Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Nursing Student's Schedule

You might have noticed that I haven't posted anything in, oh, say, ages.

You might also have noticed that my last post date coincides with the time I started up my nursing classes. It's been busy. But don't worry. In case you were thinking about going to nursing school with a small child, husband and two furry dogs, let me show you what your potential daily calander might look like!

4:30am - 5:00 am: Wake up. Sometimes because your kid is calling out for you, sometimes because your husband is snoring, and sometimes because your body knows you're going to have to wake up soon anyhow and figures the extra minutes of sleep aren't that important.

They are that important. I hate you, body.

5:30 am: Stop delaying the inevitable and get out of bed after trying to convince yourself that your small toddler will have a change of heart and stop jumping on you and go back to his room and sleep for another hour. It will never happen. Even on the days that he jumps under the covers and says, "I want to cuddle with you mommy!" You will say "aw" and then he will try to stick a spit-covered finger in your ear.

It's not always like that though. Sometimes he tries to put that finger in your nose.

5:30am - 7:30am: Wonder where the morning goes. It's been two hours. How have I barely managed to get myself and a toddler dressed? Where did I put breakfast? Why didn't I make my lunch last night like I swore I was going to in an effort to avoid this? And seriously, the play room was practically clean last night. How can one toddler play with so many toys in such a short period of time?

7:30am: Kiss your husband bye and tell your son you'll pick him up at daycare later. Feel guilty that you won't be there with him all day as you tear through the house grabbing everything you think you'll need for the day. (Pro tip: You'll always forget at least one item, and you'll always swear you're going to start packing your backpack the night before to break this cycle.)

8:00am: Classes start. Pay attention and try desperately to decipher what, exactly, is therapeutic about asking someone if they've "considered suicide."

10:00am: Open lab time! Feel ridiculous as you explain what you're about to do to a silent yet judging mannequin.

11:00am: Time for lunch and flashcards. Boy, do I hope you like flashcards. They're the best. You can do flashcards in between classes, flashcards in the car (when someone else is driving) and sometimes, flashcards while you're waiting for your online set of flashcards to load.

12:00pm - 4:00pm: More classes. Interesting lectures and information, but sometimes your classmates will ask really, really odd questions. Best to just leave it be.

4:00pm - 5:00pm: Time to study! And also to do dishes, clean up the living room and wonder if you've vacuumed in the past three weeks, make sure there's at least one clean pair of underwear for everyone for tomorrow, and don't forget about letting the dogs out and playing with them for a bit and maybe thinking about starting dinner. I think breathing is in there somewhere, but I always forget where.

5:00pm: Ok. Time to get Silas. I feel guilty as heck that I let him stay at daycare while I was technically at home the past hour and technically able to watch him. Then I feel even more guilty because I know he's better off at daycare for that hour because at least there, someone is interacting with him instead of telling him to go play while I study.

5:30pm-7:30pm: Seriously, how does two hours go by so fast? Somehow, dinner was made and eaten, toys were played with (and even cleaned up to some degree!), dogs were chased by a screeching toddler and a screeching toddler was chased by his own shadow. Did he have a bath yesterday? Yeah, I think so. He can have a bath tomorrow night before bed then. Good night, Silas.

7:30pm-9:30pm: How am I supposed to fit seven classes worth of studying into two hours of time? It's not really possible. Slight panic ensues for ten minutes, followed by five minutes of berating myself for wasting time by panicking. Study like a mad woman, make a lot of flash cards, consider packing a lunch and getting your stuff together but decide that you're too tired to do that, seriously, your eyes feel like they're packed with sand, and go to sleep instead.

9:30pm-10:00pm: Optional bonus! Actually spend time with your husband and both enjoy knowing you're there for each other and regret your decision because Silas is so not sleeping in tomorrow morning.

So there you have it! Your mileage may vary. And I hear it helps if you can consume caffeine (it gives me some serious heart issues in moderate amounts, so I have to opt out most of the time). And I guess I could technically cut into my sleeping time, but I am pretty sure if I were any less rested, I just wouldn't retain any information.

Plus, I'm having a lot of fun. I think.

I'll get back to you in a year about that.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

School time!

For the first time since 2009, I'm enrolled in 18 credit hours for this fall and let me tell you - it makes a difference when those 18 credit hours are in nursing classes as opposed to five English classes and one 200 level German class. We're three days into the semester and I've already studied for over twelve hours. So, yeah, it's kind of insane, but the good kind. And all of this means that Silas is now in daycare full-time.

Silas is taking to daycare like a dog to a ham bone. What I'm saying is, he really likes it. Today as we were driving home, he informed me that he "played dinosaurs today!" and that, in case I didn't know, dinosaurs go "rawr!!"

Two nights ago, I was vacuuming Silas's room and he asked me to put him in the crib; sometimes he likes to stand in the crib and watch me vacuum. He lay down on his pillow and when I was done, he asked me to turn off his light. Then he just went to sleep, and he slept until the next morning. I was so excited at the idea of daycare helping him sleep better.

So of course, last night he was up at midnight until 1:30 and then up again at 5. I actually had a dream that I was sleeping and in the dream I woke up and complained that the mattress was too hard. Then I woke up for real and realized that I had fallen asleep on the nursery floor. My back is still a little stiff.

Anyhow, I have to get back to studying. I have a feeling this is just a first week information flood and that things will mellow out (slightly) in the coming weeks, but there's no sense in getting behind before I even get started.

And you know what's weird? This time next year, I'll have my second bachelor's degree. I'll be a nurse. Seeing as I can't even properly use my stethoscope yet, it seems unbelievable. But I believe in myself, if nothing else.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On Top of Things

It's not often I feel like an adult. Sometimes I realize my birthday is coming up and that I'm going to be 26 this year and it makes me pause for a moment. The last thing I remember, I was graduating college like, yesterday.

There's no way I already have an almost two year old baby. I remember the day I told Smiley I was pregnant while covering my stomach with a pillow. It feels like last week. I told him right over by our kitchen counter. I had taken three pregnancy tests.

But here I am, adulting it up like a pro. Balancing our budget and raising Silas to be one darned awesome baby (are you detecting a little bias there? Whoops!) and prepping to start nursing school this fall. (Oh, and writing a lot of fanfiction. If you're wondering why I haven't posted here in forever, that's why. Every free moment of my life has been fanfiction for this past month.)

Why, this morning, I made four phone calls. That's right, count 'em - four. I made a vet appointment for Sophie, scheduled car maintenance for the weekend, called my Ob/gyn to get my records and called my regular doctor to schedule my physical. You just don't see that kind of call output from me normally, but here I am, getting all of my ducks in a row before I go up north with Silas for a family visit before school starts.

Did I mention I also watched my lecture for my summer class and wrote three hundred words for my fanfic? All of this - and more (and by more, I mean eating a greek yogurt and drinking some ice water like a BAMF) was accomplished during Silas's nap. Whew. It's exhausting being an adult you guys. I think I'm going to embrace this whole being an adult and go to bed early.

That's how it works, right?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blankets! All The Blankets!

The other day, I told Silas to come to his room and sit by his giant stuffed giraffe and I would nurse him there. I went down the hall ahead of him and sat down in his room. A moment passed and I noticed him going into my room instead.

"Wait, Silas," I called out, "I'm in your room, not my room."

A few moments later, I heard him start to cry - not in pain, but in frustration. I got up to go check on him and found a rather hilarious - and touching - sight.

I should backtrack a moment. Ever since Silas has understood the concept of blanket, he has had a method of letting me know he wants to nurse; he would go to my room and sit on the bed and when I sat next to him, he would give me a blanket. He's too sweet.

So when I looked into my room, I saw the reason for his frustration - Silas was trying to pull the whole blanket off of the bed and drag it to his room and it was just a little bit too big for him to manage. There he was, all tangled in blanket and trying so hard to bring it to me.

He stared up at me with tears in his eyes. "Blankie," he said, giving the blue cloth another futile tug.

"Oh sweetie!" I said, because what else could I say? I thanked him for trying to get the blanket, helped him put it back on the bed and showed him how his room already had a blanket that we could use.

I realized that he grown to associate nursing with blankets because, well, we spent the whole winter nursing under layers and layers of blankets to keep warm. Now that it's a bit warmer out, the blanket isn't strictly necessary, but he does smile so brightly when he hands me a blanket that I can't say no.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

When The Party Ends

Dear lovely blog readers,

Enjoy a short piece of fiction. This was written from the prompt: "1st person POV after a party."

The events are not exactly based on a true story but I think it's safe to say I've borrowed elements from true stories.

When The Party Ends

It was my party and I was going to cry if I wanted.

Amidst my keening wails, the tall lady with blonde hair that was most definitely not my mom tried to pick me up out of my mostly comfortable stroller. I cried harder, making sure to add a pitiful little gasping sound when I stopped to catch my breath.

It worked. My mom appeared in front of me and I was so happy that I reached out to show her how much I loved her by grabbing the trailing end of her ponytail and pulling as hard as I could.

"Ouch!" she gasped. I think that means "I love you too!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

You Say "Bag", I Say "Bag"

The past week of 90 degree highs confirms that summer has a firm grip on Florida and will not be letting go for a few very long months.

Summertime means park time and park time means I am once again reminded that I am not from around here.

Silas and I were playing near the slides when another group of kids showed up. Silas's go-to friendship gesture is to grab a big handful of wood chips and bring them to the new people.

One of the older boys, perhaps about ten, looked at me and asked, "What is he doing?"

"He's trying to share some wood chips with you," I responded as I brushed the chips out of Silas's hand, telling him that not everyone wants to hold onto wood chips.

"What are woodchips?" the boy asked next, and I blinked, so he clarified. "You mean the mulch?"

"Yeah," I said, nodding. "Wood chips are another name for mulch."

What I didn't say is that where I came from, the term "mulch" was much more closely related to fertilizer as a term. And to be clear, when I say fertilizer, I'm thinking of manure. Feces. You know? Yuck. I thought about how I had never heard "mulch" used in conjunction with a playground growing up. And then I remembered something that had happened several months ago.

A friend had taken Silas to the park while I was taking an exam. Later, when I picked him up, she apologized. "He only wanted to sit down in the mulch and play! Luckily, they had just put down clean mulch, if that helps."

I had been slightly confused, wondering what the definition of clean manure meant. I trusted her judgement and figured Silas had not been harmed. I joked about how he'd have to build his immune system some day. Then I went on with my life completely unaware that I had experienced a communication error until just now.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Difference Between Splits and Spit is an "L"

I want to be able to do the splits, but I don't have the patience to stretch daily.

There's something about the lack of immediate results that greatly affects my ability to push through a tedious task. Trust me, I know it's a personality flaw.

Silas recently started learning to spit. At first I was thrilled, because we were brushing our teeth and he was trying to imitate me; a great next step for him in his own personal care.

Then he realized that this wonderful trick could be applied to everything he put in his mouth. Now he was chomping onto toys and spitting them out. Now he was taking big sips of water and spraying it on the floor, nearly choking on his laughter.

I know that I have to be patient. It will take many explanations that we spit in the sink while brushing, but not on the floor while drinking. There will be messes. I get Silas to help clean up his messes in an attempt to gently rebuke him (but the kid really likes blotting up spills with paper towel so I'm worried this might encourage him).

Just like the splits, I know I have to work with Silas every day as he learns to navigate the basic activities we take for granted (brushing our teeth, using the toilet, putting on clothes). All of these have a vague starting point and a defined ending point, but the steps in between are brutally slow going and the day to day changes are essentially non existent. Only when I stop to think back to a few months ago do I realize how far Silas has come in any of his skills.

I am not a particularly patient person - I am all about the destination rather than the journey - but hopefully teaching Silas will help me to change my viewpoint. And maybe one day, I'll look back to a time when I thought I was incapable of doing the splits.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Breakfast Tale

Every morning, I offer Silas a choice for breakfast, usually between eggs and hot cereal. Sometimes he picks eggs, sometimes he goes for the cereal. Sometimes he just asks for chocolate milk, please.

This morning he picked hot cereal and as I stood over the stove, waiting for the milk to heat up, he started bawling. Just out-of-nowhere crying as though his little heart was breaking in two. I stooped down to give him a hug and ask him what was wrong.

He looked at me through tear-filled eyes and sniffled. "Green beans!" he told me, his expression suggesting that I was depriving him of the one thing in the world he wanted.

"I'm not making green beans," I said, assuming he was confused about what was in the saucepan. "I'm making malt-o-meal on the stove."

"No! Green beans!" he wailed plaintively, the tears starting up again as he flung himself at me, burying his head on my chest and hugging me as he cried.

Long story short, I heated up a can of green beans and served them to my smiling toddler who, by the way, proceeded to dip them in his hot cereal as if this was the most natural combination of foods.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Time To Talk About Frozen

(Spoilers will show up in the following post)!

Frozen is a great movie filled with amazing songs, love experts, and horrible parenting. But we'll get back to that third one in a minute.

In case you need a quick background - Elsa and Anna are sisters and close friends until Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her ice powers. The king brings Anna to the trolls and they are able to save her, but in return, they caution Elsa about her powers. When Elsa runs away from the kingdom, Anna teams up with Kristoff, Sven and Olaf to go after her.

So let's get to the songs. You guys, it is beautiful. The movie is just jam-packed with catchy (and occasionally heartbreaking) songs. There's just music everywhere and I love it. Of course, everyone has heard about "Let It Go," but "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" and "First Time In Forever" are also quite wonderful songs that set the tone of the movie - hope and excitement mixed with loss, sadness and fear.

Even the goofy duet between Anna and her love interest Hans ("Love is an Open Door") is great. The two characters sing about how they're so in love that they finish each others sandwiches. (The song opens with Anna saying, "Can I say something crazy?" and Hans replying, "I love crazy!" to give you an idea of their courtship.)

But of course, the silliest song moment goes to Olaf the snowman. Olaf's biggest wish is to feel heat for the first time. Kristoff says, "I'm guessing you don't have much experience with heat" and Olaf responds with a show-stopping full song-and-dance routine to show his anticipation for "when I finally find out what frozen things do in summer!"

Olaf the snowman is only one of the many love experts in the movie; Kristoff also knows a few of them - he and Sven grew up with the trolls. And the trolls are indeed love experts. They have a great song called "Fixer Upper" in which they sing a few of my favorite lines to Anna:

"We're not saying you can change him
Because people don't really change ...
People make bad choices if they're mad
Or scared or stressed.
Throw a little love their way
And you'll bring out their best!"

These lines speak about accepting people for who they are and understanding that when people feel accepted and loved, they're more likely to respond in kind. No, this doesn't work in extreme cases, but in general, it's a great philosophy.

And later, Olaf reveals exactly what makes him a love expert. When he starts a fire to save Anna's life, he sits down with her. Anna tells him to move so he won't melt and he smiles up at Anna, telling her that, "some people are worth melting for." He explains how love is about making other people a priority and understanding when their needs are more important than your own needs. He also moves away from the fire before he melts completely to show that you don't need to ignore your own needs completely.

Unfortunately, that brings us to Elsa and Anna's parents, who do not understand what their children need at all. After Elsa accidentally hurts Anna, they decide the best course of action is to reduce their staff, close the gates to the castle and never let Elsa see Anna again. This is done under the idea that isolating Elsa will help her learn to control her power. I mostly have to ignore this part of the movie, because it makes me want to scream. Yes, deal with your daughter's powers by making her spend her days alone, unable to play like a little girl or feel close to anyone. Does that sound like the start of a supervillain to you? In Elsa's case, she only accidentally freezes the kingdom into an eternal winter, but plenty of honest-to-goodness supervillains have done less.

Meanwhile, this leaves Anna to grow up alone and unable to make other friends since the castle gates are closed off. She sings about how "it gets a little lonely, all these empty rooms" and how she's "started talking to the pictures on the wall." This, also, sounds like a less than ideal upbringing. And her loneliness is highlighted in the way that she agrees to marry basically the first guy who looks at her.

Their parents aren't the only ones who deserve the blame though. Those danged trolls, the so-called love experts, could have sang their song about love for the king and queen instead of waiting fifteen years later to sing it to Anna. The whole climax of the movie is based on the idea that true love will thaw a frozen heart. That love can thaw. This is literally what Elsa says as she lifts her arms up and manages to unfreeze everything. Based on Anna sacrificing her life for her (It's ok. She gets better), Elsa realizes she is loved and instantly gains control over her powers.


I'm not saying the king and queen didn't love Elsa. I'm just saying that the whole movie shouldn't have happened because the trolls should have sang their song about love at the beginning of the movie instead of the middle. (But I guess the trolls didn't pass the love expert boards until sometime during Elsa's exile at home. They could have sent the king and queen a singing telegram!)

Obviously I'm willing to overlook this questionable plot point in order to enjoy the parts of the movie that excel - the great songs, the fun characters and the exciting scenes. I've already watched Frozen several times and it is dangerously close to Mulan as my favorite Disney movie. Silas asks to watch Frozen daily, even weeks after he saw it last. Parents can highlight the part about accepting others when they watch the movie with their kids. And I will sing along to every song without one iota of shame.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Orientation Blues

You guys - I am going to be attending my fourth college orientation this coming May. How exciting is that?

Oh, wait, you can hear the sarcasm in that previous statement, right?

Thankfully, as a transfer student, I only need to attend a single day of orientation - from 8am to 5pm. I'm, uh - I'm sure I'll learn a lot of new things about going to college that I totally didn't know before. After three other colleges, I feel like I could sign some sort of a waiver: "I promise to read the student handbook and to show up to classes. Please just let me sign up for the one class I would like to take this summer without having to find a full day of child care." (And don't confuse this session of orientation with my two day orientation for nursing school coming up at the end of the summer. I suspect that orientation will actually be very helpful.)

But I'll be fair. A single day of orientation is hardly the stuff of angsty ballads. If this was a new job, I'd expect orientation and be annoyed if I didn't have a chance to learn the layout of the office and their policies and procedures. Of course, a job doesn't require a $35 payment plus a $7 convenience fee for the mandatory orientation.

I'll just be over here, making annoyed noises every so often until it's all over.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why Checking the Weather Makes Me Sad

Listen, just like your grandpa, I enjoy checking the weather multiple times a day to see what's going on with the clouds and sun. Once upon a time, I might have relied on The Weather Channel for this information. That was a simpler time, I'll admit. I only had to turn on the TV and wait for the forecast to roll through, along with some gentle commercials about stool softeners and diabetes.

As with all things, the internet changed this for the better several years ago. Now instant weather information was available at a moment's notice. Forecasts could be reviewed for the day ahead or even the week ahead, without having to wait for the top of the hour. This was a glorious period of time, a stint of years that I remember fondly, like an old dog.

Then IT happened.

I should have known that even would not be safe from the all-encompassing claws of SEO and link bait headlines. Now when I go to check the forecast, I have to avert my eyes from news headlines like "20 year old found dead" and "Rescuers rush to save baby on sailboat!"

Look. When I just want to see if it's going to be cloudy and will I need a jacket, I don't want to catch up on the news, especially not sensationalist news items that make me really sad. Checking the weather might make me unhappy if the forecast is extra cold or extra stormy, but up until now, it has never made me sad. The weather was a safe spot on the internet and on TV, where information was simply presented without preamble and for a few minutes, the sad tragedies of the world could be forgotten in a swirl of maps and dew points and chances of rain.

But no longer. And for that, I say - shame on you, internet. Shame.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Making Rolls

Rolls are just the best. And I'm sad to say, I have yet to perfect a roll recipe that provides results as good as some store-bought versions. (It's a personal failure!) But that could change. Today, I am making rolls. Actually, I'm in the process of making them right now!

The problem I come across in my roll recipe is that, like most delicious and yeasty baked goods, there is a lot of time devoted to letting the dough rise. I, however, tend to think about making rolls at most three hours in advance. Considering that's the time the dough needs to rise, and then add the time needed for mixing, kneading, shaping, and baking, I'm usually left with two options. One, don't make rolls. That's a stupid option. Two, be satisfied with rolls that needed to rise at least another hour longer. This option is a little less stupid, because there are rolls in the end, but they don't taste super great.

Today though - today is glorious! After putting Silas down for his nap, I went into the kitchen at noon and began to make rolls. The dough is rising now as I type. With any luck, they'll be ready just in time for dinner. (I think I'm going to tackle homemade sloppy joes, because why not?)

You might notice that I seem a bit hyped up right now. This is a reasonable observation. Not only did I go to sleep at nine pm last night, Silas didn't wake up until five am, which means I got a solid chunk of sleep. AND, after nursing, he went back to sleep for a couple hours, which means I got some catch-up slumber. AND THEN, I had a cup of iced coffee (the caffeinated type).

So yeah, I feel unstoppable right now. And jittery. Just a little bit jittery.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Monkey Baby!

Silas is quickly catching on to this concept of "climbing everything with no regard for his own personal safety" and guys, it's freaking me out. I'm going to blame his father for this one as he has regaled me with tales of climbing buildings in his younger years.

Although... I do remember a time in high school that I climbed a two-story tall pine tree simply because some friends suggested that I would not be able to do it, so maybe I'm not the best example either.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Babies Learning Language

It is ridiculous how many curse words a baby knows these days.

Silas learned how to say "foxes," for example. The first twenty times, it sounded much more like he was dropping F bombs left and right (and up and down for good measure). He kept pointing to the fox on the shirt he was wearing each time he said it, which helped calm my frazzled nerves. I figured if anyone in public heard him, I could quickly clear up any confusion.

Then Silas learned how to say "cook." Only, it sounded like he was crudely referencing the male genitalia. He tried to mimic me stirring a pot on the stove, though, and eventually his pronunciation got better.

Shirt was another tough one. Silas was more than happy to hand me any of his t-shirts or onesies while dropping the "r" in the word. (This, too, has gotten better over time.)

I think learning to talk is a cruel prank sometimes. On the one hand, when Silas busts out a perfectly innocent swear, I want to laugh because it is cute and adorable that he has no clue what he is doing. On the other hand, toddlers thrive on making others laugh and while the swearing child on TV might be hilarious, I don't think it's as funny in real life.

Luckily, when I type about it on the internet, I can laugh as much as I want and he doesn't know. Then he only thinks I'm crazy. Which may or may not be a good trade off.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Progression of Google Searches

I was all set to wear a cutesy dress tonight and while Silas napped, I thought to myself that I should attempt a fancy-type hairstyle. This is what happened next:

Search One: Braided Chignon

Search Two: Updos for long hair

Search Three: Updos for really long hair

Search Four: Updos for long, thin hair

Search Five: Hairstyle ideas

Search Six: How to use a bobby pin

Search Seven: Seriously, bobby pins are impossible to use

Search Eight: How to pixie hair cut at home

No, I didn't cut off all of my hair, but it was tempting. You can see my searches degrade from a specific style I was hoping to recreate to increasingly desperate attempts to find updos suited to my hair.

Once I decided on a fairly simple bun, I quickly realized that I have a bobby pin deficiency. This prompted my realization that maybe I am not meant to have long hair. Other people with long hair always seem to be able to twirl their hair up and pin it perfectly in one easy motion. I was still jamming bobby pins frantically into my quickly unraveling hair when Silas woke up from his nap.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Things My Baby Has Found At The Park

I need to start taking pictures to document this. I always thought that the park was fairly clean until Silas took to finding things.

The last time we were there, Silas found:

Half-eaten cheetos (they were half-eaten at the time of finding and we threw those out before they became fully eaten cheetos)
Pink and blue balloon shreds
One super moldy orange slice (Half hidden beneath a slide, I can only assume a thrifty child left it there for safekeeping)
A safety pin
A beer cap (budweiser. Yuck.)
Various candy wrappers (manufacturers, rest assured that you have designed packages so appealing that Silas can spot them even if they are 99% buried under leaves)

And my personal "favorite,"
A two-inch screw.

Everything else on my list makes sense. Those are things that people bring to parks. But a screw?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Trip to the Park

Though Silas is not quite old enough to use park equipment yet, he and I enjoy going to the park for a change of scenery. Plus, he likes to try to climb on everything when there's no one around.

We headed out to the park on a cool Thursday, Silas dressed up warmly in his adorable fox printed sweater onesie and me in double sweatshirts and fuzzy socks. I had forgotten that Thursday is homeschool meeting day at the park; the normally empty playground was overrun by boys and girls of all ages.

Silas was in baby heaven! Right when we got out of the car, he saw kids on the baseball field playing kickball. He pointed, "Football! Football!"

"Not quite, baby," I said, putting him down on the sidewalk. He ran up to the fence and watched in awe as one boy kicked the ball through a puddle and another ran after it, tossing the ball back towards first base.

The next twenty minutes were spent with Silas walking around the park, looking at everyone and everything. He picked up various sticks, comparing each new one against the two he was currently carrying and discarding appropriately. He found a little pink bouncy ball and tried to kick it, but kept missing due to its small size. He found no less than six scraps of garbage and insisted on picking up each one to throw out, except for the airheads wrapper. He wanted to chew on that one and was a little bit upset that I threw it out for him.

At some point, a person walked by with their dog. Silas alternated between shouting "dog" and freezing in place, too excited to actually go up to the dog, which admittedly was about three times bigger than our tiny pups. Eventually he made it to the dog and gave her a few tentative pats, complete with giant smiles.

Then he was off to watch another bout of kickball, followed by jaunts towards the puddle (while saying "no puddle, no puddle") and attempts to reach the sand ("no sand, no sand"). Can you guess what I was telling him every time he got too close to either?

Eventually, Silas ran into a little girl about his age. She was toddling around in her warm pajamas and Silas lit up when he saw a baby so close in age. He started by making a peace offering, giving her the stick that he had deemed worthy of being held almost all afternoon. She grinned and took the stick.

"Leaf!" Silas said as he handed the little girl the fistful of leaves he had picked up a few minutes ago.

She took the leaves and gave them to her mom, then turned back to Silas.

Silas starting picking up leaves from the ground, presenting each one to the little girl with an enthusiastic, "Leaf! Leaf!" The little girl happily took each leaf, handing them one at a time to her mom. Every fifth leaf or so, her mom would toss a handful of leaves back onto the ground. Our kids were clearly stuck in a leaf loop, which was broken only when the little girl's older sibling came by to say that another kid needed help with his shoes. Then they were off towards the other equipment.

After that, Silas wandered around a bit more, but he was beginning to slow down and people were starting to set up tables and whatnot and I figured we'd get out of the way for now. We headed back to the car, Silas holding on tightly to a handful of leaves. Another successful park day.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Long Morning

Silas has picked a new favorite book for now, "Go, Dog! Go!" and he likes to call it the "Go go doggie book." This is great except when I try to put him down for a nap and he starts to get all sleepy and then jumps back up in his crib yelling, "Doggie! Doggie! Book! Gogogogogo!"

Luckily, I'm finally hearing an absence of "doggies, sleepy doggies, hello doggies" from his room, so it MIGHT be safe to assume he's went down for his nap.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Adventures in South Florida

Silas and I went on a mini-vacation down to south Florida to visit some friends. The five hour car trip is now officially the longest distance I have driven with Silas by myself. It wasn't even that bad. On the way down, he was on the cusp of a nap for about two hours, and kept crying out "nurse please!" but when I did stop, he was too excited by the trip to actually nurse. Oh well.

He doesn't sleep very well when we're traveling, so our days became sort of weird. Normally we're up by seven-thirty on a good day. He decided to bring that back about an hour and a half. And once he was awake, he woke up our friend's kid too. So we would have breakfast, let the kids play for a bit, head to the park, let them run around for awhile, get back home and it would still only be ten in the morning!

The first day down, we headed into Ft. Myers proper to see the Edison Festival of Lights. The parade was billed as an amazing nighttime parade and there were people lining the streets so thickly that the kids wouldn't have been able to see anything. Apparently people go down and tape off sections of the sidewalk up to a week in advance to get a spot.

But here's the thing. The parade kind of sucked.

I don't know how they do paraded by you, but where I'm from, a parade starts within five minutes or so of the start time and proceeds in an orderly fashion - you have your fire trucks and police cars and high school bands and cute floats, interspersed with Shriners on tiny motorcycles and the occasional baton twirling brigade.

This parade was supposed to start at seven. At seven, one single police car raced through the street. Silence. Ten minutes later, there were a few marching color guards. Ten minutes later, there were more fire trucks and police cars than I've ever seen in a parade before. Maybe I'm a buzzkill, but to me, three or four of each is sufficient to wow the children and start a parade. They had a small fleet of ten to fifteen of each.

Then another ten minute wait. Then another color guard and some cheesy floats and some politicians in cars. Since it was dark out, it was hard to see who was who and why they were there.

The highlight of the parade was seeing the Clydesdale horses. They were amazingly huge and followed by some ponies that looked like Sophie and Sherlock in comparison.

After that, we ended up leaving. The fireworks were nice though and walking around downtown had been pleasant.

The next day was a jet-setting kind of day. After hitting the parks in the morning, we made cookies and headed to the neighborhood luau (where we later learned up to 100 people had attended). Between me and my friend and our two kids, we probably brought the mean age down to, oh, fifty. But don't get me wrong - everyone was nice to us. We sat by an inflatable palm tree and Silas refused to wear his lei and we cheered on some people playing cornhole.

From there, we realized it was already four in the afternoon and it was a mad dash to the Greek festival to see the dancing and get some baklava. The kids were less impressed by this, so we didn't stay long, but it was still fun.

The best day was Monday. We went to the aquarium and the beach. There was a slight hitch to our plans - none of us realized it was President's day, so the aquarium and the beach were significantly more crowded.

At the aquarium, Silas enjoyed looking at all of the different sea creatures. His favorites were the manatees and the clown fish. For some reason, when he saw the clown fish, he had to point to each one and say "fish!" even though we had passed by many other fish already. There was also an area with giant plastic models of some coral and fish (they were ten times bigger than life-sized) and Silas stared up in awe at the towering coral.

We packed up and headed towards the beach near noon. Oh, the beach. Our first indication that we were screwed came about the time we pulled into the parking lot and realized that every spot was full and every row was full of lines of cars waiting for a spot to open up. We were optimistic at first, but by the third time a parking spot opened up JUST behind us while we waited behind someone waiting for a person to back out, we gave up. We went to Publix for lunch. This Publix didn't have any seating or benches, so we had an impromptu picnic on the sidewalk. The kids seemed to enjoy it and it beat trying to feed two young kids in their carseats.

Being gluttons for punishment, we headed back to the beach after lunch. I like to call it eternal optimism. And guess what? There were parking spots! Whew. Plus, we had only missed out on the extra strong middle of the day UV rays, so our skin was safer anyhow. (Always a bright side). Even better? Running on the beach for a couple hours wore out the kids so much that they slept on the way home, and after dinner, Silas slept from 8:30 to 5. That was the first time he's ever slept so well away from home. I would have rejoiced, but I stayed up until 11 to watch ice dancing (mostly worth it!) and waking up at 5 was still a bit rough on me.

The drive home was much better than the drive down. Silas napped for most of the trip to be honest. I think he was still worn out from the beach. Traffic was light most of the way and the weather was good, though I admit I prefer a bit of an overcast sky during a long drive.

I hope to go down and visit again in March and coming up shortly after that, we'll be heading down south again when Smiley runs in the Tough Mudder with some friends. I can only hope Silas will continue his positive trend of kind of sleeping better while we're away!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Silas is now sleeping through the night. Probably.

About 12 out of the last 15 nights, Silas has slept through the night. I guess his "sleep through the night" switch was flipped, though I couldn't tell you how or what did it. He turned 17 months old last week, so it's been a long time coming. I don't know if 15 days is long enough to become retrospective, but again - almost 17 months of waking up three to infinity times a night means the last two weeks of good sleep feels like forever (in a good way).

The switch is leaving me with a lot of mixed feelings on baby sleep. Seventeen months is a long time for me to go without good sleep at night and whereas Silas could nap during the day, I had to often use that time to study or do housework. But we tried crying it out for a bit and it didn't work for long. So, here is a list of six things that did or did not work to get Silas to sleep through the night.

6. An early, early bedtime

Silas likes to hold onto his naps. He was napping three times a day for several months before he finally transitioned to two naps a day, a few months before his first birthday. This meant that for most of his first year, he had a late "bedtime" of nine or ten. When he dropped his late evening nap, I pushed his bedtime up to 7:30 and then 7 and then sometimes 6:30. Occasionally he would sleep for a long chunk of time when I did this, but he was still up two to four times a night.

The nice thing about the super early bedtime was that I had some time in the evening to be an adult. The not so nice thing was that I still had to get to bed early myself if I wanted any meaningful sleep. It's all dandy when the baby sleeps for six hours straight, but when that means he wakes up at one in the morning, I had to be in bed by ten just to sleep for three hours in a row.

Now that he's sleeping through the night, he typically goes to bed between 7:30 and 8.

Conclusion: An early bedtime had a small effect on Silas sleeping for a longer chunk of time in the first part of the night.

5. Naps

Again, Silas likes to nap. There was a brief period of two or so weeks around thirteen months where he started to fight his naps and I was going to transition him to one nap a day, but that passed; I suspect he was simply testing his boundaries. He currently still naps twice a day, usually for about an hour or two each nap. I read a lot about how napping too much during the day could upset sleep, but let me assure you - cutting down on his daytime sleep meant I would be up every hour with him at night.

Lately we've gotten to the point where he will nurse and then ask to go to his crib and nap. I currently call this the "golden age of napping" because he then says "sleepy doggies, bye-bye doggies" and babbles to himself for a bit (anywhere from one to thirty minutes) and then falls asleep peacefully. And with two naps a day, I have time to clean up, do laundry and read and write constantly. It is amazing.

But that's a bit of a tangent. Over the last two weeks, Silas has not reduced his nap time even as he sleeps through the night. (I'm obviously overjoyed by this).

Conclusion: Naps are impossible to figure out. The time Silas spends napping each day seemed to affect his sleep negatively; if he didn't sleep enough during the day, he didn't sleep well at night. However, more sleep during the day did not correlate with more sleep at night after a certain point. Overall naps seem to be mostly independent of his sleeping through the night habits.

4. Nursing

Silas has nursed at least once over night since he was born. And for a long time, he was nursed to sleep. I had read a lot about nursing being a sleep association, but even when he wasn't nursed to sleep (as in the time we did cry it out), he would still wake up to nurse multiple times. I know that many books/professionals also indicate that babies should no longer nurse overnight much sooner than seventeen months, but thankfully at least one guy has my back. (Dr. Sears writes that babies might go up to eighteen months before dropping the overnight nursing).

For a long while, he had a bedtime routine that ended with him reading some books and then nursing and then being put in his crib awake but drowsy. He usually fell asleep without crying on these nights, but woke up often to nurse again by one.

Coinciding exactly with when he started sleeping through the night, Silas dropped his bedtime nursing. In fact, the two nights these past two weeks that he slept poorly were the two nights in which he was nursed closer to his bedtime than the other nights. Most nights he nurses for the final time around six now. I remember the first day it happened. We had been out at a friend's house and I had nursed Silas beforehand. When we got home around 8:30, Silas had fallen asleep in the car. Smiley brought him inside and put him in his crib and he didn't wake up, so I figured I'd head to bed myself and just wait for him to wake up at midnight wanting to nurse (which is what he has done countless other nights in situations like that). Silas slept until five the next morning!

When I tried to take nursing out of the bedtime routine in the months before, it backfired and he was up more than ever. So I think that the breakthrough is more on his decision to drop nursing at bedtime rather than me trying to force it.

Conclusion: Once Silas decided to stop nursing before bedtime, he slept through the night. However, experience showed me that he had to make the decision, not me.

3. Food intake and activity level

It starts VERY early - well-meaning friends and parents suggest putting a tiny bit of rice cereal in a bottle to get your baby to sleep through the night. From there, the suggestion is that if you make sure your baby eats enough during the day, they won't wake up at night. Well, I was nursing Silas and didn't feel like using formula or pumping to give him a bottle when he was younger, and when he got older, I noticed that there was no correlation between how much he ate during the day and how well he slept at night. Absolutely none. Some nights he would eat a lot at dinner and wake up a lot. Other nights he'd eat a lot at dinner and wake up a few less times. Sometimes he would eat very little during the day and wake up only twice. Other times, he'd eat a little and wake up six times. You get the idea, right?

Going hand in hand with that is the concept that if you wear out a baby during the day, he'll sleep better at night. This also had no correlation to how well he slept at night. And on days when he skipped his nap because he was at the park playing, he slept even worse at night.

Conclusion: Food intake had little to no impact on Silas sleeping through the night. Activity had little to no impact on his sleep either.

2. Teething

Oh, baby. My dear little Silas started cutting teeth early and hasn't stopped yet. At seventeen months he has all of his teeth minus his two year molars. His bottom eye teeth are still working their way all the way out, but they have broken through the gums. Some nights when Silas seemed to be extra upset, I would give him some ibuprofen in case he was in pain, but he rarely slept better on those nights. It is possible that since all of his teeth minus the two year molars have broken through that he is now able to sleep better at night. I guess I'll get my answer when his two year molars start to make an appearance.

Conclusion: Teething might have a horrible, negative impact on Silas sleeping through the night. It's possible that he did not sleep through the night until now because he has seriously been working on cutting one tooth after another since five months. However, ibuprofen did not seem to help, so I suspect it is less likely that teething had a huge impact.

1. A bedtime routine

I'm not going to make a blanket statement here; maybe your baby thrives on a bedtime routine. Well, I don't and neither does Silas. For several months I kept his bedtime the same - put on the overnight diaper and pajamas, brush teeth, turn on quiet music, read a couple of books, nurse, put baby in crib.

The past two weeks have not been that routine. He doesn't nurse. Sometimes we read books, sometimes we don't. Sometimes he puts on his pajamas and plays for a while longer before brushing his teeth. The lack of routine has not affected his sleeping through the night.

Full disclosure: during the day, we have a rough routine of wake up, breakfast, naptime two hours after wake up time, play time and lunch, naptime three hours after waking up from the morning nap, playtime and dinner, bedtime roughly four to five hours after waking up from the afternoon nap. Silas typically doesn't watch TV until after his afternoon nap if we watch anything. And that's about it in terms of routine.

Conclusion: A bedtime routine did not help and only stressed me out when I felt like I was deviating from it. I am not a good routine type of person and it stands to reason that my son might not be either. We use loose guidelines. It is not probable that the routine hurt anything, but I am super happy to not have to worry about it.

Final Conclusion: Now that I've spent forty-five minutes typing "Silas sleeps through the night" seventy-six times, I bet you that the moment I hit "publish," Silas will wake up every half hour tonight.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

One Year of Exercise!

This past Saturday marked my one year weight lifting anniversary. Though I had enjoyed mandatory gym class for four years of high school because I like to move around and be active, once I graduated, I didn't do much exercise. Well, I walked. When I was at college, it was important to me to find apartments that were within walking distance and cheap. So "walking distance" was extended to a mile and a half to two miles away from the college (still not really bad at all, except on the below zero cold days) and I walked a lot, but that was it.

Upon graduation, I moved down to Florida and at one point, Smiley and I did P90X together for a few months, but that couldn't last. Daily exercise DVDs of an hour and a half were too time consuming and there is only so many times you can listen to Tony Horton tell you to act like "a pterodactyl backing out of trouble. Caw!" before you rage quit in the middle of a workout.

Cut to about 19 months ago. I was pregnant with Silas and shambling left and right. My walking pace was a brisk two miles an hour if I was lucky. Some of my friends decided to get together to start working out regularly. Smiley and I had a garage. They decided to work out at our house.

Three times a week I would see my friends as they came over and worked out. First I was pregnant and then I had a tiny newborn - there didn't seem to be enough time or energy in the world to get me to start working out with them.

But, around the time that Silas was five months old, I was tired of hanging around inside. Inspired by the strides everyone else had made, I started lifting weights with my friends.

A year later, I'm still not particularly impressive at it. I can't squat my body weight and I can only bench half my body weight on a good day, but I still enjoy it and I strive to do my best (and have good form).

I could have never done it if my friends didn't make the commitment to come to our house three times a week; that means I can do a set while one of my friends graciously holds Silas and then I can go into our house to let him run around and play. When it's bedtime, I can put him down to sleep in his own crib. There is no way I would have done this for this long otherwise.

The only thing that sucks is the protein requirement. I'm still struggling to find a way to eat more protein. It stems from certain quirks and issues of mine, so I think it will take me awhile longer, but maybe eventually I'll get there. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy hanging out with friends and lifting heavy things and putting them back down.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Airplane Travel With 16 Month Baby

On my recent trip from Florida to Chicago, I redeemed a travel voucher and was limited in my choice of flights. I actually had to fly south from Tallahassee to Orlando to pick up a connecting flight to Chicago. Fun times.

As always, my goal was to bring everything I needed for my six day trip in a backpack and a messenger bag. It was tough, due to the fact that warm clothing is so space-filling. Let's break it down and see how it went. If you are interested in traveling with a small child, you can see what I brought and didn't bring and make changes in your luggage as needed.

First, in my backpack I packed clothing. Silas got a pair of warm pajamas, several undershirts, a couple long sleeved onesies, three warm coveralls, a jacket, a sweatshirt, a hat, and socks. I got a pair of jeans and a pair of pajama pants, two long sleeved shirts, two camisoles, a skirt, leggings, leg warmers, socks and underwear, and two sweaters. Somehow, when I wasn't using my baby carrier, I managed to shove it into the backpack too.

In terms of amount of clothing - it was possibly a little bit too much. I can't help that; I always, always overpack clothing. For one thing, I had access to laundry at my parent's house, so I just ended up washing clothes every day. I never ran out of clean options for Silas or me and I never wished I had different options.

I probably could have gotten by with two pairs of coveralls for Silas, but in the end, baby clothing doesn't take up THAT much space. Plus babies look so cute in different outfits; I'd rather he have some variety than me.

In my messenger bag, I packed diapers and wipes, a few toys and books. I brought too many books. I was very worried about Silas being bored on the plane and acting out, so I brought about six different paper books (standard size) and six or seven little board books (like two inch by two inch). Silas ended up picking three favorites that he wanted to hear over and over, and I ended up with a backache from carrying around all the extras.

I packed enough diapers for two days of the trip and bought some extras at my parent's house. That works out nicely. I brought two toys that he liked to chew on - also worked out very nicely. Once he was at my parent's house, he didn't want his own toys anyhow; he wanted to explore! I brought a baby blanket in case it was cold on the plane - that blanket never got used.

The messenger bag also carried my wallet and phone.

Because babies only fly free in an adult's lap until two, it's very likely this was my last flight with Silas for awhile. If I could change anything, I would have brought a few less clothes and a few less books. I think that it is easy to overprepare, worrying about a delayed flight or something, but keep in mind the airport and airplane itself also provide some entertainment; Silas loved looking at the safety cards because they were full of pictures.

Finally, economy plus seating is probably worth the extra money, kind of. I lucked out and ended up in there on my flight up, but on my flight back I was near the back of the plane in between two guys. Thankfully, the one on my left fell asleep and the one on my right told me he had four kids and to not worry if Silas accidentally kicked him. (Trust me, I still did my absolute best to make sure Silas kept the squirming down to a minimum. It was just nice to know I didn't have to apologize profusely each and every time a squirm happened.)

Oh, and there is probably no better workout than letting a baby walk down the terminal (try to find a section with mostly empty gates) - I would let Silas walk up and down, but the true workout came from trudging after him with all our stuff on my back and squatting down to pick him up and "reset" him when he started heading towards the crowded parts of the terminal.

Safe travels, all!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tired Mom, Happy Baby

You remember Christmas as a kid? I mean Christmas Eve, the night before. Going to sleep seemed impossible because tomorrow was going to be so awesome.

Or maybe you didn't celebrate Christmas, but you might still know the feeling - perhaps the day before your family went on a really fun vacation. You might have been up every other hour at night in excitement.

Ok, so maybe you didn't celebrate Christmas and your family never went anywhere. I'm sorry. That sucks. But you still might know the feeling. That feeling of anxious excitement keeping you awake the day before you start a new job or go to a new school.

I'm pretty sure that for Silas, every night must be Christmas Eve. There is no other explanation for how he can almost settle down to sleep, quietly babbling baby bedtime talk before turning over and sitting up and starting to shout about "football" or "doggies."

And once he reminds himself that there could be doggies outside, he can't understand why in the world I would want him to stay in his bed and not go look outside for doggies. After all, if he's thinking about doggies, clearly doggies are around here somewhere.

Imagine that for five nights in a row and you've imagined how my trip up north went with him. Silas could not and would not shut down at night. Somehow, he got by on less sleep than ever and I could only hang on for the ride.

I'll write more about my trip later, but I wanted to finish with the "happy ending" of this story. On our last day of the trip, we had two flights to get home. The first flight was roughly around the time of his afternoon nap. Silas fell asleep in the car about fifteen minutes before we got to the airport and no amount of clapping or singing could have stopped him. This led to him really not feeling like a nap on the two and a half hour flight.

At the very end of the flight, as we began our descent, Silas fell asleep for about another fifteen minutes.

After a two hour layover, we got onto our final plane. I was certain that Silas would fall asleep and remain asleep for the short one hour flight. We boarded the fairly empty and tiny plane and got a row of two seats to ourselves. As the plane taxied down the runway for take off, the cabin lights were dimmed and I thought to myself - perfect!

Then pretty much everyone else on the flight turned on their reading lights. On the tiny plane, this brought the light level up enough that Silas had to look around. He waved to the person sitting a row ahead of us across the aisle. He looked out the window and said "bye-bye doggies" about fifty million times. We read the Airplane Safety Card sixty times or so. Every time I would fold it back up, he would unfold it and point to a picture, looking at me to explain what it meant.

But I was not going to be discouraged. I scooted over to the empty window seat, hoping the space would be a little darker and tried to nurse him to sleep. It was almost working, until the cabin lights came up when the complimentary beverage service began.

I knew when I was beat. I read the Airplane Safety Card with Silas a few more times and we looked out the window together, wondering if, perhaps, there were some doggies outside.

Then we hit some turbulence. It wasn't bad, but my stomach dropped a few times and I'll admit I was somewhat more nervous than usual due to the small size of the aircraft. I did my best to breath slowly and calmly and to force my heart rate to stay normal so that Silas would not sense my nervousness.

He quieted down, looking out the window without trying to pull down the shade or asking about doggies. Was he scared too?

He had never sat so still in my lap, and I was certain he was deciding that this flying business was no fun after all. I couldn't quite see his face since he was looking away from me out the window and was hugging my arm gently. Each new bout of turbulent movement caused him to cling just a touch harder, and I gave him a kiss on the top of his head.

That's when I noticed he was asleep. The hugging must have been an involuntary movement, because he was sound asleep. So sound asleep that even landing did not wake him up, nor the movement of passengers retrieving their bags from the overhead compartment. But we couldn't stay on the plane forever, so I gently woke him and we went on our way.

That night, Silas didn't get to sleep in his crib until ten, and I was ready to cry when I heard him crying in his room at about five in the morning. I sent Smiley to go grab him, and Silas surprised us both by snuggling between us and going back to sleep until eight thirty. He must have been making up for some of that lost sleep. I was very thankful. And I even feel coherent. I hope this blog post reflects that. I'm too scared to check myself.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Two dogs and a kid

This is what it's like having two dogs and a kid.

Sophie: (Sleeping peacefully in dog bed)
Silas: (tries to pet Sophie)
Sophie: (Surprised yelp)
Sherlock: (Comes running from wherever he was sleeping to see if Sophie is ok.)

Silas: (tries to pet Sophie)
Sophie: (moves out of the way and makes a little yip noise. Barely audible.)
Sherlock: (Comes running from wherever he was sleeping to see if Sophie is ok.)

Me: (tickles Silas)
Silas: (Laughs)
Sherlock: (Comes running from wherever he was sleeping to see if Silas is ok.)

Me: (Playing with Silas)
Silas: (Laughing)
Sherlock: (Starts barking: warning, baby laughing)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Upcoming Travel

Silas and I are heading to visit my parent's house fairly soon here, and we're going by plane again. After two very long round trip car visits (18 hours each way), you would think I'd be stoked to know that we'll only have to travel for a total of eight hours each way.

Well, dear readers, I am not stoked. (About the travel, that is. I'm excited about the visit).

In fact, I'm doing my best to not think about the travel, because our flights include our first ever three hour plane trip. I have no clue how to entertain a baby sitting on my lap for three hours. And that doesn't include the time until take off and time before deplaning.

I find myself pacing endlessly, looking at his toys and books and trying to figure out exactly how many minutes each would entertain him. Then I'm trying to figure out how I'll cram that all into a carry-on and then I typically just stop thinking about it and play Age of Empires II. (Did I mention Smiley got me a new copy of it? And that I'm slightly obsessed? It's been so long since I've played it in my younger years.)

My goal this time, by the way, is to figure out how to pack my two carry-on bags as efficiently as possible. I want to be prepared without being over-prepared. I'll let you know how that goes.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Grocery Store Five Part Trip

My old online journal was a lot different from this wonderful blog. I used it mainly to record what I did each day, which tended to be hanging out with friends and going play DDR a lot. And going to Jewel (the grocery store I used to work out). I went to Jewel a ton. In fact, this old post I came across has me laughing at both how outgoing and social I used to be and how many times I can go to a grocery store in one day.

This vintage post came from the summer of 2005. Past me writes:

Well, yesterday was pretty cool. But let's break it down and see how many times I went to Jewel. Argh!

Woke up, went to Jewel - 1
Went to friend 1's house
Back to Jewel - 2
Taco Bell
Friend 2's house
Back to Jewel - 3 
Currency Exchange
Friend 1's house
Jewel - 4
Friend 3's house
Jewel - 5

Well, in any case, though, I had a very good time, although I did fail Sakura.

Three friend's houses and multiple locations throughout the day? I was a freaking social butterfly, people.

In case you're wondering, Eskape is the name of the arcade that I went to all the time to play DDR. (Sakura is the name of a song I was learning to beat on Expert mode). I'm PRETTY sure OCB stands for Old Country Buffet, which is exactly what the name suggests.

I have no clue what I did at Jewel 5 times.

And Blockbuster? Now there's a sign that these were simpler, quieter times.