Friday, March 28, 2008

Sickly Easter

Good Lord, if I don't feel better soon....well I don't know what I'm going to do. I'll have to wait until I feel better and have the energy to think of something dramatic. By then it'll be too late of course, but I really don't care right now. For now, I'm on my 8th day of feeling crappy, Emily's 7th and Will's 5th, although Will is feeling better now. I've had ups and downs along the way, but I shouldn't still be feeling this wiped out after 8 days (in my medical opinion). I would blame allergies, but Emily is too young to have seasonal allergies, and yet after 7 days her nose continues to run, her eyes are still glassy and her whining still incessant. I've spent 7 days trying to distract her from and lessen her misery, even though doing so increases my own. I know, I know, if I had wanted the luxury of lying around all day and getting plenty of sleep when I'm sick, I shouldn't have made the decision to (be born a woman) become a mother. I especially shouldn't become a mother of multiple children, but even now I'm not second-guessing my decision to have more some day. I'm not looking forward to having 2 (or more) sick kids at once, but what can I do, the procreative force is strong in this one.

Of course our house is falling apart, with Will having been home 3 days this week and me not feeling well enough to care for a sick but still active baby (she just dumped my tea on the floor and is now pulling the childproofing foam off the fireplace) plus a sick husband and still keep up with the house. I just want to lay down and sleep for a couple of days until I feel better.

Ok, I believe you understand now how terrible I feel, so I'll move on to a new topic. Doesn't this weather suck? Seriously, rain or clear up, stop being so freakin' dismal all the time!

Just kidding. The weather does suck, but I won't complain any longer. Instead I will post some pictures of our Easter, which we enjoyed despite feeling not-so-hot.

Emily in her Easter dress:

The little lady playing with Daddy at Grammy's house:

The fallout from the egg-dying debacle:

Easter morning!

Chatting with honorary Uncle Brad at Nana's house:

I don't think she liked the terrifying chicken Will's mom (Nana) got her:

Zonked after two days of partying:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Who needs sleep when you're blogging?

Well, my whole family is in bed now, except me. I should be in bed, since my amazing daughter who can thrive on very little sleep is sleeping and therefore so should I be, but no, here I am at the computer. I've been busily rinsing out diapers, finishing the dishes, and mixing up my own home made Taro to kill the ants I just found by the fireplace before Will sees them tomorrow and flips out. The poor guy spent hours on Saturday up to his elbows in ant spray, irradicating the disgusting ant nest from under our Aerogarden after my various homeopathic methods failed to get rid of the ants. They actually seemed to enjoy my various methods of vinegar, cayenne pepper and bay leaves. "Pour us some olive oil so we can mix up a tasty salad dressing for the queen!" they seemed to cry.

So after doing all my before-bed chores, I am enjoying some computer time. I miss the computer, since our laptop is in its crotchety twilight years and will now only charge if it feels like it, so it's difficult to use the laptop which is normally how I spend all my time online. Using this computer upstairs in the office is a trick, since the office is pretty much the opposite of babyproofed so I can only use it when Emily is not awake and in my care. Will says we can't get a new laptop until I stop dropping them on the floor :-/ In all fairness, our laptop has met with the floor an amazing number of times, but most of them were because of dogs or babies or jerks in the security line at the Miami airport who crash into me while I'm taking the laptop out for inspection. I say we should just get a toughbook.

Emily's first friend birthday party went off well last week. There was no pressure to give my child cupcakes or other junk, and it was lots of fun to watch 7 babies play with each other while getting a chance to talk to other moms. Now I have turned my attentions to Emily's party which will be here before I know it. I am weighing the pros and cons of a couple of different themes (Rubber Duckies or Safari Animals?) and trying to decide if I can make a cute and tasty cake with cream cheese and pineapple juice frosting from my "Super Baby Food" book, or if I should just say screw it and make her a sugary confection to dig into on her big day.

The rest of this weekend was spent dining with Brad and Kim, celebrating my youngest sister's 20th birthday (which is actually today...HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATHLEEN!) and Eastering with the Randalls. When we weren't celebrating, we were wallowing around in self-pity, because all three of us have been sick. We probably all have the same illness, but we're exhibiting it in different ways. First I started with a raw, sore throat, sinus pressure and body aches. Then Emily started with a nose that won't quit running. Today Will woke up with sore throat and just generally felt wiped all day. We thought we were experiencing allergies, but as I am getting better and seem to have passed it to everyone else, we are now thinking it's more of a cold. Will said this morning when he woke up feeling awful, he decided he needed to "man up" since I had functioned for 2 days with whatever this is, so he bravely contributed what he could to the day, even though he was feeling like crap. There were still quite a few more Smash Brothers Brawl characters unlocked at the end of the day than there were this morning, but still, I'm proud of him for proving that not all men are babies when they're sick!

And as the week goes on, we're going to be exploring some exciting possibilites. I hate to be a tease, but we're being secretive now. I will explain all when the time is right, dear reader(s?)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Babies learn scary fast

This week has been a productive one for Miss Em. On Sunday she not only learned to clap on command and perfected her response to "How big's Emmy?" (the answer..."So big!", which is expressed by throwing both arms into the air and grinning from ear to ear), she took her first step! We were over at Grammy and Grampy's house for our St. Patrick's day dinner, and she was standing up holding onto their humidifier and trying to disassemble it. I sat down on the floor next to her, and she let go, stood there unsupported for awhile, then took a step towards me! Of course on the next step she just fell forward into my arms, but there was one official, solid step in there!

We also went on a jog on Sunday, and she wore her little pink snowsuit for the first time, an adorable first that I can't help posting a picture of:

Then today, at my friend Mandy's suggestion, I went out and got her some "Lil' Dippers", which are innovative feeding utensils that help babies learn how to self-feed (so says the Gerbert website). They're like little blunted forks that eliminate the need for all the fancy maneuvering that makes spoons so inconvenient.

I sat Emily down with a Lil' Dipper and some mashed up sweet potatoes and she quickly grasped the concept.  I wasn't surprised that she understood to eat food off the dipper, I was surprised that within 2-3 demonstrations, she grasped the concept of dipping the utensil into the food and then bringing it to her mouth.  So what if she just slammed the thing sideways into her bowl, she was still dipping it into the food, then bringing it to her mouth!

I found that it worked best if I had her dual wield two dippers at once, that way her free hand couldn't sneak into the food and wreak havoc.  That girl put away over half of a sweet potato though, and she hasn't been too fond of sweet potatoes of late:


Yes, I did forget to put a bib on her.  But luckily it's not too difficult to clean her up, since by some miracle, my daughter knows how to use a fingerbowl.  All I need to do is place a bowl of warm water on her tray, and she'll daintily dip first one, then the other hand in it and swirl them around a bit to clean them off.  My daughter's like, totally classy and stuff.

I'm just excited to be getting to the point in parenthood where I really feel like I'm teaching my child something!  When you first bring your baby home, you sometimes feel like you're just putting food into this creature and removing the food once they're finished with it over and over, simply keeping them alive until they become a person.  You still love your little screaming baby, but when they get a little older and more interactive it's much more rewarding.

But with the rewards come the difficult decisions.  For example, Emily is invited to a birthday party this week.  I still can't decide whether or not I should give her a bite of cake...she hasn't had any sugar or junk food whatsoever yet, and I always kind of thought her first sugar would be in her own birthday cake.  I also always said to myself "I'm not going to be one of those mothers who sends healthy alternatives with my child to birthday parties, a little sugar now and then won't kill them".  However, in that scenario I always pictured a 5 year old child, I never thought about the possibility of having to decide such things when she is only 10 months old!

Likewise, we recently decided not to accompany Will's family on their cruise around Alaska for Christina's graduation.  All along, we had said we would go.  We really wanted to go, and we figured it would be a pain with a baby, but we could make it work.  But as it turns out, we would be boarding the cruise in Anchorage, not in Vancouver, which makes a big difference.  There are direct flights to Vancouver from our area, and while a 6 hour flight wouldn't be preferable, it would be doable.  But there are no direct flights to Anchorage, which is further away anyway, and we just couldn't commit to spending 12 hours trying to restrain a child who has recently learned to walk.  It just wouldn't be fair.  Added to that would be the 5 nights of eating in the cruise ship dining rooms with a baby, and my stomach just formed knots every time I thought about it.  We had to back out, and it's quite a disappointment, but it was the right thing to do.

Probably the most difficult decision we've made as parents has been to vaccinate selectively and on a delayed schedule.  I've done quite a bit of research and truly believe this is the best course of action, but it's still scary, and it's all on us as the parents!  What if Emily somehow comes down with something before she gets the vaccine for it and we could have prevented it?  What if, even though we are being as careful as we can, she has some reaction to a vaccine that we are really only getting for her because she needs it to get into public school and if we really fought it, we could probably have her exempted from?

I should be grateful that I haven't had MORE difficult decisions so far, like some mothers out there.  Decisions like whether or not to have a surgery performed on my baby or which course of treatment to choose for an illness.  But even though we've had a remarkably easy go of things so far, it's still difficult and I imagine it will only get moreso as the years go on.

"Carma" will get you every time

DISCLAIMER: My laptop is doing a wonderful new trick where the cursor just clicks about every 15 seconds even though I'm not touching the button. I will be typing along and suddenly realize I am typing right in the middle of a sentence 3 lines up, or worse, that I carelessly left the cursor near the little X on my active tab and it closes itself. I have learned some lessons the hard way and am trying to practice cursor placement awareness, but if you notice a strange typo here and there please forgive me because I am fighting with my laptop (and eating lunch, and watching Emily) while typing this.

Now to the topic at hand, I wanted to update about the History Bee, which is an event for 3rd 4th and 5th graders sponsored by the newspaper that is similar to a spelling bee but the questions are about the history of our county and state. It's always a good time, and Will and I were proctors this year as usual, which means we get to ask the questions in the first two elimination rounds, and I always enjoy working with the kids. It's when the parents decide to get involved that things get annoying, but we had a minimum of that this year until the end when a loud, rude man started shouting directions on how things should be run from the stands. It's ok though, he was a soccer referee and therefore eminently qualified to run a History Bee. The first, second and third place winners were all kids who had been at Will's and my tables in the elimination rounds. Will says we inspire greatness.

AFTER the History Bee though, Will and I were leaving the FCC campus by making a right turn on a green light. The people across the intersection, who were making left turns on a green light didn't seem to know much about traffic laws, because they felt they had just as much a right to make their left turn on green as I had to make my right turn on green and they were all going right ahead. One guy was totally ignoring me and proceeding through the intersection directly towards my path, not yielding at all, so I honked at him. Not a loud rude honk, just a short tap to say "Hey dude, WTF?". Well THAT got his attention. He began to gesticulate wildly in my direction, venting his road rage over his shoulder at me. In fact, he was so focused on making sure that I got a good yelling-at that he ran right into the median and blew his front tire! It was absolutely fantastic.

He swerved all over the place for awhile, finally coming to a stop at a traffic light. There he got out of the car to figure out which tire was blown, and as he circled his car he kept up a steady stream of unintelligible but angry muttering, periodically crescendo-ing into a shout that showed his long, rat-like teeth to their best advantage. His long, grey grizzly hair blew softly in the wind as he paced around in the road...however his righteous fury was directed at the silver van sitting behind him in traffic, and not myself. I guess he figured that since it was silver like my Highlander, it must be the offending vehicle.

I would be completely, gleefully happy about the whole course of things, except for the fact that he had a young child in the back seat. I feel awful for the child that he had to see his guardian making such a display, and while I don't care if that jerk had to risk getting his head crushed by passing traffic while changing a tire since he brought it on himself, I do regret that the child was inconvenienced because he had nothing to do with it. Of course I didn't run the guy into the median myself, so I really shouldn't feel bad at all.

The rest of the weekend passed in a slightly less dramatic way. Emily enjoyed a playdate at our house with Sam on Saturday:

The parents enjoyed it too. That night we all went out to celebrate St. Patrick's day at the Corner Pub in Hagerstown. We didn't realize it ahead of time, but apparently the Pope had decreed that St. Patrick's day be observed on Saturday anyway to keep everyone from drinking too much during holy week, so even though most of us aren't Catholic we agreed that if the Pope wanted us to go out and drink on Saturday night, who were we to argue? We even witnessed a drunk dwarf falling off his barstool. While I felt bad for the guy, I think everyone in their lifetime should be treated to the sight of a drunk person falling off a barstool, and the fact that the person I witnessed making the fall was a dwarf just makes it that much more unique of a story to tell afterward.

Sunday we had a nice St. Patrick's day dinner at my parents' house, then spent a little downtime relaxing at home for the first time the whole weekend! So as a whole, I count our weekend (filled with drunk dwarves and grizzly rat men though it may have been) as a success. We squeezed in time with each of our families, met work obligations, were able to get in our exercise both days, spent some time with Emily's baby friends and our own adult friends.

There was something for everyone.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The sweetest place on earth

To those who've never been to Hershey Pennsylvania, images of rivers flowing with chocolate and Hershey Kisses falling like rain might come to mind, and those images wouldn't be far off. The whole place smells of chocolate, especially if you stay in the Hotel Hershey or the Hershey Lodge, as Will and I do every year for the America East Newspaper Conference. Every year I go with the most noble intentions of allowing myself a bit of indulgence at a meal or two, but keeping myself under control for the rest of the time. And predictably, every year my resolve lasts until about the time we check in to the Lodge and they hand over free candy bars and give us keys to a room whose coffee and tea setup includes packets of drinking chocolate.

I still make the sacrifice and go every year. I want to be a supportive wife to Will. Hershey is only about an hour and a half from our house, so if anything were to go wrong with Emily (who we left in the care of my mother) we could be back to Frederick in no time. And the conference is a manageable 3 days long, so we only had to spend two nights away from Emily. And I'll be honest, the allure of having the time to shower, do makeup and hair and dress up to go out for free dinners and drinks didn't sound too shabby.

Oh, and there is also the tiny matter of the Hershey Chocolate Spa being up there. But that was merely an afterthought in my decision to go. I certainly didn't spend my nights awake with Emily during the bout of Roseola thinking to myself "Just two more weeks and I'll be at the spa....just two more weeks".

Even though the spa factored so little into my decision to accompany Will to the conference, I decided to make the best of it and book a day there. As luck would have it, they have a special 20% off package for weekdays, so it seemed the smart thing to do to take advantage of the savings.

So after a nice day on Monday, where I managed to sneak in a short nap and a late dinner at an old Victorian Mansion with representatives from the company who sold the newspaper the new press and hosted us in Japan last year, I rose early on Tuesday and presented myself up at the Hotel Hershey. I spent some time working out in the gym, then ambled up to the spa, donned my sandals and robe and plunked myself down in my favorite chair in the quiet room. I got a coffee body polish, which was ok but I was a bit more naked than I ever enjoy being in front of a stranger. After that was a facial, which strangely enough I was supposed to get naked for too, but that time I had a blanket so I didn't mind quite so much.

As a sidenote, I've decided I really don't like facials. The first one I ever got, the therapist accidentally shoved some sort of exfoliating goo up my nose, causing me to sit up sneezing and sputtering and my sinuses didn't stop hurting until a day later. My second facial, which was this one, I just spent the whole time feeling like the most monstrous excuse for a human that ever climbed on her table. Yes, I know my skin is dry, but thanks for telling me it's some of the driest you've ever seen. Yes, I know my eyebrows kind of give up and disappear halfway across my browline, and thanks by the way for asking in such a snotty tone if I fill them in. Yes, I know my skin turns pink when you scrub on it, and no I don't think it's the beginning stages of Rosacea. Getting naked and being told all of the things that are wrong with your face was just not my idea of a relaxing good time.

Now the Hershey Spa is evil too. They offer free breads (usually chocolate), pastries (also usually chocolate), coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to their patrons, and there are bowls of Hershey Kisses and mini candy bars just lying around everywhere you turn. They also have "The Oasis", which is where you have lunch while getting your spa treatments, and fully half of the buffet is taken up by chocolate cream pies, chocolate cheesecakes, truffles, mini creme brulees and all manner of other hip-widening things. I managed to stop just short of eating myself sick (I'm like a sheep that way).

My lunch was followed by a massage, which was wonderful except for the fact that the therapist spent the first 10 minutes trying to crush my mastoid sinuses and they're still sore. But by the end of the treatment I was just a big puddle of person on the table, which is how one should be after a successful massage. After a manicure I was finished and returned to the world outside my happy place. I was relaxed enough and in a charitable enough mood to act as a buffer and a distraction between Will and the overly-zealous company president who took us to dinner that night to convince Will to buy his software (Why yes, please do tell me more about golf and who at your company is lazy). The bright note of the evening was a fantastic old man who looked like Dwight Eisenhower and was friends with the aforementioned company president and so came along for dinner. He has been in the newspaper business for quite some time and he spent the cocktail hour telling me secrets and dirt about various people in the industry (including the family) that I never even knew. During dinner, when our host became overexcited about a certain topic, Mr. Eisenhower would take him down a peg. The two of them together reminded me of the two old men who sit up in the gallery and yell insults on the Muppet Show.

And so yesterday we came back home, rather more tired than when we had set out. I learned that if I want to get extra sleep, I need to go to bed earlier and not depend on sleeping in in the mornings, because Emily seems to have taken that ability away from me. Staying out until 11:30 at dinners is not a good way for me to catch up on sleep, it turns out, but I can't complain.

Now we're home and I have my Emily back, and she seems to've adjusted well to the time change. I know we were punks for leaving her with my mom to deal with right after we sprang forward, but it all worked out and now we're all back to our previously scheduled program.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Desperate Stay-At-Home-Moms

Today has been a great day. It started with a bad night though...Emily decided at 1AM that she did NOT want to go back to sleep so I was in and out of bed for over an hour trying to get her to settle. I toy with the idea every now and then of just letting her cry it out, but she has honestly never abused her crying privileges, so I am hesitant to just let her cry when every time before she has had a genuine need (usually for food) and once I figure out what that need is and meet it, she'll happily go back to sleep. Last night that need was a ton of formula, which sent me downstairs twice to get more. I don't enjoy trucking up and down the stairs in the middle of the night...I really wish she was still breastfeeding at times like that! I long for the days when I could just stumble into her room, instantly have all the milk she could drink available at the perfect temperature, then stumble back to bed. Now I have to mess with measuring water and powder and finding all the parts for bottles, and I don't usually remember to have any upstairs because I am a hopeless optimist and always assume she'll sleep through the night.

But after we got through the night and got everyone fed this morning I headed out to the outlets. I got Emily two freakin' adorable outfits, and I got myself a Coach purse! I went to the Coach outlet not expecting the purses to be all that much cheaper than the ones I'd been eyeing, but wow! They were about 50% cheaper to start out with, and then starting today they were all 30% off that price, so I feel like I got a really good deal. I ended up getting one of their scribble pattern purses, because although they came out with it last summer and it's kind of dated already, it has a couple different springy colors in it, so it'll be easy to match with almost anything. So now I finally have my coat and my purse and I look like a respectable housewife and not a bum off the street.

After the outlets, we went to The Little Gym and took a free trial class there. My friend Mandy invited us out because some moms she'd met in her mother-daughter swim class recommended it. We've tried Gymboree and My Gym before, but this is the first class where there was actually more than one other kid there. When I arrived (10 minutes late because I seriously misjudged how much time it took to get from the outlets to the gym) there were 4 other moms and babies, all of them were about my age and all of their kids were within a month or so of Emily's age. Perfect! Emily really seemed to enjoy it! She was crawling around interacting with the other children and that was lots of fun to watch since she doesn't ever get to do that otherwise. I think we'll be signing up for the classes on a weekly basis.

After THAT, we all went over to the Menonite market, a place I love to go anyway for cheap and fantastic food and we all had lunch. It was hilarious, there were 6 of us at that point, all with strollers and diaper bags and we took up A LOT of space. We all fed our children their various lunches (from yogurt with fruit and ground flaxseed to canned babyfood to pizza) and then wandered a bit, blocking the aisle as we went. We were the kind of group you roll your eyes at when you are not a part of it, but it felt really good to be a part of it. Talking to moms about what their babies were and were not doing yet, trading babies so we could shovel a couple bites of food in ourselves here and there, and knowing that everyone around you is dealing with the exact same stuff you are was refreshing. Of course most people our age and older know what we're going through, but most of what you get from the older set is "Enjoy them, they grow up so fast!". Of course I enjoy Emily, but it's nice to discuss with other moms who are not wearing nostalgia's rose-colored-glasses how difficult it can be to enjoy your baby when they are screaming and smearing beets on everything in reach.

So I issue a public apology to anyone who happened to be sitting near us or trying to get by the great wall of strollers at the market, but realize that that's the only way new moms can go out, and we all REALLY needed it! Back in the days of cavemen there were always plenty of new moms to talk to and learn from, but in today's society of single-family homes and upscale restaurants it's easy for a new stay at home mom to feel a bit cut-off and wonder where all the other people like her are hiding. Well, I finally found some, and the people at the Menonite market are just going to have to deal with it!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The person you love to hate, either way

Ok, I'm finished wallowing in self-pity now.

I had a doctor's appointment today for my thyroid check-up, but I forgot to get my bloodwork done ahead of time (like I can keep track of a bloodwork order they gave me 6 months ago) so I basically paid a $15 copay to get weighed. I just paid to get weighed yesterday at Weight Watchers, and that seems like altogether too much to pay for an experience that is just plain unpleasant.

But the doctor's appointment was actually a good thing, because it made me realized something. My doctor went through the usual list of questions, and at the end asked "Do you have any complaints you'd like to discuss?". I thought for a minute, and the truth was, no I didn't. And that's a good thing. I still have my pesky carpal tunnel, but that only bothers me at night and it's usually pretty minimal as long as I wear wrist braces. Since I've picked up the exercise, my back is hurting much less. Emily is sleeping pretty well and is no longer taking all my energy in the form of milk, so I feel pretty energetic on a day to day basis, plus after fighting with my thyroid for the past 14 years I feel pretty confident that we've figured out good dosages for my various medicines.

I know how to lose weight, I have done it before and now I have the resolve again and have already started seeing results and that's fun. It's gotten a touch warmer the past couple days and the days are getting longer. I feel like I'm coming out of a funk I just now realized I was in.

In one day I've gone from the person you love to hate because she lays around complaining to the person you love to hate because she's so damned cheerful.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This is what we call irony

I had no sooner finished telling Will this morning that I thought I had been spared PMS this month then my back clenched into a knot, my head started to hurt and the general feeling of malaise and depression descended over me. The good news is, I know this will be temporary as it always is. The bad news is, there is nothing I want more right now than to just curl up on the couch with a heating pad but there's about as much chance of that happening as there is of me turning the laptop over to Emily when she comes cruising by and desperately tries to help me type. I don't suppose there are many people out there who have that luxury though anyway, but it could have come on a better day for me at least. Tuesdays are pretty much my busiest days, and of course Emily woke up early this morning so I had a hungry baby to deal with while I was still trying to finish making breakfast. I have my Weight Watchers meeting bright and early this morning (weighing in today will be a treat in my current bloated state). Will has class Tuesday nights so he doesn't get home until after 8, which means I have to take over the food prep for the gigantic amount of food he takes to work every day. My MIL comes over to babysit Emily while I run out to have a quick dinner with Will and get a bit of exercise in at the gym, which means I have to clean the house and wash the diapers. I make sure to have a wide selection of diapers clean and arranged when she gets here, because it's difficult enough for a guest to figure out the diapering system (Yes, even though that diaper has a pattern on the outside of it you still need to put a cover over it. No, for God's sake don't put my wool in the bag with the dirty diapers!).

So I'll down some advil and set off...I'm already looking forward to curling up in bed tonight.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Yesterday morning, Will stayed home with Emily and gave me a couple hours to myself, which was fantastic! I went to my favorite step class, did a mini-grocery shopping trip, and went to Starbucks with some ladies from my step class afterward. We're hoping to turn this into a weekly thing, which would be just fine by me, only I hope I can make the morning go smoother in the future. Over the course of the morning, I managed to lose my keys at the gym, finding them just in time to call Will and cancel my request for him to pack up Emily and drive 40 minutes round trip to rescue my sorry self. At the grocery store, I went through the self checkout and realized I'd forgotten my club card so I had to wait 5 minutes while they looked up my number at the customer service desk. I wouldn't have bothered, but on my little $30 shopping trip, having my club card saved me $6 so I think that's worth the hassle. Then I got out to my car and realized I had left a bag of groceries inside, and had to run back in and get it. Thank God I didn't have Emily with me, I probably would've left her somewhere too.

What is the lesson I've gathered from this experience? If you think it's "Slow down, try to be more organized and concentrate on keeping track of your belongings", then I have to say "Hi, my name is Sara, I don't think we've ever met before".

No, what I have gathered from this is that I need to buy a purse, preferably a really nice one.

I have a diaper bag, of course. When Emily was first born I tried carrying a diaper bag AND a purse AND the infant carrier, and it just felt like too much. Due to an unfortunate architectural oversight, you have to go through a million doors in quick succession in order to enter or exit our house through the garage, and I was constantly getting one strap or another caught on a doorknob and having to drop everything to get untangled. My solution was to carry a little wristlet (a pouch that came as part of a free Clinique gift), that way I could throw it into the diaper bag when I was going out with Emily, or just take it out and use it alone when I went out without her. This prevented me from being able to carry much of anything for myself though. My keys on the handle and a couple credit cards was all that would really fit. Recently, the handle gave out and now I can't just put my hand through the loop, I have to carry my keys and my pouch as two separate items, and that right there fills both my hands already. No good.

So now that I don't carry Emily in the infant carseat anymore, I think I may be ready for a purse again. I love purses and jackets, because even if I'm wearing my usual uniform of a stained shirt and jeans, I can look put-together if I have a nice jacket and purse covering it. I have been obsessing about the thought of a new purse since yesterday. Should I get one to match my diaper bag, or will that make me look like I am headed to the airport with a matching luggage set wherever I go. Is that necessarily a bad thing? People might think I am always headed somewhere fun and exotic. I want it to have some bright color so that it cheers me up when I pull it out of the closet each March after a long winter. I want it to be a decent enough brand that I CAN expect to be able to pull it out of the closet each March and it won't have ripped seams or broken buckles like all my other purses. If it has bright color, it should match my spring jacket (which I have yet to purchase because I am HOPEFULLY not the size right now that I will be for the rest of my springs). Should I go with orange, so that it will work for fall too? If I go with orange, will I be able to wear an orange jacket and purse with the new black shoes that I just fell in love with and will hereafter be wearing constantly?

I'm going out to Macys to take a look today, since I'll be doing a bit of grocery shopping nearby. As it so happens, my mom and sister will be shopping in the area too so we're going to meet up. I have been thinking of getting a Coach purse, but WOW, I don't know if I can justify spending that on a bag, no matter how fantastic it might be. Add to that the fact that now it turns out my mom will be with me and I don't know if I would be able to handle the "I am not going to say anything but how can you possibly do this" look she'd give me. Maybe a Dooney and Bourke will suffice...I've still never owned a purse even THAT expensive, so maybe that'll be a good first step for me. The one thing I'm determined not to do is to talk myself back down into a cheap purse that will fall apart.

As an update, my sister is currently lying on a lounge chair by the pool being piloted through the Caribbean on a Carnival oceanliner. I'm immensely relieved that she's ok and that if this had to happen to her, it at least happened JUST BARELY early enough that she could still make it onto her cruise. Bon Voyage Krista!