Take A Walk With Jan #14

Hello, friends! I am one frustrated mama right now! Continue reading “Take A Walk With Jan #14”

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Small Stones 8/29/16

His big sister tells me his name is Gus.

His big sister tells me his name is Gus. Continue reading “Small Stones 8/29/16”

Photo Challenge | Pure

They only see the wonder and beauty that the world offers.

The Daily Post Photo Challenge | Pure

Young children are as pure as you can possibly get. They have not yet been touched and molded by all of the judgment and hatred that fills the world. They only see the wonder and beauty that the world offers. They will make friends with anyone willing to play with them, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, or handicap, because they do not see the differences that divide us. They just want to play, and share their enjoyment with those around them.

Innocence is pure. And beautiful.

Mom’s Visit | Day 5

I sat on the floor with this stranger’s children, and my own son, and we all talked about milestones, and the joys of having boys. Their father was an absolute doll, and his words about raising his boys, and when they each started talking, walking, and getting their teeth, were so comforting to me, as I often worry about Liam hitting his milestones on time. They were such a lovely family.

[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, and Day 4 here.]

Hello, friends! Today was another great day, with only a few minor low points to share. Today is my mom’s 50th birthday, and once again, we decided to go to the pool at the Metro Center in Princeton, and it was even better than it was yesterday! We decided to schedule our whole day around the pool trip this time, so that we could get as much time in the water as possible, and left much earlier than yesterday, as soon as Liam finished his breakfast, and we all got showered and dressed.

It was barely 11:00 when we got to the pool, and there were only a handful of swimmers in the large pool. Once again, we had the kiddie pool to ourselves, and Liam could hardly contain his excitement as we approached the shallow pool. There was no hesitation this time, no clinging to my legs, no fear, just pure happiness, and so much splashing. He really wanted to put his adorable, new swim shorts to good use! He came 100% out of his shell, wading through the water, going after the pool toys, dunking them, pouring them, and being so much more curious and adventurous with the water. My mom managed to get a dozen more pictures of him today, and he was smiling in every single one of them. It filled my heart with so much joy to see him having so much fun.

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We stayed at the pool for about an hour, but had to leave around noon to grab some lunch, because Kyle had a meeting about a scholarship for his CDL class at 1:00. Luckily, the meeting was in the same town, so we stopped at a nearby Subway to get some lunch, but because the lines were so long, Kyle had to leave his sandwich with us, and leave for his meeting. While he was gone, my mom drove me a bit nuts, which has been happening off and on for the last couple days, but I managed to have a good time. I ordered Liam his own sub for the first time, and he sat in a booster seat at the table with me for the first time ever. He did so well! It was amusing to watch him pick apart the sandwich, and decide which veggies he did and did not like (his absolute favorite Subway veggies are pickles and olives, just like his mama!).

Unfortunately, my happiness faded when I saw Kyle pull up, just a short time later, with a very obvious frown. He did not get the scholarship. His income was too high, thanks to his last two, abnormal paychecks, and he did not qualify. He was upset, and my mom kept saying that she would pay for it for us, which made me upset. She already paid $5000 toward my failed college education, and I still owe my old school, and her, money. I didn’t even want her paying for things for us while she was here (despite her many protests), let alone dish out thousands for Kyle’s class. But without her help, we don’t know if we can make it happen, and that is absolutely crushing. Maybe I should put my pride aside? I don’t know.

After lunch, we headed back to Peru to do a little grocery shopping. Despite our fridge being absolutely empty, and only having $80 to buy food for the month, I found myself feeling offended when my mom offered to pay for our groceries, and turned her down yet again. She left the store to have a cigarette (she quit years ago, but started smoking again recently, and hasn’t told her boyfriend), and never came back in. Things were a bit tense between Kyle and I, as they usually get when the topic of money comes up, and we grabbed only a handful of things, like milk, bread, bagels, cheese, and bananas, to try and stay under budget. We warmed up again once we left Walmart, and headed home.

Liam had not taken a nap yet, so I put him down as soon as we walked in, and he passed right out. I put something on Netflix for us to watch, but our internet stopped working shortly after that, and despite our best efforts to revive it, I ended up having to call our internet provider, who had me do a handful of ineffective things, before informing us that there was a actually massive service outage in our area.

Fantastic.

With no internet, cable, movies, games, or really anything to do, we all just kind of sat around in silence for a bit, not knowing what to talk about. Eventually, the internet came back on, and we continued on with watching Netflix, and fiddling with our phones. Around 4:30, just about when Liam would be waking up from his nap, my mom suddenly stood up, and left, telling us to text her if we wanted to get food or something later. Sure enough, not even 10 minutes later, Liam woke up, and we texted her to come back. She hadn’t even gone back to her hotel, she had gone to the park up the street, because apparently the trees and grass are better company than we are.

We decided to go to the large, Chinese buffet in Peru, located right near her hotel, since it is a favorite spot of ours. We pigged out hard on all the delicious things, and left feeling miserable, and hating ourselves, as usual. It was delicious. Afterwards, we decided to take Liam to the mall play area to burn some energy, and tire him out, since he had taken such a late nap. When we got there, there was only one man in the play area, with four boys. We immediately hit it off with him and his sweet boys, and Liam made two friends. He was there with his wife and mother, who were across the way getting their nails done at the salon. He had a baby with him, who was just four months old, and the sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen. He made my ovaries weep, and made me crave having a tiny baby again. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

He also had a little boy who had just turned two, and another boy who was four. They were absolutely enamored with Liam, and the four year old asked me a million questions about him, and me.

“Does he like cars? What kind of car do you have? We have a Diesel truck!”
“Does he eat a lot of food?”
“Does he cry a lot? I cry a lot, and scream, because my parents irritate me.”
(LOL!)
“Does he talk a lot? My brother is two, he doesn’t talk.”
“Do you like bouncy balls?”
“Do you live here? We’re from far away. We’re driving.”

He was adorable. I sat on the floor with this stranger’s children, and my own son, and we all talked about milestones, and the joys of having boys. Their father was an absolute doll, and his words about raising his boys, and when they each started talking, walking, and getting their teeth, were so comforting to me, as I often worry about Liam hitting his milestones on time. They were such a lovely family. The four year old kept giving Liam hugs, and saying he wanted to be friends, and the two year old would walk up to me and share his bouncy balls. They were the absolute sweetest, and it was so wonderful. We talked and played for a while, before we all had to go our separate ways and head home.

Oh, I forgot to mention that right before we left the mall, my mom got a FaceTime call from her boyfriend back home (who she has been with for 20 years, but they aren’t married, so I still call him her boyfriend instead of my step-father), and we were able to introduce him to Liam and Kyle, and chat for a little while. It was nice to see him, and for him to meet the boy who is basically his grandson.

We also stopped to introduce my mom to our upstairs neighbor when we got home (the one who has helped us with many, many problems we’ve dealt with since living here), and we all chatted outside for a bit, before I insisted on going inside, since it was an hour past Liam’s bedtime. Liam was half asleep before I even put him in his crib, and I sat down with a cup of coffee, and began typing shortly after. Kyle goes back to work tomorrow, after having these last two days off, and I think I might take a day to myself to catch up on housework and cleaning, which has gone completely undone since my mom’s arrival. We’ll see.

I am also trying to arrange a nice dinner with Kyle’s mom, my mom, and Kyle, Liam, and I on Friday, since it will be my mom’s last full day in Illinois, and we really want her to meet Kyle’s mom, who is basically my second mom. It is the only day Kyle’s mom has off, though Kyle works until 6:00 that night. I’m hoping we can work something out.

Anyway! That’s all for today! Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

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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 for 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! 😀

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 pregnancy 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

Daily Prompt 2/16/2016 | Gizmos and Gadgets

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/16/2016 | World’s Best Widget

You’ve been granted magical engineering skills, but you can only use them to build one gadget or machine. What do you build?”

Robotic. Arms.

I know, I know, robotic arms already exist, and have been used for several years now… but mine wouldn’t necessarily be for people with disabilities. Mine would slip onto your shoulders, with a device resembling football pads, and would be pre-programmed to assist the wearer in completing normal, every day tasks. There would be several different models, each with special programs for specific tasks, such as changing diapers for parents, extra grip for rock climbers, and other sports… things… for sporty people.

It would be completely voice activated, but you can program up to 5 users of any age to use it, as the shoulder pads and arms would be adjustable to fit most sizes. It also comes in 712 different colors and patterns. Yes, you heard me, 712 different colors and patterns. Some people prefer Oxford blue over Prussian blue, ya know? It totally counts as just one gadget, since it is all the same type, right? I think so.

As a stay-at-home mom, who does 100% of the work when it comes to our one-year old son, I know I could definitely use an extra set of hands. Like when I am trying to make dinner, and my son is getting cranky, and is trying to climb up my legs to get me to pick him up, but I really need to focus on the food. I am sure I am not the only parent out there who could use an extra set of arms, am I right?

So, does anyone want to send some funds my way?!

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan