What Did We Just Buy?

Fact: Diapers are expensive. (No duh, right?) So I only buy them when they are on sale. And when they are, I go all crazy Asian lady on it and buy at least 4 boxes in varying sizes so that we never run out. And then the Hubbs has to figure out how to make my purchases fit into the garage until we need them.

I like to buy my diapers from Babies R Us for several reasons:

  1. I have a rewards card, so for every 9 value size boxes I buy, I get one free;
  2. I have a credit card, so every couple of months when I go on a diaper-buying binge, I get $25 off coupons, which I then use to buy more diapers;
  3. They have $5 off value size box coupons on a regular basis that I can mix with manufacturer coupons.

See — there’s a method to my madness. There’s also a method to a major shopping excursion with a toddler: Divide and conquer. As in, Hubbs holds Sean’s hand and patiently walks up and down the aisles on the Toys R Us side (while playing with said toys), while I get business done. We generally meet up on the toy side when I’m done, and look through a few things together before high-tailing it out of there.

We had discussed getting Sean a couple of new books for the bedtime routine, so those were already on the list. But Sean had other ideas. He had his eyes and hands on a new Tickle Me Elmo.

Actually, to be fair, he was playing with ALL the Elmos on display, making Hubbs turn each of them on until the end cap of the aisle was ready to jiggle off the floor and run away. I’m sure the employees just LOVED that symphony of high-pitched giggles and “ha-ha-ha-ha!” paired with the mechanical whirring of making the doll vibrate.

Sean loves Sesame Street, and after Cookie Monster, Elmo is his favorite. But in terms of toys? He already HAS 4 Elmo toys. They usually lay alone in different toy boxes, never being pulled out to be played with. Even Super Grover gets more action. And we knew from past experience, that we would get Elmo home and out of the box and Sean would play with him for 10 minutes, and then he would be forgotten.

We weren’t willing to fork out $24.99 for that.

So we went down the stuffed toy aisle trying to distract him. I vetoed the crazy, insanely scary chattering monkey doll that Hubbs chose. The puppy that barks and wags its tail when you pet its back was apparently only fun enough to repeatedly pick up and drop. And the barking was annoying as all get-out.

So I reached up to the top shelf and pulled down a small, fuzzy hamster. It was white with big eyes and a pink nose and makes a soft chattering sound when you squeeze its tummy. It was the perfect size for small hands. No moving parts. Nothing to lose or choke on. As a bonus, it was only $7.99. Sean immediately dropped the dog and wrapped it in his arms. He wouldn’t give it up so I could pay for it either, so I had to rip the tag off its ear while Sean pretended to sleep in one of the display cribs while the Hubbs watched him. (Don’t ask.)

I took the tags up to the front of the store to pay for it, and happened to look at the name. Zhu Zhu Pets. I mentioned the name to Hubbs as we loaded up the car and put Sean in his car seat. We’ve been calling the hamster Zhu Zhu ever since. No clue why.

Ever since that night, Sean has slept with Zhu Zhu. This from the boy who has previously either thrown every other stuffed animal out of his crib during the night or kicked it to the bottom edge of the crib. When we put him down after story time, he gets an extra binky in one hand and Zhu Zhu. He tucks that small white hamster into the crook of one arm and falls asleep. He’ll reach out for it in the night too. We’ve been tempted to sneak in and take pictures of him, but won’t risk the flash waking him up.

Fast forward to this morning: Sean didn’t want to get out of his crib, he wanted to lay there and cuddle with Zhu Zhu, squeezing its belly to make it chirp. Since my belly is in the way, Hubbs had to come in and lift him out of the bed and put him on the changing table for me. I had to pry Zhu Zhu out of his hands to change his clothes and give it back right away — my ears ringing from Sean’s unhappy howls the entire time.

Once Sean was dressed and on the floor, he tucked Zhu Zhu against his body and they ran for the car for a few spins around the house before leaving for day care. When it was time to leave, Sean refused to leave Zhu Zhu at home. So they both got loaded into the car. And apparently, Zhu Zhu went to day care as well — since Sean threw a conniption fit when Hubbs tried to leave it in the car.

I just hope they remember to bring the hamster home, since I don’t want to drive back over there at 7:30 with a screaming toddler just so someone can go to sleep.

Also — while looking for pictures of this thing, I found out some interesting facts: there are apparently 128 Zhu Zhu pet items at Toys R Us alone. As in dolls, ramps, clothes, outfits … its rather ridiculous.

And apparently the white hamster’s “real” name is Chunk. How sad for its self-esteem.

We’re sticking with Zhu Zhu.

Hooray For Thursday!

More like hooray for office picnics, cause guess where I’m going today? Yeah, you guessed it. You’re so smart. So clever. And good looking too! (There, now don’t you feel better?) Another reason for my good mood? I got to wear capris and a tank top to work today. With sandals. That fit. (Oh to be comfortable!!)

Nevermind that its supposed to be like 65 degrees in SF today, it was HOT in my house this a.m., so I dressed appropriately … for 90 degree weather. Whoops. At least I brought a sweater and sunscreen …

In other news ….

My brother is out of the hospital and is happily convalescing at home. Although they still don’t know where the infection was and he will have that drain attached to his body for the foreseeable future. (Don’t even get me started …)

I’m totally addicted to “Covert Affairs”. Its just so fun. And the fact that there’s a totally hot guy on there — whose character is blind, and it somehow adds to his hotness? Well ladies, that’s just what I call GRAVY.

I managed to (mostly) clean the kitchen. Yay me!

I also (amazingly) remembered to set up the crock pot for tonight’s dinner — steak tips in red wine sauce. (Which means it’ll be done when I get home tonight!) The prep was ridiculously easy — I’ll let you know if it tastes good later!

And speaking of food, Sean has discovered pancakes and maple syrup. He thinks its mighty tasty, and has eaten them for dinner every night this week. The syrup bottle is required to either be within his sight or in his hands the entire time. He’ll ask me to flip open the top, then will try to pour more syrup onto his plate. (Thankfully Mom’s quick/pays attention and closes the cap first.) He’ll even dip his apple slices into the syrup after he’s eaten all of his pancake. It’s practically become a religious experience for him. As in, he wants to build a bronze altar to the syrup gods that is surrounded by a pool of syrup that he can frolic in.  

I kid you not:

Oh sweet, blessed syrup …

A Huge Crock Of Funk

Sorry for the stream of consciousness today, but I can’t seem to shape my thoughts into something more coherent.

So my little brother is back in the hospital. AGAIN. He had his gallbladder removed more than a month ago and its been nothing but ER visits and overnight stays since then. (He’ll have gone through at least 6 procedures by the end of the month.) He has a drain inserted into his body cavity to help drain bile and to keep it from pooling in his body cavity.

So on Friday, Kaiser decided to test and see if the stent they inserted is working, and they went all MacGuyver with it. The “test” is a rubber band. As in: “fold the tube and wrap a rubber band around it to force the bile to go through the stent. If it hurts, or if you get a fever, undo the rubber band and go to the hospital immediately.” That strikes me as odd. If the tube were meant to be closed off, wouldn’t it have a valve attached specifically for that purpose? So that it’s … oh, I don’t know … SANITARY?

Fast-forward to Sunday: My brother has severe pain in his abdomen, has a temperature of 102, and is now stuck in the hospital for 2 days while intravenous antibiotics work to kill his raging infection. Although Kaiser has no idea where that infection actually IS.

Kaiser can take its “Thrive” campaign and stick it where the sun don’t shine, with my compliments. 
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I have been a bundled, mangled, emotional hormonal mess for about two weeks. Hubbs says I’ve been lethargic, easily hurt, and a pain to sleep with. And he’s right. It’s Monday, I got at 8 hours of sleep, and I’m exhausted. I slept on the BART ride into work this morning. Still exhausted. I can barely keep my eyes open.

Hubbs was walking on eggshells all weekend because he’d make some joke that I normally don’t take seriously, and I’d start tearing up. Then sob. For 20 minutes. Its like PMS on steroids. He even put “Pride and Prejudice” on TV last night — without me asking! — while channel surfing to try to appease me.  

Probably the main reason for this is the pregnancy hormones. I’m officially six months along and I’ve started the descent from the “reasonably comfortable” second trimester into the “oh my god, what the hell have I done?!” third trimester. Peanut has definitely gone/is going through a growth spurt, since I’ve taken to opening car doors into my stomach again. My feet are swollen, and my pudgesicles can barely fit into shoes, despite me putting them up frequently and drinking gallons of water.

Sleeping is becoming horrific. This is probably the worst part of pregnancy: You just can’t get freaking comfortable. My back constantly hurts, since I tweaked it while picking Sean up sometime in the first trimester. I hug a body pillow all night, with my belly supported and my feet raised. I kick blankets off because I’m too hot, then freeze and wake up to pull them back on. I have to pee all the time. If I need to roll over, the effort causes an uncontrollable grunt. Its not a pretty sight. And on top of it, I’ve been inexplicably stuffed up for the past two weeks, which at this point is kinda like adding insult to injury.
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I’m probably scaring any newly-pregnant people and terrifying anyone without kids right now. Yeah. Sorry about that. 
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I baked homemade zucchini bread last night and put two slices in my lunch bag for my breakfast this morning. Then I forgot to bring my lunch. Which also means I forgot my breakfast. Which means I started sobbing when I got to my desk at work and opened my big “cart everything” bag to find that my lunch was missing. So I ate dry cereal, since I’m too lazy to go downstairs to overpay for a jug of milk.
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And although I remembered to put Sean’s laundry in the dryer before I left the house, I think I forgot to feed the cat. Which means she’ll be a crazy biz-natch when I get home.
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And although I planned out meals for the week, I was so flustered/whacked out last night that I didn’t set up the crock pot for tonight’s dinner. Which means I cried for about 5 minutes an hour ago, when I realized that I had to think of something to make for dinner. But then I stopped crying, because we can have spaghetti and frozen meatballs. Huzzah!
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I cleaned the kitchen yesterday. But then I baked bread. And made dinner. And now you can’t tell that I cleaned anything in there. Which is depressing beyond words. But at least I ran the dishwasher.
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I put my mountain of laundry away last night. It took about an hour and at least 2 breaks for it to get done, but I did it. And then the Hubbs said something flippant about it, which is totally fair, and I burst into tears. And I don’t know why. What I DO know is that these freaky hormones had best cut it out soon or we’ll all be losing our shiz.

Happy Monday, all.

In Which My Husband Has A Heart Attack

It’s happening again.

Sometime after my son was born, I went through what we refer to as the Great Shoe Purge. Shoes that no longer fit because my feet had somehow managed to get wider were given away. Donated. Cast off. And it wasn’t just a few pairs. It was a mini mountain. The Mt. Everest of discards.

It was depressing. Some of those shoes I really liked. Others, I had barely worn. We then went out and bought me two new pairs of shoes at a local store that specializes in wide and narrow widths. Because I have what is technically called Flintstone feet. It’s not pretty. (THOSE shoes, by the way, amazingly still fit, but aren’t appropriate for all work clothes situations.)

And its happening again. The FEW — as in 4 — pairs of flats that I can wear with dresses to work? My toes start to tingle after about 45 minutes. Because the circulation is starting to be cut off. Right now I’m looking down and I can see the indent from the strap of the shoes. I’ve taken to wearing flip-flops during my commute and only slipping the “work shoes” on once I’m at my desk. Even then, they stay off for most of the day.

I don’t want to buy new shoes because its such a pain in the butt. Styles I like never seem to fit me right, but the ones that do require a down payment. Plus, shopping with a toddler is practically impossible.

Why can’t pregnant women just get a pass on wearing work-appropriate attire? If I could just wear my slippers around work all day this would be much easier.

Not to mention cheaper.

Beach Bums

Hubbs grew up going to Half Moon Bay — he lived in San Mateo, after all. So he planned what was probably the most perfect day trip for us: A trip to Lemos Farm, lunch at the Miramar, and some beach time. As you can tell from our sweaters, it wasn’t exactly the warmest weather — but it wasn’t cold either. In other words, it was a great time:

He’s suspicious of that goat …

Lemos Farm is all about the kids. They have a petting zoo full of goats, ducks and geese in an enclosed pen, pony rides, bounce houses, hay rides, and a train that takes you through their Halloween exhibit — which is probably scariest for adults, because its like a creepy doll display. I was seriously looking for “Chucky” the entire time. Sean didn’t seem to mind though. He just keep saying “go” to the train operator. As for the animals — he would have nothing to do with the ponies. He eyed the goats with suspicion — maybe because they were trying to eat his shoes. But the ducks? Those were totally cool in his view…

Power to the ducks!
“Duck” is the newest word added to his vocabulary.

The farm also has some interactive photo opportunities. Which the Hubbs loved …

They look like they’re having a little TOO much fun in there …
Sean didn’t quite “get” the point of this one.

Then it was off to lunch. You know, I never noticed it until I had a child, but when you bring a kid into some restaurants, people give you the eye. Its the “Oh god, they have a KID” look. You can tell they’re just waiting for your kid to go berzerk so they can roll their eyes and mutter something about “breeders” under their breath. A couple who was seated after us, gave all three of a critical eye before sitting down.

Everyone has sat next to that family before, and we try our hardest not to be them: We always pack him a lunch with his favorites: string cheese, yogurt, and fresh fruit with some kind of grain and veggie. We bring a bag of toys that he only sees while we’re out and about. We have extra binkies. A bottle of milk at the ready. Sippy cups of ice-cold water. And if he gets noisy or antsy, one of us will take him out of the restaurant and walk him around outside. But after a full morning running around on trains and watching ducks, this was pretty much what he looked like after he ate his lunch. (And during lunch, his little mouth was full and he was quiet.) Take that, eyeballing couple with sunburns and bad haircuts!

Are you guys done yet?

And then we went to the beach …

We didn’t take any pictures on our way to the sand, mostly because it was a freaking steep descent/climb. I was thinking of this possibility before we left the car: I had the Hubbs help me put Sean in our ERGO carrier — backpack style, so I could have my hands free and have a clear view of my feet getting to the beach. It was a really good thing I did. I have no idea how we would have scaled that “walkway” if one of us had to carry Sean the regular way. Sean didn’t mind, except that his mule (me) was going way too slow for his taste. Ever have to navigate a steep path with a child strapped to your back, kicking his legs, flailing his arms, while laughing and saying “go! go! go!”?

Well then you haven’t lived.

But the people going the opposite way on the trail? Thought it was hilarious.

Water!

Once we were off the trail and safely on the level sand, we let Sean loose. Which he loved. In the above picture, he’s running for the ocean. If Hubbs hadn’t stopped him, he would’ve plunged right into the water. The child has no fear.

And Sean discovered that sand is awesome. Mom discovered that even after you think you’ve gotten all the sand off him him, it can still lurk in pockets and spill out onto the living room floor — and you — while watching Sesame Street …

But I think it was worth it.
Yes. Definitely worth it.        
We also saw kites.

The above photo is also the closest thing we have to a belly shot of me. I’m 22 weeks (5 months) pregnant. But that’s OK, cause I get these daily:

He’s a snuggler.

All in all, it was a very full, fun-filled day. We’re already planning our next day trip.

They like long walks on the beach.

Shenanigans

“Seriously? I can’t believe I’m letting you do this.”

Sometimes there are just no words. I came home from work to find that the Hubbs had gotten Sean to wear a swim diaper on his head. By wearing it on his head first. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get that little gem on camera. However, I’m convinced that Sean was only patronizing us with the headgear because we were laughing so damn hard.

This is your face on “Sesame Street.”

The Hubbs will admit to putting “Sesame Street” on at every opportunity (thank you DVR) because this is what Sean wants to do while he watches at least part of it. The kid’s a snuggler. In a major “turn your heart to jelly” kind of way.

“Mmmmmm! Cereal puffs!”

This is what happens when you give your child a full container of cereal puffs when he asks for it. While hilarity and good pictures ensue, you’re left scooping up the non-drooly ones to put back in the container for the next day.

“I can’t believe you let me do that! This is awesome!”

What can I say, the kid loves cereal puffs. And ice water …

“Welcome to my bathroom. As you can see, pants are optional…”

Apparently, bathrooms are fascinating. Its where we get to brush our teeth, comb our hair, and watch Momma do the exact same things. (We do bath time in the other bathroom.) Also, although not pictured here, when you try to lure him out of said bathroom he’ll lay on the floor and pretend to sleep.

Pudgy baby feet!!! (Enough said, right?)
“Wanna hang out at my crib tonight?”

You know you want to.

The Futility Of Housekeeping

For the record, I am so not Martha Stewart. The Hubbs can attest to this.

My side of the bedroom is dominated by a mountain of laundry piled on top of a hope chest. I have an equally large pile of papers to the right of my desk — wedged between said desk, a wall, and a bookshelf — that are waiting to be shredded. My shoes would be in their organizer, if the Monkey didn’t delight in going in there every other morning and pulling them all out for me to put on, then putting them back. On the floor. Hey, at least they’re in the closet.

The rest of our house is dominated by toys. Visitors be warned when you enter our house. While walking in the hallways, keep your eyes on the ground, scanning for balls of all sizes. Despite picking them up and putting them in various bins around the house each day, they all inevitably end up back in the hallway, which the Monkey uses as his personal pitching mound/soccer field/football field.

And have you ever tried to keep a house clean when a toddler lives there? It’s impossible I tell you. Case in point: I took Friday off from work. I needed a break and wanted to spend some time with the kid. During the Monkey’s 2-hour morning nap I was able to:

  • Unload and load the dishwasher;
  • Hand-wash a week’s worth of toddler dishes, sippy cups, and milk bottles;
  • Hand-wash some pots and pans and put them away;
  • Sweep all the hallways/hardwood floors;
  • Vacuum the kitchen and dining room floors;
  • Scrub/de-crud the Monkey’s high chair and our kitchen table;
  • Mop the kitchen and dining room; and 
  • Pick up all the various toys from the main areas of the house and put them away.

And then the tornado woke up.

Despite going out for a good chunk of the afternoon for a play date with his cousin and a doctor’s appointment for me, the house was a train wreck again. By the time the Hubbs got home, he couldn’t tell that I’d done anything. There were cookie crumbs — and cookies — dotting the floor of the kitchen and dining room, crunching underfoot and scattering like dust everywhere. All the toys that I had picked up? Most of them were strewn across the floor again. I was in the process of making dinner, so you couldn’t see the kitchen counter tops. After putting the Monkey to bed and eating dinner, there were more dishes to do.

And I wanted to scream. Because I swear, for like … 20 minutes the house was pretty much clean. And it took me TWO HOURS to get it to that point.

I’ve come to the conclusion that to keep some semblance of order in our home, we need to hire someone to do the dishes every night. With that extra time, I’ll be able to fold laundry, pick up the house, work on the Peanut’s nursery, and … I don’t know … SIT DOWN before 10:30 p.m. each night to relax.

Any volunteers? I’ll feed you dinner each night …