Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Child Rearing in the 21st Century

It may surprise some of you (if not most of you) to know that, even though Eva and I are both pretty divalicious, we didn't have all of the fancy gadgets that are available these days for her when she was a baby. 

List of things we did have:
- awesome Medela breast pump
- boppy pillow for nursing and to help Eva learn to sit up
- diaper genie to hold stinky diapers
- jumper chair thingy for Eva to stand and spin around in
- high chair
- car seat
- bottles
- pacifier
- stroller
- crib
(note: I'd count the last 6 of those items as essential for every baby so we really had 4 "extra" items)

List of available baby items that we did not have:
- swing or papasan (note: we did have one, the normal back and forth kind but it stopped working 2 weeks after Eva was born and we never used it again)
- humidifier
- wipe warmer
- co-sleeper
- baby gate (note: again, we had these, but they were used to keep the dog in the hallway, never to keep Eva contained)
- mobile for her crib
- fancy schmancy thermometer that you simply touch to the baby's head and it gives you a reading
- sling or wrap to carry Eva in
- monitor (yup, you read that correctly, we didn't have a monitor. Eva was close enough to be heard without one until she was... well... she still is!)

It looks like we're 10 to 10 for things we had versus things we didn't have.  So why am I telling you this?  Because babies do not need half of the crap that the marketing companies try to tell us they need.  They need somewhere to sleep, something to eat out of (boob or bottle), something to keep warm and something to help them travel safely.  Everything else is, in my opinion, just fluff.  Save your money and precious floor space; the less crap you have, the more your baby will enjoy the #1 thing in their lives- you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Call Me Out-of-Touch Granny!

My bestie Jen keeps me cool.  Seriously, I wouldn't know half of the lingo of today's younger, hip hop culture if it weren't for her.  Example?  Here is an email conversation between the two of us:

(background = Jen's friend is getting us into cool nightclubs in Vegas and Jen was talking about the cost- and then the song I'm referencing is called "Rack City Chick.")
Jen- "The pool party at Encore we went to was like $50 just to get IN - but we got on the list so it was gratis.  Go early if you do pool party - best advice - get a spot on the deck on the edge if you can - it's an insane amount to get a lilipad or a cabana - something stupid ridiculous like a stack ($1000) and I think cabanas started at like $3k." 
Me- "Omg I love that you told me how much was in a stack, because I honestly would have had no idea!"
Jen- "I figured after I wrote it!  LOL!!!  FYI, also called a 'rack' - as in the Kanye/Jay-Z song 'What You Need' when they're singing about 'racks on racks on racks.'"

Me- "So is a 'rack city chick' a stripper that costs a grand?"

Jen- "Logic would think so - but no, they're just hoes - easy girls in big rack cities (ie. NYC, LA, Vegas, Miami, etc)"

Monday, April 23, 2012

In the Wind He's Still Alive...

Many of you who read the blog knew him, but most may not, so I'll give the short version.  Curt was my mom's long time partner, you would have called him my stepdad for how involved he was in my life, but he and my mom never officially married, so he was always just Curt.  He lived next door to us and was an almost constant figure in mine and Noah's lives for years and years.  He drowned on April 23rd, 2004, in a freak accident while working on an under water aeration system.  I remember the day like it was yesterday... it was a Friday afternoon and I happened to be home from college for the weekend for a belly dance show.  My mom and I were walking out the front door when a Chaplin car pulled up and a man dressed in all black with the telltale little white square below his chin got out and walked up to us.  He asked if we were Sybil and Rebeccah, we said we were.  My mom quickly asked, "Is it Curt. Is he okay?" The Chaplin replied, "No."  My mom then asked, "Is he alive?" Again, the Chaplin answered with the most simple, yet most heartbreaking word in the world, "No."  What happened next was something you see in movies, not something that's ever supposed to happen to you in real life.  I remember my mom screaming so loud that our neighbors came pouring out of their houses to see what had happened.  I remember calls from reporters wanting to get a statement for the evening news.  I remember seeing pictures on the TV of the four man crew that spent hours retrieving Curt from the deep water, because his body had become tangled in the system he'd been working on.  I remember going to the funeral home and not being able to go near his body because to get that close meant I'd have to admit to myself that he was really that word, which is used so often yet has a whole new meaning when it's someone so close to you, dead. I remember having to call my university and tell them that I wouldn't be able to make my final exams that were the following week, and thinking that this is some lie slackers probably give to get out of things.  "Death in the family"... seems so perfunctory and detached when written down on paper by the school administrator; if only it felt that way in your heart. 

Even after my parents' divorce, my dad has always been involved in our lives, so there was no real hole for Curt to fill, yet my memories of him are of fatherly ones nonetheless.  Him getting up at 4:30am to drive me to my dance line competition on the other side of the metro in his big red Dodge truck with its 4-wheel drive because the snow was so bad that no one else's car could even get off our city street.  I remember him embarrassing me so bad I literally turned bright red in front of my middle school crush at my golden birthday party when I was 14.  I remember him teaching me how to shoot a gun. I remember how much I thought he was a dork, which, if we're being honest, he was.  He was a dork... the simple, goofy, loving, unique, giving kind of dork that you take for granted because you never really think that someone won't make it to their 50th birthday.    

We never said "I love you" to each other.  I knew he loved me, he knew I loved him, but like happens so often in life, we don't tell people how much they really mean to us.  I never thought he'd be gone; leaving my mom to re-think the rest of her life decades before she'd ever imagined being a widow.  He probably never thought he wouldn't see me graduate from college, or get married, or have a baby.  But that's the beauty and tragedy of life, isn't it?  Nothing is promised to anyone.  You could live to be 100 or you could die tomorrow.  So even thought it's cliche I'm going to say it, never take a single moment for granted.  It's easier said than done, I know, but it's crucial to living a life with no regrets.  My greatest regret is that I never told him how I felt and, sadly, it's something I'll never be able to change. 

Curt was a huge Ted Nugent fan so his songs have become almost sacred in our family.  One song in particular still makes me cry almost every time I hear it.  The song is Fred Bear and it's actually a beautiful and moving song- unlike some of Uncle Ted's less family friend ones ;-) Go find it on YouTube, crank up the volume, close your eyes and just listen.  And when you're done, go find your spouse, your children, your friend, anyone you care about and hug them.  Tell them you love them and that you are so blessed to have them in your life.

We're not alone when we're in the great outdoors
We got his spirit, we've got his soul
He will guide our steps, he'll guide our arrows home
The restless spirit forever roam...
In the wind he's still alive
In the wind he's still alive
In the wind he's still alive
In the wind he's still alive 

I love you Curt.  I still miss you so much and I'm so sad that you never got to meet Jason or Eva, you would have loved them both, but I know I'll see you again and in the wind you're still alive.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Brittney Turns 30

My friend Brittney turned the big 3-0 this weekend and we celebrated with a fabulous party put on by our two amazing girlfriends Donita & Linnea.  We had it in one of the ballrooms at our restaurant and it involved much dancing, girly cocktails, cake, cake pops and then more dancing.  The four of us girls will be going on a weekend trip to Las Vegas this Friday- woohoo!  I'm so incredibly blessed to have girlfriends like these girls; the older I get the more I notice that while the number of people I call "friend" declines, the quality of friendships I have improves a thousandfold. 

Happy birthday Brittney- here's to being the most fabulous 30 year old on the planet!!!

Birthday girl arriving- SURPRISE!
Donita & Linnea

mmmm cake pops

Linnea, Brittney, Donita

Me & Brittney
p.s. the the down side to a "fancy" camera is that I can't be in many photos since no one I hand my camera to seems to know how it works lol

Camera Practice

As the days get longer and there's more sun in the sky, I'm making a real effort to get the hang of my new camera and lens.  I have photo shop now, but I'm still figuring out how the hell to use it so for now you'll just get raw photos :-)

We had dinner and play time at the Olsson's house tonight and I was able to snap away for a good while.  Enjoy (and I promise to get better!)

New Blog Design!

Many thanks to the wonderful Pamela at Verismo Studio for our awesome new blog layout.  We loved the old "park" look but it was time for an upgrade; hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Doctor Check Up

Eva had her 4 year check up at the doctor on Friday and she has really grown!  She is now in the 25th percentile for her weight and the 33rd for her weight- a huge jump up from the 10th percentile that she was in on her 3rd birthday.  She was also crazy enough to agree to get 4 vaccines, that she needed anywhere in between the age of 4 and 6, all in one day.  At least she is done for a number of years now. 

The photo is blurry because I took it on my phone but she had too much fun playing the nurse/doctor and even asked me questions like they did, so I had to snap a quick picture.

Here's to another healthy year!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Birthday Party Photos Are In!

So excited that the photographer got the photos from Eva's party back to us so quickly! Scroll through everything below to get an idea of the fancy fun we had.  Thank you Pamela!

**Reminder that you can click in the middle of any photo below and a full screen slide show will pop up for easy viewing**

the cake

We had a Fancy Nancy tattoo station run by none other than Baba :-)

My fav!