Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Do you fit in any of these categories?

I found this on, and found it to be funny and having just spent two weeks at the beach, somewhat true. Obviously it's exaggerated for humor, but there are bits of most of these caricatures in my very own family. We are a bit like the Camp Family made up of several of the sub-types... but luckily not Chewbacca! And most of us were sun-worshippers until skin cancer hit some and that's not funny, so now none of us really set out to purposefully tan. So here are The 7 Types of People You'll Find on the Beach:

The Lost Child

This little booger knows what's up. Instead of getting sunscreen-ed every 30 minutes by his ma, begging his old man to play catch with him in the water because he's not allowed to swim alone, and getting bitched out by his older sister for getting sand on her towel, he gracefully bows out. He doesn't even make a scene, he just quietly goes on a search for a better family to hang out with. As he wanders across the beach, kicking sand up until it forms a paste with his poorly rubbed-in sunscreen coat, he may look as though he's zoning out and unaware that he is getting farther and farther from his family, but make no mistake: this kid is on a mission. So when he hears his name called from the lifeguard stand, it takes a few minutes worth of frantic yelping by his mother who stole the megaphone, for him to wander back to his kin and get bombarded by tears and and more SPF 45. His escape will just have to wait till the next beach outing.

Camp Family

This gang comes just short of U-Hauling onto the beach for the day. They arrive at eleven, dragging coolers, chairs, tents and a boom box on the thrones that are their boogy boards. They are the living embodiment of a sporting goods store display window. Every member of this six-person family has brought two friends; the ideal amount for a 7-on-7 football game. Whoops, their nerf ball just hit a woman reading in a chair. This is where the Camp Family's peace keeping mantra first rings out across the sand: "My bad." This is the motto that is embossed below the Camp Family Shield. At noon, this army of enthusiasm makes a mad dash into the water, selfishly splashing those "working their way into the water." After a loud game of Marco Polo that involves leading "Marco" into an old man floating on a noodle, the team gets out for lunch. Oh, is the smoke from their elaborate grill system blowing into your face? "My bad."

The Tanners

Like seriously, there IS an exact science to getting a nice, bronze, shiny case of Melanoma. Eleven to three is the minimum, sunglasses are a must, and white toe-nail polish is essential. Keep rotating positions every three Miley Cyrus songs, and reapply baby oil every two hours. And don't forget to untie your straps; tan lines are sooo trashy. A little sun-in goes a long way. Beer makes you bloated. Ocean water dries out your hair. But no worries, if you forget the rules, just ask a tanner; they're sprawled out in little clusters all over the beach in their strapless bikinis. Just make sure you don't stand in their sun, or they'll flip [out--not positions].

The Business Man

Well that's a smart idea. Bring your Blackberry to the beach. Get sand in every button, salt water on the screen. No? Okay. Just talk on your bluetooth the whole time with your assistant Donald, sounds hardly carry on the beach. Yeah. And bring your files so stray fax papers fly around, causing those actually relaxing on the beach to play fetch with your latest business proposal. Don't spend the beach day with your pubescent children, or your menopausal wife, after all, you're the one putting the food on the table. Wait, Don? Are you there? Can you hear me? Can you hear me?

The "Not a Beach Person"

"I'm just not a beach person," he shrugs, as he gets out of the car. Keeping his Reebok sneakers on, he says, "I don't like the feeling of sand." He gets to the beach and sits down, Indian-style, on the blanket, insisting that "chairs are too hard to get out of." When the rest of the group decides to go swimming, he remains; "salt water hurts my eyes." He should at least take off his Walk for Diabetes' T-Shirt shirt so he can get some color. Nope. He doesn't want to get burned. Does he want to read a book? No, the sand interferes with the integrity of the binding. Does he want to buy a snack from the vender? No, he doubts the cleanliness of the cart. Does he want to just go home? No, he wants to keep complaining.

The Show-Off's

The term "beach body" was invented by these people. They put your last-minute diet (ok, fine, you just skipped breakfast) to shame. These people are hot. And they know it. While you spend the whole day sucking in, awkwardly leaning back on your elbows while you sit so your gut looks (sort of) flatter, these people frolic with abandon. So you might as well put that giant t-shirt back on, because you've already lost. If you frolicked, you'd look like a Jello pudding cup, but these people know what they're doing. The men dive for frisbees and the women emerge from the water with the knowledge that they are going to be in your dreams tonight. Don't pretend they won't. Even the way these people pick their bathing suit wedgies is magic.


Point blank: hair plus water doesn't equal anything good. You know these guys (and some ladies), the helpless hairy bastards. They spend all winter growing these full-body coats, all spring contemplating the hair removal section of their local drugstore, and all summer trying to comb sand out of their tangled bodyhair. This hair doesn't just stay in the regular places either. This is top-of-the-shoulder, over-the-knuckles, above-the-a**-crack, back-of-the-thighs stuff. It's hopeless. You would feel bad for them if you weren't so busy trying not to puke.

Art by Owen Parsons

Which is your worse nightmare (personally for me it's The Show Off's)?
Did they miss any types? Can you think of any others?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Charlie Pics

Sincere apologies to anyone who has been checking here for an update.... Writing that a "full update with pictures" would be up the day after arriving home was a bit ambitious. Especially since Charlie hates when I'm on the computer and refuses to allow me to get online while she is awake. I've been overwhelmed with unpacking, laundry, 6 foot weeds in the garden, shopping, a sick dog and vet visits, etc.

I've finally downloaded the hundreds of pictures and videos that were taken by me. There are also hundreds taken by all 20 of my family members. So in those thousands of pictures, I'm sure there must be some good shots in there. Here are two, to get started.

This is Charlie in her pink bathing suit and matching hat, one of my favorite outfits for her.

She loved the pool and the sea and wanted to go in whenever it was an option.

It was great for Charlie to meet her extended family and all her cousins. Although she is still very young, she was interacting with her cousins and sort of playing with them (rather than the "parallel play" expected at her age). All the adults loved her immediately and spent 2 weeks playing with her constantly. She sure got her fill of attention! She can't wait to see them all again, hopefully soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back safe and sound....

The flight back was only 25 minutes delayed, smooth and Charlie was on her best behavior. A grandmother even came over to compliment her and said: "What a good girl she is! Has she flown a lot before?"

I will have a full update and Charlie on the beach pictures (and other hilarious pics of her) tomorrow.

I'm sad to leave my family, but happy to be home safe and sound. I now have some deals I have to come through on since God did his part in not crashing our plane.

I missed blogging! Back tomorrow!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Phew! Barely alive!

The trip was the worst I've been on. Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong, including getting the last possible parking spot in the lot and having to lug a 65 lb suitcase, a stroller, a baby, a diaper bag, a purse and a carry on all the way to the terminal.

But the worst was the flight: 10 minutes out of ___ville, the pilot came on the intercom and said: "We are having mechanical difficulties and need to return to ----ville airport. we'll keep you posted."


That was enough to get me concerned, especially due to my dream earlier that morning.

We returned and switched planes and 2 hours later were in the air again. Not my idea of a non-stop flight, but I'd rather be on a plane without mechanical problems so whatever.

The entire flight was so turbulent the teenage girl next to me threw up. That's a LOT of turbulence. Charlie was SCREAMING the entire trip, both in the plane and in the airport. She was being a real pill, so much so that 2 old ladies came up to me and asked if I needed help. That's embarrassing. both flights we were in the last possible seat, in the back of the plane, the bumpiest place and the hardest to get in and out of when you're carrying a baby and tons of baby stuff.

So finally after this horrendously bumpy flight we try to land at ----ark airport... one of the worst airports in the country in my opinion. (See my post about my nephew's christening when we almost crashed at that airport on the tarmac while landing). So we try to land and come within 5 feet of landing and WHOOSH! we flew straight back into the air. The pilot came on for a brief moment as a way of explanation: "We'll tell you in a minute" sounding very tense. At this point I was shaking. So then we fly around and attempt to land again, and have another aborted attempt at landing! By this point I'm thinking there are terrorists in the cockpit, or the landing wheels won't come out, or any number of things. Charlie's ears are wrecking havoc on her with 4 up and downs, poor thing.

People were holding hands across the aisles, knees were jumping, hands were wringing... I was not the only person scared. We finally were able to land and for 30 minutes afterward I was shaking, The next day, my entire body was stiff, from tensing every muscle in my body. Ugh, terrible, terrible trip, made all the worse by my absolute certainty that it was all over, and Charlie's life before it even really began.

Thank God.

In other news, Chalrie is a huge hit with her extended family, everyone loves her to pieces. She loves the pool and the ocean and the bucket of water on the deck... anything wet and she's into it. We are having chaotic fun with 5 cousins, 15 aunts and uncles and grandparents.

Friday, August 7, 2009


At 7:28 this morning I was awoken by the image of blackness. When I realized my head was on my pillow a huge sense of relief and thanks to the powers that be that it was a dream. It seemed so real...

I was in the middle of the first row of a plane, and there was no cockpit door so basically I was seated just behind and in between the pilots (perfect viewpoint). The lady next to me spilled her drink and complained "It's a bit too bumpy back here!" to the pilots. All of a sudden the plane hit HUGE turbulence and my drink went flying too. One of the pilots said "This isn't good" and the nose plunged. All around I was expecting screams of terror, but instead heard sighs of disappointment. Life was over. People were sad to realize that. I had flashes of my life and love ones. We hurtled towards the ground I could see the houses and streets coming closer and closer) (it was all very realistic) and I too was so sad life was over. I expected to not feel anything from the impact, just to be totally obliterated. I closed my eyes and BAM! Woke up with POUNDING heart. And a sense of immense gratitude.

I can still hear the woeful sighs of fellow passengers realizing this was it..

So, now, I head to the airport.

Ridiculous! Burger King kicks out 6 month old for not wearing shoes!

Isn't this taking the "no shoes, no shirt, no service" policy a bit too far??

Employees at a Burger King in Missouri told a mother she needed to leave the premises with her 6 month old because the baby was violating the health code by not wearing shoes. Yikes! Charlie barely ever wears shoes. She hates them and takes them off and we lose them. So I let her go barefoot. It's summertime and she's not walking on the ground yet so.... no harm, no foul? Apparently I am correct in this assumption: "In fact, shoelessness is not a health code violation in St. Louis County."

Luckily, corporate Burger King realized the ridiculousness of this and called the customer at her home to apologize.

On a related note, is anyone else creeped out by that new Burger King commercial? The one where the King is lurking in some woman's room while she sleeps, and puts whipped cream in her hand? I mean, what's the message of that commercial?? "Eat burger King and have midnight visits from costumed weirdos"?? I don't get it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


We are leaving tomorrow for 2 whole glorious weeks at the beach!

Charlie and I are traveling by air (start the prayers, please) with her on my lap (continue the prayers, please) to a family reunion with over 20 family members (keep them coming)!

It should be a raucous blast.

This will be the first time most of my family is meeting Charlie, and I'm really looking forward to that. I'm sure she is getting tired of me as her only play buddy during the day. I'm not that exciting of a player, although I excel in other areas. Soon she will have her cousins, aunts and uncles, and especially grandparents, to play with her all day long.

I think she'll be a great hit with the relatives, as are all the infants in the family, because she is so cute and has a really engaging personality. Yea, I'm not biased or anything.

She will also be celebrating her 1st birthday while we are there!

Unfortunately, I won't be able to blog during that time (or at least, I don't think I will be able to). I'll probably lose all my readers in this next two weeks :-( Blog readers are such task masters! Since I've become a mother and gone from posting daily to posting every other day, I've already experienced a large drop in readers! Argh! Please come back when we get home! I'll have lots of Charlie pictures. Charlie on the beach pictures. What could be better?
Maybe I will post one more tomorrow morning before leaving....

Monday, August 3, 2009

Best Diaper on the Market?

So far, I think it's Luvs. They have consistently not leaked (except for on long overnights, when they all leak). The worst so far are the generics (in the green packaging). I learned pretty quickly that paying a little extra might actually save money if your child can wear one brand a little longer than the others. We've had a consistent problem with the overnight leakage. I've tried getting a size larger, and also the Huggies Overnights, but both those remedies still leak overnight. Part of the problem is she insists on a bottle before bed, and one overnight. That's a lot of liquid. I'm toying with diluting formula, and also with smaller bottles to start weaning her off this habit that they taught her in the orphanage. But until then, there's a lot of laundry being done from the wet sheets every morning.

I'm thinking about doing a scientific experiment comparing Luvs, Huggies, Pampers and the generics. Just so I know for myself, for sure. Perhaps I'll post the results if anyone is interested. I'm thinking of doing an experiment like they do on the commercials for sanitary napkins with the blue liquid. Except Ill make mine yellow liquid, to be more realistic and less PC. Anyone interested in the results? If so, I'll post what I find. In fact, perhaps I'll post the whole experiment. Stay tuned! This is exciting blogging here!!!

What are your favorites brands, moms? Which seem to hold the most liquid? Any suggestions for the overnight leakage problem? What about inserts? I have yet to see them in a store, but I can buy them online. Has anyone tried inserts? Disposable or cloth inserts?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dancing Queen

Ok, I know I already posted a video of Charlie showing off her rhythm while strapped into her high chair... but this one is much better and actually shows her various moves since she is standing up. Plus it shows my obsession with Jon and Kate Plus Eight. Yes, I ordered the complete first and second season on DVD. For the weekends. When it's not on regular TV. You can't really blame me.