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Friday, May 31, 2013

An Evening In Tornado Alley

Who read this book as a kid? It's a standard part of elementary curriculum in Oklahoma. 

Tonight we packed our bags to head out of town for the weekend. We weren't going far--just a couple hours north, and it was just for two days. An hour and a half into our drive we were stopped short. There were bad storms and tornadoes and crazy flash flooding in the direction we were headed, and the highway patrol was telling everyone to stay off the roads. We were only an hour from our destination and we started calling hotels. Nothing was available.  Anywhere. So we turned around and came home. At 11:30 at night, after 3.5 hours in the car, we pulled into the driveway, feeling defeated. 

And then, we discovered the worst part of the night. My favorite Vera duffel, containing my favorite clothes and makeup and toiletry kit, was missing. SOMEBODY (not me) left the tailgate down and it flew out of the bed of the truck. The worst part? Nowhere in this town can I go to replace my fave Target flip flops or my Clinique makeup. (Maybe the most tragic part of this story is that the closest Target is 70 miles away.)

So that was my night. How was yours?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Parenting Instincts

Scarlett on the day she was born.

I am an overthinker. I research, and analyze, and research some more. But once I make a decision, I stick with it. That's pretty much true for even simple decisions, like where to go to dinner. I rarely change my mind.

When we were having our baby, I got all kinds of parenting advice. I think everybody gets a ton of unsolicited advice when they're having their first kid. It ranged from just trusting your instincts, to reading and following certain books. So here's what I realized about my parenting style -- my instinct is to research and read a bunch of books. 

I do think there's something to be said about going with your gut. I am with my baby all day every day, and I know her better than anybody else. I can read her thoughts. I pretty much know what toy she's going to destroy before she does. But that all took a lot of time, and it's an ever-changing process.

I thought when she was born that I would take one look at her and just "know her." I hear people say "I knew my baby was going to be feisty by the way he kicked around in the womb" or "even as a newborn she was so calm and gentle." I didn't know any of that about my kid. My favorite is when people tell you that you'll know when your baby cries what they want. Her cries all sounded the same for the first few weeks, so I felt like a terrible mother when I couldn't tell what any of them meant. I didn't "just know."

Funny Baby Ecard: I wish we had even a clue as to what we're doing.

I needed to get to know my baby, and I needed to figure out how to do it, so I turned to books. The routines of Babywise and The Baby Whisperer helped me figure out how to read my baby's needs.  And now I can go with my gut during the day. If Scarlett sleeps in, I know how to adjust her day to know when she'll be hungry and need to sleep and need to play. I know when she'll be in a good mood. I know when she's fussy and how to solve it. 

So I think that's a big part of why I started this blog. I felt like I had been trying to explain all of this to a number of people lately, and I wanted to get it down in writing. I wanted to be able to look back with our next kid to remember what I did and how I did it. And lucky you gets to read about it all here!

I Don't Share Popcorn.

It's true, I don't. So don't even try.

I love popcorn of all kinds. Movie theater popcorn, pre-packaged popcorn, microwave popcorn, air popped popcorn, 94% fat free snack bag popcorn, the day old popcorn in my husband's break room at work-- I can go on and on. I have two rules about popcorn:

1. I must wait until the movie starts to eat my popcorn. Eating popcorn during previews is wasteful. Not even one teeny tiny kernel during a preview. I came for the movie AND the popcorn, so I will enjoy them together. *I made one exception to this rule -- pregnancy. Isn't that the exception to everything? I invoked my pregnant girl privilege when we went to see The Muppets. It was necessary because I had to have the popcorn RIGHT NOW, but I am also somewhat ashamed.
2. I don't share popcorn. And I don't apologize for it. You can thank my husband for this rule. I heard too many times "oh let's get a small because I just want a little bit," only to be burned when he's eaten the whole thing.

So why am I blogging again? I have no idea, except I feel a push to do it. I had a blog years ago and I hated it. But the idea of it has been in the back of my head for months now and I can't shake it, so I guess I'm doing it. Plus one of my besties told me I should start one and she knows what is going to happen in my life before I do (that's a story for another day), so here I go.

So I welcome you to my blog, but you'll have to bring your own popcorn.