Georgia Aquarium

Oh boy, what a day!  We decided to brave the crowds and head over to Atlanta last weekend to the Georgia Aquarium.  Samantha watched Finding Nemo on the ride over so she’d be ready to find all of her fishy friends.

First, we toured the Tropical Diver with its coral reef exhibit.  The colors were phenomenal!

Samantha found Dory.

Then we made our way over to the Ocean Voyager to the main tank.  If I didn’t have children with me, I could have sat here for hours.  There were many different windows to view this main tank.  This was our first view.  Check out that whale shark!

And the manta ray!  (Nemo’s teacher was a spotted eagle ray, but I told Samantha that these were like Mr. Ray.)

Then you wind your way around, through the underwater tunnel and more viewing windows.

Even Ellie was appreciative of all the ways to view the tanks.

And we made it to the main tank.  I think the window was about 2 stories tall.  You can’t grasp the size of this tank.  It was amazing.  I know it holds 4 whale sharks, 3 manta rays, and loads of other fish like hammerheads, and giant grouper.

At the Cold Water Quest, we watched (and tried to listen to) the 2 beluga whales.  Instead, I sang Raffi’s Baby Beluga.

And then we crawled through a tunnel to get up close and personal with some penguins.

It was certainly an exhausting day.  Samantha has never really slept in the car.  I always give her the benefit of the doubt by hoping that she will.  Even after running, literally, through the aquarium for 4 hours, she still didn’t sleep on the way back.  Brian and I certainly wanted to.

Thank You, GM

I got a letter in the mail today (well, technically, Brian got it, which still gets my goat*) from GM about a condition on some 2006 Pontiac G6 vehicles.  The electric power steering goes out.

My car has had that condition for several years now.  I crank up the car, the car beeps for a few seconds, then a display on the dash says “Power Steering.”  Until the power steering actually started locking up, I never did anything about it.  Over the last 6 months, it started locking up more frequently, so I knew I needed to part with my cash and finally get it fixed.  I got it fixed in July.  That’s a story for another day about picking up the car, feeding a toddler and a newborn and selling the house.  Sounds exciting, huh?

Along with getting the steering column replaced, they also worked on the tie rods.  Again.  Let’s see, and before that, it was replace the tie rods, replace the interior headliner, replace the interior sun visors, replace the battery (less than a year old doing freaky, random things like the clock resetting, changing from CD player to radio, alarm goes off, doors lock and unlock), and replace the interior headliner pins.  None of these things sounds like a big deal, but that’s a lot of trips to the mechanic on a brand new car.  Granted, my car is no longer brand new, but everything until now had been covered under the warranty.  I’m not even counting normal things like tires or oil changes.

This car has taught me not to buy another American car.  I thought I was doing the right thing by “Buying American.”  If buying American means taking my car to the mechanic at least once a year and listening to the creaks and groans of a new car because it’s a cheap product, I’m not interested.  No thanks.  I’ll go buy a quiet Japanese car that lasts forever.  Thank you, GM.  (But I’ll take my reimbursement on the steering column replacement.  Thank you, GM.)

*Brian’s name is registered to the G6.  I got news for you, GM:  I picked the car, I negotiated the deal on the car, I wrote the check for the car, I drive the car…it’s my car.  My husband doesn’t like my car.  Why is my husband’s name on all correspondence?  Because he’s a guy?  Grrr.  That really gets my goat.  Parents are People.

Oh What a Night

After a rough day at the babysitter’s house, she told me that Samantha was exhausted and surely she’d take a good nap. Sam certainly looked it, so I hoped for the best. One thing after another, she didn’t go to sleep until 4PM. Normally, I don’t keep her in the bed that long, but each time I checked on her, she seemed SO close to falling asleep. Needless to say, she didn’t go to bed until about 8:15PM. Here begins my night.

8:52PM – I just checked on Samantha and that little turkey is still awake. I go back to our bedroom where Brian and I are talking about how to handle Ellie during the night. She’s still not sleeping great. We have been taking turns at each outburst, but after 3 or 4 of those during the night, it’s hard to remember whose turn it is. I was proposing for each of us to take a night. For example, one night, I am responsible for all outbursts so Brian can sleep. The next night, it’s his turn so I can sleep. We didn’t really come to a resolution. I lay down on the bed, which means: game over, I fall asleep.

11:01PM – Brian wakes me up to feed Ellie.

11:38PM – Go back to bed.

1:15AM – I hear Samantha crying. She woke up crying last night too. That never happens. Last night, she must have had a bad dream about a boat. Random. I get up and walk into her room. She tells me, amid the crying, that she needs a napkin to wipe her ear. Um. What? I get a Kleenex and ask her which ear. Sure enough, there’s a nasty goop all over her left ear, face, hair and pillow. Great. An ear infection. (Here’s the original discovery that goop could come out of her ear. Beware, it’s gross.) She had a cold a few weeks ago. She got over it in about a week, so I thought we were in the clear. Oh well. I make a note to call the doctor. I ask her if her ear hurts and she says yes. I ask her if she wants some medicine and she says yes. I give her some Motrin. I tell her we’ll call the doctor in the morning.

1:30AM – Go back to bed.

3:30AM – There’s a raucous on my nightstand. What is it? Is Samantha standing by my bed messing with my nightstand? I’m confused. Molly. Molly is trying to eat my lavender lotion. “Stop. Molly. Stop.” I say as I’m hitting her rear end. She stops only momentarily. I grab her by the collar and pull her off my nightstand. Fall back to sleep.

4:08AM – What. In. The. Name. Of all that is holy. “Molly. Stop.” She’s trying to eat my bottle of lotion again. I grab her and throw her out of the room and close the door. Go back to bed.

4:33AM – “Mreow.” Oh for crying out loud. “Mreow.” Maddie. “Mreow.” She’s standing on the floor just beneath my nightstand. “Mreow.” She is staring up at me. “Mreow.” She wants to be near her beloved Molly. “Mreow.” She is persistent. “Mreow.” I get up, open the bedroom door and wait for her to bolt out. Mostly close the door. Go back to bed.

4:35AM – The air conditioner kicks on. The bedroom door slams closed.

5:13AM – Ellie wakes up. Normally, I would be happy if she slept till after 5. Brian gets up. I don’t hear her in the monitor any more.

5:15AM – Brian yells at me from the front of the house. “Jane! I need some help!” Doesn’t he know that he’s going to wake up Samantha if he yells like that? I get out of bed. I nearly walk into Sam in the hallway. She is standing with nothing on but a shirt. Ellie starts to cry. Brian is stripping Samantha’s bed. He says “Pick one.” I go into Ellie’s room and give her a paci. She falls right back to sleep. On a normal night, that never happens. I come back out and help Sam get to the potty. We sit for a while in the bathroom. She says she needs to go, but nothing happens. After Brian finishes with her bed, I put another diaper and new PJs on her. I get her back in bed and tell her to go back to sleep.

5:30AM – Go back to my bedroom. I ask Brian what happened. Apparently, after quieting Ellie, he heard some strange noises in Sam’s room. He went in and she was sitting up in bed. He told her to lay down. She said she couldn’t because her popsicles were wet (her PJs have popsicles on them). Sure enough, she and all her bedding were wet.

6AM – Ellie wakes up. Brian gives her a paci and comes back to bed. She continues to squawk. It’s not really a cry, but it usually means she’s tired or cold.

6:30AM – Alarm goes off. Like I need it. I’ve been awake since 3:30.

The end.

Almost Back to Work

I can’t believe I’m going back to work next week!  Wow.  I knew my 12 weeks would fly by, and it certainly has.  A lot of people have asked me about it.  Honestly, I’m ready to get back to work to have a little adult time.  However, I’m not ready for the hecticness of juggling work, kids, a house on the market (STILL), making dinner, etc.  I’ve been there before, and I know how exhausting it is.

Anyway, Ellie is certainly becoming more aware.  When she was about 8 weeks, I decided that it was high time for a mobile.  She was still small enough for the bassinet, but I wanted to go ahead and move her up to a crib so we could use our mobile and aquarium.  She loves her mobile.  I don’t remember if Samantha liked it as much as Ellie does.  It comes in handy.  I didn’t have batteries for it yet in this picture, but here’s her bed.  I painted the crib and got new bedding.  (And yes, there’s actually some pink!  Just a little.  I also bought a pink sheet, and really, that’s way too much pink for me.)  I made the dust ruffle and I really like how it turned out.

Ellie also is really enjoying Freddie the Firefly.  She loves to look at the backside, which is black and white.  She laughs, coos and goos at her new friend.  It’s really fun to watch.

I’m back to policing nap time on a regular basis.  That’s another thing I don’t want to juggle when I come home from work.  How come Samantha will take a 2 (or even 3) hour nap for anyone but me?  After Ellie was born, it was too much for me to police nap time and work on feeding Ellie too (which if you’ll remember was A LOT of work at first).  I asked our babysitter to keep Samantha through her nap which gave me a few more hours each day to spend focusing on Ellie.  It was great!  (Thanks Paula!)  However, this week, I started picking up after lunch again and we’re back to knock-down-drag-outs again.  That girl.  Seriously.  It’s not that she’s ready to give up her nap, but geez, I’m so sick of this that I might just do it.

XXX Birthday

(I wonder what kind of google hits I’ll get with that title…)

You got it right.  I turned 30 yesterday.  Look what Brian made for me!  (I bought those Roman Numeral candles last year for his birthday, and I love them!)

I wish you could have smelled it.  On second thought, maybe not.  I don’t want you all eating my cake.

Samantha sang “Happy Birthday” to me in its entirety three times yesterday.  I’m very lucky.