautiful, and a perfect way to start the Christmas season.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

That's One Way to Ruin Thanksgiving

Caleb just got a phone call at work tonight asking me to talk in sacrament on Sunday.

I have not been asked to talk since I was in high school.

Want me to play a musical number? No problem.

Want me to learn how to play the organ? Sure, I'll do that.

Want me to speak? WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU ASK ME TO DO THAT.

I feel like I'm going to throw up.

I have no problem with the time commitment and necessary attention for writing a talk. It's the actual talking that is terrifying.

I wish that those of us who get anxiety about this type of thing should just be able to say "Gee, this kind of thing stresses me out to the point that I can't enjoy my life from the moment you asked until 4 hours after it's over; could you please assign someone else? I'll help in any other way. I'll clean the whole church building myself for 6 months. I'll run the whole Primary program if you want. I'll be the nursery leader until I move! Just please don't ask me to talk."

But we say yes anyway.

***Edit***

When Caleb got home from work and home teaching last night, he saw the state I was in and said he was willing to talk instead. Love that guy. I've had a huge problem with anxiety ever since I went through delivery with Claire. I was in the bathroom for a half hour trying not to throw up last night. I've asked him to let the bishopric member know he's speaking, and that it causes me huge anxiety to speak. He's pretty nice like that, and I'm pretty sure the bishopric members are pretty understanding. They just can't know those types of things if I don't let them know, right?

***Second Edit***

He was just kidding. I still have to speak.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Prideful Feelings

In a moment of weakness, I purchased Adele's new album on Saturday.

I've had it on with only 3 breaks to listen to the radio since then (and I've spent a good amount of time in the car).

Parenting secret of the week: If Claire is inconsolable in her carseat, get the CD back to track 1 (Hello). Instant calm. She also sings along with the chorus each time!!!

I must say, I love it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Phantom Trash Can

Maybe you've heard about my trash can drama.

When we first moved here, I didn't realize that we needed to purchase our own trash can. Living in student housing the previous 5 years, there was a dumpster at each complex I lived in. And most cities in Utah have the city-provided/taxed industrial trash cans.

Not so here.

After a week or two of living in our first apartment here, I realized I had to buy my own trash can at the store. Sorry downstairs neighbors! I had thought their trashcan was THE trashcan for the house, provided by the landlord.

When we moved 8 months later, we brought our trash can with us. Our new apartment had 4 identical trash cans with the house number spray painted on each. Not wanting to be a leech on the house "community", we added our trash can to the mix.

A couple weeks later, it disappeared. But I saw it several times at the door of the person who lived in the basement. What a meanie.

It was rude, and silly, especially because that guy was a jerk and yelled at people all the time for things that made him mad (Caleb included - luckily I escaped his wrath), but it didn't bother me too much. There were still trash cans we could use.

1 year later, we moved to another apartment. There were 2 trash cans out front, both with the house number sprayed on, I believe. We didn't purchase a new one, as there were only 2 apartments in the house, and I safely assumed that the last tenant left his trash can for our use. Our upstairs neighbor doesn't ever put trash outside, either. I think he takes it with him every time he leaves the house...not kidding...he's told me he doesn't want any trash in his house at all, to keep rats away. Which is kind of funny, because none of the mice we've had have gotten into any of our trash or mess on the ground - they go straight for the food in my pantry.

But anywho.

One of the two trashcans disappeared within a few weeks. So we were down to one. I can't remember when the other trashcan disappeared, and if I replaced it before I left for Utah for the summer. But I do know that when I came back, there were no trash cans to be had.

After a few weeks of keeping the trash in the house by the door all week, I went out and purchase a new trash can. They're not terribly expensive, but $25 every time someone steals your trashcan can add up!

Literally. 2. days. later. the trash can was gone. I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt to the thief and say maybe the city workers threw the trash can back to the wrong side of the street and someone thought it was theirs, but I'm doubtful.

After that, I decided not to purchase a new trashcan. So we are more careful about what gets put in the trash bags, and keep it by the door all week. Bless Claire's little heart, her stinky diapers have not been so stinky lately, and it has not caused a smell problem in our apartment.

Last week, however, a trash can SHOWED UP in front of our house.

I did not buy a trash can. Caleb did not buy a trash can. I highly doubt the guy upstairs bought a trash can. He probably would have said something to me, too.

So I'm left to wonder, did someone realize they stole our trash can and buy us a new one?

Did someone take pity on us and buy us a trash can?

Did someone steal this trash can and put it in front of our house and now people think WE are the THIEVES?!!

I really can't say. Caleb has some anxiety about the whole thing. He refuses to use it! He insists we keep retaining the trash in our apartment, and last night when he put the trash out on the street, he did not use the trash can (for anyone with a horrified look on their face about the idea of putting bags of garbage on the street, it's completely normal. Trust me.).

Imagine his surprise this morning when someone had placed all our garbage in the can and put it on the street.

The garbage mysteries continue!

Luckily for us, this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A CHI Flat Iron Review

I was given a CHI regular ol' flat iron for my 18th birthday, or for graduation. The details are fuzzy for me on what was a grad gift and was a birthday gift because (1) I was/am spoiled and (2) they occurred 2 days apart.

I used it. It was awesome. I think my mom spent just over $100 on it (they are usually less expensive now I think?). It always made my hair perfectly straight, and curled my hair beautifully as well.

It still does.

Through college, my roommate's flat irons would break. Each time, I'd recommend buying the kind I had. The response was, "Psh. I can't afford a hundred buck flat iron. I'll get my usual $20 one." Now, I can't fault anyone for not purchasing something they can't afford (this is a good quality, I'm pretty sure). But 3-4 months later, it would break again. And every 3-7 months my roommate was purchasing a new flat iron.

Until she finally purchased a CHI in our junior year.

I have never purchased another flat iron. My friend has never purchased another flat iron.

7.5 years later, it is still going strong. Where the cord connects to the tool, it is starting to separate, and while I do yearn to have a shiny new flat iron, it's nothing a little black electrical tape can't fix. It will live on.

Go buy a CHI. The original, regular kind.

The end.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Reconciling

Scenario 1:

Scene: corner gas station, you're filling up on gas for the week. This gas station and intersection is frequented by people asking for money, as there are multiple bus stops within feet of each side of the intersection. You get asked for money 40-50% of the time that you come to fill up your tank.

Random woman walks up to you as you're finishing up at the pump, inquires, "Hey hon, do you happen to have 75 cents for the bus?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I don't have cash on me today."

"Oh, don't worry about it! Sometimes you can help, sometimes you can't."

As you drive away, you watch the woman walking up the street, presumably on the path her bus would have taken her.

Scenario 2:

Scene: crowded food market across the street from your house. You come here probably once every other week or so for lunch.

After ordering your food, you pull out a $20 bill to pay. Someone reeking of alcohol rushes up to you as you are handed change, asking, "Hey, can you give me a couple bucks? Can you buy me lunch?"

"Sorry, no."

You leave the market place quickly and quietly, as you don't want the man to see where you live.

Scenario 3:

Scene: intersection on the way to church. The roads leading up to this intersection have a nice median with about 15-20 feet of grass between traffic. The grass is home to several tents, a mini Hooverville of sorts.

You sit in your car with your family inside. A woman who likely hasn't showered in weeks taps on your window, asking for change. She yells at you, pointing to her tent, "I LIVE RIGHT THERE! LOOK! I CAN PROVE IT!"

You politely smile and say hello.

Scenario 4:

Scene: most any busy intersection in our city.

A person holding a generic cardboard homeless sign walks up and down the rows of stopped traffic, head down, or big smile as he waves, or with just an emotionless stare. As the light turns green, he just stands there between lanes until all the traffic has passed and he can return to the sidewalk, to start over again when the light turns red.



Matthew 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him 
that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.



I've been pondering this a lot the last couple of years.

How do I give to everyone that asks, while still being self reliant and smart with money?

How do I balance the desire to help those who genuinely need or can benefit from my little donation with being wise about who I help? I've watched many people who wore homeless signs walk back to their homes. We've had a lifelong Baltimorean in our car who pointed to someone and said "Hey! That guy's not homeless! He's really rich - I know him!" with a big laugh. I see the same guy every week at the gas station asking for money to get home across the city because his car broke down.

I pay tithing, I pay fast offering, and I give extra when prompted to other things like the humanitarian fund on the tithes and offerings slip.

I understand that is giving and how I can give, but Jesus literally said in the Sermon on the Mount to give to everyone who asks.

Thoughts?

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Gift That Keeps Giving

I just got a notice in the mail from the director of finance at my previous job, notifying me to the balance in my 401(k) account, where the employer contribution from 2014 had been deposited (as a nonprofit, the board of directors would vote once a year on a set percentage to contribute, and the lump sum would be deposited yearly).

As bad of a move as this was, I never opened a 401(k) account at my last job (I know, I should have, especially as a math major. duh.).

The amount they deposited in the account I never created was not much. Only 5% of what I would've made in a month there.

But.

It was something.

They. are. awesome.

I want my job back. If only I could bring Claire along. ;)

Monday, November 2, 2015

I Think I'm Tired

Every news story or TV show or movie I watch lately keeps making me cry.

What gives.

Including a show I watched this weekend on Netflix - the Ben Carson Story.

Regardless of your political affiliations and opinions, this is a great movie. It's really inspired me to try better at life in general.

Go watch it.

And then turn the TV off and read some books.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fight Song

The father of one of my best friends passed away last week. I learned of it yesterday. He had been diagnosed with cancer weeks earlier and succumbed quickly.

I was really sad to hear about this.

I feel so sad for his wife, for his children, and for his grandchildren not getting to know one of their grandparents as they grow up.

For a time while I was in college, I was close with this family. They brought me souvenirs from their family trip to Hawaii; I went to Thanksgiving dinner at their house one year. I got to go on family boating trips; I went to family birthday dinners. My friend and her mom came to my baby shower with handmade gifts. My friend's parents came to my wedding reception (my friend was part of my wedding company). I saw him at his house with my friend and her baby (the same age as my Claire) just a couple months ago.

I feel devastated for my friend and her family.

I can't imagine losing either of my parents.

I heard this song tonight, and while it doesn't really have too much to do with this situation, it brought out the emotions again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sign Language

We're teaching Claire sign. Kind of.

Caleb was using it all the time with her when he spoke months ago, and I never saw a response. We went to Utah for the summer and it pretty much stopped. I told people it didn't work with her. Oh well.

Then I flew back to Maryland and suddenly she was making the sign for "more", meaning "food" to her.  What the?

She consistently uses the sign for "more" now when she wants to eat.

In the last week she's also picked up on "diaper change" and "love". She may be picking up on "Mom" or "Dad", but it just comes out as pointing her finger at me, so I'm not calling that one.

Caleb's currently teaching her "thirsty". Half the time when she's freaking out I hand her a sippy cup and she calms down. That would be nice to know about, rather than taking a tantrum.

Tonight Caleb handed her some yogurt bites to eat and I got her attention. "Say 'thank you', Claire." I made the sign for thank you, which is touching your fingers to your chin/lips area and moving your hand out and down, palm stiff, or flat.

She mimicked me by smacking her face.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tender Loving Care

Last night I didn't feel like eating. I slept through Caleb making himself some leftovers and giving the little one dinner as well.

Around 7 I hinted, "You know, the only thing that really sounds good right now is a soft and gooey pizza."

No response.

Around 9:30 I mentioned that I wasn't really hungry but should probably eat something....maybe oatmeal or pizza?

"Oh hey, here's the online menu of the pizza place next door...."

My helpful and loving husband went out to the kitchen to make me some oatmeal, right as I was pulling out my phone for him to call in an order.

Thanks for the food honey, but I really wanted pizza.

*Really, he was very kind to make me anything at all and says he missed all my cues for suggesting pizza....Also, this is one of the perks of city living. The pizza place is open til 11 and is literally only about a block away.*

Signs That You Have Arrived in Life (or What I Really Really Want in My House One Day)

Yes. This is very superficial, and not entirely Sabbath appropriate.

But my house has gone downhill in the last 2 days. I contracted strep (go me!) and don't really feel like doing anything other than using my fingers to type, play Candy Crush on my phone, use the remote to the television, and un-do my bra so Claire can nurse.

L-A-Z-Y.

But I really don't feel good.

Gone are the days of only taking care of myself. I can't even imagine having 5 kids and doing it all.

Anyway - state of disarray. The house is getting progressively worse. I'll have to get up and do something in one of my ibuprofen-spurred energy bursts soon.

Sitting/laying here, I've decided I will have "arrived" - see this for definiton - when these things are in my home:

- Walk-in closet (preferably all bedrooms, but just mine is fine)
- Walk-in pantry
- Large James Christensen painting hanging somewhere awesome
- No mice worries
- Not being able to hear my neighbors or the people outside on the street
- A baby grand piano. Oooooo yeah.
- At least 2 bathrooms

Okay, my brain is malfunctioning and I can't think of much more. I know I have it good here, can't complain too much. And I don't need any of those things to be happy.

Buuuuuut they'd be nice and probably wouldn't hurt. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mornings with Dad

Most mornings Caleb will take Claire and give her breakfast while I jump in the shower. After, he'll take his turn in the shower. It works out nicely. I can probably count on only two hands the number of times I have had to deal with a screaming baby while I took a shower because Caleb was gone. So nice.

Once Caleb heads to the shower, if Claire is not confined to my lap or the high chair, she will toddle her way over to the bathroom. This morning she stood outside the door, babbling very insistently while knocking/patting on the door, trying to communicate to Caleb that she needed to see him and could he please come out. I watched her stand there for about 5 minutes just waiting for him (and making her presence happily known). Did I mention she walked over there?! Walking is a fun new trick she's got!

She is very attached to her dad, especially in the mornings. When Caleb is home, the only times she prefers me is if she wants to nurse, or if she is ready for bed. She gets so sad when he leaves in the morning, and tries half the time to convince him to take her with him to school or work (patting his shoulder and pointing to the door with eyebrows lifted and face tilted down for emphasis). So cute.

Makes me happy.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Caring for Her Dolly

For her first birthday, this little girl received a new dolly from one of her grandmas. She hasn't shown much interest in it yet, other than to try to drink out of her sippy cup. So, it struck me as adorable when she did decide to play with her on Friday.






Friday, October 9, 2015

My Selfish Post

When I got home from my summer trip, I needed to pull out all our 12 month clothing and update the dresser.

Whoops! Somehow between all the yard sale-ing and huge lots of baby clothing I had purchased secondhand, I had something like 3 full every-season wardrobes in 12 month clothing, and probably 2 in 18-month.

My plan was to let Claire wear everything, and as time went on, just pull the items that we didn't love and sell them as a lot later, and donate whatever didn't get purchased to my church clothing store. In my church's basement/parking lot, right next to the Bishop Storehouse we have a clothing exchange, where anyone and everyone can come pick out anything they want.

A woman posted in one of the Facebook yardsale groups I'm a member of that she urgently needed 12- and 18-month clothing for her granddaughter, who she would be watching every weekend.

I figured, might as well go through everything now and let her buy these super cheap, and I'll earn a little bit of money for getting toddler size clothing later.

So I responded to her query, gathered all the clothing (around 75 items in 12 month, 30 items in 18 month), and offered a cheap price. Twenty-five cents each piece if she wanted to pick through everything, $20 if she would just take the bag from me.

The woman was thrilled, excited, "what a blessing this is!", etc.

We had everything but the address set up for a meet, and then no response. Nothing. Whatsoever.

In the meantime another woman messaged me, requesting the clothes if the first woman didn't take my offer. I gave the lady a week, then offered her the clothes.

Imagine my surprise when she said she wanted the clothes, but could I go down to $10?

I was a little disgusted, but said it was fine and could swing by her place this week on my Costco run (did I forget to mention I was offering to drive 20 minutes from my house to deliver these clothes?!).

No response. For the whole week.

Until this morning.

The woman just said she doesn't have the money to pay me for the clothes until next week. I said I could hold them one more week but then I needed to get rid of the clothing because I can't have this taking up so much space in my tiny apartment anymore.

So she said "Oh I'll just take them if you're going to donate them."



I. Kid. You. Not.



What the *&#% am I supposed to do?!

I feel terrible, because she is obviously strapped for cash if she can't even give me $10 today for a huge bundle of clothing. And I was going to donate them.

But I just feel so taken-advantage-of. And I would have to drive 20-30 minutes to her house, then the 20-30 minutes back to my house. And the money I have is not my own - it's on loan that I'll have to pay back at 12% someday!!!

Is it too mean to just tell this lady no, or should I just do the Christ-like thing and drop them off at her house and leave without even the gas money it cost me to get there?

I hate situations like this.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

When the Purse Doesn't Fit








Sometimes having a shorter attention span is a good thing - just move on to a different book:



Friday, October 2, 2015

Busy Busy Busy

When I announced I was quitting my job at the end of last December, one of my co-workers said,

"Won't you be so bored?! What are you going to do all day?!"

I laughed. My grandmother coworkers laughed. The questioning coworker was still perplexed.

It was a great time.



I'm finally starting to feel like I have a handle on SAHM life (which I really don't), and there is so much I want to do!

Make healthy and yummy (not necessarily at the same time) dinner every night!

Keep my house clean all the time!

Finish all my sewing projects!

Scrapbook the thousands of pictures that are waiting!

Keep up with my eBay business!

Read some books!

Get out and have fun with ward friends!

And most importantly, take great care of Claire!

I feel like I can only choose 2 1/2 of these each day.

Sometimes 1.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Struttin' Her Stuff



.....with a full diaper, of course.

(No, she's not walking.)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sad

I left the Internet for maybe 2 hours tonight and came back to finding a trending hashtag asking women to proudly tell the stories of their abortions so that everyone can hear, it can be normalized, and even found beautiful.

I made the mistake of clicking on the hashtag and reading what people were saying, both for and against.

Everything the people promoting this "trending" topic were saying just made me want to cry.

Really?

I can't condemn individuals who get abortions. There are women who I've personally met and worked with who I feel genuinely don't understand what they did. I don't believe that's true for everyone, but I won't make blanket statements condemning everyone.

But I do not understand this world we live in. How much more evil has to happen?

Cute Baby in Pajamas








Saturday, September 19, 2015

Reading

This one time last week I caught baby girl reading a book that could be torn apart. Since it wasn't a library book, I decided to hold back and watch. She turned through every single page, very delicately and thoughtfully.

It was so cute I almost died.




Papal Ponderings

Next week I'll be the closest I've ever been and likely ever will be to the Pope. Traveling to Philadelphia and to D.C. will put him at less than an hour's drive away from my house.

Wait, with all the traffic his visit will bring we better put that at less than a 4 hour drive....

I'll just pray that he uses air travel rather than ground so I can still drive to my thrift store...priorities....

I was about to make a comment of surprise at how much press coverage this event is getting, but then I looked up statistics, and a Gallup poll from last year says that about 25% of the country claims Catholicism as their religion. Interesting.

With the temple construction in the city center of Philadelphia, I'm also curious to find out if the Pope notices the temple. It's getting close to completion, at least on the outside, and definitely looks like a temple. You can see an update on the temple from July here. I think it's funny that one of the comments says the temple looks depressing with how gray it is. I can guarantee it won't look so depressing once it's lit up at night, and has all those beautiful gardens finished!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Last Week's Highlight

On Labor Day, I had plans to meet someone for a Craigslist purchase. I asked her what part of southern Maryland she lived in, since it wasn't Baltimore and I wanted to plan for how far I was going to have to drive, would it be worth it, etc. When she answered Annapolis, about 30 minutes away, I said "Great! I need a trip to Cafe Rio anyway!"

Guess what she answered, people?!

"Oooooo, Cafe Rio!!! How about I meet you there?"

I could die.

Someone else appreciates Cafe Rio, and lives within 100 miles of myself.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New Products

Has anyone tried the Quaker real oatmeal medleys?

These puppies:

Image result for oatmeal medley

Well, don't.

I got one for free or really cheap from coupons. First of all, it's almost $2.00 for one. One cup of oatmeal. I poured the hot water in, got it all mixed in and cooked, and started eating.

Mmmmm this is really good!

Then about halfway through everything just started grossing me out. I mean, who puts walnuts in oatmeal? Okay, maybe that's a normal thing, but I am not a fan. All the chunks and "real" stuff in the oatmeal was hitting my gag reflex.

Okay, next product:


Delicious! So good! A wonderful treat after your baby's down for a nap and the dishes are done.

Worth the price? Ehhhhh probably not. Luckily I got these babies with coupons and sales. I don't know if I could make these easily enough to warrant making them at home though.

The end.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kindness

In May, the day before Mother's Day, I was out looking for garage sales with Caleb. We pulled through the drive-thru at a McDonald's (I was driving), and the woman who took my payment saw the car seat in the back of my car.

"Is this your first Mother's Day?"

"Yep, it is!"

"Well congratulations, baby, you have a wonderful Mother's Day."

...or something similarly sweet and southern.

I don't know why, but that is one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me, and gets me all teary-eyed and fuzzy inside when I remember how she smiled at me and what she said to me.

On Sunday, I played the musical number in my ward. The senior sister missionary in my ward came up behind me in Sunday school, told me how beautiful it was, welcomed me back (they are serving their entire mission in our ward), and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. It was the sweetest thing and reminded me of my great-grandmas Sylvia and Kay.

I had to remember these things as I was driving around in Baltimore for the first time in months on Monday; less than 2 blocks from my house I already had someone honking their horn at me because I wouldn't go forward when there was someone in the crosswalk in front of me.

Sigh.

2 more years.

2 more years.

>sob<

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Magic of Turning 25

On the night after I turned 25 years of age, my baby didn't wake up until something like 2 or 3 in the morning, and then slept again until 6:30 or so.

Hallelujah!

I've been battling her waking up 2-4 times a night, and sometimes just sitting up awake for an hour or so, for the past month or 2.

Then the following night, she woke up around 11, right as I was falling asleep. I fed her, and she waited again until around 3 to eat again, then waited til about 6:30 to get up.

Woohoo!!!

Last night, she went down around 9PM, then didn't wake up til 5:30, the longest stretch she's had since the week we moved to our new apartment, February 1st.

I'm in heaven!

I fully realize this may not last. She may not sleep through the night again for a month or more.

We're visiting family in a week, and I'm sure that will royally screw up her sleep habits.

Or, maybe they were screwed up already, so they will instead correct?

Hey, a girl can dream.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sickies

How is it that even when baby girl is sick and sad she still gets up before 6:30?! And wakes up 2-3 times during the night!!

Staying home from church, and it's been a more productive day already than most: everybody's ready and I even gave a haircut before 9AM.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hey You Guys

Peeps I showed up at a wedding for some ward members this morning. I brought my camera. Because I was outside a gorgeous temple in the spring! Also because I had a twinge of thinking that this couple might not have a photographer. Not that I wanted to volunteer. I just wanted them to have pictures.

Well, the pictures were being taken on a camera that my parents might have owned in 1999, and an iPad.

So yeah.

I took some pictures and made asked politely that the couple walk around with me on the grounds.

And guess what folks, they don't look half bad! They don't look half awesome though, either....focus on the positive...

I'm thinking I'll burn the images to a CD and give them to the couple. I didn't get them a wedding gift yet because I am awesome like that. I'm also assuming that they might not have any pictures up yet in their home, so I'm thinking I'll print whichever picture they like the most and frame it for them. As my gift.

I'm wondering if any of my readers who know how to edit might be willing to edit one picture for me? As a total service? Whichever picture they want to frame? Because I have no skills in the editing department.

None.





Friday, May 22, 2015

Contemplating Crawling and Green Smoothies

A couple days ago Caleb made a green smoothie. The texture of this particular smoothie was too much for me, so there was green smoothie in abundance. Naturally, Caleb decided to share with Claire. She loved it.


She got excited over the deliciousness of it all and grabbed the cup and poured it all over Caleb. Hehe. Lessons in high chair necessity.


I was mean and took great delight in not picking up Claire so that Caleb could get cleaned up. Instead I let her poke and play with the green smoothie, getting it as much over herself as she could stand.




The second part of our series today involves trying to encourage Claire to crawl or move toward her toys, or anything, really.

You can see how well it's going.