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Archive for March, 2006

I am NOT a morning person, am I?

March 29, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Adams

Today I turned my computer on at 6:11 am. 

Yesterday I turned it on before work, but that was in order to pay bills.  Today I turned it on to blog.  I am typing on my computer at 6 am to blog. 

I am NOT a morning person.  Not sure if I am capable of ever admitting that, no matter how early our new schedule FORCES me out from under the covers.

In high school my mother must have bribed my brother and I to get out of bed, because, given the opportunity, we would have easily slept until 11:00 am each day.  In college, I never scheduled an 8:00 am class … until my last semester, when I didn’t have the option otherwise.  Over the last seven years I have arrived at work more often after 8:00 am than before 8. 

In the last two years, Devon’s first class has started at 6:40 am.  Before the baby, he would quietly slip out of bed and get ready for work in the dark.  After the baby was born, we worked out a schedule that fit both of our behavioral patterns:  when the baby woke up throughout the night, Devon would go to the bassinet (and, later, the crib) to hold the baby and change her diaper; then he would bring her to me for milk and, by the time she was done nursing, I would have mustered enough energy to pick the baby up to return her to the bassinet/ crib.  If this was the morning feeding before daycare, then Devon would return for the baby and prepare her for daycare, and I would return to sleep. 

Now, trying to return to sleep after 6:00 am when you have trouble falling asleep (and waking up) is not a good habit when you need to (try to) be at work around 8:00 am.  Even once Claire started sleeping through the night, I felt like I was always tired and continued the habit.  Only on the days Devon was running late, did I get out of bed to dress the baby (and go back to bed after they left for daycare).  This past New Year’s I made the decision to try harder in the mornings.  I started to dress the baby daily AND stay awake.  At first that meant I sat and watched the news after they had left because I didn’t have energy to move.  Then I added breakfast and sometimes a chore or two before getting ready for work.  NOW I’m blogging!  I’m on my computer before work in the morning and I’m not sure how to feel about it.  Happy?  Yes.  Sad?  Yes.  Energized enough to run around the block?  He!! no!

And yes, no matter how early we wake up these days, I’m still technically late for work.

The funny thing my daughter did tonight

March 26, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Claire

At her nine month checkup, Claire’s iron levels were low and the doctor prescribed a liquid iron supplement.  We postponed starting the iron due to Claire’s multiple ear infections and her subsequent tube surgery – one medicine at a time is enough with a baby.  We finally started the supplement about two weeks ago (when Claire was 11 months old).  The directions are crazy; she cannot take it within two hours after MILK or one hour before MILK and she cannot lay down 30 minutes after finishing the iron (which is combined with juice in her sippy cup).

For those of you without children, my emphasis on MILK might seem strange, but SHE IS A BABY.  Babies drink milk; they NEED milk.  Combined with the difficulties of dividing her feeding schedule between daycare and home, these new rules have increased our frustrations.

Tonight, in order to convince her to drink her iron laden juice, I pumped her full of Earth’s Best Organic Crunchin’ Crackers (the plain flavored variety because I typically devour the cheesy type once the box is opened).  Since Claire had already finished her dinner at the highchair earlier in the night, I thought she could have her snack while sitting next to me on the couch.  What a nice family moment . . .

The pride I felt in my daughter climaxed when she turned to our dog, held out a cracker, allowed him to take a bite, then put the rest of the same cracker back in her mouth.  Ah, parenthood.

Best Buy Girl

March 22, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

We fly home every year for Christmas to visit the parents
and it was awesome taking Claire last December. She had a little reindeer
outfit on that included antlers and played with Grammy’s dogs and was able to
tear up wrapping paper all over the house. Tonight I swear she thought it was
Christmas again. She’s back on ear drops now for her umpteenth ear infection
and we’ve been forcing antibiotic drops down her ear canals while she screams.
Afterward we felt guilty and I let her utterly destroy my Best Buy AD that I
was waiting to read. She has this odd propensity for pulling things around the
back of her head like a cape, to the point where I call her “Supergirl!” Claire
did this with each and every page of the advertisement before we scooted her
off to bed.

A girl and her dog

March 21, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Dante, Pets

Did I mention that we have a black Lab named Dante. Now he’s
no Chuck but he sure is smiley and licky. He and Claire are the bestest of
friends, much like Jake and I were when I was little. When we bought him his
name at the shelter was Nicholas. Now who the hell calls his dog Nick? Surely
not us. We’re both "D"s and I think we know every single Dan in the
entire central-Arizona so suddenly Donna says "he looks like a Dante"
and so be it. He becomes Dante, which is kind of ironic because Dante means
"devil" and Nick is a name associated with Satan. Of course he
doesn’t sacrifice rats with wings who crap on the roofs around our house and
make hooting sounds so that my father-in-law swears that there are owl in the
middle of Suburbia, but he sure does lick. Always has. And Claire loves it. I
mean eventually she will date a boy and God forbid they will make out someday,
but she sure is practicing with Dante. So here’s a picture of him for good
measure.

Dante_2

She’ll be running marathons soon

March 20, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire

Donna gave birth to Claire last April after a careening
drive home from work that made OJ look like a nun driving over the steering
wheel sitting on several phone books. And speaking of phone books, why do they
still stick them on my front porch every couple months? I’ve got three laptops
and a secure wireless network with two silver phallic antennae sitting in my
office, so why the hell would I walk across the room, flip through some over-sized
phone book with pages thinner than Bible pages and look for some phone number
that I could actually get by typing about two lines of text on my keyboard that
I keep super glued to my legs.  So back
to Claire’s birth. After I played Pole Position through the street of my
suburban town, we made it to the hospital where she laid upside down on the
waiting room couch before they’d believe that yes something the size of a
watermelon wanted to shoot out of her.

It’s now almost 12 months later, she’s about ready to walk
all by herself and has even begun to shuffle walk, and I write this after
putting her down for a well-deserved sleep.

purse germs

March 19, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Miscelany

Did you know that one of the dirtiest objects you interact with on a regular basis is your purse?  OK, all the guys are saying, "uh, not MY purse".  Whatever.  I watched a segment of the news that tested the bottom’s of women’s purses and I have since blanked out all of the pertinent details other than my initial reaction:  "EW!".  Apparently, we sit our purses on the floor of public restrooms when we’re doing our business and the purse collects the germs that are sprayed about when people flush.  Then we leave the restroom and sit our purses everywhere, including restaurant tables, and spread the feces around!  If I ever felt like scrubbing my skin raw with a loofah sponge, now would be that time.

The last one from Los Angeles

March 19, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Leisure, Los Angeles, Travel

The
Getty overlooking Los Angeles is a free museum set up
by the philanthropist J. Paul Getty.  The stark marble brightly loomed
above the LA highways, and Saturday morning we made this our first stop.  A
coworker of Donna’s recommended this museum, and since Esther and Kimmy are
artists, it was the perfect stop on our final day in LA.  After parking at
the bottom, we entered a tram that crawled up the side of the hills overlooking
the city and ocean.  Claire sat in her stroller facing a window revealing where
we started and she giggled at anyone who would listen, including the rude
couple who pushed their way through us and took the two seats next to the
stroller parking.  The Center itself had several different wings that we
wanted to peruse, but Claire’s voracious appetite got the best of her and we
had to pause for food.  After I smacked down a $20 for a small salad, two
waters and a cup of fruit, we fed Claire near the gardens on the north side of
the Center.  Kimmy and Esther made their way ahead, and later when we had
caught up with them, I saw one of my former students who chose to quit public
high school to go into real estate in California.

Santamonica7

Before
our visit Kimmy asked what we wanted to do while we were in LA, and the only
thing other than Disneyland that I could think of was taking Claire to the beach.  I hoped to get her
feet wet and take pictures of her smiling in the crashing waves, but the beach
isn’t very warm in March.  We drove to Santa Monica Pier and dragged the
baby down the beach while she giggled as the wet wind blew around her.  Donna
stood her near the surf and I clicked a photo but wanted another without anyone
else in it.  I begged Donna to sit Claire in the sand and she
eventually acquiesced.  As soon as she let go, Kimmy and Esther screamed
“Wave! Wave! Wave!”
Donna swooped Claire up, just as the ensuing wave crashed
against her shoes and jeans.  A relatively irked Donna carried Claire into
the warm, windless safety of Bubba Gump Shrimp for dinner.

 

Now
don’t get me wrong, amusement park games are fun,Santamonica36_2
especially when you have a
small child or a

date to impress, so we played this dart game on the pier where
you throw darts at balloons. If you break the balloon you get a prize.  Of
course they never tell you that you need to hit like a bazillion balloons to
get something more than an ugly trinket that smells.  So eventually Donna
and I won Claire a purple elephant, and after we took some pictures of her with
it, and walked away, Donna mentioned how expensive purple elephants are.  I
gave her a quizzical look before realizing that we spent $14.00 on a stuffed
elephant that will sit on the shelf with the scads of other stuffed animals she
has in her room at home.  Oh well.

Gasoline
for trip = $60; Disneyland adventure = $85; museum parking = $7; Pink Elephant = $14; the look on Donna’s
face as she rescued Claire from Poseidon’s clutches = Priceless.

Disneyland and Spanish Card Games, or LA Part Dos

March 17, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Los Angeles, Travel

The low lying clouds across LA
county made us desert rats happy, but the rain did not. We weren’t sure if the weather would be worse
on Friday or Saturday, so we made our way to Disneyland
with Claire. Kimmy has a silver pass
that allowed us access Disneyland for free: yippee! As we extracted the beast of a stroller from
the back of the truck, I asked Donna if she wanted to take her raincoat.
Looking at the amount of items we were attempting to stuff under the stroller,
she shook her head "no" and eyeballed the cloudy sky.

Main StreetWe took the elevator down from Daisy
2 Parking Garage and across the tram to the entrance. Kimmy waved his ID badge and we began to walk
up Main Streetin The Happiest Place on Earth. After a
few hours and a nice lunch, it began to rain. Esther moved closer to Kimmy, under the umbrella, and I sat eating pot
pie in the rain before pulling my lightweight raincoat (which I chose to bring)
up around my ears.

Disney33_1
Donna, sans raincoat, pulled the
stroller top over Claire who was wearing her Hannah Anderson outfit from Aunt
Susan and a pink fleece hat. Even though the stroller seat was reclined, Claire
kept pulling herself forward to play in the rain. We eventually had to give up
on the drenched stroller all together and after purchasing her a t-shirt with
Minnie on it, we turned the plastic bag upside down, tore holes in the bottom
and both sides, then slipped it over her head. Her makeshift raincoat reminded me of Natalie Portman in Garden
State.

In order to experience one exhibit,
the attendant told us to park the stroller outside the front entrance; Donna
flipped out about leaving the Mercedes of strollers (well at least the Volvo of
strollers) out where anyone could roll it away. With a sweeping hand I showed
her the other thousand strollers lined up outside rides all over the park, but
she still wasn¹t happy about it. After the ride, everything was exactly as she
left it and the strap of the heavy diaper bag I carried through the exhibit
only left a semi-permanent indentation on my right shoulder.

Even with free tickets to the park,
there gets to be a point where you just cash it in and head to the warm, dry
car. Of course, about the time we made it there is when the rain dissipated.

That evening Kimmy taught us a card
game called Continental, which we loved immediately. Donna and I are game
freaks as you can tell from here. The game changes each round and there are
eight total rounds. Esther and he play
this game in Madrid with her father when they visit, and they lose to him even
worse than they lost to me that evening.

Los Angeles Part One

March 16, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Los Angeles, Travel

After waking up well before dawn, we peeled ourselves from the comfort of the bed and poured ourselves into the truck for the trip.  Claire was quietly sleeping while I drove through the early morning pre-dawn toward LA.  The day before Donna and I put together a playlist for trip and I needed to make a couple CDs.  When I was done I had over 100 songs and could not figure out how to chunk them all down.  I decided to burn songs in alphabetical order, so somewhere along the trip I get to listen to “Here I go Again” and “I Wanna Rock” right after one another as I drive east on 80 miles an hour.

The Czech Republic has red and white tanks, which probably explains why they’re not a world super power.  This tank and others lined the fenced-in yard outside of the Patton Museum in the middle of the desert near where we stopped for breakfast.  After two cups of sludge coffee, I drove the last leg of the trip to Glendale, CA.

The highways of California make PA’s feel like driving on glass.  About 45 minutes from Kim’s apartment, we thought we had blown a tire.  The truck was jumping all over the road and bouncing like an earthquake had hit under the chassis.  After pulling over and checking the tires while semi’s whipped around me at 80-90 miles an hour, we discovered that it was just the road and we should proceed with jackrabbit caution.

We’ve not seen Esther in four years and that was nice.  We drove to Disney for a tour of where Kimmy works in Circle 7; we viewed ping pong tables, free arcades, free Coke machines and tons of cubicles linked together and decorated with whatever element of creativity the possessor deemed fit from Death Star pez dispensers to photos of children to lamps adding ambience lighting as if the worker were sitting on his own couch.

That evening we sat around their granite dinner table and Claire, from between our legs, looked up and shouted “BOB!” in the perfect little baby voice with a hint of Chicago accent.  Now I don’t know anyone named Bob and I only know one person from Chicago.  So now every time Donna asks Claire who I am, she looks at me and says “Bob!”  I am still trying to figure out who this Bob character is and tomorrow I am interrogating the mailman.

LA here we come

March 15, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Adams, Leisure, Los Angeles, Travel

So my cousin Kim accepted a job working for Disney a
couple of months ago and
planned to stop by Phoenix
on his
drive to California but then decided that he and his wife would fly to
CA.  A few weeks after that he suggested
that my wife
and I visit
, so here we go. Tomorrow morning
we
are driving to Los Angeles for the long weekend.
Kim promises that we’ll
take Claire to Disneyland. 
Even though most people
I’ve mentioned this to ask “Why, she won’t remember it!”
, my response remains:  “But we
will!”

Kim is a Disney guy without an
assignment since they pulled Toy Story 3.  So he’s taking classes and
wandering around California with his wife Esther.  To read more about them, go
here and here.  I am sure that we’ll post along the journey, and please wish us
luck… we’ll need it with a six hour, 396 mile car ride with an 11 1/2
month old.


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