I shopped at Macy's today. My experience was disappointing to say the least. I was shopping for one thing: a chambray denim skirt by Style & Co. Super cute! So I walk into the store and ask a rep where I might find a denim skirt. "What brand is it?" I had no idea. I just knew what it looked like and that Macy's sold it. I asked if they had a computer terminal or access to their website. The lady smiled nicely as if to say, yeah right. "No, we don't." She was no help. I walked around thinking maybe I'll spot it. I asked a rep in a denim area if she had any denim skirts. She held up one that wasn't what I was looking for then said "That's all we have, sorry." She too was no help. I wasn't ready to give up yet, I really want this skirt! I called Rusty to look up the brand for me. Another rep pointed me to the section of the store where that brand was displayed. You see, I had no idea going in that the store was laid out by brands. And the reps assigned to each area had no idea what the other sections sold. So I find the skirt but it's twice the size I need. I wear a six and their sizes started at twelve. In fact, they had 20 skirts, all plus sized. I asked another rep if there was maybe a skirt my size in another area or another store. His computer said there was one in stock but he couldn't find it. He checked all the malls nearby and none of them had my size either. At least he tried to help! This was sucking by now. Fine! I'll go home and order it via the website. So I find it online, click click click to check out then notice the tax price crept up every page I went towards checkout. It started at $2.40 tax, then $3.30 then $4.40. That's not cool. So I called the customer service line to have the tax adjusted. The lady couldn't explain why the tax would keep changing. She said something about an approximation but that doesn't really answer why. I started out hoping to just grab the skirt from the store while I was out but ended up defending the price, paying shipping and now waiting a week for it to arrive. And if it doesn't fit right?- Lord I hope it does! I wish Macy's had computers in their store where a customer could find an item and even purchase it on the spot. I also wish their sales people in stores were a bit more sympathetic to the customer who isn't a pro at the store layout. Next time, I'll consider a different store to shop at to save some time and aggravation.

My dad called yesterday. He's seen the doctor and is fine now but he has high blood pressure causing him problems. He didn't send a check yet but plans to soon. Oh, and his last phone crapped out so he has a new number and phone. I swear- he gets a new number every few months.

Last night sucked. Joshua skipped his nap yesterday so we got him in bed with lights out by 8:15pm. Elliot fell asleep around 9pm. All was normal so I showered and read a magazine hoping to be asleep by 10pm. 10:30, Josh is crying for daddy. 11pm Rusty brings Josh to bed hoping this will comfort him to sleep. No. They move back to Josh's room. Josh continues to wake up and cry intermittently. At midnight we give Josh some Tylenol and I suggest Rusty crash on the over sized chair with Josh. That works. 2am Elliot wakes up to be fed. He doesn't go back to sleep until 3:40. In that time, Josh wakes up again several times wanting to be held, wanting Puppy, wanting to watch TV, wanting shadows to go away- you name it. Rusty gets up to sleep on Josh's floor. 6:30am, my alarm goes off and I'm up for the day. Elliot and I are out of the house by 7:10am on our way to a doctor's appt. at the Scottish Rite Hospital. (His webbed toes don't need to be separated, thank goodness!)

We got a doctor's appointment for Josh at 1pm. He was running a low fever, felt lethargic and needy, and obviously something was keeping him up all night. Turns out he has an ear infection, probably left over from his last cold.

I tried to nap this afternoon but failed to get more than a 20 minutes of real sleep. After Elliot's mid-day nap I was cranky from sleep deprivation. I've had some tea and I feel a second wind of energy. We're all going to bed early tonight!

I ventured out to Peppermint Baby Boutique this morning. They had a grand opening event with classes and showed The Business of Being Born. I skipped the movie (though if I'd had time I would have seen it again) and sat in a baby wearing class. Most of the moms in the class were first-time pregnant. I was glad to see how the Mobi wrap works and the Mei Tai. I got a Fairy Godmother sling a while back and I think Elliot is nearly old enough to sit in it. Ultimately I want something to support him on my hip. He's not ready for that yet. Luckily they do baby wearing classes on the weekends so I'll go back in a month or so to get practice.

Josh's new thing: he waves his arms up and down and chants "Look at me! Look at me!" He says this even when we're standing or sitting right next to him. He's so proud of his accomplishments like making a toy work.

In other Josh news, I got another glimpse into his dreams recently. After a nap on Friday he told me he was going to "fix it the firetruck". Earlier that week he was talking in his sleep saying "no want it shower". I guess he was dreaming about his bedtime routine in protest. I helped him find his puppy and tucked him into bed.

Elliot is beginning to roll onto his back to sleep at night as well as staying on his tummy. He's fattening up nicely and rounding out. He's working on putting his hands together while they're extended. I put things in front of him to encourage him to reach for them (he hasn't yet) and I've put toys in his hands to give him something new to slobber on and practice holding.

Last bit of news... My dad left Lubbock last week for Denver/Co. Springs. After a drinking binge during his stay at my mom's, he her that he hadn't been feeling well lately but that the symptoms disappeared when he drank. One day he told her he was going back to CO to see his doctor and the next morning he was gone. We haven't heard from him since. I've been calling his cell phone every day leaving a message for him to call me b/c I'm worried about him. One of several scenarios are possible:
a) He saw his doctor, is fine and went on about his life forgetting to check his phone
b) He's fine and lost his phone
c) He's not doing well and can't check his phone or call me
d) He didn't make it home
e) He made it home and has some reason he's not calling me back

Add to the stress of his health, he supposedly mailed an inheritance check last week- but it hasn't arrived. I have no idea if he put the right address or a good return address on the envelope. I hope dearly that he either spent it himself or it got returned to him in the mail somehow. I'd hate for it to end up in someone else's account.

I hate having a cold while breastfeeding. Even the smallest sneeze can disrupt a calmly nursing baby. Joshua & I both sound like old smokers this morning with all the hacking and coughing.

Rusty attended a class on parenting the willful child yesterday evening. Yes, we have a willful child, but he's not the worst case imaginable- far from it. The key lesson from last night is to view the willful attributes as a positive. For example:

argumentative means he can defend his ideas, he has an opinion
stubborn means he's determined and persistent
whining means he's able to express himself
talking back means he's assertive

Most of the willful attributes are also characteristics of leaders. So far, we're doing a lot of the right things as far as parenting tactics.

Josh got a cold then gave it to Elliot and Rusty and ultimately me. I'm the last one to catch the bug somehow. Rusty was laid up sick all day yesterday. The cold isn't treating me quite so bad, just sore throat and snot so far. Since it's President's Day (Rusty's off work) and I'm under the weather, we sent Josh to school. This will give me a chance to rest, work and recover.

Speaking of work, here is the homepage I'm working on for a client:

I saw Juno- and loved it! I want the sound track (I'm fairly sure I heard Cat Power there somewhere). I almost cried when the mom held the new baby- as if I've never seen a baby before! It was a great film and I'm glad I took the time to see it!

Plus I saw a mom I used to work with there and she was with a mom I know from a mom's group. As I was blah blahing about the past with her, I kept glancing at her friend thinking- I know you, I know you but I can't place the name or the place... Then I said it out loud! "I keep looking at you like I know you..." It was Adrianne whom I've seen several times and even emailed not even a week ago! To say I was embarrassed is a HUGE understatement. On the drive home, I was beating myself up for blanking on her face. I think I know too many people! My brain is stretched thin from people I've met: friends, acquaintances from parties, friends/significant others' of friends, their children!, people from work long ago, people I bump into, moms from moms groups and their baby/ies, coworkers from Rusty's office, neighbors, doctors, clients, friends of my in-laws I've met, and just people I know from here and there. Even the nail lady next door to Joshua's school knows me! By name!! And I don't know hers. I barely remember who she is when I see her at the store across the street and she waves at me and says "How are you?" and knows I have a son in school and a baby and that I like flowers painted on my big toe.


I fully intend to keep up with everyone I now know as best as I can and hopefully those who lose contact with me will fade into the gray mess in the back of my brain leaving fresh neurons for those who matter most. Like poor Adrianne and her son- what's his name?- Gannon, who is one and big compared to Elliot and a cute little guy and has a grandma from- crap- somewhere up north. *sigh* To make matters worse, a handful of moms I know are having second or third babies and I feel obligated to remember those names (because they remember Elliot's) and try to keep up with how old they and their sibs are even though it's all. a moving. target.

I used to be better at this. I used to say, "I know I met you at Tommy's, but what's your name?" or "I don't remember your name but I know you from- blah". But today was a blank - a doodle pad with the magnetic arm sliding up and down.

Elliot is officially rolling from tummy to back on a regular basis. He usually does this in bed after a nap though sometimes he'll try in his bouncy seat, stroller, sling and car seat too. I hate when he tries it in the sling b/c he nearly flips and twists out of it. He also is practicing at putting his hands together.

My Valentines Day treat to myself is watching Juno this afternoon at the Angelika.

Here's a few pictures taken recently.

Joshua loves to help care for his brother. Here, he's shhhh-ing while Elliot waits for someone to pick him up.

Elliot's first boo-boo. He rolled off the changing pad and fell into the dresser drawer while I was searching for socks for him. His face hit the edge of the drawer. He screamed in pain for about three or four minutes then cried to be nursed. I think he wanted something comforting after the traumatic event. I put ointment on the scrape to help keep it clean and moist.

Elliot loves to stand. He's getting his workout here before bedtime.

Elliot is discovering his hands by putting them together. His movements are jerky but deliberate. He's also rolling to his side (but not all the way over except twice and I'm fairly sure these were exceptional moments) so I have begun to give him more time on the floor where I play with his legs.

Josh still won't use the potty at home- the putz. Other than that, he's been an angel this weekend.

I got to visit with Teel on Saturday- yay! She doesn't come to Dallas as often anymore so this was a treat. She still wonders why she ever dated Neil (as do we all) and wishes she could connect with the old crowd. Sadly, that crowd has moved on to other pastures. Here was the lineup back in the day: Lee, who connected us all, Tommy, who threw the parties, Matt Weyandt, who always has a story, Neil, who was Neil, and then Rusty & I, who were out and having fun. Since those days, Lee met Barb and vanished, Tommy is settling down (but only a bit), Matty met Sam, Neil is still Neil, and we had babies. Back in the day we would meet for disc golf in the morning then maybe have lunch together. Back then we'd plan a party and make it happen with 10 to 50 people attending. In those days, we were free, broke and looking for ways to be entertained. Well, Tommy wasn't broke and Matt wasn't always free, but you get the idea. It's not that we "grew up" because we were all adults, but rather we've moved on to a new place whether it's physical, relational or familial. Teel is still Teel living the life I sometimes envy. I'd love to see concerts, go drinking with girl friends, visit friends in other cities, and dine in places that require me to dress up a little. But apples to apples, I wouldn't give up my boys or home life for all that. Instead, I'll live vicariously through Teel's exciting life and wait my turn. Which I expect in about 18 years. :-)

Yesterday I saw a documentary about conventional births in America and what could be possible. Essentially, that hospitals and OB/GYNs are truly untrained in the natural birthing process and that women are systematically not offered the best options. The film showed several actual births, both home and C-sections. Women and doctors lamented on mortality rates, unnecessary procedures, interventions, and the mother's loss of power. I enjoy this topic and the documentary so much, I plan on buying it some day. I nearly cried at every birth scene, got angry at ignorant hospital staff and felt empowered by the end. For me, I walked away knowing that my choice to have my sons born with the help of a midwife in a home-like environment was the best decision I've made since- I don't know. I hope this film catches the attention of women who are pregnant for the first time, or planning to be, and moves them to question their doctors and their options when the time comes. If you get a chance, go see The Business of Being Born, directed by Abby Epstein and produced by Ricki Lake, who both have their babies during the filming of this documentary. If it doesn't show in your town, look for it on Netflix.com coming soon.

Okay, so being home with both boys isn't all bad all the time. We had one rough patch this morning (throwing toys got Josh into trouble which made Elliot upset) but the whole rest of the day went smoothly. I even got Josh to eat all of his dinner- spaghetti with homemade sauce, breaded chicken, peach slices from a can.

Tomorrow I'll start my day taking Elliot to a sneak peek movie showing in Frisco called The Business of Being Born. So far over 130 people have purchased tickets (plus a few moms I know). Then late afternoon Josh & I are getting our hair cut. I want to lop off about 6 inches, maybe more. Just long enough to pull back w/ a scrunchy. Some day I'll get a whole new do, but not yet.

Elliot is becoming ever so handsome. He's got good color, he smiles a lot, he coos and almost giggles, he loves to stand and sit up (both with support of course). He's less cranky at nights and a little more predictable in what he needs. But his sleep routine is still anything-goes! Speaking of, I should go now before I lose a chance to snooze!

I had a glass of wine with dinner. After two sips, I felt it. At half the glass, I didn't care that Josh wasn't eating his dinner. (He eventually ate everything on his plate.) By the end of the glass at the end of dinner- yowzers! The full force of the wine had taken over and I was feelin' silly. Maybe it will help me sleep good tonight.



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