Sickness everyday/all day… and some media rants.

The last few weeks have been exhausting. Lou has been sick… I’ve been sick. Then right when Lou finally starts laughing again and we seem to be over the cold then we are all hit with the stomach flu. Right now I hate the infant care center. I was expecting more colds and sickness… but I wasn’t expecting to be sick nonstop forever. I’m sick of hearing about how great her immunity will be once she starts school… I really can’t take anymore sickness. My child  has not been herself… laughing or being silly. Plus it is painful to watch your baby suffer. If she continues to be sick I am going to have to find another nanny.  I had a job posting up for a while but gave up and pulled it because we were not getting quality applicants… Ana did go to infant care when she was 18 months old but she was not sick very often. I don’t know if it is just bad timing to start in the winter months… or if the fact that this infant center is much smaller than the one Ana went to is an issue… maybe less air circulating or closer contact. I know that having an entire house of people with stomach flu is one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced. Also, I can’t run when I’m sick… I’m not happy when I can’t run… not happy at all.

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Sick little baby…

During all this sick time some pretty sad stuff has been happening. The death of Philip Seymore Hoffman, a completely tragic loss of father and artist, touched me deeply. For me if he is in a movie, it is worth looking into… I don’t feel that way about many actors. He was very moving in Love Liza, as a man struggling with the sudden suicide of his wife; it is one of my favorite movies…  I hope his death brings more awareness to the disease. I have known several friends that have struggled with this illness and it’s hard to think that after 23 years sober they could still succumb to addiction. It’s scary. It must be scary to be partners with an addict, to build a life with an addict… to have children with an addict. I can’t imagine. I don’t think there is another illness more misunderstood or judged more harshly than addiction… I feel empathy for his family and the loss they must feel.  Love_liza

Also, in the news there was the open letter to Woody Allen written by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. While, I don’t want to write much on this (I have read some very eloquent blog posts on the issue and I don’t feel like I can really add much)… but as a fellow survivor I want to briefly address the issue. I will say that it is very emotional for me (and I’m assuming every survivor) to read her letter. I believe her. I’m not sure if people questioning her validity are aware that Woody Allen is currently married to one of his daughters (?!?!?!) While he may not have been on the official adoption paperwork, he was still the father figure in her life… and his other children considered her a sister…  This makes him a monster. I’m pretty sure Hollywood is a dark place that I don’t want to have anything to do with…  and there are probably sinister predators lurking behind the scenes of all my beloved movie classics… but I don’t think that makes it acceptable to rape your 7 year old adopted daughter. The fact that she was adopted breaks my heart, a little girl in need of a stable family and to have this monster single her out and then call himself her father… and the public reactions. People want to believe that the justice system is there to protect victims and prosecute rapists. Yet when victims come forward people treat them as if they are liars, even at the tender age of seven. I think the most offensive thing I’ve read from Hollywood came from Alec Baldwin tweeting that this is a private family affair. I don’t know what kind-of world Alec is from where child rape is a family affair but it must be one where he makes tons of money starring in one of Woody’s movies… it’s gross. Shame on all who profit from this man.

I know this blog entry is very dark. We’ve been sick and some messed up stuff has happened… Can’t all be unicorns and rainbows.   

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Names we liked but didn’t use…

I have seen this topic on several blogs lately and because I’m obsessed with baby names I decided to write about the names we liked but didn’t use.

I only remember a few of the names we didn’t use with my oldest daughter. We liked Penelope, but didn’t use it because the nickname in Spanish wasn’t very nice (sounded like a private body part). Then we liked Emily but felt it was too common. We ended up using a family name Ana, and we used Catalina as a Spanish version of my mother’s middle name Cathleen.

Our one year old baby took a long time to name. We had the middle names chosen before I was pregnant because they were family names. The first name was difficult because we just couldn’t agree. Names that were on our list were…

  1. Vivienne or Vivi (Before I knew it was a girl I thought this was her name. I was 100 percent sure it would be one of those names… then I found out how popular Vivienne had become (there were about 8 variations of Vivienne in my oldest daughter’s yearbook) and it’s the name of a Bradglina kid. It also just didn’t feel right.)
  2. Evie (After we found out it was a girl I was 100 percent sure I would use this name and even told some friends and family we had picked this name… I almost ordered monograms with this name… I still really like it.)
  3. Ripley (because Sigourney Weaver’s character kicked ass in Alien… and our baby kicks ass… but we decided no in the end.)

    Sigourney Weaver kicked ass in Alien... and all Alien sequels.

    Sigourney Weaver kicked ass in Alien… and all Alien sequels.

  4. Wren (I fought hard for this one but my husband could not get over The Ren and Stimpy Show, which no one even remembers, right?)
  5. Isla (I really love this name, but it just didn’t fit for our baby…)
  6. Kirsten or Kara are personal favorites of mine but my husband did not like either name and they would sound funny with our middle name. We pretty much had to throw out all K or C names.
  7. Sara is also a favorite of mine (Jennifer Connelly’s character in Labyrinth) but it was very popular when I was younger and I remember sometimes having 3 Sara or Sarah’s in the same class.
  8. Raven is a name we both liked a lot… before she was born we were assuming our baby would be darker because her dad is dark and Raven would have been a cute bird inspired name… however our baby is blonde haired and blue eyed… So, I’m glad we didn’t pick this one in the end.
  9. Cricket (I loved this name and my husband hated it, apparently there was a doll in the 80s named Cricket?… I totally don’t remember the doll but my husband showed me the commercials on youtube, it is real.)
  10. Birdy (I also loved this name… notice the bird theme? I really wanted a bird inspired name for our little one)

In the end we chose Louna, it is the French spelling of Luna (meaning moon). I think it is pretty and fits her very well.

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Yurbuds product review…

A friend sent me a pair of yurbuds to review, here are my findings…

First the packaging is nice, not super sleek but it provides a lot of information about the product. The buds I received are a baby blue color; which is one of my favorite colors. The package states they are small sized and have twist lock which guarantees the buds will not fall out. These are developed for women, I’m assuming that means they have similar product for men.

yurbuds packaging

yurbuds packaging

I am a runner, I run every night. I usually run with Motorola wireless headphones so adjusting to the dangling wire was difficult at first. I will go ahead and say that I dislike the wire. The wire does have a clicker similar to the buds that come with the iPhone. You can skip songs, answer the phone, or pause the track using the clicker. The clicker is great but I rarely use it, once I start running I don’t like to mess with anything.

buds

The earbuds have a soft silicone cover which is very comfortable. I have worn them up to one hour and did not have soreness, which I usually get from earbuds. I also like that the silicone can be wiped clean and does not absorb sweat. The buds are made to twist into your ear and I felt like mine were a little too big, even though they are small… However the buds never fell out while I was running, even when I accidentally tugged on that annoying wire they still stayed in. The only worry I have is losing one of the soft silicone ear pieces, the earbuds only come with two sets but they are different sizes. I’m not sure if you can order just the silicone covers to replace lost ones.

I also have only used these running on a treadmill and on a few neighborhood runs this winter. I do not know how well the silicone would work in the hotter summer weather, I wonder if the heat and sweat would cause them to slip out… for the winter months they do their job and stay in place.

The sound quality is pretty good. They did block out noise fairly well without blocking out all outside sound…  which I personally appreciated, I find it dangerous to wear total noise canceling headphones while running.

Overall I like the product. I find them clean, comfortable, and they provide good sound quality. The negatives are the wire (I find all wires get in the way while exercising) and they do not come with extra silicone covers in the same size.

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Husband/ Wife Quiz…

wedding

From our 2010 wedding

I thought it would be fun to do a quiz type thing with the mister… We have been married 3 years and we were together about 7 years before marriage… Here is how it went down. I asked a question and we both had a few seconds to think about the answer… then we had to give our answers at the same time… Below are the questions/answers… the correct response is in parenthesis …

His responses about me (my real answer are in parenthesis):

  1. What’s your wife’s most annoying habit?

Squeezing the toothpaste from the middle. (I thought he would say something about shoes, I leave them everywhere in the house)

  1. If your wife won $5000 what would she spend it on?

The dogs… buying them sweaters and junk. (Ok, not even close… I’d pay off student loans.)

  1. If your wife was married to a celebrity instead of you, who would it be?

Some really hairy guy that looks like an animal… like Jack Black. (WTH? Jack Black? I said Jimmy Kimmel.)

  1. What is your wife’s greatest fear?

Being under water. (I said water tunnels… so close)

  1. What is your wife’s favorite junk food indulgence?

Sugar cookies with sprinkles that are not made or sold anywhere and I have no idea where she has even had them. (Yes, I love cookies)

My responses about him (his real answers in parenthesis):

  1. If your husband had unlimited access to any store what would it be?

Lowe’s! (Any type of electronic store… Lowe’s really? Because I just love fixing crap. You don’t know me at all)

  1. What is your husband’s most irritating habit?

Burping (snoring)

  1. What is the name of your husband’s best friend?

Ben (Adam… why would you say Ben?)

  1. Is there a particular routine you wish your husband would stop?

Staying up late (I don’t have routines)

  1. What is your husband’s favorite movie?

The one with the robot prostitute. (Blade Runner)

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And the woes continue…

So, today was the day that Lou was supposed to dip her feet into the icy waters of the infant care center… however, everything went wrong. First we talked to the director of the program repeatedly beforehand and some things we were told were not true… First issue- the classroom we really wanted Lou in had an opening on the phone but not today? The classroom we requested has a more experienced teacher and the children are a little older. We were told that they had one opening in the room and Lou would be assigned that teacher… However, today when we went to the school they said they did not have an opening in that classroom and it would be at least a month if not longer before they would let Lou into that room. That was very disappointing, as we had discussed this over the phone and I was under the impression it was a done deal… Second issue- Lou was supposed to go for a few hours today to see if she liked the center and how she would adapt without us there but they would not let her do this once we arrived. They said this was fine; I have an email stating it is OK to bring her for part of the day today, but when we brought her (with all the items they asked us to bring… diapers, blanket, change of clothes, etc…) they said she could not stay. They said we had to pay a full tuition payment and then wait a day before she could start full time. They would not let her stay a few hours to see if she liked it… They also would not let me take the forms home to think about it, in order to get the forms I had to give them a check. From a financial point I guess I understand but this is also our church and everyone seemed really open and friendly when we were making plans… Then it all changed when we went to actually drop her off. I’m disappointed, again. I wrote the check because we are now desperate but I really just wanted to walk out. I’m going to set-up interviews again for a nanny but we now have to give two weeks notice at the infant care center to leave… possibly costing us more money.

So with all the things we now know… and how funky the infant care was today, I’m so tempted to just call the whole thing off and see if I can still get my check back… but then who is going to watch this baby and we have no time to find another option… oh, the stress.

Coloring in her color book

Coloring in her color book

On a brighter note she started coloring today. The first time she has used her crayons appropriately! Yay!

Lou coloring for the first time!

Lou coloring for the first time!

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Child Care Woes…

Childcare woes…

I’d like to start by saying we are not rich… far from it. Months before Lou was born, six months actually, we started calling baby care centers in our area. Every single one was full. Every one. They were full until 2013 or 2014… It was crazy. We were on a waiting list at our church but no openings became available… so, we went to care.com and started to search for a nanny. We were surprised to find that having a nanny in our home was actually cheaper than most of the baby care centers we called. I started to plan… and the more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea of having Lou at home. We interviewed, we hired.

Our first nanny… let’s call her “Julie” was nice but preoccupied. She claimed to be in a Jesus based youth group that volunteered on missions to disaster areas. She stated she had just come back from Japan and was planning on going back in a few months and would never return to Kansas City again. We agreed to have her for a short time while we interviewed other nannies. She had good references, and seemed like a caring child provider (when we hired her). After she started she was reading the Bible and studying Japanese more than watching our baby… She also left garbage all over the house; we are talking dirty Kleenex and candy bar wrappers. In addition to the mess Lou started to get rashes and she stopped sleeping at night… probably due to the fact that she slept all day. Our baby had never used pacifiers and now suddenly couldn’t go 5 minutes without one. Julie was ignoring our baby and putting her to sleep while she studied. Then we found a nanny to replace Julie and Julie was off to Japan… or so we thought. We recently saw Julie at Costco, in town not in Japan… Obviously some lies were told.

Julie the Japanese Missionary

Julie the Japanese Missionary

Anyway, our new nanny was perfect. We will call her “Maria.” Maria had obviously been around babies before. She cooked and cleaned up after herself. She was good with our baby. She planned activities and even planned play dates with other kids once a week. She was dependable. She was our nanny for eight months. Lou ran in excitement to the door every morning Maria came. Unfortunately, Maria had unexpected family issues that forced her to leave the nanny position. We were very upset to lose Maria and we know Lou loved her very much. However, Maria called in “sick” the last two days she was scheduled… making up stories of Flu and food poisoning… or maybe she just had the worst week ever. I don’t know.

Maria the almost perfect nanny.

Maria the almost perfect nanny.

Well, when Maria left, we starting interviewing… and then the weirdoes really started coming out. We had a man apply and his cover letter stated he really needed this job to help pay off his student loans from community college… we had a yoga teacher apply that had just gotten back from a mission trip in Mexico… After a week of emails back-and-forth she never showed up to the interview or emailed again. We had a young woman that was very large, large enough to need a walker to walk. She insisted she was quick on her feet… We had someone that gave us a long list of references, each one a disconnected number. There was a woman that knew the exact number of days it had been since her last drink and cigarette… which I have recently been informed means she completed AA… and while I am very happy for her, this job isn’t just a job to us; it involves caring for the most precious and tiny baby, and she is our life… so if I was hiring in a corporate setting I would be more PC but this is my daughter and our home…  and I can honestly plead ignorance because at the time of the interview I had no idea this was an AA requirement, however I still felt it was a red flag. Anyway, we had several other odd balls… we decided on a girl that was moving here from IL, let’s call her Lacy. She had been a nanny for a family for two years. She had good references. She seemed pleasant over Skype… Then she started.

First day went smoothly. No issues. Baby Lou seemed to like her, but babies like most young girls… at least I think they do… Well, day 2 baby has a poo diaper and all hell breaks loose. She starts texting me about it… and then she asks me what to do. She doesn’t want to touch the poo. She can’t handle the cloth diapers. She says there is poo everywhere. She says it’s like a bomb went off. Lacy is losing her damn mind over something that I change 3-4 times a day. When I’m able to assess the damage, there is poo smeared all over our bathroom…all over our trash can… all over the changing table and half a box of wipes are gone. Lacy defends herself stating that she knows what to expect now, and then she said (I’m not joking here)… She was hoping when she took the job not to have to change any poo diapers and she thought because the first day Lou didn’t have a poo that maybe the baby would poo outside of her work schedule. So, Lacy is crazy. I buy some green disposable diapers for her because she can’t handle the cloth diapers we’ve been using for 15 months now… and then the nap problems. Lou won’t sleep with Lacy in the house. Lacy doesn’t sooth her for naps but instead puts her in the crib and while Lou is still there standing she shuts the door and of course Lou is standing there crying like what the heck is going on. Lacy also doesn’t cook… and in cook I mean heat up the already prepared food for Lou’s lunch. So, it’s not working out but it has only been four days. After discussing all this with my husband we decide to spend more time with her and try to see if we can help her understand our expectations… right after this discussion Lacy text messages me that she is quitting. She states she does not have the patience to work with babies.

Great. So here we are. We are tired of interviewing nuts… we are tired of opening our home to strangers and we decide we are putting Lou in baby care at our church. This isn’t an impulsive decision, during the holiday we did a tour of the facility and met the teachers. She starts next week. I’m upset. I feel like I’ve failed her. I had so many great things planned for the summer, all involving a nanny… book clubs and spray parks. I’m not someone that rolls with the punches. I have to have plans and I have to reevaluate the same plans over and over and obsessively loop on things… that’s me.  So this is unraveling all my assumptions of how her infancy was supposed to go… I’m a total mess right now. I know next week I will have some relief knowing Lou is with professionals but I will also have a lot of sadness knowing my plans disintegrated. I am worried about her interacting with other kids… kids with contagious illness… or lice… I am worried about her naps… will she even sleep out of her own crib… will she miss her room, her things… will her vegetarian diet be an issue. I’m worried about a lot of things but I am not worried about the staff. Her teacher is great so there is peace in knowing at least one thing is going to work out… I hope.

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Capricorns are the best, and here’s proof…

capricornzodiac

I don’t really follow astrology but if you insist I do believe I am born under the best star sign… and here’s proof!

Awesome Celebrity Capricorns (Yes, I intentionally left out the crazies like Mel Gibson!)

  1. Betty White (can’t get cooler than sharing your zodiac sign with Sophia)

    Betty White's character Sophia was my favorite Golden Girl... Although I have to admit I loved them all.

    Betty White’s character Sophia was my favorite Golden Girl… Although I have to admit I loved them all.

  2. Liam Hemsworth (ignore the whole Miley Cyrus engagement thing, the guy is hotness)

    and he's Australian... dream.

    and he’s Australian… dream.

  3. Kate Middleton (a real life freaking princess!!)

    kate-middleton-716x1024

    Fun fact her father was a pilot and her mother a flight attendant… adorable.

  4. Zooey Deschanel (she may be annoyingly geeky or “geek chic” or whatever term the media has coined, but to me she is adorable and I love She and Him)

    She and Him is one of my favorites...

    Her sister is Emily Deschanel who stars in “Bones”… which I don’t watch… But Emily is an animal advocate and vegan ❤

  5. Bradley Cooper (do I need to explain why he made the list?)

    bradley

    No caption needed. I rest my case.

  6. Ben Kingsley (amazing)

    ben

    Ben Kingsley was knighted in 2002.

  7. Kate Moss (OK, so she is kind-of cracky-ish but even with the coke bloat I love her… am I wrong?)

    I remember 90's Kate... can't post an unflattering pic of her... just can't.

    I remember 90’s Kate… can’t post an unflattering pic of her… just can’t.

  8. Orlando Bloom (dashing)

    Scruffy Orlando is the best

    Scruffy Orlando is the best

  9. Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean ‘s hilarity crosses all gender/age/socioeconomic demographics)

    Mr. Bean in real life drives too fast.

    Mr. Bean in real life drives too fast… way too fast.

  10. David Bowie (I share my star sign with BOWIE!!!… OMG!!!… Sorry, I think I passed out for a second… deep breath… calming down now.)

    My hero.

    My hero.

I share my actual birthday with some amazing people as well… Dolly Parton, Janis Joplin, Tippi Hedren…. And OMG Bitsie Tulloch (I’m a Grimm geek)

Plays Juliette on Grimm... the only TV show I watch with regularity. I am a super geek.

Plays Juliette on Grimm… the only TV show I watch with regularity. I am a super geek.

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