Little Lady, Big Guy and Me

The daily adventures of MeMom (a part time SAHM) Big Guy (MBA student at University of Michigan) and Little Lady (adorable 13 month old).

Friday, November 11, 2005

Let's go to the movies, Let's go to the show... Posted by Picasa

What do you mean no more Gymboree? Posted by Picasa
The Mommy and Me Movie...

Yesterday the LL and I went to a mommy and me movie. It was our first time. Never have I been to a movie where it seemed to me that I had been working out before, but there is a first time for everything I guess.

The mommy and me movie sounds like a great idea, and it really wasn't that bad. The movie itself, The legend of Zorro, was bad but the overall concept of having the LL at the movie theater was nice. LL was on my lap for a total of 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the entire movie. The other 2 hours we spent climbing the steps and climbing on me. It wasn't that bad, it was nice to be in a theater again, it was nice to have some popcorn but I was exhausted and on sensory overload when I left. The loud movie, the other children, LL all over the place, it was a bit much.

Next week's movie is "Prime" with Uma Thermond. I think I'll wait until it is a more child friendly movie to go again. Not because I am worried about exposing the LL to sex or "adult language", but simply because I would like to pay attention to the movie if it seems like something I would like. Zorro was no loss, I knew going in that I wouldn't care too much about it and didn't mind chasing the LL all over the place while it was going on. I spent a lot of time wishing she was like most of the babies in the theater; asleep in her carrier. I was kicking myself for not attending these movies last year, but then again, that would have meant that I would have had to leave the house and I didn't do much of that last year either.

If I have to keep reminding myself that it "wasn't that bad" then it probably wasn't that good either.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What to do in a restaurant when the Little Lady decides her time is up...

After reading this article ( ) in the NYT today, I have to say that I am totally torn with what to do about LL's habits in public.

It is a bone of contention between Big Guy and I as well. Somewhere around 10 months old LL decided that restaurants, especially at the dinner hour, were not for her. She refused to be in a high chair for more than 10 minutes, and would loudly let the entire returned know that the situation was unacceptable. The last time we took LL to a resturant happened to be our last night in Seattle this summer. BG's wealthy Aunt and Uncle (Childless and in their 50s) invited us to a very nice restaurant in West Seattle that has a wonderful view and a very pricey menu. LL threw a total fit. We had to take turns eating while the other person would have to walk LL outside to let her touch the trees and point at things. If we tried to put her in her high chair she would buck and twist like a little bronco at the rodeo while making ungodly wails not heard in the Seattle area since Grunge was still kicking. This made me pretty uncomfortable and made the Big Guy simply want to hide. Big Guy promptly put a ban on taking LL to resturants. I argued that a ban on LL also meant a ban for us since because we have very little income we also have very little money for babysitters. BG didn't care, he was absolutely not going to be sumitted to stares from other patrons, let alone thier gasps and evil eyebrow scrunching.

Now I hate looking like a bad parent, and I can't stand it when other people let their kids run amok, lay on floors, and generally be pains in the asses for other people enjoying the public place; but where do I draw the line? I want my kids to have good manners, but I don't want someone telling me where the line is for their manners to be "good" or "acceptable". Do I take my kid outside if she is wailing? Yes, I do but if other people are ok with their kids causing a commotion, who am I to tell them that they have to get them under control or leave?

Recently we have started to take the Little Lady out to breakfast and an occasional lunch. Her Noni and Poppi just took her to McDonald the other day and proclaimed her an "angel". (Of course their definition of that is a little loose as far as the LL goes) I took her to breakfast the other day with the Nana, Grandpa and another couple, and she was wonderful (of course I had the Nana with me who always goes above and beyond to entertain LL. At one point the Nana was singing ittsy bittsy spider very quietly and LL was dancing in her highchair).

A part of me says that the parents who are freaking out over the notes on the menus that say children should use inside voices, are over reacting. Chill out folks, don't go to that establishment if it bugs you. On the other hand, I don't like having a returned owner (Who sells the equivalent of childhood-crack: sweets) telling me how my kid should act and then describing the parents who are upset with him as "former cheerleaders and beauty queens" who "have a very strong sense of entitlement". If I lived in that neighborhood, I just wouldn't go to that cafe. Why does it have to be any bigger of an issue than that?

As for LL, I think she will be taken to the suburban joints like Chili's and Outback to be tested on her manners before I take her to four star establishments. It may be shocking to some restaurant owners, but I was not a cheerleader or a beauty queen, and I do expect my child to have manners. That being said, I will not come to your establishment if you proclaim that you have more of a say in how I get my child to behave than I do.
Little Lady's Closet...

So the LL has a lot of clothes. And by a lot of clothes I mean, more than a closet full. I have somehow found myself lately in the world of the Gymboree Mommies. The Gymboree Mommies exist on the yahoo groups with such names as "Gymboree for you and me" and "Our Gymbo World" and many others. They are also on Ebay en force. It is an interesting phenomeon that I have found myself getting sucked into. I can see where one would could get quite addicted, and in fact, there are Gymboree Yahoo Groups for the addicted and "recovering" as well.
There is no way that Big Guy and I would be able to afford these clothes for LL. I had no plans for LL to have baby clothes that were from anywhere but resale places until BG's mother, Noni, introduced me to the joys of Ebay baby clothes shopping. Now there is nothing that I like more than a deal,l and the only thing I like better than a deal is shopping itself. So when I found that I could not only shop for baby clothes on ebay, I could also SELL LL's outgrown clothes to fund my purchases, I was elated.

Gymboree's marketing is very good, I have to admit, and it is quality clothing. I have had many a stain that I never thought would come out totally erased from Gymboree clothes, unlike cheap outfits from other places. As a mother who was feeling less than beautiful after I gained 70 lbs and only birthed out a total of 20, I can tell you that when my kid looked good, I felt like I looked better. Being that I don't have the money for a tummy tuck while I have a planned C-section (a-la-Brittney Spears), I remained pudgy for a total of one year. Dressing the LL up while I was still wearing my sweats and hadn't washed my hair in 3 days made me feel a little less disgusting.

Gymboree produces children's clothes in "Lines". For example, the line that the LL has the most of is the "City Sidewalk" line. It is black and hot pink and generally adorable. The LL has 3 velour pant suits, 3 turtle necks, one pair of wool pants, 2 shirts, three sweaters, and two other pair of pants from this line. Gymboree also puts out matching shoes, hair accessories, and purses that go with each line. To buy the entire line when it first comes out, I would estimate, would cost over five hundred dollars. Like the Gap, Gymboree has a pretty high turn over for new lines and then discounts what they have left over. This has created another market for their clothing. There is a thriving business plan where Stay At Home Moms (SAHMs) gobble up all the discounted Gymboree and save it until the following year when that season rolls around again. They then place the items on Ebay, listing them as NWT (New With Tags), and charging high shipping. This is also true of many of the message boards for Gymboree that I have "lurked" on. While some mothers are just trying to turn around what their kids wore last year in order to buy more used clothes this year, others have viable at home businesses and are charging a premium for VHTF (Very Hard To Find) items.

So how did I get sucked in you say? Well when you are a part time SAHM, and you can't stand to buy clothes that are a size bigger than normal for yourself, and you like to shop like I do, you find yourself trying to find that last onsie or pair of pants to complete your LL's line. For now, I have sworn off my habit, and now that my PayPal money from selling LL's winter clothes from last year is gone, it wasn't that hard to quit. I am sure when I go to clean LL's closets before we move this spring I will get sucked in again, but for now, her hangers are full, and there is no room for more.

Little Lady is the Carrie Bradshaw of the baby world... Posted by Picasa

Little Lady and Big Guy Laughing Posted by Picasa

Little Lady Hearts Posted by Picasa
What she is Learning....

So last night I am giving Little Lady a bath. She kept wanting to touch my eye, poke it really. So I ask her, "Where is your eye?" and she pokes her own eye. So we go down the list, eyes, ears, head, nose, hair, mouth and then she astounds me by learning where her teeth are in about 30 seconds. How did this happen? We worked on "Where is your nose?" for months and went though a period of time where she wanted to touch everyone (EVERYONE) she met on the nose. It freaked me out a little because I know Big Guy and I need to start censoring ourselves.

Big Guy and I still don't think twice if LL sees us naked. What is the cut off line for that? Seriously, I don't want to scar the LL but I also don't want to teach her that being naked is something that is wrong or bad. I remember seeing the Nana naked when I was about 12. My biggest thought (that I remember of couse) was "Are my boobs going to look like THAT?" So I am guessing (Since I am not too scared by that experience) that LL can see me naked until she has the gumption to run away. But what about Big Guy? BG sleeps in the buff, and has since (well to his admission anyway) he was in high school. He gets out of bed that way and brushes his teeth that way. That is about the time that LL busts in on him in the bathroom every morning. I am beginning to wonder if that is inappropriate. Although, how else is she going to learn that Big Guy has different parts than she does? And if she is that "in to" knowing her own body parts why shouldn't she know all of them?

A friend of mine told me that she was telling her son the proper name for his Penis by the tender age of 3 months. When I said that I didn't know what I would tell LL because I hate the word Vagina, the statement was met with a sharp inhale of breath. "You HAVE to tell her the proper names of things!" she nearly yelled at me. "You'll scar her, and make her ashamed of herself!". I didn't know that much was riding on me telling LL she had a vagina and not a lulu or a gigi or some other nonsense. I am not ashamed of my own "girl parts" I just don't like the chosen name for said part.

As of now, I am avoiding the whole thing. I am sure some day LL will ask me but as of now her list of parts stops at Belly Button and doesn't do any further down the line. And as for Big Guy and his buff little behind, I'll let him decide. I am sure there are a million ways that we could screw Little Lady up, and if someday she is afraid to use the words penis and vagina, I'll chalk that one up to my Midwestern upbringing, laugh, and blame the Nana.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Today is the First Day....

Little Lady, Big Guy, and Me

So today I decided that after 13.4 months of knowing the little lady in mine and Big Guy's life, our daughter deserves a written record of what was going on around her before she could remember. The first year she was here, I barely could function, let alone record my thoughts. There were too many diapers to change, too many things to clean and wash, too many worries going on in my head to think about how to record her life for her. At the time of her birth, Big Guy was in his first weeks of his MBA program at the University of Michigan. We barely saw each other and I was a mess. When Little Lady was born, on September 16th, we we thankful it was a Thursday and Big Guy didn't have classes on Friday.

So a year went by with me at home, little lady growing at an alarming rate, and Big Guy at school almost all the time. We functioned, but barely. The summer was a wonderful relief. The three of us spent a glorious 12 weeks in the Emerald City, Seattle for those of you who have never been there. Seattle, to me, is hands down the most beautiful city in the world. No where I have I even experienced the fusion of nature and city come together so beautiful and so seamlessly. Seattle, in just a few weeks, proved itself to me. Seattle feels like home.

Now back at school, I am working part time at the Business School Paper (The Monroe Stree Journal ). I can't belief how much more this year I feel like a real person. I applaud all the women and men who are stay-at-home parents. It is the most difficult gig out there. I am not up to the task, and it is nothing that I can say without guilt. But on the other hand, I am much happier working part time so I try and get over my guilt by thinking that because I am happier, Little Lady must be too.

So, Little Lady, if you are reading this somewhere down the line (I suppose that means that we found some way to save the data for you that is beyond me at this moment), know these things...

1) Big Guy and I love you and we have spent the last year in awe of you.
2) Everything Big Guy and I do is (and I am trying not to sound like a crappy Bryan Adams song) for you and your future.
3) We hope you like the outdoors because Seattle is going to be your home. Big Guy and I had to choose between a life in Chicago where your Dad would be gone 4-5days a week, a life in Suburban California where conformity reins, and a life in Seattle where the rain isn't as bad as you have heard (or so we hear...). Anyway, we chose this city with you in mind. Sorry we are taking you so far away from the Nonni, Poppi, Nana and Grandpa but we think it is for the best (and the less they see you the more and better presents they will send you anyway, right?).
4) Big Guy and I are bound to screw you up a bit. That is what parents do. Your Nana and Grandpa did a pretty good job not screwing me up too much so I will try and do my best to make the days on your therapist's couch short. But just know that no one, even Big Guy, is perfect but we try our best.