Archive for June, 2012

  • In Which I Nearly Take Out the Colts New QB with a Stroller

    Date: 2012.06.29 | Category: Baby, Family, Friends, Health, Mark, Sarah, Travel, Weirdness, Whoops, Work | Response: 10

    Our first two days in Indy were fantastic. Despite recovering from the Shingles, Mark was super dad (or as he referred to himself, the Traveling Nanny) and took care of Sarah while I oh-ed and ah-ed over all the things I was learning about page layout, social media and InDesign at my conference.

    I should have known things were going too well. On day three, I came back to our hotel room at lunch and Mark was in a miserable daze, and because I’m obsessed with my child running fever, I carry a fancy ear thermometer with me at all times. Mark was running 102 and barely functioning. We put a call into the doctor’s office.

    Not to be outdone, Sarah took a spill of the bed and injured her wrist. She kept grabbing at it and I was convinced she had broken it. After about 30 minutes of watching her move it though, I hoped it would be ok.

    In the mean time, I had to figure out a way to get Sarah out of the room so Mark could rest. I looked at the map and saw that the Indianapolis zoo didn’t look too far away, so we packed up and started walking. It was a long, hot walk to the zoo, but we made it and Sarah loved it, especially the underwater critters.

    I could do a long post about the zoo, but there is so much more craziness to tell you.

    You see, after my long walk to, through and back from the zoo in the 90+ degree heat, I came back to an even more miserable husband. The doctor’s office finally called back and was calling in a prescription for what we all thought was a sinus infection. After frantically calling Tammy and having her track down a pharmacy in the vicinity, they call in the script to a CVS about 10 blocks away. I called in a pickup order to California Pizza Kitchen so I could pick it up on my way back and have food for everyone.

    So take a moment to picture this in your head: I’ve been walking miles and miles in 90 degree temps all day and I’m exhausted. Mark can barely function, so I have to load up Sarah in her stroller and take her with me. I know the general direction of where the pharmacy is, but I’m not exactly sure and I know they will be closing fairly soon.

    So out we go and I start power walking it to pharmacy, baby in tow. Somewhere along the way, I start noticing everyone is staring at these three guys walking in front of me. They look like they have athletic builds. Then people start saying, “Welcome to Indy” to the tallest of the three. Finally I hear some Jr. High aged kids say, “That’s Andrew Luck!”  I have no idea who Andrew Luck is, so I nearly mow the poor guy over with my stroller because he is in my way and I need to get to the pharmacy immediately.

    I run into the pharmacy and literally have three minutes to spare before they close. Whew.

    Exhausted, I made my way back to California Pizza Kitchen, where they have royally screwed up my order. Apparently they let me place an order for something they don’t even have on their menu and it got lost in the kitchen. I wanted to cry, but the hostess there was amazing, and so was the manager. In no time flat they had free drinks for me and Sarah, took half off our order and then volunteered to carry it back to the hotel for me because they felt so bad for my pathetic, sweaty self and my tired, hungry baby. California Pizza Kitchen gets a hundred gold stars in my book for making it right.

    I make it back to the hotel, get Mark his meds and food.

    I then say, “Mark, is there some sort of sporting event in town or something?”
    Mark: “Probably, why?”
    Me: “Well I almost mowed this guy over with my stroller, he looked like an athlete and everyone was telling him ‘Welcome to Indy.’ I think I heard someone call him Andrew Luck.”
    Mark: “You’re kidding me. That’s the Colts new quarterback and number one draft pick.”

    Can’t you just see the headlines now: Saints fan takes out Colts QB with stroller for bounty.

    I was exhausted, hot, and stressed. I wanted to cry. But in texting Cassie all this I took a step back and realized what a heck of a story it was. I mean, you don’t go to the zoo and bump into NFL quarterbacks every day.

  • Flying and Babies

    Date: 2012.06.28 | Category: Baby, Family, Friends, Life, Mark, Photography, Sarah, Travel, Work | Response: 13

    I have so many amazing stories to tell you from the trip I just took and I’m having trouble deciding where to begin. I suppose with these sorts of things it’s best to start at the beginning.

    I’ve been planning this trip as soon as I saw my conference would be in Indianapolis this year. The conference itself is always interesting, plus one of my best and longest friends lives very near Indy and was expecting her first baby. Then Cassie and I schemed and figured out that I could make my way over to Pittsburgh cheaply from Indy the groundwork was laid. I convinced Mark to come with me and bring Sarah. The only problem with this whole plan was the SIX total flights it took to complete it with an irritable baby.

    I guess since flying with little ones is so difficult, airport security figures you have your hands too full to risk doing anything stupid because if you’re carrying an infant you can get away with the following:

    1. The baby can keep their shoes on.
    2. You can bring on a wide range of liquids exceeding 3 ounces as long as the baby might need them on the flight.
    3. You get to bypass body scanners.
    4. Everyone talks to the baby and you make a million new friends.

    Sarah was amazed by our first two flights over, anxiously looking out the window and blissfully sleeping through most of the long flight from Houston to Indy so she woke up refreshed and happy. She even liked the dogs in Sky Mall.

    When we landed, my friend Tammy’s husband Dylan was ready to get us with car seat in tow, despite having a one-week-old and being extremely sleep deprived. Tammy was doing so well that she met us at the Indianapolis Museum of Art with a packed picnic basket in tow.

    Just to recap, this is a mom who has a one-week-old and managed to pack a full picnic basket and drive herself and her newborn 40 minutes to meet us at a museum. There is no way I would have been capable of all those things one week postpartum. She’s an amazing friend you guys.

    So we ate the wonderful spread while Sarah enjoyed the freedom of outside and tried to jump in the questionably deep fountain about 100 times.

    We took tons of photos on the museum grounds, especially of her sweet little gal. I figured it was the least I could do since they were so amazing and all. Plus, their little girl is the best behaved newborn I’ve ever met.

    And did I mention the grounds there were beautiful? (Please ignore my awful post-plane hair).

    We finished the day with dinner at The Ram and local beer. It was the perfect first day in Indy. Too bad the subsequent days would prove to be a bit more insane…

  • Father’s Day

    Date: 2012.06.18 | Category: Baby, Dogs, Family, Food, Home, Mark, Sarah, Travel | Response: 14

    It was a great, busy day.

    It started with Mark’s favorites, Southern Maid Donuts. I’m not sure who was more excited about them. Look at the look on Mark’s face. And look at the time on the clock. That’s how we roll since having a baby. Sleeping in is 7 a.m. That also explains his wild hair.

    He even shared and Sarah got to eat attack her first Southern Maid.

    We also learned this rookie mistake: feeding the baby straight sugar before church = worst idea in the world.

    We went to my parents for dinner. Mark helped dad on the grill.

    My grandparents helped me monitor Sarah in the baby pool.

    I made peanut butter banana icebox pie.

    And the dogs begged for a slice.

    Jacob recovered in his mom’s lap after a post-McDonalds puke fest while mom was running like lightening in the background to wash everything the puke came in contact with.

    And Sarah played games on my phone on the way home.

    It was a fantastic day.

    P.S. I’m headed to Indianapolis for work and to visit a dear friend of mine who just had a baby and then headed to Steel City to see Cassie and her family and finally meet Bluz Dude. I’m pretty excited about escaping the rising heat. But just in case you think you’re going to raid my house while I’m gone and steal all the diapers and dog food, all of my neighbors are retired and have no greater joy than calling the cops or directly confronting suspicious characters (just ask Susan). You’ve been warned.

  • New Camera Means More Photos

    Date: 2012.06.15 | Category: Dogs, Family, Home, Life, Me, Pets, Photography, Sarah | Response: 14

    So I bought a new camera… a Canon Rebel T2i and I’m in love. And because my dogs and my child are always willing test subjects  (well at least they don’t care if I put photos of them on the Internet) I have lots of pictures of them. Here are some of my favorites I’ve taken over the past couple of days.

    I love that if you zoom in on this one you can see her eighth tooth popping through in the front. Now that’s detail!

    Leela says “Cheese!”

    And Bonnie’s just too focused on the ball to do anything else but stare and obsess. But look, you can see the grass and dirt on her tongue, so that’s fun!

    Duh na na na na na na na na na na…  bat dog.

    We let dad snap a pick. Pardon the raccoon eyes, it had been a long day.

    And finally, I think pigtails are one of the best parts of having a little girl.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

  • Shingles and Lightning

    Date: 2012.06.12 | Category: Baby, Dogs, Family, Health, Home, Mark, Pets, Sarah, Travel, Weirdness | Response: 14

    It started with thunder and lightning that looked like the paparazzi was stationed outside our windows at 4:00 a.m. this morning.

    Within a minute, the dogs, who we pressure gate into the living room, had taken the gate down with the force of two raging bulls, making the gate scatter across the hard floor, before running full steam down our laminate hallway (toenails clacking) and jumped into our bed in shivering balls of fear.

    Shortly after that, the dog noises lead to a screaming baby and the dogs themselves had managed to wedge themselves under my shoulders in the bed.

    It was a fun night.


    Not to be outdone, Mark has been complaining about his shoulder being sore the past three days.

    Me: “Like muscle sore?”

    Him: “No, like my skin hurts when I touch it.”

    There were no marks or rashes, so I didn’t think much of it. Then today he sent me a photo of the back of his neck and it looked like it had been attacked by an angry poison ivy wielding spider. I freaked and told him to call the doctor.

    By the time I got home for lunch and looked at it, I was surprised to see angry welts that started at the back of his neck and formed a line all the way down his right shoulder. I knew what it was immediately thanks to my poor friend Lori – The Shingles.

    So in he went and the doctor confirmed my suspicions. He told Mark he better thank whoever made him come in early (win for me!).

    I then quickly called the pediatrician’s office to make sure Sarah had had her chicken pox vaccine. The answer was, “No, and she can’t until she’s 15 months old.” (For those keeping count, Sarah is currently 14 months and some change). Instead, the nurse told me to just keep them separate. Yea, that’s easy, especially with six plane rides scheduled next week for the three of us. Oh yea, and Mark will be her primary caregiver while I’m in a conference three days next week out of town.

    Fortunately, the pediatric nurse did put a note in to the doctor who had them call me back and schedule Sarah to come in tomorrow morning for her shot.

    In the mean time Mark has to take three horse pills a day and keep his shingles covered up. Fortunately, since they caught it so early, he should be fine in a week – but I’m still not going to let him hold my friend’s new baby when we visit.

    I’m trying to figure out what it is about traveling that makes our family come down with all different manifestations of the plague. Maybe we should stop planning trips and spontaneously but plane tickets instead.

  • Book Baby Shower

    Date: 2012.06.08 | Category: Baby, Books, Food, Friends, Pregnancy, Style | Response: 11

    I love a good baby shower, and I love it even more when I’m helping throw it for my best friend and former roommate.

    My friend Susan is due with her first baby – a little girl – in July. Together with five of her friends, we threw a children’s book themed baby shower.

    However, I got so caught up in writing down gifts and Sarah clinging to my legs that I just got a few detail photos and one group shot. But that’s ok, because the details were amazing.

    Guest sign in! That’s her framed invitation, an adorable embroidery by hostess Kristen and the book Olivia (which is the baby-to-be’s name) that people signed.

    Guess how many swedish fish and win a prize!

    Yes, those are owl cupcakes.


    Baby’s own personal Giving Tree courtesy of hostess Marie.

    Books and food!

    More food.

    Awesome pineapple punch I put together.

    Oh look, there we are. That’s me on the left, and the tiny mom-to-be third from left. Marie, (4th) made the awesome caterpillar.

    So excited for you Sus!

  • Toddler Lunch

    Date: 2012.06.05 | Category: Baby, Food, Health, Home, Sarah | Response: 19

    Remember when I freaked out about school food?

    Well, good news is that we’re well into the groove of sending lunches to school with Sarah now, but sending lunch has brought us to a whole new level of creativity.

    After freaking out and trying to be baby-food health conscious, I was rewarded with a child who hates fruit. Correction, she doesn’t necessarily hate fruit, but she hates its texture (except bananas, but suddenly she only eats those if we DON’T cut them up and so she can attempt to swallow the entire thing like a snake). So we’ve devised inventive ways to get her to eat the fruit that doesn’t always lend itself to easy school lunch. So most of her lunches are veggie/meat heavy and she gets fruit for breakfast and dinner.

    For those curious and looking for ideas, here’s a sample of a few of her meals:

    Note: We almost always try to have one fresh food item, though we do use some store bought items too. We make sure the items we purchase  are healthy, organic and free of dyes and ingredients we can’t pronounce.

    Spaghetti (dad’s recipe with homegrown tomatoes from Pop’s garden) / organic bananas / Happy Baby Veggie Bites

    Potato Veggie Soup
    (her favorite and a great way to sneak in veggies) / Plum Organics Blueberry, Pear and Purple Carrot

    Veggie Chicken Nuggets
    / Kraft Organic Macaroni & Cheese
    (Pardon the bad photo, I had to use my phone)

    Turkey Burger
    / Sargento Natural Cheese sticks / Dr. Praeger’s Sweet Potato Littles

    These are just a few of the lunches we send. We’re constantly trying to find ways to keep it interesting and healthy. Are there any foods your toddler loves that you’d recommend?