Sunday, January 31, 2010

We'll go on another day...

Without a newer car. Today's shopping trip was not pleasant. First, we went to the dealership up the street to look at a large SUV. It was in relatively rough shape despite its low mileage. They would've really done well trading it with my car, which is in great condition. So we headed back to the Honda dealership for another look at the Odyssey. We were working on the paperwork when we discovered that the deal that would allow us to purchase it without any money coming out of our pocket was some kind of scam to draw us in. They claimed the deal did not apply to the vehicle we were buying, so we had to walk away. With those layoffs on the horizon, it would be super foolish to buy something that required a loan.

I am upset about things. It's ok that we didn't get a car today. But the fact that I feel bamboozled is just not what I need in this current state of flux. I need some good news. I need some good news soon.

Will I still have a soul tomorrow?

I ask because we are getting a bigger vehicle. My Accord, which seems fine for a small family, just doesn't work that well for us now that we have two huge car seats in the back. When I go out of town, I have to borrow a truck or something from a family member so that everything fits.

Unfortunately, that means we have to get a minivan or an SUV. Wagons are so small these days that it's almost impossible to find one that could feasibly carry 3 adults and 2 car seats, or for when we have another child, 3 car seats. Those things are monstrous! We tried out an Odyssey yesterday. It's very nice...but this one smelled like smoke. Stinky, stinky. My mom thinks we can get the smell out, and it's probably one of the reasons it hasn't sold yet. Despite my inside churning over it, I think that it's the best choice for us. It's comfortable, relatively green for its size, and versatile. I feel, though, that my soul is being torn apart. Sure, in the long run, who cares? It's a machine that is useful to me, not necessarily a reflection of my character (although some cars truly do reflect the sleezeball nature of certain people). I'm a practical woman with a desire to have several children. It just isn't practical to need two cars to transport family around when I can get one dull car that works fine. Maybe I could have flames painted down the side. Yes, that's the ticket!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Day with Family

It's gray again today. But a nice breakfast at my parents' house was cheerful enough. Katie Bel loves going to their house. They have great toys and lots of room for playing. Her cousin Alexa was also there, and even though she never speaks to adults, she seems to enjoy playing with Katie.

Right now, I'm planning for my first trip since returning to work. i'll be Huntsville for a few days, staying in a hotel room meant for a family. I'll catch up on sleep and eat a few good meals I'm sure. Be in bed by 8. It'll be great to have some time to myself, but I'm going to miss the girls and Ryan a lot. The few minutes I get with Winslow every day are precious, so it will be hard being away from that.

This afternoon, we're going to Ryan's parents' for an early supper. Katie Bel, who is supposed to be sleeping right now, is actually singing at the top of her lungs. She has been for going on an hour now. It's usually about now that she'll fall asleep for awhile, though we have no idea whether it will happen or not. Silly kid. I would love to have time for a nap, and yet she would rather avoid naps completely.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Making Muffins

Today is chilly and gray. The wind is brisk, and my bones are cold. Beyond that, my husband and I are facing much uncertainty. Our company is in the midst of a workforce reduction. My understanding is that our leadership is confident that a large number of people will actually leave the company between now and the end of the year, but they're not sure what groups are going to lose headcount through termination. I heard over the web that several people are already gone (only a couple of days after the announcement) from one of our local offices. For the time being, though, we have no clue whether one of us, or both, will be let go. The only thing we are certain of is that we won't be getting raises or promotions anytime soon. That's a real shame for Ryan because he's due for one. Maybe even past due.

At this very moment, there are twelve oatmeal brown sugar muffins in the oven. They smell delicious, and I can't wait to dig in. We've been experimenting with snacks that Katie Bel likes without giving in to the dreaded Goldfish. Muffins are a hit as is cheese. Unfortunately for Katie, cheese ain't so nice to her stomach. Neither is the yummy organic yogurt I bought for her. So for now, we're focusing on other wholesome foods. Sure, a muffin is sweet, but if I make it myself, I feel better about it. And whatever I can do to feel better about what's going on...whether at work, at home, in the world...I think it's worth pursuing.

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Muffins
1 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
a few dashes of cinnamon
2 eggs
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. Whisk eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Add milk, butter, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Fold in with a spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes @ 400. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The search for "nack"

We are in a snack rut. Katie starts asking for "nack" the second she gets up in the morning. And she wants junk. We don't have cookies or anything like that in the house, but we do have goldfish. While I was pregnant, it was a great "if it makes her happy" tool. Now I know we cannot continue on like this.

I really need some ideas. It appears that Katie Bel has entered her picky period because she isn't as open to new things as she used to be. She surprises me sometimes, asking for mushrooms or something else on my plate. We offer her everything we eat.

So this week, we're committed to no pre-packaged junk food. I will buy at least one convenience food, if only for portability's sake, but I'll shoot for no corn syrup at least...wish us luck!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A New Week

Today I managed to buy organic yogurt, two kinds of meat, lots of vegetables, and some other groceries for less than $70. That's for the whole week. We've got two vegetarian dishes planned this week, and I'm excited about one of them in particular. It's street food that's often served in Jerusalem. I'll have to report back on how yummy it is, but I'm expecting it to be.

Ryan has lost 10lb in the past 72 hours because of his illness. Since the rest of us have not gotten sick, it appears he got some kind of food poisoning or bacterial infection. He's at the Acute Care down the street in hopes of some relief.

The house is a wreck. And Elmo has taken over our lives, hence the photo above. Elmo pj's, Elmo videos, Elmo juice...All Elmo all the time.

I have got to do laundry. How's that for a coherent, cohesive post??

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A possible solution

Last night Ryan and I had a little conference about the future. I think we might have come up with a solution, but I have to sit tight for awhile.

In the meantime, we're looking for a cheap beater car. We can't be a one-car family. It just won't work.

It's a beautiful day. Freezing, but beautiful

Friday, January 8, 2010

Longest Week On Record

This was a terrible week in so many ways. I enjoyed returning to work, if only for the interaction with so many people. But that was the only bright spot. I got to be away from my little infant for 9.5 hours a day. I haven't seen her smile since Sunday, in part because I get about 5 minutes of play time in the morning and even less in the evening. She has to get her sleep, and I won't interrupt that.

Ryan has been very ill with some kind of gastrointestinal bug or food poisoning. I've never seen someone so sick. I hope I don't get it, but more importantly, I hope the baby and Katie Bel stay well. Katie Bel stayed with Ryan's parents last night, and although i'm grateful for the help, I missed her a lot. It's hard to be depressed around such a delightful toddler!

Every day at around 4:30pm, I consider putting in my notice since I can't leave for the day that early. I know, it sounds ridiculous.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Breastfeeding Blues

The title of this entry is a little misleading because honestly, feeding this kiddo has been easy. She started nursing within 30 minutes of birth and never stopped. The problem is that she seems to be reacting to what I'm eating.

With my first, I had more clear-cut clues, like bloody diapers, full-body rash, excessive reflux, for instance. The first thing I stopped eating was milk, and that worked like a charm. Katie has just recently appeared to grow out of her allergy, although if she has dairy at all three meals, I notice she acts out more, possibly from feeling bad. Maybe that's me being overly cautious. But I do see a difference.

Winslow, however, does not have all the same problems. Every now and then she has a bad night where she chokes and fusses instead of sleeping like an angel like usual. It appears that nuts could be a culprit. Or caffeine. I do not consume caffeine regularly--no tea or coffee--so it would have to be through chocolate. I eat it every now and then, but I can't find an obvious connection between chocolate consumption and Winslow's misery.

Tomorrow, she starts daycare and I'll be supplementing with formula. I'll pump as much as I can, but with my job requiring travel, it's darn near impossible to exclusively breast feed. Anyway, I stressed out with Katie when I couldn't pump enough--this was at 9 months post-partum. I could nurse, but not pump. I feel no need to stress out. If I keep nursing when I can, that'll be enough.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

This year, I resolve to floss every day.

More importantly, I resolve to be nicer. I am a meanie. Several friends have had babies recently and the second I read that the child is a good sleeper and is on a schedule within 24 hours of birth, I scoff. Babies are notoriously good sleepers in the hospital. Especially early babies. My own Winslow didn't open her eyes for over a week. When she woke up, she wanted to stay awake for the action. Anyway, I have this urge to bring parents back to reality and remind them that most babies are not angels. Some are predictable, but that doesn't make 'em easy. And that is mean of me to do this.

I think it stems from the fact that Katie Bel was a pretty high needs baby. She cried for months and wouldn't let me sleep more than a couple of hours at a time. She also had terrible reflux and would projectile vomit. Everyone around me had an idea of what I should do or what was wrong. Not one of them was right. Many blamed me for her moods. I was over-feeding her, I was starving her, I wasn't putting her on a schedule, i was over-scheduling her, she needed to be held more, held less, needed a paci, whatever...I finally had to tell everyone to stop it. I knew best.

And now i'm one of "them". I know best for everyone else.

So I resolve to be nicer. And really, I resolve to worry about myself more. Sure, I'm well read and pretty darn down to earth about things. But I'll wait until someone asks...unless they really *are* doing it wrong (hehe).