Christmas PJ Trafficking

Call me old fashioned, call me sentimental, call me slow to the draw…but I’m one of those nostalgic folks who doesn’t really begin celebrating Christmas until after Thanksgiving has passed.  It drives me absolutely bonkers that Home Depot and Lowes went from giant Halloween inflatables to giant Christmas inflatable, with nary a pilgrim, turkey or cornucopia in between.  Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday.
And so, in my infinite wisdom of preparing for Christmas, I assumedthat it would be easy peasy lemon squeezy to find Christmas PJs for Miles.  They’d been on the racks since Labor Day (it seems) so of course there should still be some left.  Right?  RIGHT?!
I had one particular set of PJs in mind, because I knew I wanted to use them in our Christmas card.  Miles is in between sizes right now (some 12 months, some 18 months – I’m having Ev save his old clothes now so Miles can wear them next year) and these particular PJs would still look awesome even if they were a bit too long in the arms and legs.  I put “purchase PJs” on my to-do list for November.
We were at Target on Friday night, and I cruised over to the clothes section, intending on picking up a Thanksgiving onesie.  Not happening; those are all gone.  Well, that’s okay, we have a back-up plan (is dressing your child as an Indian for Thanksgiving appropriate? Because Halloween costumes are on clearance…)  Moving on to Christmas PJs.  THEY ARE ALSO ALL GONE.  What the heck?!
The only Christmas PJs left were zip up sleep ‘n plays in size 3T.  I can’t even imagine putting a toddler in a sleep ‘n play; we’ve been in “big boy” PJs with Miles for a while, mostly because the number of attempts to swan dive off the changing table make it challenging to get him in anything that’s one piece with feet and zips. 
Side note: Why do kids think it’s so funny to throw the powder, lotion, baby wipes, then grab the curtains and try to roll up in them like a burrito, then try to launch off the changing table twice, and then kick you in the ribs?  Do the babies make these plans at school when the teacher isn’t looking?
PJs.  I was frustrated, but not deterred.  Yesterday, I went to the Carter’s website to order the jammies.  No such luck…they’re only available in 24 months.  Again, what the heck?
I was beginning to understand that Christmas themed anything for children is a hot commodity, and if you want it, you’d better get it early.  Because apparently, there’s an entire group of parents/grandparents/people who buy kid’s clothes just camping out overnight, waiting for things to go on sale bright and early…just like Black Friday.  Or waiting for concert tickets to see NKOTB in 1990.  Do you remember waiting in line for concert tickets?  Getting to Peaches or Sam Goody extra early?  The youth of today is lacking in that experience.
My determination was quickly turning into desperation.  I checked a few other places, but none of them had PJs I liked.  None of them had the jammies that I’d picked out in October.
The thought crossed my mind to check eBay.  I am so not an eBay person; I have never purchased anything from eBay, don’t really understand the concept of eBay, and I’m also a bit skeptical of eBay.  But, desperate times end with a new mom on a website she’s totally unfamiliar with, searching for something that she hopes wasn’t stolen off a truck in Miami, and giving credit card information that will probably end up in the hands of a terrorist who will use it to purchase anthrax.  Can you see the headline?  “PJ Purchasing Mom Funds Al Qaeda!”  My crush on Brian Williams would never come to fruition…
I type “Carter’s Christmas Pajamas” in the search box…lo and behold, sixty-five pages of listings pop up.  Seriously?
I noticed a common thread in these listings.  Most of the PJs were new, tags on them, and multiple sizes were available.  Do you know what this means?  These crazy eBay people, who I have had great contempt for since the Target Missoni disaster of 2011, are buying up all the PJs and hoarding them for resale!  Christmas PJs for babies and toddlers are being trafficked via eBay.
You eBay people ruin everything.  You’re the reason I only managed to get one pair of shoes when Missoni launched their line for Target.  Do you guys remember that?  Probably not, but that’s okay, you can’t all understand high fashion.  Missoni created a line for Target, and they began online sales at midnight the night before the line was available in the brick and mortar store.  Crazy eBay people lurked on the Target site, and when the “doors opened” the purchased everything they possibly could, then resold it for enormous profit on eBay.  Stores had to pull items from their shelves to keep up with the online demand.  When I went to Target the very next day, there were three pairs of shoes, a pair of rain boots, a shower curtain and a scarf.  Luckily, I have tiny feet (because you can always find shoes in size 6 and size 11 – tiny feet and big feet win!) so I scored a sweet pair of shoes.  But again, the eBay people ruin everything.  And there was nothing that Target could do about it.  The line was only available for four weeks; it lasted all of four hours.  Jerks.
People of eBay, you are ruiners.
So I found the PJs, size 18 months, and purchased them.  The seller had lots of gold stars and positive feedback; I’m assuming this should be a fairly safe purchase.  There was no mark up on the price, so I’m not sure what the seller is benefitting (this is where I begin to think the jammies were stolen off a truck in Miami…) but I don’t care because I win the Christmas Pajama Plinko Challenge! Huzzah!

People of eBay…you’re on my list.

Vacation = Awesome … North Florida = NOT Awesome

She’s baaaack…
Ah, back from vacation.  Okay, we were back on Saturday, but you know it takes a while to recover from vacation, right?  A good kind of recovery, but still.
So remember all that freaking out about toys and traveling and eating and pooping and sleeping?  It went something like this:
Toys: Packed a lot; played with a lot, but nothing (and I mean nothing) compared to the fun that was crunching Fall leaves.  Seriously, the kid couldn’t get enough of it.  Also, his crawling went from second gear to fifth gear over a matter of two days.  Did you know that the best way to measure the level of fun an item contains is to taste it?  Evidence:

Mittens…flavorful.  And pointless.


Barstool…delicious, and full of fiber. 
Traveling: Oh. My. Gosh.  I’ll probably jinx myself by saying this, but Miles was born for road trips and vacations.  Through our first 7 hour stretch, he kept his exact same napping and eating schedule.  We stopped overnight in Alpharetta, and he slept through in his pack ‘n play.  This awesomely awesome awesomeness continued through the entire trip.  The key to keeping a happy traveler is to stop and stretch; when it was mealtime, we’d find a nice rest area with a shady picnic spot and throw down the quilt.  Let the kid crawl around, play with toys (you know, eat grass and leaves…) and he was a happy camper and ready to nap when we got back on the road.
Eating: He finished his antibiotics on day two of our trip, and his appetite (and poop) was back to normal.  Also, the adult appetites were like, super awesome…and I think Miles was a little jealous he couldn’t have any barbecue, fried okra, biscuits ‘n gravy or pumpkin beer.  Maybe next year, kiddo…
Miles seriously loved being outside, probably because Fall weather is so awesome once you’re north of the Palm Tree Line.  We hiked, and he hung out in the Bjorn like the amazing mountain baby he is.  He played on the deck of the cabin, in grassy spots while we hiked, and next to beautiful creeks.  If nap time rolled around during a hike, he napped.
Mushy stuff: We have always loved our annual trip to western NC; it’s a place that is very special to us for many reasons.  But this year, it was totally different and in an amazingly awesome way…because this year, we got to see everything with a brand new set of eyes.  To watch Miles discover leaves and dirt and grass and cold, mountain water was such a blessing.  And to have a whole entire week of family time?  Even bigger blessing.  Getting to spend every day and night with my favorite guys, doing nothing but enjoying life, my goodness…worth it a million times over.
So we’re probably friends on Facebook and you’ve seen the barrage of photos.  Now let’s talk about what Facebook doesn’t tell you…
On the day we were leaving NC, Evan came down with a wicked sinus and double ear infection (we didn’t know that’s what it was at the time; we just knew he was feeling ROUGH).  So, I did most of the packing and most of the driving.  People: this is a big deal.

I drove from Bryson City, NCto the GA-FL line, including driving through the Atlanta Bypass.  ALL OF THE MILES, I DROVE THEM.  No one can take that away from me.  I am a 25mph, center lane driving, blinker on for 100 yards, mountain and interstate motor vehicle operator…much to the chagrin of every single other driver on the road.  ALL OF THE MILES, MINE.
We decided to stop in Lake Cityto crash on our way back down.  This area was suggested by an unnamed friend who is lucky she is still my friend, because if there’s any place in the world you should never, ever, ever stay, it’s North Florida.
I chose a place that had a four star review on Expedia, and was part of a chain.  Making sure your hotel is part of a chain is important, as we have learned through experience (again, in North Florida).
The hotel was awful.  It was a million years old.  The hallways were outdoors.  The doors to the room wouldn’t close properly.  The air conditioner sounded like Air Force One preparing for take off.  I refused to take my socks off, and wrapped myself in my own personal blanket to sleep.  Also, I only peed once.  ONCE!  No, it was not the chain hotel I thought we’d be getting…it was  a motel with a new sign.  Oh, and a traveling girl’s softball team staying overnight.
When I booked, I chose “two adults, one child” because I’m an honest person.  But, when you tell the hotel you have a child, they do one thing: put you on the same floor as the entire traveling girl’s softball team.  So, at 10:30p, when you’re desperately trying to sleep and not think about an axe murderer crashing through your hotel room window, your neighbor can be heard (through the paper thin walls) running up and down the hallway.  Up and down, up and down, up and down.  For 45 minutes.  Yelling.
I finally lost what little bit of sanity I had left (remember, I drove through Atlanta) and went next door.  The hotel room door was open, and mom and dad were sitting on the bed with a 24 pack of Keystone Light.  Ah, North Florida…
Me: “Excuse me, would you mind asking your girls to keep it down?  We have a six month old trying to sleep.”
Dad: “YEAH, SURE.”  :::takes swig of beer and continues watching World Series:::
No eye contact, no apology, nothing.  I am certain that, had the rooms allowed smoking, I would have noticed half a pack of Salems stubbed out in a cheap ashtray.  I know, I’m judgey. 
The running and jumping and yelling and roof construction continued until 3:30a.  I was about to become the murderer.  When it finally stopped, I spent the next three hours in a cat nap state, waiting for murderers.
The hotel advertised a hot, continental breakfast.  I had already decided against that, knowing that what qualified as “hot” and “continental” at the awesome hotel we stayed at in Alpharetta would most certainly not make a Lake City, FL menu.  Peering into the dining room/lobby/waiting area for homicide detectives, I saw the hoard of teenagers eating bagels and fruit cups.  Yes, continental indeed.
We loaded up, fueled up, and with a “Kiss My Grits, Lake City!” bumper sticker we hopped on I-75, made it to a Dunkin’ Donuts and started on our merry way south.
When deciding between an overnight stay in Georgia or Florida, choose Georgia.  It’s worth the extra hour of driving time to have a new, clean hotel with new, clean rooms and hot breakfast.  And coffee.  Starbucks coffee.  Mmmm.
Alright, off to work on the Halloween edition of Round-Up, because there’s lots more to talk about.
Happy to be home,



Welcome to the Round-Up, weekend edition…late, because that’s my favorite way to arrive to anything (just ask my husband).  Today we’re going to talk about how much I loathe pumping gas, why I love October, and of course, poop.  I’ll bet you thought there’s not much left to say about poop, right?  Well, you were wrong.
Lights on the Dash
People like me are the reason car manufacturers have lights on the dash to tell you when to do certain things.  If it weren’t for those lights, I’d never know when my left tail light is out, when I’m low on washer fluid, when an oil change is needed (because there’s a different light to tell you it’s required) and, most importantly, when I’m low on fuel.
Oh yes, I’m one of those.
I am one of those people because I don’t like doing anything automobile related.  This probably sounds old fashioned (read: setting the feminist movement back 60 years) but I’ve always viewed car stuff as boy stuff.  I have zero desire to learn how to do anything.  If I get a flat, I’ll call AAA, and a boy will come and change the tire.  If I need an oil change, I’ll take the truck to Goodyear, and a boy will change the oil.  I don’t want to get dirty, sweaty, smelly or greasy. 
My least favorite car related activity is pumping gas.  That’s one of the reasons I let the low fuel light come on…it reminds me to remind my husband that I need gas.  Of course, there was a brief time in my driving life that I did not know Evan, which meant I did have to fend for myself.  So if I absolutely have to pump gas, I will.
There are two reasons I hate pumping gas: 1.) GERMS and 2.) Creepy guys.  The first reasons is completely self-explanatory.  If you actually considered how many unwashed hands have been on that gas pump…hands that could belong to people who shovel manure, handle raw meat, care for people with Swine Flu, or even an axe murderer, it’s just gross.  There isn’t enough Purell in the world to handle all that nonsense.
Reason number two.  On the rare occasion I have to pump gas, I always end up at a pump next to some creepy guy.  And even better – Creepy Guy almost always thinks I want his attention.  It’s probably because I have a staring problem (Evan likes to call me a “people watcher”) but really, it’s the Creepy Guy’s fault.  Don’t paint a giant flamingo on your truck, get a neck tattoo declaring your abhorrence of law enforcement, or pump gas with no shirt on, if you don’t want me to stare at you.  And that look on my face should be conveying, “SERIOUSLY?!” and not whatever else you’re thinking.  Also, what’s up with guys and no shirts?  It’s hot in Florida, but it is never so hot that you can have total disregard for clothing the top half of your body.  PUT A SHIRT ON (also, pull up your pants while you’re at it).  And those stupid tank tops don’t count.
Ryan Gosling: This does not apply to you.  Feel free to pump gas, mow the lawn, fold my laundry or empty my dishwasher topless.  Evan gives you permission.
On Wednesday, I took Miles to the pediatrician for the second time since he came down with this ear infection.  The trip was to check on the cough he had developed (because, of course, I’m thinking it’s croup or whooping cough or some other weird thing).  His lungs sounded good, his throat was fine, diagnosis was either post nasal drip or a cold.  But his ear still looked a little infected…like there was still a little fluid in there.  Not a real infection, but it would be easy to re-infect.  At this point, I think the pediatrician (who was not Miles’ regular doc…I love the regular doc but we only see him for well visits) can tell I’m an OCD WebMDer, and he’s just playing games with me.  I could’ve sworn I heard him ask, “Oh, have you heard of that new chicken flu?  These symptoms are exactly like it…” (there is no chicken flu, that I know of).
The pediatrician writes a prescription for a second antibiotic, and instructs us to start it on Friday, if the cough hasn’t improved.  I don’t want to start another antibiotic.  I know it hurts the good bacteria in Miles’ little tummy.  Also, he’s not a good sleeper when he’s on antibiotics (anxiety and insomnia are common side effects for most meds) and trust me when I tell you that we were all equally exhausted after the last 10 day round.
Friday arrived, and the cough was most certainly overstaying its welcome.  No amount of Vicks BabyRub, Simply Saline, steam baths or prayers were getting this cough to hit the road.  I begrudgingly picked up the antibiotics, and read the label: TWELVE DAYS.  Yes, the Twelve Days of I’m Never Sleeping Again.
Thankfully, this one is a once-a-day dosage.  We started Friday night, and he had his second dose Saturday morning.
Around lunchtime Saturday, Miles and I were playing on the floor when he casually told me he needed a diaper change.  His morning constitutional was complete.
He’s on the changing table, and I’m singing our usual diaper changing song.  I open the diaper, and just stand there, horrified…his poop is red.  Not bright red; more of a brick red, but red nonetheless.  A thousand thoughts are running through my head (chicken flu, followed by internal bleeding, and ending with zombie apocalypse) so I do what any sensible and rational parent would do…I fold the diaper back over (like in a “IT’S GOING TO GET ME!” fashion) and tell myself to calm down.  Then, I change his diaper.  I save the red poop diaper.
Miles is laughing and playing and looking at me like, “Make with the baby powder, woman!”  This is the only thing keeping me from putting him in my purse and sprinting to the ER.
In my happiest, sing-songy voice, I put Miles in his crib and tell him I’ll be right back, I just need to check on something.  I head to my laptop (you already know where this is going, right?) and immediately go to WebMD.  I look up the antibiotic he’s taking: Cefnidir.  Finally, I find the page with “possible side effects/precautions.”  And I find the usual suspects…but buried at the bottom, under the “precautions” I find exactly what I’m looking for:
This medication may cause stools to turn a reddish color.  This is common, and not harmful.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?  If poop turning RED is a possible side effect, you’d think that a pharmacist, pediatrician, nurse, somebody, would make that the first side effect listed on the bottle.  And not only that, but everyone should have to remind the parent or patient that this could happen.  A dozen times.  Because if you had red poop, you’d probably freak out, too.  They should just call the antibiotic “redpoopacillidin” so we’d know not to totally panic.  Right?
Miles is fine, we’re on day three of antibiotics/red poop and the cough is clearing.  Nine days to go…
I love October…it’s the beginning of Fall, which is my favorite season.  But I do not love October for its pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin yogurt or pumpkin toothpaste.  I love October for the return of this:
 Cue music…
And this:

And this:

 Staying for dinner?

 Need braaaains.


Also, Darryl:

Only six hours to go,

Dear Twenties: It’s not you, it’s me.

So, this Saturday, something kind of major is happening…yours truly will be turning 30.
You heard that, right?
T H I R T Y.
Really, it’s no biggie.  I mean, there are a lot of things I could do to celebrate/mourn, but I’m just going with what I do best, and writing an open letter to  my twenties.  Because really, isn’t it time we moved on?  Here we go…
Dear Twenties,
It’s been one heck of a ride, but I think we both know what has to happen next.  I mean, of course I still love you, but I’m not in love with you.  Don’t worry; it’s not you, it’s me.  I can’t hold you back any longer, and we both know it’s time for you to spread your wings and fly.  We sure did have some fun over the past ten years though, huh?
You were a joyful time of terrible karaoke, attempting to burn our apartment down with incense, and eating French fries with Ranch dressing for dinner.  A lot.  Ah, metabolism at 20, am I right?!
Yes, in your very early years, you were a time of questionable decisions, questionable behavior and incredibly questionable fashion choices.  Of our early time together, I am most thankful that Facebook and smart phones were still an unknown.  It ensures that things like my four leaf clover tattoo will never been seen by anyone other than my husband, and God.  Well, and anyone on Fort Myers Beach during the summer of 2003.
It was a learning experience.
But it wasn’t all so bad, Twenties.  I mean, I did meet my future husband during your era (okay, so I was nineteen, but we both agreed that twenty sounded way older so that’s what we went with).  I was 20 when we officially started dating, 21 when we were engaged, and had just turned 22 when we were married.
We also went through some difficult things together, Twenties.  You were there for me when I lost one of my very best friends, my Moosie.  The two of us spent weeks planning my wedding together; she was so excited and overjoyed!  Then, she was taken home in June of 2005.  It was so very difficult to know that she wouldn’t be there for the big day, at least in person.  But she was there in spirit.  And we weathered the storm, Twenties.
It was also in your era that we bought our first house and slowly, over the next few years, turned it into a beautiful, warm and loving home.  And it was in your era that we experienced a joyful, incredible, amazing miracle when we welcomed Miles, our firstborn, and we knew then that our home was complete.  Well, until the next kiddo comes along…but we’ll save that for Thirties.
Most importantly, it was in your era that I reconnected with God in a way I’d never known was possible.  The void of false friendships was replaced by an unconditional love like none other.  And I knew where I was supposed to be, where we were supposed to be.  And I am filled with joy, happiness, thankfulness and overwhelming gratitude to see my little family growing together in our faith.  That’s a big deal, Twenties.
Yes, Twenties, it’s been a fun ride.  While it may be time to part ways, I’ll keep with me forever the memories we created together. 
You may want to let Thirties know that the bar has been set pretty high…
Ready for the next adventure,