Take A Walk With Jan #11

First off, I get it, I really do. She was frustrated. I’ve worked at a smaller DG store before, so I completely understand. However, it is completely inappropriate to talk like that on the sales floor, especially that loudly and vulgarly, around customers. She didn’t even care.

Hey, friends! Yesterday was absolutely beautiful, and in continuation with the theme of being a fantastic day, I was able to get outside with my little one for the first time in a few days, since there had been some nasty weather happening recently. After a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and applesauce, we set off for the park. Once we passed by the high school, I decided to attempt jogging the rest of the way to the park, and that was a mistake. I am so out of shape. It was awful. I also almost witnessed an accident between an older woman, who was driving properly, and a teenager in a large truck, who decided to blow through a stop sign and speed through a school zone. Luckily, I didn’t have to be a witness to something fatal. Kids these days are assholes. People in general are also assholes.

I made it halfway through the park before I stopped jogging. As I slowed to an exhausted walk, we passed by a woman who was talking pictures of her toddler, who was balancing on a log. She also had a another baby in her umbrella stroller. She looked up and smiled at us as we passed by, and I secretly wished that they were on their way to the playground as well. Well, they were!

We were extremely excited to see that they had put the swings back in the night before (they take all the swings down forΒ the winter), and when I put Liam down, he immediately ran over to the nearest little kid swing. And then, he was in absolute heaven.

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Look at that happy faaace! πŸ˜€

After several minutes on the swing, the other woman walked over with her boys, and Liam immediately started trying to climb out of the swing. I put him down on the ground, and he ran straight up to them, flailing is arms and babbling like crazy. The woman, who was about my age, smiled and talked about how cute he was. The older boy, who I found out was 3 years old, followed Liam and I up the steps to the playground, and showed me his “I VOTED!” sticker. I jokingly asked him who he voted for, and he informed me that he was too young to vote, but his mommy voted. He was so sweet.

Liam was acting shy at this point, and kept wanting me to pick him up, so I carried him around for a few minutes so that he could watch the other boys play. Her other son, a chunky little 17 month old, was about Liam’s size (Liam was actually 3-4 inches taller than him, and she commented on how tall he was and how impressed she was that he was running around so well), and Liam warmed up to him pretty quickly. I took Liam’s soccer ball out of his bag, and the little boy immediately came up and stole it. His mom seemed embarrassed, but I told her it was fine, as Liam never plays with it, I just bring it along just in case. It was a good thing that our boys were the same size, because her little guy peed through his diaper, and she was going to leave early, but I offered her a spare diaper, and she was grateful.

We ended up staying at the park for nearly two hours, then we left together. She was going home in the same direction that we were walking to the store, and we split up a few blocks from the park. It was so nice to not only find someone for Liam to play with, but to have someone to talk to. We exchanged pregnancyΒ horror stories, talked about teething, picky eating, and watched as her older boy dug out worm after worm from the dirt around the park. It felt nice to have some human interaction, and I sincerely hope that we see them again.

The walk to Dollar General was somewhat uneventful, although I did pass by a woman walking two very loud whippets, who did NOT seem to like that I was on their sidewalk, and then passed by a car with a dead bird on the windshield. Ew.

My trip to Dollar General itself, however, was another story. Now, I’ve worked retail. In fact, most of my jobs that I’ve held have been retail jobs. I totally understand that, sometimes, things get a little crazy when you are just trying to pass the time… however, what I witnessed and overheard at my local store was completely unacceptable, albeit not unexpected from this specific store.

The store manager was complaining very loudly to her co-worker, who was several aisles away, about how they were going to be getting a very large truck the next day, and she said, “I don’t know where the DM expects us to put all this shit. I should tell him to bend over and shove it where the sun don’t shine, right up his ass. That’s where he can put it.” Um… wow.

First off, I get it, I really do. She was frustrated. I’ve worked at a smaller DG store before, so I completely understand. However, it is completely inappropriate to talk like that on the sales floor, especially that loudly and vulgarly, around customers. She didn’t even care. The conversation continued like that for the duration of my visit to the store, and I was not the only one noticing. The older woman in front of me when I was checking out asked the cashier girl to speak to a manager to complain… well, sure enough, the look on her face was of shock and disgust when the manager of the store walked over. So she told them that she would be calling the 1-800 number, and the manager did not seem to care. I wanted to be shocked, but I wasn’t, and that is saying a lot.

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Look at those chicken legs!

Then, we came home. Despite being exhausted on the walk back, Liam did NOT want to take his afternoon nap, and instead chose to run around and repeatedly take off his pants (see above picture). So we played for a while, ate dinner, got ready for bed, and he slept like a rock, even with the insane thunder/hale storm raging outside our apartment.

That’s it! Today will be another beautiful day, and I’m hoping to get outside and do some stuff.

Thank for reading, friends!

Jan

Take A Walk With Jan #8

Hello, friends! Yesterday, the weather was hovering around 67 degrees and partly cloudy for the majority of the morning and afternoon, so I decided to take Liam to the park. I wanted to let him spend as much time having fun in the sun, since he had a pretty traumatic night the previous day. He fell down while running through the kitchen, and almost bit through his lip. It was so swollen, and there was SO much blood. It was awful. He’s handling it like a champ, but I wanted to give him a really good day.

I made the mistake of wearing a long-sleeve shirt and yoga pants, both black, and started sweating just a few blocks from my apartment. As we walked, it got warmer, and sunnier, and I was very relieved to go into the shade of Subway to get some lunch to bring to the park. However, I had an absolutely bizarre experience once inside. There was a woman finishing up her order when I walked in, and I stood off to the side of where the line would be, since I wasn’t ready to order. An older women walked in behind me, and I immediately smiled and told her to go ahead of me, since I was still deciding, this is a transcript of how this ridiculousness began:

Me: Go ahead in front of me, I’m still deciding.
Woman: *Moving in front of me* Oh, thanks, but I don’t know what I want either.
Me: Oh, that’s okay!
Sandwich Artist #1: What can I make you?
W: *Staring at the menu* Uh, I don’t know… hmm… uhhh…
[4 minutes pass, while the employee and I exchange glances, wondering if this woman has fallen asleep with her eyes open. Two more people walk in and get in line behind me.]
SA #1: Ma’am? Have you decided yet?
W: If I did, you would know. *Turning to me* Bet you wish you hadn’t let me go in front of you, huh?
Me: Oh, no, it’s okay, we’re not in a rush.
W: Mmhm. Okay, well, I’m going to have a ham and cheese on white bread, American cheese.
SA #1: Do you want it toasted?
W: Did I say I wanted it toasted?
SA #1: Right, not toasted then. Any veggies?
W: Nope.
SA #1: Any sauce?
W: *Sighing dramatically* Nooope!
SA #1: Any other sandwiches for you today?
W: Oh, yeah, he’ll probably want something, too. *Turning to me again* Sorry!
Me: Yup. No problem.
W: Steak and cheese, deluxe. NOT. TOASTED. NO. VEGGIES.
SA #1: … Okay. Got it.
[At this point, SA #1 slides the sandwiches over to SA #2, who appears to be new, who is standing at the register, and tells her what they are, before turning to me to take my order. SA #2 does not appear to hear her, and asks her again what the sandwiches are. SA #1 does not hear her ask, so SA #2 just stands there, while W glares impatiently at her.]
W: Hello? How much?
SA #2: Um… what were the sandwiches?
W: Are you joking?
SA #1: *Realizes what is happening* Ham and cheese, steak and cheese deluxe.
[The woman pays, and walks away to a table to fiddle with her receipt and purse. I finish my order, and start the payment process, while the couple behind me begins their order.]
W: OH, I need two drinks with these. Hello? HELLO? I need two drinks.
[No one responds, and she does not get back in line.]
W: FINE, I guess not! I’m going to Casey’s! Bye!
[She leaves, and we all exchange WTF? glances.]

Seriously. What a bitch. Why, lady? Why?Β There was zero reason for any of the attitude!

Anyway, we left Subway, and headed to the park. Liam started squirming and going a bit crazy once the park came into sight, and as soon as I set him down, he ran off. We were alone at the park, and Liam took full advantage of running, climbing, and going nuts all over the playground. After just a few minutes of being there, I heard, “Mommy! Look! There’s a baby!”, and I turned around to see an adorable little boy charging the playground. He immediately ran up to us, introduced himself as Gideon, and informed me that he and his mommy saw dog poop on their way to the park.

So. Freaking. Cute.

His mom was really nice, she was around my age, maybe a few years older, and had purple streaks in her hair, and a band tee on. Gideon followed Liam around, and every time Liam stumbled, he reached out to help him up. He talked up a storm, too. Telling me about how he was three years old, and how he likes to take naps after he goes to the park, and how he wishes he could sleep at the park, because he liked it there, which made his mom and I laugh. He was the sweetest little boy, and after a very short time, Liam was running around with him and following him as well. It was really nice to see him having fun, as we really don’t get to see other parents and kids very often. At all… ever.

He also may have eaten a very small pebble… still waiting to see if that was actually a thing or not.

After a whopping hour and a half at the park, we headed to Dollar General to pick up a few things. I was sweating so bad. I also walked by a really stupid fight going on in front of the high school a few blocks from our apartment. It was nearly 70 degrees by the time I got home, half dead.

Then we napped. And it was glorious.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Baby’s First Birthday Toy Haul Review

Hello, friends! As some of you may know, I wrote a 3 part series of reviews for all of the toys that Liam got for his first Christmas (if interested, here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). Well, his first birthday was less than a month later, on January 23rd, and he got some great toys! About a week has passed, and we have had time to thoroughly explore and play with all the new toys, and I thought it would be fun to do another toy haul review! Unlike my Christmas toy haul, I’ll be doing just one post for these reviews, as I am only doing 6 toys.

As withΒ the previous posts, I will post the name and link for each toy, as well as an image. Beneath these, I will be using a 4-star system, ratingΒ each toy on their:
Attractiveness: Colors, shapes, detail, and how well it captured and kept my son’s attention.
Interactivity: Age settings, movement, how much can he do with it, etc.
Noise: (If applicable) Music, sounds, volume control, sound quality.
Quality: Flimsy plastic, not baby-proof, etc.
Overall Score: A mix of my opinion and my son’s opinions.
I will also list Pros and Cons.

Here we go!

1.Β Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Table
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Noise: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pros: Amazing learning toy! Very interactive. Power and volume control, as well as four ways to play (learning time, Spanish, music time, and play time with real sounds). Very colorful and eye-catching. My son attacked it and wanted to play before I had even put it together. TheΒ piano keys are our favorite!
Cons: None!

2.Β Bizzy Square – The Buckle Toy
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟✰✰
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise:Β N/A
Quality: 🌟🌟✰✰
Overall: 🌟🌟✰✰
Pros:Β 
Colorful, soft material. The back has several numbered tabs that baby can lift to reveal animals. Clips are very easy to clip and un-clip, great for babies who like to play with and chew on clips, with little risk of pinching their fingers. Comes in several colors/characters.
Cons:Β 
Toy is smaller than it appears in pictures, has a cheap feel for the price.

3.Β Fisher-Price Little People See n’ Say
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Interactivity: 🌟🌟✰✰
Noise: 🌟✰✰✰
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Overall: 🌟🌟✰✰
Pros:Β 
Colorful. Features a variety of animals, a song option, and a little game.
Cons:Β 
Lever is a bit difficult for my 12-month old to pull, and can be awkward. So power or volume control, and volume is VERY loud. Animal noises are unrealistic and sound a bit weird.

4. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Speedsters, Monkey & Sis


Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Noise: 🌟🌟✰✰
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Pros:Β 
We have the full set of 3, and they make excellent learning tools, that double as great, cheap toys, and my son loves them. Colorful and eye-catching. Move very smoothly.
Cons:
No power or volume control. The volume on the Monkey car is much higher than the other two, and his voice is very shrill. I actually get headaches from that little green car.

5. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Tablet
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Noise: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pros:
Great learning tool, features power and volume control, as well as 3 stages of learning. Each button has the option of saying the letter, character/object, and the sound it makes. Plays several different songs, different on each learning setting. Lights on top and sides light up in several, bright colors.
Cons:Β 
NOT a touch screen, which is fine, but baby does need to press a bit on the buttons, which seemed to put my kiddo off a bit. When you are playing with the alphabet buttons, it randomly cuts you off and plays music, which is a bit annoying.

6. Mega BloksΒ Jeep Lil’ Off Roader Building Set
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Attractiveness: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Interactivity: 🌟🌟✰✰
Noise: N/A
Quality: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟✰
Pros:
Instantly caught my son’s attention in the store. Great size for toddlers. Looks like a realistic, tiny Jeep! Comes with 7 pieces, which includes a little removable character, and 6 Mega Bloks blocks. Blocks can be played with on their own, or can be arranged on the roof of the Jeep.
Cons:
Very basic, limited interactivity. A bit expensive for what little it does.

There you have it! I have to say that my favorite toy is definitely the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Table.Β I love how many settings it has, and I actually really enjoy composing short piano pieces with the 4 colorful piano keys. Liam loves the piano keys, too, and plays with me! I’d say hisΒ favorite toy is probably the Learning Table as well, but he is definitely a fan ofΒ his Mega Bloks Jeep, as well as hisΒ Fisher-Price Tablet (but only if I’m using it with him), and his Fisher-Price train that he got for Christmas, of course!

We are really loving all of the Fisher-Price learning toys! I love toys that have multiple learning stages, and look like “real” items that mommy and daddy use, and these are all just fantastic! I hope this helped out a few folks out there who are hunting for gifts for little ones!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan