Thursday, April 30, 2009

Too Busy to Live

Eight weeks ago or so, one of my friends invited me to Panera for coffee and bagels. We had such a great time that we invited another friend. And thanks to Facebook, we soon started inviting everyone. We are there every Friday morning while our kids are in school. Some come every week and some come when they can. It is very eclectic group. Friends that I am getting to know, good friends and friends that I haven't seen in awhile.

When we first started planning our little coffees, I had to let go of my computer obsession and my list of things to do. I had usual plans for my Fridays and when I struggled with this, I knew that I needed to get out more. I had to step away from the computer and really talk to my friends.

Yesterday, one of our friends sent out an email wondering if we were all meeting at a wine bar like we planned last week. I didn't want to go. I love wine and being forced to sit in a cozy wine bar where I cannot have a glass is near torture. Plus I was tired and would rather sit and do absolutely nothing. But, I thought how much time I spend here in my house, how I need to connect and how I need to step away from the computer. So, as tired as I was, I sent back and email saying that I would go.

I am so glad that I went. Last night, I got no more than 5 hours of sleep. My youngest woke me up three times due to a fever he was fighting. And guess what? I had more energy today that I have in awhile. I felt energized just by connecting with friends and talking.

I am going to say yes more often, reach out more and spend more time with friends. I feel so much better when I do. And you know what? I am going to worry less about my inbox and how long it has been since I have written a post. Tomorrow is another Friday morning at Panera and I can't wait to see who shows up. And as always, it is an open invitation if you live nearby. We'd love to have you walk away from your computer and join us.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ethel, Maud, Laree?

I get on my son Ryan for being so picky. He is picky about everything. Food, clothes, food, temperature, food and so much more. He is bad but I know where he gets it from.

As I sat at the playground today enjoying the summer-like weather, I heard parents yell out names. In my head I kept saying, Nope. Won't work. Can't name my child that name. Not even on the list. No way.

I find it hard to believe that I don't like most names. When I look at the top 1000 names and cross off what I don't like, I am left with a small list. I wish I wasn't so picky. I do. But, I am.

I am starting to freak out a bit because I am heading into the third trimester. I have a long time to go until my due date. But, I also know that at any time, I could go into labor and the baby would survive. I keep picturing the hospital yelling at me and making me choose a name. Ever wonder why there are so many children named "Baby" on the Social Security top 1000 names of the year?

My husband and I have created a process where we both write down all of our favorite names. We then take turns crossing one off of the master list. It worked for us before and I am sure we will use this process again. But like all good procrastinators, it is too early for us to even create the master list. I have to feel the fear of the birth lurking in the shadows to get down to business.

I have played around with naming sites online and have printed out the Social Security list. I don't know if this makes it harder or easier. I now know why there are so many Marys and Josephs. Good ol' traditional names that made you feel better after naming the baby. I am just glad this is the last time I have to do this. It was so much easier naming baby dolls as a child. I usually just went with my middle name, Laree. Hmmmm. That doesn't sound so bad. Maybe I will add it to my list.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Q & A

Some of you have had questions about my pregnancy. So, here are the questions and answers.

When are you due?

I am scheduled for a c-section on July 24. My first baby was born emergency c-section and I went with it for the next two because I had such a good experience.

Do know if you are having a girl or boy?

We didn't find out. I feel like it is a girl but I was wrong with my oldest, Ryan. I swore he was a girl. When the doctor said "It's a boy!" I almost fell off the table. I couldn't believe it.

How is this pregnancy different?

I am much more tired. But, I cannot complain at all. (Knock on wood) I have had easy pregnancies. I have never had morning sickness. I know, I know, so not fair.

Your middle child and your baby will be over 5 years apart. Did you plan it?

We did. It took us some time to decide on having baby #3. My first two were only 19 months or so apart. We had a tough time adjusting to have two babies at one time. And then Kyle had a feeding problem. We were just worn out. We thought two was enough. But then, I went on a work trip for my husband's company. The president's wife and mother of grown two boys said that her biggest regret in life was that she didn't have a third child. I knew right there and so did my husband that I couldn't live with the same regret. I know #3 will be tough, I am so not a baby person. But, I know when I am an old woman, I will be so happy that I made myself (and my husband) do this. Plus, with two boys in elementary school in the fall, I realize that the time goes extremely fast. I can do this! Dear friends, remind me of this when I am complaining in a few months.

Did it take us long to conceive?

No, we are extremely lucky. Two weeks off of the pill and we were pregnant. Thank goodness we live in a time and country where birth control is legal and relatively affordable. Who knew I was so fertile?

Are you done?

I had to talk my hubby into #3. Yes, we are done. And I cannot wait to start getting rid of everything I have been saving for over 6 years.

Are the boys excited?

So excited. So, so, so excited! Today, Kyle suggested that we name the boy "Bush" if it was a boy. I told him that the grandparents, aunt and uncles would probably love the name. But, Mommy and Daddy would talk about it and add it to our list. Sometimes, you just can't shoot down the suggestion and break their little hearts.

This is me at work right before I delivered my first baby, Ryan back in 2002.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is Today Earth Day?

Is Today Earth Day?

I wasn't sure. I had to look it up this morning. Last year, it seemed like it was everywhere. This year, Earth Day is taking a back seat to the recession. What is ironic is that consumption is down not because of all of the tips in newspapers, articles or blogs. It is down because people are cutting back on their spending. Interesting.

Today in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a columnist, Regina Brett, wrote about she is trying to be "green" at home. She even checks to make sure all of the families waste baskets are sorted into their proper recycling categories. While I have been guilty of this many times by my husband, I would like to let you know an inside tip from someone who used to work at a recycling center in college. Not everything you send away is actually recycled. Some of the plastic is the wrong type of plastic. Be sure to check with your city and find out what numbers are recycled. Some people recycle everything and that just makes more work for the people recycling your trash.

Another insider tip, make sure you do not recycle your products with their lids. I see this often as I drive to and from school in people's recycling containers. The lids are not recyclable in this manner. I have heard that Aveda stores are recycling lids. See this link for more information.

From the Aveda website:

The program accepts caps that are rigid polypropylene plastic, sometimes noted with a 5 in the chasing arrows recycling symbol. This includes caps that twist on with a threaded neck such as caps on shampoo, water, soda, milk and other beverage bottles, flip top caps on tubes and food product bottles (such as ketchup and mayonnaise), laundry detergents and some jar lids such as peanut butter. Excluded from collection are pharmaceutical lids and non rigid lids such as yogurt lids, tub lids (margarine, cottage cheese), and screw on lids that are not rigid. If you can bend or break the lid with your bare hands, then it does not meet the rigid plastic definition. Please do not include any metal lids or plastic pumps or sprayers. Unfortunately, too much of the wrong types of materials can contaminate the recycling process. We appreciate your efforts in keeping it clean!

Great job Aveda! I will have a hard time with my consumption of their fantastic products when I visit to drop off my recyclable lids. My husband will just be thrilled with yet another thing I am collecting to recycle. Add the lids to my growing list of newspapers, cans, bottles, plastics and batteries.

We have come so far since my college days working in the recycling center at Mount Union College. I just checked their website to see what they've done about recycling since I left in 1994 and it is just amazing. When I started, we had trouble teaching students where to put their cans and bottles. We are more aware of our impact on the environment and I am shocked when I run into a family that doesn't recyle (hint, hint Dad). So, yes it is Earth Day. Happy Earth Day!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Can Get My Own Towel, Thankyouverymuch

I wish I was Jerry Seinfeld.

"So what's the deal with bathroom attendants at fancy restaurants and bars?"

Really, I want to know. Why do establishments have them? It doesn't add to the experience. It just adds stress.

Last Friday, my husband and I went with another couple to House of Blues in downtown Cleveland. (We had a great time, thank you G & K) On return from the bathroom, we were notified by our friend that there was an attendant there. Damn. It's been so long since I have been out. So, being pregnant, I have to make sure I can cover my visits to the loo. I didn't bring a purse because we were seeing a standing room only show. So, I had to ask my husband for a dollar.

I know I don't have to pay this lady. I know. I know. But, I also know that I will make countless trips and will feel like such a schmuck if I don't pay up at some point. So, I grab a dollar and try to work out a strategy with my friend as when to pay up. Luckily my friend got wind of a shift change. We didn't want to pay the first shift lady only to see the second shift lady the rest of the evening.

Restaurants and bars probably use the attendant to add class. I don't really agree. It just drives me crazy. I can get my own paper towel and soap. I have been doing it my entire life. They probably also use them to keep the bathrooms a little cleaner. When people are drinking, the bathrooms can get pretty nasty. I don't even want to tell you what I have seen people do to a sink. So, just by having someone there, it makes people behave a little better than they would if they were alone. It may cut down on drug use, smoking (now that it is illegal in restaurants in Ohio) and maybe even trysts.

All this aside, it just is not comfortable for the guest of the establishment. I feel guilty as someone spending money while this person is struggling to make ends meet by working as an attendant. It is just uncomfortable. So, at some point, the guilt overwhelms me and I toss in the $1.

So, bars and restaurants, please do me a favor and just employ someone to check the bathrooms throughout the night. I am guessing that a large percentage of your customers really could do without the bathroom attendant. Maybe I will start putting a tip jar in my bathroom at home. I clean it often and I even wipe butts. I could even put out some mints. That should be worth a tip, right?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Doing It My Way Cheaper

Every year, new items are developed and created to make being a parent easier. I remember registering at Babies R Us for items that I didn't really need. You couldn't have told me otherwise. I did my research and I thought I had the whole mother thing figured out. No wonder I fell to pieces when I had my first baby. I. Was. Clueless. Aren't we all? Thank goodness. No one would have a child if they knew how hard the first one would be. Well, if they drank enough wine and forgot to worry about it...

So as we get closer and closer to the big day here in Indyworld, I am starting to freak out. In my attempt to create feelings of control, I have started to make lists of things we need. We have so much already but after my boys and four cousins have used all of our items, some of things are pretty nasty and making their way to the garbage. On our list, bibs, new BFA free bottles and diapers.

One of the new websites that I have found this time around is Have you been there? I am shocked at the deals I am finding. As a first time buyer, I had a $10 off coupon (For this deal use code: Baby10) and if you spend over $49, you get free shipping. The cost of my diapers averaged .11 per diaper for Luvs. They have all major brands and you can send them your coupons to use. The diapers show up in two days and you are stress free. This will save more than the cost of diapers because it will keep me out of Target, Costco and Walmart. Priceless.

This time around, we are also dealing with a tighter budget. That's why I love Not only is easier for parents, it is cheaper. And that doesn't happen often. Do you have any tips for parents for saving on diapers and formula? And please don't suggest breast feeding and cloth diapers. I hear you. I do, I swear. Third time around and I have to do it my way.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Next Week: Barber

I am putting on a happy face around the kiddos today. Inside, I am nervous and a little anxious. Why? I hate to even say because it sounds so foolish. I have a dentist appointment today. I even have two friends that are dentists that I am sure will get a kick out of my irrational fear. You'd think that after giving birth twice and having a million PAP tests that the dentist should be no big deal. You'd think. But, it is not true for me.

I have the worst teeth. I have very soft enamel. I brush twice a day with a fancy toothbrush and I never miss a day of flossing. I use a special prescription toothpaste to protect my teeth. I always use Listerine twice a day. I do EVERYTHING my hygienist says. Besides having crummy teeth and nasty gums, I am a model patient.

My kids on the other hand LOVE going to their dentist. He is a pediatric dentist. After Ryan threw the biggest fit in the world, my dentist suggested we take him somewhere special. I am so glad I did. They love going for their appointments and even ask "When do we get to go see Dr. Gindi again?"

Yesterday, my kids had a dentist appointment. Later in the afternoon, Ryan was making a list of all of his friends. He wrote DG. I asked, "Who is that?" "Dr. Gindi, he's my friend." Then at dinner last night, my husband asked Ryan what he wanted to be when he grows up and he said "A dentist." Yes! So much better than the McDonalds worker he wrote about at school last week. (I know, I know, next week, he will probably want to be a barber. But just let me cherish this moment.)

I love their enthusiasm for the dentist. I hope it never changes. So today, I am chewing the inside of the my mouth out of nervousness and keeping my fears to myself. I am very quiet around them and I am trying to stay busy. I just can't ruin this love affair for them.

My appointment went well and because I am pregnant, having puffy gums was a little to be expected. I survived and even thought in the middle of my appointment "Why was I so worried?"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Found this picture this morning and I just have to share.

When you are pregnant, you gain weight EVERYWHERE. Not just in the stomach. Your butt gets as big as you belly. So, this THONG is not really a good idea. And from the looks of these abs, this woman is not even one day pregnant. I like how they actually wrote "Mom To Be" like it is to be given as a gift. I think I would throw it back to whoever gave it to me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Voices in my Head

I sat listening to her daughter and then her minister. I heard what she stood for and what was important to her during her life. My thoughts drifted. I first thought of losing my mom only four months ago. And then tears began to fall. They wouldn't stop. My thoughts wouldn't stop either.

Almost twenty-four hours since I sat at the funeral and the voice I keep hearing in my head is "What will you be remembered for? What do I stand for? Will any of this matter? What matters?"

I don't know. What does matter? Isn't this the question we all wrestle with at some point? I used to think my old work mattered. I don't hear much from my past students so I have to wonder. I was so young in my previous profession. I was green and inexperienced. I am not sure I was very good at it.

Now, in my new profession, I matter a great deal to two little boys. What will they learn from me and what is important that they learn from me? What will they forget? What will last? What will be my legacy?

When I was younger and visiting a retirement home, I used to feel sorry for the people that lived there. I didn't understand that they were the lucky ones that lived a long life. Now when I visit, I can see that they have lived long lives and have lost so many people. They have had to make new friends and many have found new life companions. I can't even imagine what they have seen and lived through.

I still feel green but in the last year, I am starting to mature. When I was in my twenties, I remember wedding after wedding. And then, baby shower after baby shower. In the past year, my friends and I have started down a new path. It is one that I somehow never saw coming. Not at this age! But, it is one that is teaching me so much about my life and how I want to live it. I am lucky to have friends with me on this path. I couldn't do it alone. I wouldn't want to. And through these friendships, I have found strength to figure out my way, find my own voice and continue on my path.

Monday, April 6, 2009

More is More

OK. So who bought all these toys? How in only 6 years, have we accumulated such a large collection of toys? We mostly stick to the holidays here with gift giving so why are there so many? I like to blame my parents and in-laws. I know where the true blame lies.

In less than two weeks, my husband is hosting a poker night for the spouses of my mom friends in our basement. I have ignored the growing mess for the ENTIRE winter and now, I must get busy. My sister said "Oh the guys won't notice the mess." They will if they trip over all of the toys while sipping their beer. We're not talking "Legos in with the Star Wars container." We are talking the entire Star Wars collection all over the floor, the toy box emptied and everything out of the original storage containers.

So, I am going to try to spend 15 minutes a day for the next week until I call uncle and just bust my butt down there (and beg my husband to help me hide the mess). I am posting this for two reasons.

One: To let other mothers know that they are not alone in their struggle against the toys.

Two: To make sure I hold myself to it and get it done. If I have 100 people dropping by on the web, I am more than likely to get it done.

You may be wondering why the kids aren't cleaning up their mess. I do have them help. I promise myself weekly that I will have them do more and clean up after themselves. But, I need to really organize and not just hide the stuff. I want to purge and sort. They will pull and save. That will not work for the cleaning and organizing I want to do.

Readers love to give advice, so let's hear it. Maybe that will help us all. I promise to start purging. I have a baby coming so I go from wanting to give it all away to make room to wanting to save it all "just in case." Any tips other than to give it away? I hear you. I do. I swear I do. And someday, I will. I promise.

I would like to add that the pictures actually make it look neater than it does in real life. I don't know why but it does. Trust me when I say that there was cat puke everywhere and a dead mouse somewhere lurking behind the toys. I swear there was. It was a real mess and nearly a health hazard.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Dare You

What if I told you you could change one simple habit and it will save you time and money and is better for the environment? It will also make your hair healthier. What is it? It is the simple act of not washing your hair daily.

Now, I can hear the outrage.

My hair only looks good when I wash it every day.
I exercise and it gets gross if I don't.
I have oily hair and it just looks greasy if I don't wash it.

I used to wash my hair daily. But, my hair dresser begged me to stop. She did. So, I tried to go every other day at first. Then every three days. Now, I am up to about every five days or so. My hair doesn't seem as oily now that I am not washing it as much. Go figure.

American wash their hair more than any other nation. We average about five times a week. Europeans, on average, wash their hair 2 or 3 times a week. I think they are onto something.

I have figured that I have saved over two 1/2 hours a week in washing, blow drying and styling my hair. That sounds crazy and I am not high maintenance. I don't have to do much to it every day since it wasn't washed and I just fix what needs fixed every morning. It takes only a few seconds and my hair styles easier than ever.

So go ahead and give it a try Americans. Start small. Maybe every other day. And work your way up. Baby steps. You hair will thank you. And you will have so much free time that you will be able to stop by Indy's blog every morning as you have your morning coffee or tea.

I know I have some international readers. Let's hear how often you wash you hair! Americans, are you ready to give it a shot?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Might Even Have Hemmroids

How many times have you asked a pregnant lady "How are you feeling?" I am sure that you hear more often than not "Good."


This is what she* is not telling you:

She has a rash somewhere.

Somewhere, a piece of her clothing doesn't fit. It could be her bra, underpants, shoes or pants.

She's hungry.

She can't think straight.

Her boobs hurt.

She has heartburn.

Her digestive system is very slooooooooooooooooooow.

She is very tired.

She isn't sleeping well.

Standing isn't much fun either.

Her feet are swollen by the end of the day.

Her back hurts.

She has to pee.

She is nauseous.

She feels very fat and balance is an issue.

She is hungry and needs to eat NOW.

So next time you ask how a pregnant lady how she is feeling, know that she is lying and tell her that she is "all baby" and "hardly showing at all." At least you will both be lying and you'll both feel better after the conversation.

Indy doesn't claim to have any or all of these joys of pregnancy. Well, at least not all at the same time. And please don't feel like you can't ask how I am feeling. Just saying....

I'm Not Talking About It, I'm Just Saying...