Daily Prompt 7/2/2016 | Kill It With Fire

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen when you head to the beach!

[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 7/2/2016 | Burn]

Fear is a funny thing. Well, maybe not funny, since some fears can utterly cripple the individual, but funny as in… fear makes people do funny things sometimes. There are different kinds of fears, and different levels of fear. For example, my fiance, a big guy, with a history of football and brawling, and a slightly intimidating demeanor and physique, is afraid of just about every creepy crawly you can imagine, no matter how big or small. Ants, beetles, bees, moths, butterflies, mosquitoes, and don’t even get me started on spiders… they turn him into, well, for lack of a better analogy, a little girl. A squealing, quivering, little girl. I wish I were joking, but it is kind of hilarious. There have been countless occasions where I have had to come to his rescue with a shoe, or a rolled up magazine, and squish a tiny critter. I wouldn’t make fun of him if his fears were more severe, but they aren’t. He has no traumatic, triggering memories to fuel his fears… he just gets creeped out, and calls in the cavalry, me. Continue reading “Daily Prompt 7/2/2016 | Kill It With Fire”

Daily Prompt 6/20/2016 | Summer

Ideal summer for me.

[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/20/2016 | Summer]

Spiders on windows
Pesky flies in the kitchen
This is summer to me.

Sleeping in later
Is a myth with a toddler
This is summer to me.

Red, chaffed, chubby thighs
Too-easily sunburned skin
This is summer to me.

Parties on my block
Obnoxious noise in the streets
This is summer to me.

Half-filled kiddie pools
And mosquito bites galore
This is summer to me.

Blasting the cool air
Binge-watching Netflix online
Ideal summer for me.

Jan

Daily Prompt 3/13/2016 | Incomplete

My apartment is currently a disaster. I’ve been sick for three days now, and my tiny toddler is using up every ounce of energy that I have left in me, which isn’t very much at all. I have a long list of things that I desperately need to accomplish, and just haven’t had the time to do.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/13/2016 | Incomplete

My apartment is currently a disaster. I’ve been sick for three days now, and my tiny toddler is using up every ounce of energy that I have left in me, which isn’t very much at all. I have a long list of things that I desperately need to accomplish, and just haven’t had the time to do.

Fun fact: Just because you are a stay-at-home parent, and spend the entire day inside the walls of your home, that does not mean that you will have tons of free time to get things done, and clean, and make your home beautiful. Nope. Basically the exact opposite, actually.

I thought I would share with you my list of things I need to get done, and share with you my excuses as to why they remain incomplete to this day.

1. The Dishes
I’ve written about my dishes before, and it hasn’t gotten any better. The dishes used to be Kyle’s one chore, even back when I was working full-time, and he was unemployed, I only tasked him with the chore of doing the dishes, and it was such a fight to get him to do them more often than once a week. For those who don’t know, Kyle is my fully grown, adult husband, and not a teenage boy.
After the baby came, I stopped working, and Kyle started working full-time, and getting him to do anything, especially the dishes, was impossible. At one point, and I am embarrassed to even be telling you this, our dishes had gone undone for 3 months. Every few days, I chipped away at the top layer of dishes, but the ones at the bottom… absolutely disgusting. After a few weeks, I was able to get them done, and they were easier to keep up with after that.
Recently, Liam has been in this needy, clingy stage, and will not let me leave his side to do anything. I can’t pee, I can’t cook, I can’t do the dishes or clean, or get on the computer, or he loses his mind. The only free time I get is when he is sleeping, but my apartment is so small that I can only do quiet activities (like sleeping…), which means no dishes. So, they are stacking up again. Ugh. I’ll pay some one to come do them for me. Please?

2. Toddler Proofing
My house is reasonably baby proof. The outlets are all covered, and dangerous items are high up, and out of the reach of my tiny human. However, my apartment is NOT toddler proof, and I am learning very quickly that my 13 month old son is way smarter than I give him credit for. He has started climbing, and opening, and grabbing, and getting into so much trouble. I have a book shelf in my living room, which contains Liam’s baby books on the bottom two shelves, and a miscellaneous assortment of not-for-baby objects on the top three shelves. Well, my toddler is now tall enough to reach all but the top shelf, and keeps getting into our stuff. Same goes for my desk, and the DVD shelves next to my desk. I am running out of places to stack my crap, so I really need to actually clean up my living room, and organize my stuff, so that it looks presentable, and safe. I was prepared for a baby, NOT for a toddler!

3. My Toilet
Anyone else have a man in their house who always manages to get pee on the outside of the toilet? Or on the floor? I find myself constantly wiping up after the grown man in my life, and it drives me nuts. Honestly, I blame the toilet. Our seat has been broken since we moved in, and the toilet is REALLY small. Kyle and I have lived in several apartments together, and this was never a problem. I find myself having to clean the toilet all the time, and I hate it. I also recently decided that I would invest in bleach tablets or something for my toilet, which means I am now a certified adult, right? I hate cleaning the toilet, man.

4. Liam’s Crib
I’ve been avoiding it for a while, but the time has come to drop Liam’s crib down to the lowest level. My 13 month old is just getting too tall, and has been trying to climb out recently. He can’t climb out yet, but I want to be proactive, just in case he figures it out. Where has the time gone? What happened to my tiny baby? I have this nearly 3 foot tall child now. WHAT? I also have a toddler bed sitting in the closet, waiting to be put together, but that won’t happen for a little while yet. Ahhh!

5. Landlord Crap
I’ve never met my landlord. Instead, I go through a realty company, who then relays messages to him. This is a bullshit, awful system, and nothing gets done. Last spring, I called realtors to tell them that none of our windows have screens on them, and thanks to the spiders, lady beetles, and misc. stinging insects that reside outside of my apartment, we were unable to open our windows at all. We also have no central air (which they lied to us about, another story entirely), and did not have an air conditioner at the time. The woman I talked to said she would send someone out immediately to measure our windows. Yeah, that never happened. Almost a year later, we still don’t have screens, and the weather is warming up, and I have to call them. Again.
Not only do we need screens, but our back door is crooked and bugs literally just waltz into our apartment, along with debris and weather from outside, but we have also had a hole in our ceiling, as a result of the leak in our ceiling that we experienced during our FIRST NIGHT in our apartment. The leak was fixed. The hole was not. Renting is just so fun.

Those are just a few things that I need to be completed, that probably won’t get completed any time in the foreseeable future. Ugh. Adult stuff. Ugh. Stress.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

First Impressions Review | Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector

Hello, friends! Today I thought I would share with you my first impressions of the Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector, which I got for Christmas! I’ve been having a hard time getting outside for walks since the weather has gotten cold and gloomy lately, and finally got around to trying it out today, since it was a balmy 42 degrees outside!

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I had a hard time finding an all-weather protector (wind, rain, snow, etc.) for my Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Stroller, and the choices on Amazon were very limited. I stumbled across this one, and was attracted by the word “Universal” in the product name. The description says that it is compatible with all deluxe umbrella, full size strollers and all single jogger style strollers, and after reading through the comments and questions sections, I found out that it does supposedly work with the Graco jogging strollers. I was so excited!

Unfortunately, my excitement dissipated a bit when I opened the box today, to find that there were no instructions of any sort. After wrestling it onto my stroller, it just… didn’t… look right. There are little straps with hooks on the ends to help keep everything tight and in place, and I had NO idea where to put them. I decided to take the term “universal” with a grain of salt, because while it does cover all these strollers that it lists, it may not cover them well. Or attractively.

I searched around online for any kind of written or recorded instructions, for really any kind of stroller type, to help, but only found one video on YouTube, which was incredibly unhelpful. But, after making it look somewhat right, I went out with the kiddo to give it a test before we ran out of daylight.

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At the time that this is being written, I now know that I did not put it on properly. At all. But like the title says, this was my first, uneducated impression of the product. With that being said, I actually do really like it! It was around 40 degrees throughout most of our walk, and I didn’t need to put a hat or gloves on Liam while he was inside. He stayed REALLY warm!

I really like that there are three options for the front covering as well. There is the thin mesh, which helps provide a bit of coverage from the sun (and bugs!), and is very breathable. There is also a plastic “window”, which consists of 4 panels total, and provides wrinkle-free viewing for your little one, and protection from all of the elements, while remaining breathable thanks to tiny holes in the sides of the cover. And finally, there is a cover that you can pull down to provide relief from the blinding sun, which is super convenient when your little one falls asleep during a walk or jog.

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This may look a bit weird, but that’s because I put the cover on wrong entirely, but, there is also a neat little carrying pouch that hangs down beneath your push bar for extra storage! Neat! The entire cover is made of a waterproof material that is light enough to be easy to use and does not add to the weight of the stroller, but is heavy enough to not budge in the wind. It covers the entire seat area, which is super convenient if you have a little one who likes to throw snacks and toys out of the stroller. I didn’t have to stop a single time to pick up Liam’s toy keys! There are also those four straps with hooks to help keep it all tight.

So, final impressions for my first impression… I like it a lot. I feel like I will love it when I use it again, and actually use it correctly. So, if you’re trying to stay active during the cold months, or the hot months, or during an apocalyptic Asian lady beetle invasion, then I highly recommend this cover! And before I forget, yes, it does come in other colors… I just don’t know how you get them. But I have seen a bright pink one!

I will probably write up an update, including good pictures, when I use it again… correctly.

Thanks for reading!

Jan

Take A Walk With Jan #3

I know it’s not really their fault. They are just flying around their home (which is the whole of the outdoors, by the way), minding their own business, when a giant walks into their living room and starts swatting at them. I’d bust out a baseball bat if someone did that!

I dislike bugs. I really do. Well, some bugs. There are some that I rather enjoy. I’m not afraid of these tiny critters, per se, but I hate when they fly into my face, or get stuck in my hair, or sting me, or fly around my son. They are assholes. I generally don’t bother or kill the bugs, unless they are really bothering me or the baby, or if Kyle demands it because he is terrified of most things with more than two or four legs.

I know it’s not really their fault. They are just flying around their home (which is the whole of the outdoors, by the way), minding their own business, when a giant walks into their living room and starts swatting at them. I’d bust out a baseball bat if someone did that! Hell, I’ve actually gone out of my way to rescue certain critters from imminent death (moths, caterpillars, large spiders, praying mantis mostly).
buggyyyy
This is Jim the Praying Mantis. I saved him from the middle of the street a few weeks ago, and put him on the tree outside of our apartment. Tell your friends, Jim! Tell them to leave me alooone! I leave them alone, and even save them, but do they show me the same kindness and courtesy? No. No, they certainly do not.

This whole week is supposed to be in the 70’s and sunny, so I decided that we would try to get in as many walks as we can before the cold weather comes. Seconds after we left our apartment, as I was strapping Liam into his stroller, a ladybug landed on his cheek. He reached his hand up to touch it, and it crawled onto his hand, then up his arm, before flying away. For a brief moment, I thought, “Aww, that was cute!” But, no, it wasn’t. Because out here in the cornfields, ladybugs are tiny, spotted demons. And I despise them.

The walk to the park wasn’t too bad. It was warm and breezy, and we avoided the sidewalks where the majority of the evil ladybugs seemed to be hovering about. The park, however, was a different story. I had stopped at Subway to grab a veggie sub, and planned to sit under one of the gazebos to eat once we got to the park.

Nope. NOPE.

I forgot that today was Sunday, and there were dozens of teenagers roaming the park, hogging all of the gazebos and picnic tables. I walked all the way to the other end of the park and sat under one of the empty gazebos, but Liam and I were relentlessly attacked by both spiders and ladybugs, and ended up sitting on a bench out in the open to eat. The bench was right next to one of the playgrounds, where there were three teen/pre-teen kids goofing around on the swings, including messing with the baby swing, so we couldn’t use it. Teenagers are such dickbags. Then, I overheard the following conversation:

Girl #1: I hate how young I look, it’s so stupid.
Boy: Why? That doesn’t make sense.
Girl #1: I look really young. I hate it.
Boy: You are young…
Girl #2: Madison, you are, like, 10. Stop.
Girl #1: But I look 10.
Boy: You ARE 10.
Girl #2: But you look, like, at least 15. So it’s okay!
Boy: Why don’t you want to look 10? You are 10.
Girl #1: I don’t expect you to get it. Just shut up.
Boy: Wow. Whatever.

The boy then grabbed his skateboard and went over to the playground, but stopped when he saw us, and walked over.

Boy: Hi. Cute baby, is he yours?
Me: Thanks. Yeah, he is.
Boy: Cool. How old are you?
Me: I’m 25.
Boy: Oh.
Me: …
Boy: …
Boy: Nevermind, I just thought you were young.
Me: … *awkward smile*

Then he waved to Liam and walked back over to the girls.

Wait. Wait a minute. What? Was he saying I looked young? But then called me old? I’m confused. Either way, I now feel old. Thanks, kid.

Then, it happened.

On the walk back, there was a bug hovering around my head. I knew it wasn’t a ladybug, but swatted it anyway. Then it flew out in front of me, and ducked beneath the hood of the stroller. I saw it. Black and yellow. In a moment of panic, I pulled the hood back, and saw a yellow jacket, floating right in front of Liam’s face. He saw it as well, and I was terrified that he would reach for it and get stung. My mama bear instincts set in, and I smacked the yellow jacked out of the air. He flew around me, and I hit him again. He got me back, though, stinging the top of my wrist. No allergies, so I’m fine, but it hurt. Bastard.

We then tried to rush home, but ended up getting stopped a few blocks away by a young couple, who wanted to ask me questions about our stroller, because they really liked it (we have a Graco Aire3 Click Connect Travel System, Gotham by the way, it is amazing). The walk back was much less eventful, thankfully. I had to give myself, Liam, and the stroller a look over once we got inside to make sure we didn’t bring home and stowaways.

I am ready for the cold weather. I thought I wanted it to stay away, but I now realize how foolish and naive I was.

BRING. ON. THE. SNOW.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 9/24/15

I looked over and saw a swarm of huge, flying insects flowing out of the open freezer door like a cloud of black smoke. The started waving her arms, still screaming, while everyone watched in horror. The insects swarmed around her, and her screams fell silent as she collapsed to the ground.

Present day.

I was in a supermarket with my husband, his mom, and our son. We were in the frozen pizza aisle, when I heard a woman scream as she opened a freezer door. I looked over and saw a swarm of huge, flying insects flowing out of the open freezer door like a cloud of black smoke. The started waving her arms, still screaming, while everyone watched in horror. The insects swarmed around her, and her screams fell silent as she collapsed to the ground.

The cloud of insects idled for just a moment, before splitting up and spreading throughout the store. Panic ensued. I yanked the baby out of the shopping cart and started to run. I could see my husband trailing just behind us, but his mom was nowhere to be seen. There were people screaming and collapsing all around us, being attacked by these giant hornets.

We managed to get out of the building, but we seemed to be the only ones who made it out alive. There was a loud, crashing noise, and one of the walls of the building started to crumble, releasing a massive swarm of crazy hornets into the air. They filled the sky, casting shadows across the town.

We got in the car and drove home.

We got home, quickly boarded up the windows, and retreated to the baby’s room at the back of the house, because it had the least windows. We sat there cowering in the corner, but trying to play with the baby so that he didn’t get scared. Through the gaps in the wood on the windows, we could see the swarms of super bugs filling the streets, strategically breaking apart to ended homes through cracks under doors and through open windows, almost like a cartoon.

The bedroom door opened suddenly and someone I didn’t know walked in, and nonchalantly told us that there was a hole in the side of our apartment, and that there were bugs eating away at the building, and that we had to get out.

We started to freak out, and followed the stranger outside, where we got into a school bus that held a few other people. and the stranger drove us away in silence.

Then it got dark, and the stranger started kicking random people off the bus, one at a time, even if the rest of their family or friends were still there. The three of us were the last ones left, huddled in the back of the bus together, terrified.

The bus stopped by a field, and we looked out the window, trying to see if there were anymore flying creatures. The moon cast an eerie glow over everything, and there was fog hovering over the field. But we didn’t see any bugs.

We walked out into the field, and the bus disappeared, along with the strange man who had been driving. We made a large fire, and sat in the field for a while in silence.

I also very vaguely remember something about Kendall Jenner dying. Weird,

And then I woke up.

Most Terrifying Experience of My Life. WTF!

I just had the most terrifying experience of my life. I went to lay down with the baby for about an hour before putting him in his crib for a nap. I walked back into the kitchen to the sound of loud buzzing. I looked up to see SWARMS of yellow jackets in my living room. All over my lights, the windows, curtains, walls, etc. They weren’t there an hour prior. I shut the baby’s door and ran to get my  upstairs neighbor, who helped me spray and kill HUNDREDS of them, until they were all dead.

Apparently, when we called to complain last week about the nest outside our house, the exterminator the landlord hired didn’t do anything, but said that he did. This gave the yellow jackets time to finish burrowing through the wall, and they flooded my apartment through a hole underneath my computer desk. Luckily, I wasn’t at my desk, or in the living room, at the time.

We blocked off the hole with some duct tape, but the nest is still there in the wall. My neighbor called the landlord again to tell them that the situation has gotten worse, and they were angry about the exterminator. Not nearly as angry as I am. I now have hundreds and hundreds of dead yellow jackets to clean up. I’m furious. I’m too terrified to do anything. And my house smells like chemicals.

What if we had been SLEEPING? I may never sleep again.