I mentioned on Patrice's blog that because I blog so infrequently I will occasionally keep a list of keywords near the computer so that when I get around to it I can remember what stories I wanted to tell. Of course this means my posts are now insanely long, seemingly random and probably a pain in the ass to read. So I've decided to use some keywords within the posts to break up the random tidbitiness and confusion. Hope it helps. Someone.
A few of you caught me. Despite mentioning in a prior post that I left my hair long at my most recent shearing, you noticed the short hair in the circus photo. Well after that hair-lamenting post and viewing a horrible photo taken of me at Easter- I had a mini-meltdown and went into the nearest cheap chop shop to get an emergency haircut. The length was just feeling stringy and sad – and it was decidedly not complimenting my round face shape. I couldn’t really spend a lot of cash on another cut with my preferred stylist – so I went to Jane Doe at the Cuttery and said “Cut off everything below this layer.” Well, actually I tried to explain in more detail a more complicated cut but she obviously wasn’t following – so it became “Forget that – just bob it.” The result isn’t the hippest haircut in the world. I’m sure if I went to my stylist she would have done a lot more tapering and razoring – but it feels a million times better than it did. And that’s good enough.
Last Saturday we went to a unique gathering at our friend Holly’s place – it was a pasta sauce tasting. Holly and her neighbor are endeavoring to start a business marketing pasta sauce – and so they had a research tasting to determine which sauces were the best. We tasted and scored 12 sauces and also indicated our top three. I was really impressed with how amazingly good the sauce was – and I picked the spicy sauce, the goat cheese & mushroom sauce, and the bacon lovers sauce as my favorites. I’ll be sure to let you know when you can buy them at your local grocery store or Target. And the party itself was tons of fun too – we got to hang with a few friends while the kids played happily. Good stuff.
We had no plans on Sunday – so we asked Noah what was on his agenda. He asked that we go to Franklin Mills Mall and ride the rides. In the past this meant walking him around to the different rides so he could pretend to drive them – but not spending a dime since he doesn’t really want them to move. However this time he said he wanted them to go. Mark and I were nearly giddy with excitement when we took our boy to the mall with pockets full of quarters. Needless to say thirty seconds after we put quarters in the first ride Noah said “I’m DONE” and no matter how we tried we couldn’t get him to let us put quarters in anything. At least he’s a cheap date.
After Noah and Victor’s last art class on Monday we took them to the YMCA to get them memberships and sign them up for swim lessons. Afterwards we got changed and took a dip in the pool. The water was a bit cool and at first I assumed Noah was asking to get out because of the temperature, until I realized he was a little afraid of the water. It took a couple of minutes to pacify his fears and get him to splash around a bit until he got totally into it and didn’t want to leave. He reacted the same way at the beginning of the pool season last year and by the end he was a regular water baby. I plan to take him once a week for fun and next Saturday he’ll start the swim class. Mark will probably take him to those. It will be a good bonding experience for them both – and also I won’t have to whale around in the pool twice a week.
On Monday night Noah stayed home to play with Mark while I had a solo-Mom date with the grocery store. Maybe I’m a slow shopper, or maybe it’s that I buy so much food – but it normally takes me about an hour to shop from start to finish – not including driving, unloading or unpacking time. I was three quarters through my shopping trip when the lights went out in the Super Fresh. I was flabbergasted. We all were. At first I continued to look for crackers in the dark – there was some light coming in the front windows of the store – assuming that they would snap on in a moment. But soon it was clear that wasn’t going to happen. I called Mark to tell him of the odd development. A woman next to me snickered when I said to him “Everyone’s just standing around with full carts looking really pissed off.” Eventually a store manager came around and told people they had to ask everyone to leave the store. Still people lingered, not wanting to abandon their carts. Surely the lights would be on momentarily. One woman who had been shopping with her THREE kids looked like she was going to cry. “I’ve had to deal with four temper tantrums here and now THIS!” I finally gave up and filed out with everyone else and was amazed to realize that it wasn’t a local power outage – the other shops in the shopping center were still operating. By the time I got home downhearted and empty handed Noah was already reenacting the power outage. It was such a stunning story that as soon as Mark got off the phone with me and told Noah the lights went out in the Super Fresh Noah asked to go get his shopping cart so he could act it out. It’s been a whole week and except for a trip to Trader Joe’s to stock up on some favorites and necessities I haven’t been on a full scale shopping trip. And several times a day I think “Where are the razors/apple juice/crackers I just bought?” before realizing that I never did get around to purchasing the damn stuff. That some sad Super Fresh employee had to empty my cart and put it back on the shelf.
I was certain that in the days following Easter we would be doing nine egg hunts a day. And I was stunned when there wasn’t a mere mention of an egg hunt for a whole week. Imagine my surprise then when the egg hunting craze reared its ugly head later with no warning and Mark and I have been forced to hide and hunt eggs endlessly.
A couple of weeks ago I did a lot of babysitting of Noah’s pals – three of them on different occasions within one week. One night Noah started saying something about me dropping him. At first I thought he was telling me a story about a time I dropped him, but I didn’t remember dropping him so it wasn’t making sense. Then he said something to the effect of “No. Like Kate drop Ella. And Wendy drop Victor.” And I realized he was talking about how their Mamas dropped them off at our house to play. And then I understood he was ASKING me to take him someplace and drop him off – to leave him at a friend’s house. I was amazed – and a mixed bag of emotions. But mostly I was proud that not only was my little boy ready to have a bit of time away from his Mama – but also able to articulate it. This week I dropped Noah at Wendy’s house while I went downtown to get labs done for my glucose test and more iron screening. When I was leaving he turned to me from their table and said “I’ll miss you Mama” and then went back to nonchalantly eating his breakfast. I was gone a little less than two hours and Wendy said he was happy and sweet – but that he started get a bit quiet right before I got back. I think that both Noah and I felt really proud though – and it made me realize just how grown up he is becoming. Oh, and also how lucky I am to have access to a wonderful circle of local mothers who not only can I trust to watch Noah in a pinch, but also that Noah WANTS to spend time with.
And finally I have a tale of consumer woe for you. It’s a long story, but I’ll TRY to abridge it a bit. Last year Mark did our taxes with Turbotax and we got a nice sized refund (sadly not so this year.) Mark mentioned they had a deal with Expedia where you could allot $250 of your refund to buy a $300 Expedia gift card. Mark and I scanned the fine print and since there didn’t appear to be any weird limitations listed and because it seemed like a good way to force us to put money aside to go on some sort of vacation we decided to do it. But in the year that followed I tried several times to try to use it for possible vacation scenarios and the Expedia rates and locations were still too high and inconvenient so we never used it. But we decided we wanted to use it on a trip at the beginning of this May – a little trip someplace close for just the three of us while there was just three of us. We had no real destination in mind except we didn’t really want to drive more than three hours. So Mark started working up sample vacation destinations and itineraries on Expedia. I had mentioned Pennsylvania Dutch Country because I knew that Noah would enjoy the farms and trains in the area and it would be a great way just to get out of the concrete jungle. But Mark was eying the Chesapeake Bay area since we’d never been – and with his trip planning he won me over. However when he tried to book it online he wasn’t able to apply our gift card. In a series of three different phone calls with Expedia – totaling approximately four hours – we were informed that we had to choose an “Expedia Special Rate” hotel – of which there were none available to book in Chesapeake Bay. We also found out that we had to spend the entire $300 gift card on our hotel stay, not including fees. And since we didn’t want to spend any additional money for our lodging it took FOREVER to find a hotel that cost exactly the right amount of money without going over or under. In the end we finally booked a hotel in Lancaster for three nights, though we originally only wanted to travel for two. But we were so relieved to finally book the damn thing. All that vacation planning caused us to need a damn vacation. Luckily we leave a week from next Saturday and now we can look forward to it. And FYI Expedia sucks.