Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Customer Service is still alive!

On the 5th of July, me and the kids crammed into our little car and decided to leave for a little vay kay.
16 hours later, 3 play stops, numerous diaper changes, going pee pee in the potty at the "Scenic Overlook" (Which by the way, I saw a man come out of the woods carrying a newspaper and a roll of toilet paper.  No Shit!!), feeding and drugging the cranky teething baby in a gas station parking lot, 3 Sugar Free RockStars, and a whole bag of goldfish later, we arrived in Oklahoma.  When I say we were in Oklahoma, I don't mean Oklahoma City..  I'm talking about the middle of no where, around the area where I was born & raised til I was about 10.  My Aunt & Uncle live in Northwestern Oklahoma between 2 small towns (one is 8 miles in one direction and the other is about 12 miles the other direction) that have a total of 1400 combined residents.  The smallest town I have lived in within the last 16 yr, oh dang, 17 years (know I feel my age) was population 3500 and I had a graduating class of 60.  Small, small, small. And all can I tell you....
How freaking refreshing!!

After visiting the grocery store once with my Auntie, I went in alone and I could hear a clerk say, "Oh, that's blah blah blah's niece." Did I stand out?  Probably!  Did I give a crap?  Hell No!  So, when I said that I went to the grocery store by myself, the most interesting thing happened.   Well, the lady that checked me out.... loaded my groceries in the truck for me.  I'm a perfectly capable girl...I mean, have you looked at me? And when I started to help, she said "No No Sweetheart...This is my job."  Are you freaking kidding me?  Is customer service still alive in this sleepy little town?  I can't go to Wal-mart without getting an eye roll from the deli people, because oh no, now they have to get off their fat ass and do something..Oh forbid..You actually have to take the little slab of turkey out of the case and I don't know...DO YOUR JOB, You know, the one you're paid for.  Well, get this.  You chose this job and if you don't like it, there are plenty of people that would be standing in line for it.  I might be freaking one of them soon.  I get that I may be a "customer service nazi" but damn it, I deserve to be.  I busted my ass for 10 years being nice to people, whom frankly, about one in ten didn't deserve it.  And believe you me, if I missed smile or "almost" spilled a drink, my boss would hear all about it.  So when I hear "Oh, it's laid back in the South.", I want to scream!
"What you call laid back, I call lazy!!!" And please when I say this, I'm not saying everyone in the south is lazy, but damn the customer service that I have ran into here in the deep south sucks the big one.  I have gotten excellent service two times and I made sure to commend them to their boss, like they deserve.  Obviously it doesn't come natural to a lot of people. 

So the question is whether I should ban Wal-mart from my life.  Every time I return home, I want to drink...A LOT!!  Which isn't exactly abnormal, but that's all I can come up with at the moment. 
#1   It's about 1 1/2 miles from my house.  Convenient, but I swear I could drive across town and go to Piggly Wiggly and get home at the same time.   
#2  Their prices really are good.  I'm a bargain shoppin, coupon clippin fool and I feel like I'm getting the same items for less there.  But is it really worth the extra $5?? These days, it might be..

#3  The Self Checkout Lanes are always open...One at a time!  It's easy, no fuss, in and out.  There could be people stacked all the way across the aisle and do you think they would open the self checkout for us folks with a case of diapers and a case of beer? Oh hell no!!

#4  Bagging my milk...Really?  Why is that necessary? Reduce/Recycle/Reuse...Heard of it?
Oh, probably not..Here's a little symbol that you might want to get use to..

#5  The parking lot...All I have to say is pure hell...I lived in a city of 500,000 and didn't have a single door ding.  I've been here for a year and I have 3!! WTF??

So I have decided that when I don't have to find a "real job" and not worry about making money, AKA: When I win the lottery, I'm going to start a Customer Service Consulting firm..  That is if I'm not too busy working on my tan on the beaches of St. Thomas.

Watch out world:)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Melting Crayons

This was our first attempt at melting crayons. As most of you are aware, having a toddler around makes you have more than an abundant supply of broken crayons. We usually only use the washable crayons because of obvious reasons. 

We started out by gathering all the broken crayons

Next we peeled the paper off of them and cutting them into small pieces. I used baby food containers to separate them into color categories.

I have a nifty button on my microwave called "Melt" so put one container at a time and used trial and error for the melting time.  I used wooden skewers to stir them.

I just had a regular size muffin pan (I wish I had the mini muffin pan) and I lined it with muffin paper.  I also had some plastic mold for soap.  By the way, those molds should never be placed in the dishwasher:)

 I placed them in the freezer to speed up drying time since it's already so hot and humid here.  I didn't notice any weird film from the washable crayons, but I stirred them like crazy after the melting process.

Voila!! Easy Cheesy!! 

What I would do next time...Use a silicone mini muffin pan or even a silicone ice cube tray and not make them in the any shape that resembles candy:)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thrown a Curveball....

I'm new this this mothering thing.  When I say that, what I mean is that even though I've been a mother for a little over 2 years, what I thought I knew is now changing.  I still follow "my own rules" and try to incorporate some of the attributes that many women, including my mom, grandmother, and aunt have instilled in me.  We generally follow the Dr. Sears Attachment Parenting approach.  It may seem weird to some people and totally natural to others, but it has truly worked for us. 

 Here's a little recap of the obvious to date differences in my children:

Baby Girl (Chloe)

  • Breastfed for the 1st year of her life
  • little to no crying
  • easy to soothe
  • loves to snuggle & slept in the family bed for most of her first 18 months of her life
  • loves to be around people and other children
  • adaptable to all surroundings

Baby Boy (Carter)
  • Breastfed for the first 3 months of life 
  • cries all the time
  • hard to soothe
  • not a cuddle bug and has been in his own crib since about 4 months old
  • cautious of people
  • does not adapt well to unfamiliar surroundings 

My daughter was breastfed for most of her 1st year of life with no issues. My son was in the NICU for almost two weeks, and although I pumped like a mad woman and he was able to get mommy's milk via bottle, when he got home he wasn't having it.  He wouldn't latch on, and on the rare occasions that he did, he was very very frustrated.  I was able to give him strictly breast milk for the first 3 months of his life due to a large amount in the freezer, but I couldn't keep up with pumping with a hand pump and a 2 yr old.  I ate blueberries, almonds, oatmeal to keep my milk supply up and still nothing.  It just stopped and it makes me cry thinking about it.  He now drinks formula, but the thing that bothers me the most is that he doesn't like me to hold him and give it to him.  He would much rather be laying on a pillow with the bottle propped up. He's getting the nutrition he needs, but I still feel like I failed this challenge as a mother.  He is now 7 months old and is exactly the same way, but he now holds his own bottle.


My daughter will to this day pretty much will stop crying as soon as I pick her up.  My son, well, his screaming intensifies.  I can "try" to put him in the cradle position to rock him, but he fights me and I'm not about to force him into that position. I usually just have to hold him outward, walk around, go outside, and wait for him to find his thumb.  I just want to hold him close, cuddle with him, and sing to him so bad, but he acts like I'm torturing him when I try.  And before someone suggests that something is wrong with him, there's nothing, Nada, zilch wrong with him other than a thick skull with a mind of his own.  I wonder where he gets that?? I refuse to admit that he's "Just a crier." I don't believe in that and never will!


Although a lot of people are scared and cautious about co-sleeping all I can say is "to each your own".  It has been one of the most rewarding things that we have done with our children.  Some of the first comments I hear is that "You should be very careful.  You might roll over him." Umm   I'm careful with everything I do with my child and I have never rolled over my husband or dog in the last 5 years of sleeping with them.  I feel like telling people that "You have to be smart about it, Stupid!" Don't sleep next to your child if you've had a bottle of wine or took an Ambien.  Duh???

Baby girl slept with us for most of her first 18 months of life.  A little for her benefit.  A lot for mine.  I was breastfeeding and it was far easier to have her near.  I liked her falling asleep in my arms and we both slept better.  When we knew transition time was nearing, we just took the natural steps.  We got her a big girl bed and started to crowd her out of our bed.  She now goes to bed, in her very own big girl bed, every night at mostly the same time, wide awake, with her calming music and lights strung all around.  She's happy to lay there with all of her babies, and I mean about 13 right now, surrounding her and reads books until she falls asleep. 

Baby boy slept with us for about the first 3 months of his life.  We mostly slept in another room from the hubby since he does get up so early.  Not that baby boys cries would wake him anyways!! When we got into a routine and transferred to the family bed, he slept right next to me, under my arm, next to the guardrail.  I decided one day to put him down in his crib, which is also in our room, and see how he would react.  Wouldn't you know, no whimpers or cries, he just rolled over, put his thumb in his month and took a 3 hr nap.  The next day I tried it with night time sleeping, and wouldn't you know the same thing happened and he slept pretty much all night.  It makes me a little sad.  I do love those times of cuddling at night and knowing that he is safe right beside me, but then I look at how well he sleeps and I can't but acknowledge that he sleeps best when he's in his own crib. 


Chloe is just like her momma!! A social butterfly.  She feels the best when she's with other kids.  She will talk to anyone and loves to giggle and laugh.  She feeds off other peoples energy and can get enjoyment out of going to the store or going to the park as long as there are people or kids around. She smiled at every random stranger in exception to one older gentleman that made me want to back off too.  

Carter is much more reserved.  He does like going outside, but not really anywhere else.  He doesn't like being in the car, although he is getting much better with age.  I don't think he cares either way about being around other kids, but he certainly doesn't show any enjoyment in his face.  When the random stranger walks up and tries to "google" him, he just looks at me like "What's their problem?"

So when I thought I had a good grip on motherhood, I got thrown for a loop.  I know you can hear it a thousand times that your children can be totally opposite than one another, but you don't really get it until you're there.  One thing that I've learned is that everyone is entitled to their own way of raising their children.  Some of it you may agree with and some you may not.  It's best to leave the criticize behind.  Don't state what you think or how parents are doing it all wrong unless you're asked.  And if you are asked, word it very carefullyThere's a bunch of us hormonal, over-tired, aggravated moms that will not stand for it.

Life is ever changing and being a mother is much harder than I thought.