Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 25: Mama Knows Best

This is the twenty-fifth day of 'Lacey's More Funner 30 Days of Blogging' which I talked about here. The end is in sight....

Also, it is worth noting that I started writing this blog almost 18 months ago, and I'm just getting around to finishing it now. I have no idea why I procrastinated on this. Anyways, some of the stuff I wrote may seem a bit outdated. For example, "when you have kids"...


DAY 25: WRITE ABOUT YOUR MOTHER'S ADVICE

My mama has all the best advice.

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  • When taking pictures, take 'people pictures'. When you go back to look at your photos from a zoo trip you're not going to want to see 30 pictures of a giraffe. But instead a picture of you in front of the giraffe. People pictures, got it?
  • When you have kids & a video camera, don't just record a 5 minute video of your baby laying in it's crib. Make sure you also pan around to everyone else in the family too.
  • Don't forget to sunscreen your feet! Sunburned feet hurt!
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  • Take a vitamin every day. "I swear that I never get sick as long as I remember to take my daily vitamins!"
  • Don't wait until you are on E to get gas. (I may not always follow this one!)
  • If you are on a strict budget, here are some ways to save money: don't buy paper towels or band-aids - you don't need them - and don't turn on your air conditioning until after Memorial Day. (These were the norm in our house growing up...I can say that I do not heed this advice at all, but in case of emergency I have this advice stuck in my back pocket for safe keeping.)
  • After doing a load of laundry, fold them or hang them up right away. Saves you the hassle of ironing, most of the time. (I WISH I could follow this advice...I try and try but I just can't do it.)
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  • If you are having trouble with something and getting frustrated, take a break and come back to it later. You'll no doubt be able to do it much easier once you've taken a break and relaxed a bit. (Okay, this is one she always told us when my brother and I were trying to beat Bowser in Super Mario World and we kept dying and we were maybe throwing remotes. As much as we'd hate to stop and try again later, it worked every time. Mama knows best.)
So even if it took me about 18 months to write this all down, her advice never fell on deaf ears. I value everything she's ever told me, and hope to teach Charley everything she's taught me. And one thing she probably didn't intend to teach me but inadvertently did, is how to be an expert procrastinator, but to always finish what you started. (Even if she started de-wallpapering her kitchen a year ago and still has a little bit to go! I learn from the best obviously and I know she'll finish eventually!) Which is why I am going to finish this 30 day blog challenge that I started on June 29, 2010. I just knew this was going to be a much anticipated post, so I saved it for a while to drum up some excitement for it!

What great advice has your mom given you?
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    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Confessional

    confessional

    I used to read this blog that did a confession booth series every once in a while, so this is by no means my original idea. I believe she even got the idea from someone else. However, her last confession booth was over a year ago and I'm itching for more. I have no where near the number of readers she has, so this may very well crash and burn. But I'll give it a good try anyways. This is how this works.

    Do you have any confessions that you'd love to get out, but you'd never be able to confess to people that know you? This is where you can get them out. You can anonymously comment on this post and confess to your heart's content. Just make sure you choose "ANONYMOUS" before you publish your comment or else your blog will be linked to the embarrassing thing you just admitted. Just for this, I'll turn on comment moderation so if you accidentally comment with your name/blog attached I can stop it before the entire internets finds out about how you ran naked from the police in college and dove into a runoff pond to hide from them. Just, for example. If you don't mind commenting with your name/blog attached, you are welcome to do that too. This is totally up to you. And as the originator of this idea said: "if you are a psycho who wears scary masks, please don't tell me. thanks."


    So, what do you have for me? I have no blog tracking software or anything where I'd be able to figure out that if someone anonymously comments from Boise, Idaho and I know my great-aunt's BFF's niece lives there and therefore she must be the one diving into runoff ponds naked. So yeah, no way to know you are you unless you tell me.

    Okay with all that said, the confession booth is now open! I may even throw a couple of my own confessions in there, but I'll never tell which ones are mine. And finally, GO!
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    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    ALERT!


    ALERT!

    I have not updated my clothing spreadsheet since last Tuesday. Wednesday I stayed home with a sick baby, but that leaves Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today that I'm behind on.

    Luckily, I remember what I wore Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Monday was a holiday, and I can look down and see what I'm wearing today, but WHAT did I wear Thursday and Friday? HALT ALL LAUNDRY PROCEDURES IN MY HOME UNTIL IT IS DETERMINED. I can't go ruining five and a half years of record keeping for my temporary absent-mindedness.

    Any of you happen to know what I wore those two days??
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    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Heavy Weight

    40.2 pounds. Plus my coat. Plus any trash from my car that day (because at this point I still make sure to bring in any trash from my car each day...talk to me again when I have a toddler). I carry all of that inside each afternoon when I get home from work. And yes, my car is only steps from my door, but no one likes to do two trips. After all, once you are inside it is inevitable that you have to go pee immediately, and who would want to go back out after that? So yes, I must do it all in one trip.

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    Ignore my wonky foot. I don't know what is going on with it besides the fact that my ankle is most likely breaking from holding 40 pounds of stuff up while being supported by a tiny heel.
    
    It breaks down to this:

    • Car seat plus baby: 22.8 pounds
    • Breast Pump: 7 pounds
    • Diaper Bag: 5.6 pounds
    • Purse: 3.4 pounds
    • Lunch bag/milk cooler: 1.4 pounds
    Which further breaks down to this: My shoulders hurt at the end of the day!
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    Genetics

    Genetics are a funny thing. They can be straight forward when it comes to eye color**, hair color or skin color, or they can come to you in an obscure way that leaves you scratching you head wondering, "Is that seriously an inherited trait?".

    [**Maybe eye color isn't such a straight forward inherited trait. Both John's mom and dad have blue eyes, and yet, John's are as brown as they can be. Maybe I wasn't great at 10th grade biology but from what I remember that was not an option in my 4 little boxes!]

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    Anyways, in Charley's case it has been a little difficult to tell whose eyes, ears, nose, skin color, hair color, etc. she inherited so far because it seems she is a pretty good mix of both of us. We think for sure she has her daddy's eyes (minus the color), and she's a blondie so far which I was too as a small child so she's taking after me in that aspect. As for the rest? It's hard to tell. What do you think?

    Lacey:
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    John:
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    Charley:
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    But then there are the things that she'll do and it will stop you in your tracks because it's something so blatantly obvious that John or I do. And these are the things that make you wonder just how much is genetic and how much of it is just chance.

    Just this past week, Charley has started talking/whining herself to sleep. It's a sweet whine though, so it's actually really cute. Also last week, she has had her first cold so she didn't feel that great. She normally just goes to sleep when I lay her down, but last week it was a little harder for her to breathe with her cold, so I had to rock her to sleep as she was laying on my shoulder. & as she laid on my shoulder falling asleep, she did this whiny/talky thing that was so adorable. Check it out for yourself:


    She would do this until she fell asleep. & after I got over the cuteness of it all, I had a realization. I have maybe done this exact same thing when I was not feeling so great and was trying to fall asleep.

    You see, I've had too much to drink a time or two before. At the end of those nights as I've tried to go to sleep [as the room is spinning and I just feel like crap and I make the declaration that I'm never drinking again] I start to do this exact same thing as I fall asleep. Ughhhhhhh. Ughhhhhhh. Ughhhhhhh. Ughhhhhhh. It drives John crazy and I can admit it's pretty annoying myself. But I can't help it! It's like I'm talking the ickiness out of me. Okay, no. That doesn't make any sense. But, surely there is a reason I do it! Charley does it now too, so it must help with something! And I assure you she wasn't drunk. At least I hope not. How long does it take for alcohol to clear your system again? It had been at least 5 hours since my latest binge when she did this. [That's a joke. Don't send DSS to my house, please.]

    [It had been at LEAST 8 hours. At LEAST.]

    So my question is this: did Charley inherit this whine/talk as you fall asleep thing from me? It has only happened when she doesn't feel good, and it was pretty much identical to what I do, except my voice isn't quite as sweet as hers.

    And most importantly, does Charley look like me the mostest? Or do you think they mixed up babies in the hospital because she doesn't look like either of us? Do tell. I've always been horrible at guessing who babies look like.
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    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Outsmarting Robots AND Humans

    Bloggers. Listen to my pleas, please.

    I like to read blogs. I like to comment on blogs. What I don't like, is to refresh the CAPTCHA thirty bajillion times because it has not only outsmarted spammy robots, but it has outsmarted me, a smart human, as well.

    So, I'm asking, will you turn the CAPTCHA thingy off? Just today, I went through all of this (and about 4 more before this that I didn't bother print screening) to comment on my eBFFs blog. I can't ever figure out the word with the black blob on it. Am I the only one with poor CAPTCHA reading skills?

    
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    platform, sletrnt??
    

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    genedee?? been


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    priskfa??? rating

    
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    tutdoc??? resident
    
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    terrible family. FINALLY. And no, my family isn't terrible, thank you very much.

    So, if it behooves you to listen to me (it does, trust me) will you go change your comment settings to have no verification? I promise you won't get many spammer comments. & also, Blogger does a great job of noticing the spam ones and sticks them in their own little spam folder until you go in and delete them (or you have the option to publish them if you prefer. You never know, your blog readers may just be in the market for 'obtaining more knowledge and facts regarding'.)

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     And wouldn't you rather have that small inconvenience than me having the inconvenience of being outsmarted by a computer every day? My little techy ego is being diminished each time I screw up a CAPTCHA.

    My poor reading skills thank you.
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    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    Charley Bear: 5 months

    [1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 4 months]

    I'm already a week late in posting this and if I don't hurry and write this stuff down my months are going to run together. For example in the past week (which would be in her 6 month update, not her 5 month) she finally decided to roll belly to back. But I can't include that here because she didn't do it in month FIVE. Technicalities.

    So yes. My sweet baby is now 5 months old! Gasp! They don't lie when they say it goes by fast. Even my favorite cashier at CVS asked how old she was now (Charley wasn't even with me) and couldn't believe she was already five months old.

    We took her used-to-be-weekly-but-now-monthly bear picture on her five month birthday as well.

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    And just so you get an idea of what the monthly bear photo sessions are like, here are some outtakes from the 45 pictures I took in hopes of one good one.

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    So yes, it's always an adventure with a not-yet-sitting baby and a super inquisitive cat.
    Earlier in the month I shared the video of Charley's first time rolling over. She went from back to belly first, and Tuna had a surprise appearance in the video if you haven't seen it yet. She also can do the tripod sit for only a few seconds before falling over now. Feet are constantly in her mouth, along with whatever other toy/blanket/parent's finger she can find nearby. That about sums up her latest tricks.

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    Even though the pediatrician suggested we wait until 6 months to start cereal or any kind of solid food, we actually did give Charley rice cereal twice this past month. It was during a week where she was drinking a good bit more than normal and I was having trouble keeping up at the milk factory. So I tried giving her cereal to see if that would be the little bit of extra calories she needed to keep her belly fuller for longer. But, I really didn't think she was ready after that trial run. I tried one other time, and then pretty much decided to wait to see what the pediatrician says at her 6 month appointment. Doctors don't go to school for all that time for nothing!
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    Charley also has just now started to be a wee bit attached to her Mama. That'd be me. She cries sometimes when I walk out of the room and the tears and frowns turn to smiles the second I return. I know it's just a stage, so I don't mind at all. I like that my baby needs me!
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    The only other thing I can remember from this month is Charley's awareness of the cats. She saw them before now, obviously, but she's finally watching them. And is curious about them. And when they come close enough to her, she is grabbing fist fulls of fur if we don't catch her quick enough. You think they'd learn their lesson and stay away from her little hands, but, they are genuinely curious about her too.
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    So that's her fifth month in a nutshell. Next month will be half of a year (!!!) which pretty much means it's time for me to start planning her first birthday party.
    Happy 5 months, Charley Bear!
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    Friday, February 3, 2012

    Square Pictures

    Okay. In the past I have called this the photo dump, but, I'm afraid that I absolutely loathe that title. Anything with the word "dump" in it just sounds dirty. Unless of course it's dump truck, but, then again that's dirty too but in a different way. Dump = dirty, basically, and none of the square pictures are dirty. So, 'Square Pictures of Happiness'? Or maybe 'Instagrammed' as a play on the app that takes them Instagram. I don't know. I'm not feeling very creative today at all so Square Pictures it is. Someone please give me a better name for this.

    Anyways, here are the last few weeks.

    
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    All photos taken by Instagram. Follow me: Laceyloo22
    
    A. Charley isn't a fan of jackets.

    C. A little memorial in my cube for a baby Zachary that is no longer with us. He was the same age as Charley and it just breaks my heart that he's gone.

    D. Stripey socks for baby, and...

    E. ...patterned tights for Mama!

    G. Chips and salsa for the baby?

    H. I just love my umbrella. And, note to self: you shouldn't not wear make-up.

    J. Ahhh! I love going on walks!

    L. The sparkly chandelier in Charley's room.

    M. 70 degrees in January warrants an open sunroof.

    N. What we do each night in bed before going to sleep. Based on the number of turns that are taken by my friends in Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends, I think that this is a common thing these days.

    Phone-o-phobia

    
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    I have this condition called phone-o-phobia. Basically, I'm a big chicken on the phone and am afraid of making calls or taking calls from businesses. The symptoms of this condition are as follows: loses train of thought during phone call, highly emotional during phone calls regarding disagreements, shaky voice, and an overall lack of confidence in myself during the phone call. I have been able to fake the confidence before and that does work, but, when someone calls me instead of me calling them, I don't get a chance to pump myself up for the phone call and therefore my confidence goes out the window. It's a very serious problem. Anyone else a fellow sufferer?

    When it comes to ordering pizza or calling the bank to ask for an overdraft fee to be reversed, I like to divert those types of calls to John. He gets really annoyed with me, but he has much better success with phone calls because he doesn't suffer from this condition. Let me give you some examples.

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    I hate to start with such an extreme example, but, might as well set the tone for how these usually go. So anyways, Charley had just been born and I needed to add her to my insurance through my workplace. Your baby is covered under your own insurance for 30 days, but they need to be set up within that time period or you'll have to wait until open enrollment to add them, so it's imperative that you call pretty soon. I happened to have the information with me at the hospital and since the thought occurred to me on our drive home from the hospital, I decided I might as well get it over with and make the phone call to get her added. It actually went well, and "Bonnie" (name has been changed) reassured me that I had given her all of the information she needed. Great! Phone-o-phobia be damned!

    So, after the 30 days was up, Charley just so happened to have a pediatrician appointment that next day. About one week later, I was billed for the entire amount of the visit, about $1,000. I thought to myself, silly insurance taking forever to update her coverage. Just to double check, I logged into my insurance's website and to my shock and horror I saw this: Coverage had been cancelled after the first 30 days. What!? I called when she was only 3 days old! How could this be!?

    So I knew I couldn't divert this call to John to handle. It was my workplace, after all. And even though Bonnie worked two floors above me, I'd never actually met her so I didn't know who I was dealing with. So I made the call. Bonnie is surprised to hear my story and asks me, "Well, who did you talk to??" And I squealed/yelled/shaky voiced, "YOU, BONNIE! I TALKED TO YOU!". This isn't off to a good start.

    She questions my statement as she doesn't remember this and says she would have sent me some paperwork to fill out to officially add Charley had I really talked to her. But I had! I really had! The tears start welling up. [Granted, I am only 4 weeks post partum here and the hormones are still all wonky.]
    
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    Imagine this, only 26 years older.
    
    So I start some mumbly, cry-ey rant about Charley's last appointment not being covered since she didn't set it up in time and that's not fair and wahh wahh wahhh. She says she'll call back after she's looked into it. We hang up and I feel like such a dummy. I'm going back to work in 8 more weeks and I'm going to be so paranoid in the elevator everyday wondering if Bonnie is in there laughing at me. But eventually she calls back, (never admits her mistake, mind you), and assures me we can still get her added and the pediatrician will just have to resubmit the bill. I managed to keep my composure during that phone call, thankfully.

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    And then there was the long phone call with a company I'll call Wime Tarner Fable. Again, I was about 4 weeks post partum so maybe that had something to do with this, but I assure you that I was pretty much like this before a baby too.

    So, Wime Tarner changed their website recently, well, the bill pay section of it specifically. They would show you the amount you owed, but to access your actual bill and pay it you needed to further verify yourself. The options for further verifying yourself were this: 1) Enter your account number as shown on your bill, or 2) [some other piece of information that I didn't have so #2 wasn't even an option.] Anyways, I got e-bills in the past from Wime Tarner, so I didn't have a bill to access to get my account number. Keep in mind, all I'm trying to do is PAY my bill. It's not late or anything, I just am unable to pay it because of the website upgrade. So, a phone call was in order. Dun dun dun.

    I call, go through about 50 gazillion telephone prompts, and finally I'm connected with a customer service representative named Carlos [again, name changed]. I tell him what I'm looking for, and he goes through the typical verification questions. Name. Last four of your SSN. Birth date. Mother's maiden name. Name of your first pet. Favorite TV show. You know, the works? Only, it's getting a little ridiculous at this point and I wonder which verification question I must have failed because he obviously doesn't think I have verified myself enough to give me the information so I can go on and PAY MY BILL. As in, pay your paycheck Carlos.

    Eventually he tells me that due to the fact that I could not verify my correct NAME, he is unable to give me this information. And then it occurs to me that after I got married, this company would never update my name to my married name unless I went to the place of business and showed them my marriage certificate. That's extremely ridiculous, so I've been Lacey Maidenname to them all this time and I accidentally gave him Lacey Marriedname when he asked. So even after explaining this mix up, he refuses and transfers me to some other department to talk about the name change. [OH! And not to mention that one of the verification procedures was to hang up with me, and call the phone number listed on MY ACCOUNT to be sure that I am the person he is talking to. He does this, I answer, RE-verify myself, and it still wasn't enough. It's like I was asking for the president's social security number or something.]

    I'm already really annoyed, but have kept my composure through Carlos' antics. Next dude I get got the brunt of my antics. I'm annoyed from Carlos, and then this guy, we'll call him Peter, tells me that in order to change my last name I have to come to the place and bring my marriage certificate and blah blah blah. This is when I get a little teary, okay sobby, and tell him that I REFUSE to bring my 4 week old baby to some place just to change my name and why couldn't I just email or fax him what he needed, this is so ridiculous, wahh, wahh, etc. etc. Oops. Poor guy got it and it wasn't Peter's fault, it was Carlos'! And, he also did the hang up/call back verification thingy. This is getting ridiculous. But yes, he assures me that he is the wrong department to give me what I need and I'd have to be transferred again. Sigh.

    Next person finally picks up the phone after I waited another 10 minutes. This lady seems promising, we'll call her Carla. I tell her the deal, but then, when she goes to verify, I realize something. If I just give her my maiden name instead, she'll be able to fully verify me and give me what I need. So I do that, and she wonders why Carlos and Peter couldn't help me in the first place and apologizes for what I've just been through. She gives me the number, and I finally am able to go on and pay my bill.

    And then I went to the bathroom to clean up the mascara runs on my face. [Who am I kidding...I had a 4 week old baby...there was no mascara-wearing going on.]

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    So it was a breath of fresh air recently when I was feeling extra phone-confident and had to call soap.com about an order I was placing. Would you even believe that I called, the phone rang 2 times, and a PERSON picked up!? A real, live person that then listened to the issue I was having with the website, fixed the issue promptly, and was finished with everything I needed in less than 3 minutes. See, all of my phone calls don't end in tears!

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    And maybe this is why I'm so in to the internet and all it has to offer. I can talk to people online. I can brag blog (face it...isn't that what a blog is?) to people online. I can order my pizza and my shoes online. And rarely (when those things fail me) do I ever have to touch the dreaded phone. 

    So, I know I can't be the only one. Someone pipe up and join me in my phone-o-phobia-ness. And if you don't have this phobia, maybe you could just leave me some words of encouragement. Please. Poor customer service reps everywhere are begging you.
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