Aug 30, 2012

A Bitter Target Experience

Don’t get me wrong, I love Target. I much prefer it over Walmart a million times over so my experience with the cashier at the Folsom Target on Sunday will not prevent me from shopping there in the future, though I may avoid her if I ever see her again.

The experience definitely rubbed me the wrong way. Lynde was with London and I and she was just as surprised by the conversation that went down with the cashier and agreed it was totally inappropriate. Of course, to tell you the story, you may get a little too much information here, so consider this your warning.

I didn’t have much to purchase – the sheets and mattress pads for London’s bed, a lamp I found for her room, fresh mozzarella for my latest cravings and some cleaning supplies. Oh, and disposable breast pads. Sorry, I’m 7 months pregnant, and well, I’m leaking a little.

Lynde checked out first and the cashier hardly said a word to her. Then I get up there and she starts passing my items over the scanner. The she makes a comment along the lines of “oh, good you’re pregnant. I saw your daughter and was going to say she is way too old to still be breastfeeding.” Obviously, she had scanned and noticed the breast pads.

Ok. No harm, as I am definitely not one of those mothers that breast feeds for as long as the child wants to. Had I been, I’m sure I would have been quite offended. And you never know who is in ear shot of a loud-mouth cashier.

I kind of laughed it off and reacted by saying “oh gosh, no, I’m just leaking a little. I actually don’t breast feed.”

And that’s when she went off on me, saying how easy breastfeeding is and why wouldn’t I breast feed.

I tried to squelch the conversation by saying it wasn’t easy for everyone. This woman could not get her head wrapped around this idea, it had been for her, so it had to be the same for everyone else. She would not shut up, so I tried again, saying I had tried and couldn’t produce enough. Nope, no luck.

So I just shut up and paid as quickly as I could. All while this woman went on and on about how easy it is. Not once did she mention all the health benefits I constantly read about breast feeding. I think at one point Lynde or I tried to stop it by saying it’s a woman’s PERSONAL choice. But we literally walked away with her still talking to our backs about it.

And, when I got home, my fresh mozzarella was not in one of my bags. Checking my receipt, I could see I had paid for it. I called Lynde. Nope, it wasn’t in one of hers. The cashier had been so busy telling me how easy breast feeding is, she forgot to give us the bag! Not a nice thing to do to a pregnant woman with cravings!

I know several women beyond myself who would beg to differ with this cashier that breast feeding is easy. We all struggled with it for different reasons. Some powered through and were eventually successful. I was not one of them.

And after we put London on formula, I admit it, it was a relief. My mom and Cameron could help with feedings and I could relax – breast feeding had been a very anxious and frustrating time for me. There were tears in the hospital, in front of a doctor, that I think they were about to diagnose me with post-partum depression. As soon as London was happy, and sleeping with a full belly, and I also got some rest, those tears disappeared.

Cameron and I actually have no plans to breast feed Sydney. I haven’t even decided if I will even try, or at least pump for a month like I did with London, but the expectation is she will be primarily formula-fed, just like I was, like Cameron was and several friends of mine were. I am well aware of the health benefits of breast milk over formula. But in the first few days of having a new born, being able to get the sleep I need to recover from my c-section and not be overly frustrated and tired so I can bond with my child versus resenting her overrule such benefits FOR ME. And I don’t feel like I am a horrible or failing mother for it.

Had I even had a chance to say any of this to the cashier, maybe she would have learned a lesson. But at the same time it wasn’t any of her business. She should have kept her big mouth shut. Treat disposable breads pads the same as regular pads and tampons please. Pass them across the scanner and keep your thoughts and big mouth to yourself.

I did shoot off a rather nasty email to Target on Monday (once I figured out how – they don’t have an easy way to lodge complaints). In it I mentioned my loss of $6.99 for the mozzarella, but mainly I emphasized the need to train their cashiers to handle delegate and personal conversations – in that don’t bring them up! Pretend the item didn’t just pass under your hands.

I did get a response back from Target today. Of course, the first line says" it seems you left behind an item you paid for.." No I didn't leave it behind - the dahm cashier forgot to hand us all my items. Don't push the blame on me. Only at the end does it mention that a pleasant check-out encounter is important to Target and that my thoughts and comments have been forwarded to another team for review. 
Maybe I will at least call to try and get my money back for the mozzarella. 

~ Sarah

Aug 29, 2012

Garden Update

It was touch and go there for a while with a garden this year. Between the grasshopper infestation, an unexpected cool down and rain just as the tomatoes were blooming and some pesky rodents, we weren’t sure how things were going to fair. Of course, we planned on this being a test year anyhow.
But we’ve been reaping the rewards for a while now. Our zucchini and yellow squash crop has been amazing. As you can see from the picture above, the zucchini has been monstrous in size! And in the last few weeks the large tomatoes have been rolling in, as have the lemon cucumbers. I may need to try some canning this year to keep up with some of the crop, although I have been enjoying the tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar.


The cherry tomatoes have also been doing quite well and we have eggplants growing as we speak. The bell peppers and regular peppers are still a bit disappointing, but are yielding results – which is better than past years.


We also now know we need to rethink the design. Our tomato plants grew so much, that they dwarfed the corn. Most of our corn plants never got the sun they needed and have died. We did plant a few seeds a while ago but its not looking like we will get anything from them, as well. Next year we will probably plant the tomato plants around the yard.

Our corn planted from seed - still pretty small

Dead Corn - Thanks tomatoes!

One of the tomato plants - so big it toppled the metal stakes surrounding it!

More tomatoes on their way
We have also gotten some artichokes, but they have been too small to eat. And while we can see eggplant growing, they are still only softball size.

You can kind of make out one of the eggplants
~ Sarah

Baby Bump Wednesdays: 31 Weeks


How far along: 31 weeks
What Fruit or Vegetable size is Baby: Pineapple
Average Size: 15.2-16.7 inches, 2.5-3.8 lbs
What’s going on with Baby’s development: Sydney apparently is headed for a growth spurt – I’m not so sure she has much room for this and I fear the repercussions of a growth spurt. She can also turn her head from side to side and is fattening up even more for her debut. All five senses are working and Sydney is going through major brain and nerve development.
Total weight gain: 26 lbs. - no weight gain again
Stretch marks: Some old ones are getting a little angry looking. I am being diligent with the body oil. If I can only re-stretch old ones, I will be happy.
Sleep: The dreams have seemed to calm down a bit in the last week. The trips to the bathroom have increased along with the burning hips.
Best moment of this last week: Finishing the decorative pillows for London’s new room and getting a lot of the needs for her room purchased. All this meant I felt I could sit down Saturday night and start Sydney’s stocking!
Miss anything: Wine, Corona, running, spicy tuna rolls, being able to bend over easily
Movement: This girl is already ready to stretch out. I can feel her way up by my right lung at the same time she tickles my left hip! My guess is she will be like London and not like being swaddled. London always had to have at least one arm out of the blankets!
Food cravings: Enjoying lots of fresh tomatoes from the garden, chopped up with fresh mozzarella and soaked in olive oil and balsamic vinegar!
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: Have had a few contractions here and there but nothing to signal an early delivery date. 8 weeks to go!
Belly button in or out: out
Wedding rings on or off: Off
Happy or moody most of the time: Energetic – our house gets a little cleaner day by day, especially on the weekends. Cameron says I am already nesting.
Looking forward to in the next week: Getting further on all our projects, including Sydney’s stocking.

Whoopsy. I have been diligent enough with my eating since I failed my blood glucose test by 1 little point or level, that I haven't gained any weight in a month! Not that I see this as horrible. I just want to make sure Sydney is getting what she needs to grow big and healthy.

Luckily, at the appointment with the nurse midwife this morning, she said not to be too concerned. Sydney is measuring a little large any way - she's at 32 1/2 weeks while technically we are only at 31 weeks, so she is growing. I just may be losing weight which results in a no change in weight overall.

The good news is my blood glucose test that I took on Monday came back fine, so definitely no GD! Which means I don't have to watch myself as well. I'm celebrating with a bagel and jam. I'm sure with Sydney due for a growth spurt, I'll bee gaining some weight soon any way. The only other suggestion the nurse midwife had was to drink a little less water and replace it with juice to add some extra calories.

~ Sarah

~ Sarah

Aug 28, 2012

Weekend Update: August 25-26


It was another productive weekend for me, finishing London’s pillows and getting a lot of shopping done for other things we need for her room. I even started on Sydney’s stocking Saturday night!

Unfortunately, Cameron came down with a nasty head cold Wednesday night so he was pretty much on the couch all weekend except for Sunday afternoon for his Fantasy Football league’s draft day. By the time he got home from that, he was in even worse shape.

Luckily, we got him in to see our doctor yesterday afternoon, who put him on antibiotics so hopefully Cameron feels better soon. A side effect of the head cold has been an ear infection which has interfered with Cameron’s sleep which he needs for a speedy recovery.

And we need him back in good health as we are at a standstill with the office until the baseboards get in. He worked on it a little last week, adjusting the door frame to better accommodate molding and baseboards, but the poor guy just has no energy; he reminds me of me throughout the month of July. He even tried to find some energy last night, driving London and me to Home Depot and Lowe’s in search of a battery-operated nail gun. Unfortunately, they were either too expensive or were powered by an air compressor. Hopefully he finds what he needs online and at a reasonable price.

On Sunday, while Cameron and Matt were at their Draft, Lynde, London and I headed to the Sacramento Children’s Museum. We lasted about an hour. I can’t say I was too impressed. While it is supposed to be child-led, that makes it a bit more of a big play center than a learning center. There weren’t any signs explaining what each exhibit was or what a child was supposed to get from the experience.

And some kids were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Their parents just planted themselves on the chairs or benches nearby and played Words with Friends on their iPhones. There were one little guy running around with a cart full of fake food, which was amazingly heavy, and as he was running, he had his head down, so he couldn’t see where he was going. He ran into a few people and spilled the cart several times all while his dad just sat there watching him and smiling.

At least the parents of a little girl doing the same thing stopped her real quickly and even put her in time-out! The little boy almost took London out a couple of times which led me to end our time there.

We had more fun at Target any ways, purchasing the sheets, lamp and mattress pads for London’s room. Well, that was until we checked out. My experience at check out warrants its own post, which is coming, and resulted in my sending Target a very unhappy email yesterday. I would be even more upset about the experience when I got home and discovered that the checker had forgotten to give me the bag with my fresh mozzarella, which I paid for!

And still on Sunday, London and I made it to Home Depot to grab paint for her dresser and side table, along with little rollers to help Cameron with the painting of the office doors and frame.

~ Sarah

London’s New Room Update

Jake supervised the entire process and was quick to test out the pillows even before London!
The decorative pillows for London’s new bed are done. I’m so glad I had energy all week to work on them in the evenings as I was able to finish them just after our Saturday nap. London’s gave the pillows her seal of approval:


After finishing the pillows I pretty much took the rest of the day off from crafts and London’s room. I think I was due for a break anyhow.



As for the dresser, we haven’t picked it up yet. We forgot that we are headed to Chico labor day weekend for visits with old friends and dove season opener. It just doesn’t make sense to go two weekends in a row, so we postponed the dresser pick-up. Good thing too, as Cameron came down with a nasty cold Wednesday night that he actually had to see a doctor for on Monday.

I have, however, come up with the paint design for the dresser and purchased the paints as well as the painting supplies.

Sunday was a shopping day for London’s room. We secured all the sheets and mattress pads, and the paints like I mentioned, plus I found a great lamp at Target that was just too perfect for her room as well. So all the “needs” for her room have been purchased or acquired, and after the dresser is painted, all the To Dos will be done, which means I get to move on to the “wish list” and “hope to dos”! Since most of those are small, I’ve actually already ordered for the London Letters project I have in mind.


This week I do want to get London’s nightstand painted, which shouldn’t be too hard. And I have a few other little things I can do to get ready for moving into her room, so I am not empty handed while I wait for the dresser.

Of course, September is almost here, which means I am also shifting my focus onto Sydney more and more. I have a few projects I want to accomplish for her room, as well as her stocking, but otherwise, my focus will involved prepping all of London’s old clothes and room and getting all the newborn gear out of storage and organized. I did start on her stocking Saturday night, finally! I wonder how far I will get by the end of September? My goal is to spend at least 3 nights a week for at least an hour on it. It doesn’t look like much yet but it definitely is fun to see if come together.


~ Sarah

Aug 27, 2012

Fall Decorating


The downfall of Pinterest? There are just so many amazing ideas out there! One board I have is dedicated to all things Fall , which started as Fall Décor but then I started to add fall recipes and such, so the name change was necessary.


And being the pregnant, body-heat-radiating woman that I seem to be these days, I am sooooo ready for fall. At least the weather has seemed to start to turn, for the time being, with crisp mornings and evenings. It’s still getting up into the 90s during the warm parts of the day.

The sad part is this change in weather has me antsy to start running again. I probably won’t get the greenlight to until mid-December 

Now I am contemplating decorating for fall next weekend, versus waiting for the first day of fall, which is September 22 – at that rate I might as well just wait to decorate for Halloween, which is what I normally do. It doesn’t help that London’s daycare has all their fall decorations up, since they are in Back-to-school mode. And quick trip into HomeGoods yesterday had all their fall décor and Halloween décor out for sale.

I feel like Fall gets a bum rap in our house. Since I usually I do wait to decorate I don’t decorate until October, which of course means I’m focused solely on Halloween. Fall does go up the day/week after Halloween, but the time it gets to be showcased seems so short. The day after Thanksgiving, I am head first into the Christmas decorations and Christmas music.

Should I put my fall décor up early this year?

~Sarah

Aug 23, 2012

Pelmet Box Tutorial

I’m an organized person, so when I start with a project, there are sketches and measurements taken several times before even the first piece of material is purchased. To start on the Pelmet box for London’s new room, I took the measurements of the window. Here they are:
From there, I came up with a design for the pelmet box, resulting in:
Also before I can start a project, I like to have all the necessary materials available and ready – in some cases purchased. This time around it involved:
  • 2 foam core science project boards
  • Masking or duct tape
  • ½” square wood dowel, 1 yard in length
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Batting
  • Fabric
  • Trim
  • Ruler
  • Exacto Knife
  • Pen
  • Cutting Board
  • Stapler and staples
  • Measuring tape

Step 1: Measuring and Cutting

Starting with one piece of the science board, foam core board, I turned it side ways and measured my widths and lengths for half of the overall pelmet box. I always measure twice, to avoid miscuts. I use what I call a quilter’s ruler to measure, draw straight lines with a pen as well as to make the straight cuts. I also always place the ruler on the side of board I will be using so any miscut goes on to the spare. It’s also key to cut slowly, and with foam core board, you need to make several passes with the Exacto knife to get through completely. If you try to force the board apart, you end up with ragged or worse, torn edges. Always start with a new blade on the Exacto knife as well.

The first of two foam core science boards

The clear ruler is what I call a quilter's ruler. Note the cutting board underneath - don't want to risk cutting the carpet.
Step 2: Measuring & Cutting the Arch

To make the arch that reflects the arch in London’s actual window, I tied a piece of string to a pencil, measured it to be 1 1/2 feet and holding the end of the string at the lower corner of my foam core piece, drew my quarter circle. I made several passes with the pencil to get a defined arch. Then I cut very, very slowly.
 
You can see my faint pencil line that created the arch
Safely cut out
The blue tape is where the foam core science board had a slit cut into it so it could stand up. I didn't want this one to move so the tape is to secure it and take away its flexibility.
Step 3: Mirroring my first piece
This is where the measuring went out the window. For the second piece for the front, I simply flipped the first piece over, drew the necessary cut lines and then used the quilting ruler to cut straight lines. Viola, the two front pieces are done.
Given the second piece was just a mirror image of the first, I flipped the first over and traced its outline for the second
See?
Step 4: Sides
Given the sides of the box are simple rectangles, it was pretty easy, following my measurements again.

Step 5: Back panels.
The back panels were also rectangles. I originally planned to have the back panels only 1” wide, but decided this was too thin so I went with 1 ½” wide. Sometimes plans need to be deviated once you start to see it visually. The only reason for this panel is to affix the box to the wall.
The front, side and back pieces
Step 6: Connecting the pieces
While on Sydney’s Pelment box, I used duct tape to connect all the pieces together, I couldn’t find it this time. But I did have a new roll of painters tape on hand after having taped off the windows in the new office so Cameron could get painting started. Excluding scotch tape, any thick width, strong tape will work as the connections will further be strengthened by the wood dowel pieces, batting and fabric. One thing I learned later in the project is it may be better to consider using thick masking tape if you have a light colored fabric.
All together now
So you can see some of the securing of the inside
And more of the outside
Step 7: Strengthening 90 degree angles
With the wood dowel, I used a hand saw to cut the yard length down to about 2” pieces. I then used my glue gun to secure these small pieces to the various 90 degree angles on the inside of the pelmet box to strengthen the connections and angles.


The wood dowels in the inside 90-degree angles
Step 8: Batting
I laid the batting out flat on the floor and placed the pelmet box front side face down and cut a size of batting that would cover the front and the sides only. No need for it on top, as no one will see it. I then used the glue gun again to affix the batting to the front of the pelmet box, pulling it tight as I went. The key is to work one end to the next and in small portions. Then I cut any excess batting off.
  
First I cut a piece just over the size I would need

Gluing time
Then cut off the excess.
Step 9: Covering the box with Fabric
Being that I needed to purchase the fabric in advance of this project, I already knew I needed a piece that was 80” long. The fabric was 43” wide, which would cover top to bottom of the box. The 80” length would go from side to side, starting from the inside, so that the back/wall panel was covered as well. The total length to cover the box this way was 78”, but I like to add a little extra just to be on the safe side, so that’s how I came up with the 80” number.


I like using foam core board because to adhere the fabric I can use your run-of-the-mill desk stapler. Laying the fabric facedown on the floor, I then put the pelmet box facedown over the fabric. I stapled on one side, pulled the fabric tight and stapled the other side. Then I did the bottom, pulled tight again and did the top.


For the arch, there was cutting involved. First, I cut out the bulk of the middle, then every 3 to 4 inches cut a slat so I could fold the fabric to the back easily. Just make sure not to cut the slat up to the board.


Just when I thought I was done and was getting ready to take a picture, I discovered why thick masking tape may have been better to use than blue painters tape or duct tape, at least when using light colored fabric. I could see the blue painters tape!


I undid all my staples (all I had to do was get a finger nail under it and pull – love foam core board!) except for the staples that lined the fabric around the arch. I added another layer of batting and for added protection, a layer of masking tape! Then I restapled!
  
Lay the fabric flat on the floor, face down.
Then staple tight

Fabric is on - now just the trim
Step 10: Trim Time!
As an added finishing touch, I wanted to add some trim. Thinking I was going to find a trim that could go up into the arch, I ended up going to Joanns for 5 1/2 yards of whatever I found. When I found this sparkly trim I loved it but walked away a few times because I wasn't sure how it would do in the arch. But, it was all I liked or could find, so I bought the 5 1/2 yards. By the time I got home (I bought it on my trip to Chico) I knew I wouldn't need the full 5 1/2 yards, as I decided not to try it in the arch and just line the top and bottom of the pelmet box.
I have plans for the extra, though, so it won't go to waste. As for adhering the trim, it was done quickly with my trusty glue gun. Even Cameron mentioned how it added a little something extra.
 
The final product from afar - if you look closely you can still see tape. Maybe white duct tape next time?

Close-up of the trim
 So there you have it, my DIY Pelmet Box. Now to just get the room ready for decorating!
~ Sarah

Aug 22, 2012

Baby Bump Wednesday: 30 Weeks


How far along: 30 weeks
What Fruit or Vegetable size is Baby: Cucumber/Head of Cabbage (Swear we have had these options already!)
Average Size: 15.2-16.7 inches, 2.5-3.8 lbs
What’s going on with Baby’s development: Sydney’s skin is getting smoother and her brain more wrinkly. Plus she is now strong enough to grasp a finger. Hard to believe how soon it will be before she is grasping ours!
Total weight gain: 26 lbs.
Stretch marks: Still none
Sleep: I’m starting to wish for a night without dreams as they are getting weirder and weirder and are interfering with me getting a good night’s sleep.
Best moment of this last week: Going to the doctor’s and learning I didn’t gain any weight in two weeks! Plus, thanks to my mom, we secured the perfect comforter for London’s new room.
Miss anything: Wine, Corona, spicy tuna rolls, being able to bend over easily and right now especially, running.
Movement: Sydney is more of a wiggler and mover than a kicker, except when I have a contraction. Now I’m really glad for a scheduled C-section. As long as she doesn’t decide to come early I’ll avoid what I can only imagine would be a punching-bag marathon for labor.
Food cravings: Finally had my sautéed mushrooms last week. Not wanting anything in particular at the moment, except wine, and I can't satisfy that for a little while longer.
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: Have had a contraction here and there but nothing to signal an early delivery date. 9 weeks to go!
Belly button in or out: out
Wedding rings on or off: Off
Happy or moody most of the time: A little anxious, and tired which has brought on the moodiness more.
Looking forward to in the next week: The weekend so I can get a little more sleep and getting baseboards up in the office.

We had a doctor’s appointment last Thursday, as we are now on the every two weeks schedule - the first signal that the time is drawing near. All is going well. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t gain any weight in between appointments as I know now is when I can really put it on. I actually didn’t see the doctor, but the nurse mid-wife. And I think she jinxed me. She asked if I had had any contractions. I’ve had Braxton hicks here and there, but not any true contractions. She warned us that they are more likely with a second child and told me that if anything becomes consistent to head for the hospital but not to worry if there were a few here and there.

Well, Saturday I had one. I had been doing stuff around the kitchen, not to mention the yard work and a walk. Still it caught me off guard. The second it happened, I quickly went and sat down as I took it as a sign to slow down and relax. I’ve only had one more since then and that was on Monday when we were walking around Costco. We’re fast walkers and being at Costco is no different. As soon as the contraction hit, I slowed it down, trailing further and further behind Cameron and London. I’m crossing my fingers that any more I have are just one-off instances like these and that I don’t go into full-fledged labor at all. Just let me get to October 24, please! Which is only 9 weeks away!
Sydney didn't seem to enjoy the contractions much herself. Man can she get going on me when one does hit - I definitely felt like a punching bag and in those moments they reminded me more of when I carried London. I may have had a contraction last night as well, as Sydney woke me up, punching bag style.

I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. Single digit weeks to go is a bit crazy to think about. And at the same time, the way I am feeling most days, the time can’t go by quick enough. I'm definitely entering that phase where I am uncomfortable more of the time than not. And the radiating body heat sucks! It’s finally cooling off at night again so we can have a fan going in the window to draw in the cool air, and Monday night I actually got to sleep with a blanket over me. It’s no fun when you go to hug your husband and he says that you are so hot you are making him sweat within seconds of the hug!

~ Sarah

Aug 21, 2012

Toddler Tuesdays: TV Dinners

This is quality time to me, especially since London is not a big cuddler. By the way, Tulley photo-bombed this picture - she was sleeping on the kitchen tile and ran in as soon as she saw Cameron picking up the Camera!
The biggest pro-parenting tip I keep reading about these days is sitting down as a family for dinner every night with no distractions, including TV, cell phones and other technology gadgets. I know a big reason these articles are showing up right now is because its back-to-school season and with it, the crazy schedules of sports and other after-school activities that can be the cause of meals on the run.

Obviously, we don’t have to worry about back-to-school or after-school activities, yet. A part of me dreads how we are going to handle such when the day comes, as I am sure Cameron and I will both be working full-time as we do now.

But all the hubbub has me evaluating how we eat dinner now and has me thinking back to how I ate dinner as a child. All these articles list the various reasons as to why the family should sit down, distraction-free for dinner. Most of these articles also say you should do this 4-5 times a week versus Sunday dinner.

As a child, I rarely remember sitting down with my parents for dinner unless it was a holiday or company was over. Most weeknights our kitchen table was covered in mail, other paperwork, my mom’s purse, car keys, dad’s wallet, my backpack, my flute case and random items brought in from the cars and garage, not to mention my first cat, Kiddy. That cat loved that table and its chairs and could often be found lounging on the table or under it on one of the cushioned chairs.

I usually ate my dinner at the end of the counter in the kitchen, sitting on a bar stool, facing the TV and watching whatever was on. It was either something I had turned on or something my mom had turned on, which I recall being the evening news most often. In the early years, I know my mom was usually around and I recall my dad usually came home from work while I was sitting there.

In the later years I know dinner was a more solitary or brief affair. Usually I was scarfing something down that my mom had prepared while I was at some sports practice or another before I headed to my room to do homework. I have more family dinner memories from having dinner at friends’ homes than at mine.

The thing is, I don’t think I turned out so bad from not having family meals around a dinner table, distraction-free. I don’t think I missed out on all that much either. And it’s not something Cameron and I are too concerned with in our home. The sit-down-around the dinner table as a family thing happens more when we go out to eat.

Part of this has to do with London being a hungry hippo the second we walk through the door from daycare. This is usually 5-5:30 PM. We usually make her a meal or snack, depending on what we are having for our main meal. And once she is settled down, we usually work on making our own dinner or something else that needs tending to. One of us does sit with her, but I can guarantee, up until recently, the TV has been on with either the news, one of our comedy shows or one of London’s shows.

And the only reason we are now turning the TV off when London eats has more to do with her safety than it does with quality family time. I know we get quality family time, which to me, does include cuddling while watching a movie. The only reason we turn the TV off is because London keeps turning her head, and body around to see the TV while she eats. This wasn’t a problem until she actually slipped out of her booster seat and landed hard on the floor. She actually has a nice bruise on her knee from this fall.

See, the buckle no longer works thanks to Melody. When we still had Melody with us, she would run to London’s chair as soon as London was done eating to clean up after her. One night we caught her eating one of the straps to the buckle as it was covered in spaghetti sauce. London has only now outgrown the setting it was on at that time and Melody ate enough of the strap that we can’t lengthen it.

And that is why the TV is off or paused when London sits down for dinner. Not because we feel it’s that important to sit around as a family, distraction-free for dinner. Maybe when the girls are older and can wait for dinner to be served between 6 and 7 PM will we be better or if we feel we need to achieve the so-called benefits. But for now, those aren’t concerns of mine. More likely, we’ll just be purchasing a new booster chair for London since it will need to survive Sydney.

~ Sarah

Aug 20, 2012

Weekend Update: Small Steps with the Water Park

We had another lovely weekend at home this past weekend. While the temperatures are still near triple digits, we have been blessed with cool mornings. By 10 AM on Saturday, we were already feeling pretty accomplished, given Cameron had made a milk and donut run after London woke up and we managed to get the front and backyard work completed. It’s amazing how a freshly mowed lawn, and deadheaded roses and lavender makes when it comes to our front yard looking put together.

The rest of Saturday wasn’t as productive. Sure, we made a Costco run and a run up to the Green Acres Nursery, but we didn’t get any perishables at Costco as we intended to go to Home Depot after Green Acres which left me without my breakfast and lunch staples for the week on Monday (we made a Costco run Monday night to cover me for the rest if the week).

And while we got the sprinkler head Cameron was in search for at Green Acres, we walked away without any lady bugs for the aphids on my roses. Seems they are seasonal. To top it off, we didn’t make it to Home Depot because London and I were both getting quite cranky and in need of naps. London didn’t even make it home before falling asleep. The only other thing I did accomplish on Saturday was cleaning up the new office so Cameron could work with the baseboards.

Sunday was a much more productive day for me. Not only did I complete London’s curtains, most of the laundry for the week and get almost all the dishes done, but I also started on the decorative pillows for London’s room. We did make it to Home Depot but didn’t purchase any baseboards. I did pick up some paint sample cards to start looking at for consideration on London’s dresser.

Sunday night we had plans with London’s friend Evan and his parents. We were again going to meet them at the water park near Lowe’s and then have a quickly dinner afterward. The entire park was packed when we got there, but we were still able to set up our chairs in the shade of the clock tower next to the water spouts. And this time London actually got wet!

Last time we went, we could barely get her to get her feet wet. This time she had fun getting her feet wet and “painting” foot prints on the dry concrete and then running around the water area. And a few times the water spouts caught her off guard and she’d get a little wet. Not drenched like Evan, but she wasn’t completely dry either by the time we headed off to Rubio’s for dinner. Baby steps, baby steps. My bet is if we take her a few more times before this heat turns into fall she’ll really get into the water. But Cameron and I both admit, the water is a bit too cold for our liking, so we wouldn’t put it past London to never get drenched unless it was unbearably hot.

One other thing we did accomplish this weekend was watching the Hatfields & McCoys miniseries we recorded ages ago on the History channel. We stayed up well past midnight on Saturday we were so drawn into it. Definitely a miniseries I would suggest to anyone. Of course, it now has us wondering how much was based on true events and what was played up for the show. I do have to say Kevin Costner did an amazing job in it and I hope he wins the Emmy. The miniseries itself is nominated for something like 14 Emmys, with Bill Paxton and Kevin Costner up against each other in the leading man category.

~ Sarah

London’s New Room Update

While progress on the office remodel and Cameron moving into it is definitely moving at a slower pace than I would like or am currently comfortable with, progress on projects for London’s room are proceeding.

This past weekend, I managed to get the curtains completed. I even asked London if she liked them when I was done and she said yes and asked if they were hers! You’ll have to wait and see them when her room is pulled together and revealed. Cross your fingers that this is sooner rather than later.

Last week, after searching the web, and in the stores of HomeGoods and Tuesday Morning, I finally found the kind of comforter I was envisioning. I wanted it to be blue as that is London’s current favorite color. And guess where I found it. Ikea.com.

But it wasn’t that easy – of course not, not after all the searching I had done. The comforter wasn’t available for online orders and it seemed the twin/full size version wasn’t in stock in Sacramento, Emeryville or Palo Alto. There wasn’t even an expected in stock prognosis date available online or through store phone systems. By the way, try to avoid ever calling an Ikea’s phone system when they open. I have done this twice now and find if very aggravating – the system is either not own, or at least the stock prognosis line is not on until a good hour after the store has opened. This happened with both the Sacramento and Tempe, AZ stores.

Speaking of the Tempe, AZ store, online it showed they did have the comforter in the right size in stock. I called my mom for help. I asked if she and my dad could plan a visit to the Tempe store? My mom did one better and took her neighbor Barb with her this morning! Had she waited for my dad, they wouldn’t have been able to go until Thursday at the earliest. A quick call to my mom by 11 AM this morning and she already had the comforter in her bag, along with the recommended pillow to go inside the included, matching pillow sham as well as a few other special treats for London.

Here’s a picture of the comforter:

I completed the curtains by Sunday afternoon which meant I had the time to sit down and take measurements of the pillows for London’s bed and come up with designs for them. With the comforter coming with one matching pillow sham, I decided I only needed two large pillows to complement it, the curtains and the pelmet box and I wanted the design to be the same. Here is what I came up with, but image the solid orange to be a polka dot orange:


Recently, London received a package from my parents. In it was a cute vintage print Hawaiian dress, a turtle shirt from Hawaii, some PJs that I’ve been using as regular clothes (you cannot tell they are meant to be PJs and I think she should be on the beach combing for shells when she wears them) some socks, and some quilters squares for me to use in her room. There was solid orange, solid pink and then matching polka dot versions. The colors were spot on with the rest of the fabric and the orange is really going to help break up some of the pink!

The two smaller decorative pillows I wanted to be different. Here’s the design for the first one:


It will include the satin turquoise ribbon I used on the curtain as well as some of the left over trim on the pelmet box.

Here is the second:


I know this one will be a bit time consuming, but I think I will be able to get all these done by the end of the week. Wish me luck. All are going to have a sleeve back that have an inch over-lap at the slip so I can slip the covers on and off the pillows easily.

Here are the updated lists:



~ Sarah