Tag Archives: Babysitting

The Party

7 Mar

Last Sunday we went to an old friend’s wedding kick-off event. It was a small group of really cool people our age, hosted by a really cool group of adults our parents’ age that all live in Ansley Park. We hired a babysitter for the night, a very sweet girl who lives literally across the street from us. This was the second time Walter has had a paid babysitter (besides preschool), and I have to say, it makes me feel like a grown up. Even though I haven’t babysat since Walter was born, it is an weird feeling to pay someone to do what you used to do for money.

Being around lots of other happy couples (mostly other couples had been invited) made me terribly glad that David has loved me so long. 6 1/2 years so far. It is incredibly powerful to know that someone has chosen to love you through thick and thin, no matter what, and then live up to that challenge. He’s from the hill people of Scotland. He sticks around and puts up a fight.

My only other relationship that has lasted longer than with my husband — besides with my parents and siblings and a few school friends — is with my cell phone number. I’m pretty sure I could make a legal case if someone tried to take that number from me. You’ve been able to reach me at that number since I was 16 — when I got my first cell phone. Man was that thing a giant, and all it did was call and text. I miss that.

For a while we had a second phone line growing up. It ran into the guest bedroom and was somewhat my dad’s number, but we all used it. One night as we were eating dinner, we let the machine pick up, and we heard “Hello, hello, are you there?” in what we thought was my late grandmother’s voice. Caller ID: unknown number.

I was chatting with a new friend at the party, and he was talking about how he had known his girlfriend since they were ten, but they just recently started dating. But the best part for him was that since they had known each other for so long, they didn’t have to get past the “representative”. He said something like, “That’s the worst part of dating. For the first couple months you meet someone’s representative, and then you finally get to know them.” And while I instantaneously thought that was true, I also realized that I think that’s what I’ve been doing for myself lately. Getting rid of my own representative. It’s as if a filter is shedding, and I am becoming free.

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Polaroids rock. So does this group of awesomeness. These guys have been friends since they were Walter’s age. And they have great arm candy now too.

And speaking of people that are awesome, have I mentioned lately how much I love Walter? Every day is an brand new experience of love like I never thought it could be. He’s absolutely my favorite person in all the world.

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Date Night

31 Mar

Oh boy did I need a date night on Saturday night. Not only did I need some quality time with my husband, but I needed a Walter break. All grandparents were in Florida this past month so the only time I wasn’t on Walter-alert was when we went to my friend’s memorial service. Not so much enjoyment there. And this might be harsh, but this past week Walter flat out got on my nerves. He isn’t speaking English words yet (though David swears he’s moved on from Chinese to Korean), so when he isn’t babbling he communicates by noises and whining. Yes: loud, screeching, whining. Music to my ears. I would have exchanged large amounts of money for extra patience if I could have.

Earlier in the week, when I got the green light for babysitting night, I went on a planning mission. Ever since I finished Zealot by Reza Aslan I’ve wanted to see the IMAX movie at Fernbank Jerusalem. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen pictures of the city even though of course I’ve heard about it my whole life. It has an amazing – albeit tense – history, and although the seats in the front of the theater are neck breaking, it was beautiful. I loved it. I felt like I wanted to travel there and move there and like I never needed to go there because I just was there all at the same time.

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After the movie I made reservations at South City Kitchen Midtown. Dave had been there for a work lunch and had said it was delicious but we could never afford it. Luckily I had gotten a gift certificate to the Fifth Group Restaurants from a good friend for taking some family photos. So of course I chose to go to there for our date night!

YUM.

It is southern food the way it was always meant to be cooked by your really exotically rich distant cousin on your mother’s great aunt’s side of the family.

Fried green tomatoes, a fancy salad with raspberry vinaigrette, shrimp and grits, fried chicken, and a bottle of red. My only regret was not being able to order the banana pudding or pecan pie, but Lent is Lent, and Dave and I opted to be good for once.

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One of the best parts of the night was that we managed to not talk about Walter or the house (we’re putting our house on the market this coming week and have been crazy getting it ready) pretty much the entire night. It was great to be able to enjoy each other for who we are rather than for what we share together. It’s easy to experience that when you’re dating and getting to know one another, but once you’re married with a mortgage and a kid, it can be hard to venture away from those subjects. They’re all-consuming, and for good reason. I like talking about those types of things with the person I’ve chosen to spend my life with. But for date night? That one special night for just the two of you that you only get every once in a while? It’s got to be different.

When we got to the restaurant it was packed (thank goodness for my planning ahead!). The only table we saw available on the ground floor was a two top in a most undesirable place. By the bar, in the path of the waiters, basically in the bumping zone, and we were sure that we were going to be seated there. As the hostess led us past that table, I looked back at Dave with a “oh whew” look. We were placed upstairs at this cute table that overlooked Crescent Ave. Across the street is the club Opera, and it happened to be prom night (with security guards and everything, frisking those terrible teenagers before they entered their house of fun). We absolutely people-watched, enjoying the limos driving up and dumping out hoards of teens ready for a night of dancing. Prom dresses sure have changed! They are all very flashy nowadays. It brought on a lot of introspection about our younger years and also imagining Walter at that age. And how much older we’ll be when he’s on his way to prom!

Of course we got home by 9pm like good little 30-somethings and watched a little HGTV before bed. It was a perfect night!

Food Food Food

14 Mar

Whole Foods is the heaven of grocery stores. Literally all the good little fruits and vegetables go there when they die. I hate it there because everything looks so delicious and wonderful that I just want to buy it all. Things I don’t even like or wouldn’t know what type of dish to put it in, I want to buy them so I can have that much more beautiful food in my house. The employees there seem to have college degrees and are friendly and happy, which is the complete opposite of my neighborhood Kroger. There is a wine and cheese section. Only my two favorite foods. The only thing I despise are the posh prices.  Which is why I can only step foot inside those doors (flanked with beautiful flowers no less) on special occasions.

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I can’t tell if I like it better than the Farmer’s Market. They both have delicious food. The Farmer’s Market is cheaper but Whole Foods is just prettier, and I do like beautiful things.

The little boy, as it turns out, likes kale! I think it has less of a strong flavor as a puree than it does as whole leaves. Though illogical, it could be true.

I’m not sure the food muses have entirely forsaken me, but a couple of meals have turned out less than stellar lately. They must not have liked my bragging, though I could swear I tried to sound more grateful than narcissistic. I attempted an easy spicy creamed corn dish involving cream cheese and I blame my wanting to go the easy route (it was pretty disgusting). I should always remember that the easy route isn’t always the best route, especially in the kitchen. And then I attempted veal cutlets a couple nights ago, which were actually fine except I wanted them to taste like my mother used to make them when I was little and when I asked her what she did she said she used flour to coat them, but when I told her they didn’t taste the same at all she said she must have meant bread crumbs.

Tonight we’re going to Piedmont Driving Club Park Room for dinner and out to the Atlanta Symphony with Dave’s parents. I haven’t had sushi since before I was pregnant, and they have some of the best sushi in all of Atlanta, so I’m looking forward to the night out, thanks to my mother last-minute babysitting for us. I really like having so many wonderful grandparents in town with us. They must like having us here too!

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Bring on the Beethoven!

Mama meets cloth diapering

4 Jan

I definitely am not an “all-natural” obsessed mother (although I will promote natural birth any chance I can get), but the longer I am a mother the more interested I am in being “natural.” Actually, when I met Dave, I was influenced by my hippie friends to stop shaving my legs. I’m glad he wasn’t thrown by that (it was fall/winter after all) until I decided that I didn’t like hairy legs. I also had purple streaks in my hair at the time, which is definitely unnatural, but it did cause my future father-in-law to ask if I had Muppets in my lineage.

I have taken care of children more years of my life than not. I never even thought about cloth diapers until a few years ago when my babysitting family (so dear to me; the oldest girls were the flower girls at my wedding) introduced me to cloth diapers. They did not gross me out, but it did take a while before I understood the value of cloth diapering. Cheaper, reusable, better for the environment, and supposedly better for the baby. The pro-cloth websites advocate their product claiming that babies will have fewer diaper rashes because paper diapers have so many chemicals in them. This does and doesn’t make sense to me. On one hand, papers diapers keep the wet away from baby’s bottom. On the other, they do have lots of chemicals to keep them that way.

Well, despite the thousands of people online (and the ones I know in person) who love love love their diapers, my baby apparently is the one baby who just can’t wear them. He did really well at first, but his little thighs just weren’t big enough yet even for the smallest size I had, so we waited a few weeks. Man was I excited to use cloth. I felt like I was participating in this wonderful community who wanted to help both baby and environment be a better place. So when we started using cloth again and he would get the beginning of a rash within one diaper, I was surprised. But not dissuaded. I began to look into the possible causes of this tragedy.

It could have been the terrible detergent I was using. In the past I have liked the butcher detergents like Tide with Bleach and Oxy Clean. Baking soda seems a little more natural than bleach (although I think bleach has its place disinfecting my bathroom). I knew you had to use better detergents on cloth diapers, so I got the dye free/fragrance free kind for little boy’s clothes. Apparently, though, this isn’t good enough. Your washer holds on to buildup from all your detergents. So, I looked into the best detergent to get. Charlie’s Soap. All natural. I thought I would hate it since we’d have to use it on everything that went into our wash for it to work best. Turns out having your stuff smell clean and be clean without killing the environment isn’t really a bad thing. And it’s not more expensive than the top brands at your local grocery store.

I also found out that the cloth diapers I had bought were 100% polyester instead of 100% cotton. That can’t be good for baby’s bottom. So I’m getting cotton liners to see if this will help.

I will conquer this. He will wear cloth diapers. Disposables will not prevail!!!

At least I can feel good meanwhile that we use cloth wipes instead of the wet ones. Just a little bit of homemade wipe spray (a spray bottle, water, soap & oil is all you need) and I think it cleans him up a lot better!

We also use Burt’s Bees All Natural stuff for baby wash and diaper cream. And Earth Mama’s Baby Bottom Balm (miracle stuff that can be used all over baby). And when we get into solid food, you can bet I’ll be making his food from scratch. This baby gets better quality stuff than I do! I know this is probably the downfall of modern parenting, that your baby should always have and get what you didn’t or don’t, but I’ll fall into that trap. He’s just so darn adorable, how can I not?