Tears for Cats

While sitting in the car, Dave speaks up out of nowhere: I don't want a cat.
Me: What?
Dave: Cameron loves animals.
Me: Ya, it's so cute when she watches Baby Einstein Noah.
Dave: Ya, but one days she's going to come up to me and say 'Daddy, can I have a kitty' and I'll have to say, 'No, sweetie we can't have a kitty'. Then she's gonna cry and I'm gonna cry and then I'm gonna have to get a damn cat.
Damn cat


Baby Recommendations

This may not apply to many people who read this blog, but I wanted to share some things I learned post having a baby.
You see this picture everywhere of what to bring and what not to bring to the hospital. I think that all the talk is to over-prepare. I wish I didn't. I feel like I wasted so much space in my bags. Here's my short list of what I actually used at the hospital.
1. Nursing Bra. I found some killer nursing bras at Motherhood that felt like sports bras. I lived in them for the first eight weeks. Really.
2. Change of clothes...the looser the better. Especially for the first kid. I hurt so bad that I wished I had brought pjs instead of my good fitting maternity pants. (maternity wasn't necessary either--I was almost back to normal day one after having the baby--but that's not for everyone--don't count on that)
3. Boppy! I never even bought one. I should have, my amazing sister-in-law lent me hers a few weeks after and it made nursing so much easier.
4. My pillow--totally worth it. Labor was miserable for me..I puked a bunch of time and as soon as I had my epidural--sweet sleep finally came and it felt amazing on my familiar friend.
5. Stuff for the husband. I couldn't focus on anything--he enjoyed some movies or whatever.
6. Change of clothes for the baby...All of it. I spaced in on the pants. I had a cute onesie, socks and a hat (which was a little unecessary because my kid had a tonnnn of hair and didn't need one) but no pants. I was already at a good start for motherhood.
7. Makeup--helped me feel a little better about myself, but lets be honest, i just had a baby and no makeup can make you look gorgeous after having a baby.
8.Old woman undies and the biggest pads you can find. I won't even go into detail here.
9.Shampoo and Conditioner-the hospital I went to did not offer more than body wash. Thank the Lord for some good shampoo and conditioner.
10. A huge bag for stuffing stuff. Every time we had our baby in our room, we emptied it's contents for future use. We still have a lot left.
Post hospital--lots of these are common sense, but I didn't take into account how much I would actually need.
1. Tons of burp cloths.  I'm talking Costco size.
2. Newborn daipers. Cameron was a small baby and wore them for the first 2 1/2 months of her life. I'm not joking. Buy at least 400, attach the receipt and you can always take it back if your baby grows too fast.
3. Breastpump. I wish I had just pumped, nursing got to be so old so quickly. I only had a single one and with the next kid I'm totally getting a double so it won't take so long to pump.
4. Wipes also Costco size. That poop is the black death and then it's gooey and gross.
5. Good blankets to wrap the baby up in. I got a ton of blankets for her, but none of them were good for wrapping (delivery blankets or something, at the store they usually come in packs of like 2-3). It would have totally helped for bed time.
6. Full television series. I watched 176 episodes of Psych while I was on maternity leave, for nearly every feeding and for the long nights of just holding her, praying for sleep.
7. All the free samples you can scrounge up. My mom is a master coupon-er and gave me a ton of sites to sign up with (similac.com, gerber.com, enfamil.com, huggies.com, pampers.com, etc.). If you have a loving parent who lives close, use their address too and you can get double! Then if you opt to supplement or formula exclusive, you don't have to get formula for a really long time.

I recommend staying home for a while. I had a blood clot during my pregnancy so I had to go to the hospital to have my blood levels checked the day after we were discharged. The longest drive of my life with serious pain everywhere and the baby crying the whole way.
Don't have visitors if you don't feel like it.
I support co-sleeping--only if you know exactly how things will be. Cameron and I slept on the couch for the first two weeks for skin to skin contact and for her to hear my heartbeat. I'm a side sleeper and I never sleep on my back and if I slid up to the edge of the couch I knew she would be safe.
Find someone to watch and hold the baby sometimes so you can have a while to yourself, a short walk. I had a really hard time and I wish I had asked for more help so I didn't feel so alone and awful.
If all else fails, keep trying. This will change. Each week got better.
Lessons learned. After having Cameron, priorities had to shift. I wish I had done things different so my focus was more on her and not on myself.


Tight Spaces

I work downtown. I am one of the few lucky ones that have free parking underground, which is a huge lifesaver. While the snow and ice are coating cars outside, I feel glad that my car is dry and ice-free.
There is one downside--well two downsides.  Small parking spots and mean people, who park too close. 
Now, neither of these cars is mine, but this is the scenario I encounter 1/3 of the time.  I am usually the car on the right.  It was especially exciting when I was seven months pregnant, how do people expect me to get into my car...just like I did two days ago.  I crawled into my car from the passenger side door. 
It's not like there is a parking shortage, there are loads of spots.  It's pure laziness, "I don't wanna drive down a level and waste my life walking up two flights of stairs"; "I don't wanna repark this, it's good enough."  As I smacked my head on the rear-view mirror, I considered keying their cars.  It's a good thing I'm not completely heartless.


Walmart win

 I hate going to Walmart. I avoid it at all costs. Now, it's so close and out of laziness I often end up pushing my a squeaky cart through those doors--trudging my feet the whole way.  The other day I cam across a magical win: hardcover children's books for $2.97 each. Incredible deal!  They are giant and Cameron loves them. Illustration below. She loves books and we love reading to her. It's not everyday I am proud I went to Walmart.
Look at her enthralled by David's story telling. I love them!


Abduction and Death

I dream in color.
I used to have very powerful dreams that I remembered forever. I can still remember some dreams I had during middle school. Last night I had one of those dreams. It was one of the most terrifying dreams I have ever had in my life.
I'm on a train with my old roommate, Regan, and and old high school friend named DJ.  I'm going to some big party or something in Washington with Regan. Our train is packed with tourists and a big college football game is playing loudly on some of the tvs that are mounted above some of the plush seats.
Our "captain" for the train opts to take a scenic route instead of the direct route for the tourists to have more picture opportunities without stopping the trains that are driving straight through.  Regan and I are not tourists and are doing our own thing, listening to music, playing on laptops and reading. 
"Breaking news" in a red lower banner on the screen catches our attention. We shift our view and we see a picture of a local mountain with thick purple smoke lifting into the sky.  The banner reads, "Local Ute Magician is at it again". I didn't get it and Regan explained that there was a crazy old Ute Indian Magician, who was upset at the government. He'd been threatening to take violent action if the government didn't solve their problems and give more money to Native Americans. 
She didn't seem worried and I didn't believe in any of that stuff so we continued what we were doing, but Regan kept a cautious eye, checking the window every once in a while. I looked up from my book when I heard her scream.
Her face was pushed up against the window and I caught a glance of what looked like a missile covered in fire, racing down the train track line we had just pulled off for the scenic view.
It ripped up the ties and metal binding with such power and force.  Regan is freaking out more about her family staying in Seattle. She seemed so sure that they were doomed from this missile...even though it was heading south.  The train was already stopped and there were rumors that the engine was broken.
We attempted to get off the train but were stopped by the captain, who thought it would be safer to stay where we were at.
It didn't take long for a local Indian tribe supporting the magician took over our train; and each train prisoner was paired with an Indian who took great pains to point out all the specific spiritual rituals of the tribe. If any of the prisoners couldn't do it correctly, they were killed on the spot--a tomahawk to the skull or knife to the throat. I was very bad at these spiritual rituals, but my "master" was kind.  They had these intricate sideways totem poles that panned the sides of the mountain we were climbing. The poles had a specific way you had to climb, some symbols you climbed over and others you climbed under. I climbed over one and looked at my guide.  He cringed and looked around. When he saw no one was watching, he turned the animalistic creature around to face me as I went over it.
I ran into my old friend from high school, DJ, at camp. He was laughing and acting the male ego part out as he said that the Indians were crazy--they had just paired him in a duel with the captain of the train. I couldn't understand why he wasn't freaking out.
The remainder of the prisoners were escorted to a circular rink, where the captain was acting the bravado as well, pumping his muscles while DJ walked up, raising his scrawny arms.  I knew it would be to the death. 
These people were looking for reasons to kill all of us. I was terrified to think how I would die. I knew I would sooner or later.


My awesome breakfast

I dread today, so I won't mention it's significance in order to keep as many of you ignorant as possible. I wanted to make breakfast. A delicious breakfast with cinnamon rolls, eggs, bacon and hashbrowns. As I pulled the "hashbrowns" out, I realized I made a huge error and grabbed the wrong potato product--fries. That's right we had a magical breakfast with everything that you could want on your breakfast table...and french fries.
Apparently shopping with Cameron can stress my brain into grabbing the first thing I see that might be what I want.


Orange Waves

Double lanes of the corridor intersecting 7800 South
At 8:20 a.m. I roll out of bed, throw on shoes, shove my arms into a jacket (hoping they will actually make it into the arm holes) and drive to pick up my niece.
My niece recently moved to Utah. She moved without a car or a job. It's pretty lucky that she has an awesome aunt like me to pick her up and drive her around.
Everyday I drive the same road to pick her up, 7800 S. in West Jordan. On this road is a great deal of construction. It is the meeting point for two lanes for the infamous Mountain View Corridor and not far away they are continuing to work on 5600 West. In short, this road can have up to six people slowing and stopping traffic.
It's very close to a perfect storm for me featuring both construction and morning traffic.  Lucky for Melissa and I there is one man who makes us smile and laugh every morning.
You can count on him holding the first stop sign going East. He's dressed in your typical construction worker garb: tan construction boots, heavy jeans, sweater/coat, bright hunting orange vest and typically a red hard-hat.  Whether he's stopping traffic for heavy utility dump trucks to drive by or slowing traffic with the orange sign, he always offers a big wave and a smile to every car.  You can see his fingers waggling enthusiastically, even through his thick gloves and he always offers a big smile, proudly showing drivers is gummy smile featuring only two or three teeth.  I love this man for his enthusiasm his happiness, despite working construction and early in the morning. I could definitely learn a thing or two from him.


Refurnish and Chalking

Since Cameron's birth, I have been itching to find something I can do and be proud of. I used to really pride myself in fitness and running. Since her birth, my priorities changed greatly. I would rather spend my days with her than leaving her somewhere while I selfishly work out or whatever. Some people can do it and more power to them.
Anyways, I needed to find something to make me feel good about myself. Then through one of the blogs I follow, I stumbled across "All Things Thrifty". She refurnishes furniture and up-cycles pieces with spray paint and glaze. I LOVE that look. Once you look at her blog, you will read it from start to finish because of how fantastic her projects are.
So I bought a pretty sweet coffee table off my local "classifieds" (a.k.a. KSL.com). I wish I took a picture before (Sorry, I  was far too excited to pause for a picture--plus it was ugly). I only paid $10.  
I did a combination of all the refurnishing ideas I've read. Mostly out of laziness and ease of finding items. If I couldn't find someone to ask where something was, I just got the best thing I could find...it's the way I roll in everything I do....

Don't mind the mess and awful lighting....it's still in the basement.

The legs are the best part of this table! I love that look!
See all the glorious chalky-ness.
Quick sum-up. Sanded the big parts, primed it (took two cans, but the spray stuck to the glossy parts better than the paint would),  used a liquid paint I had around the house. The best part is the darker blue on the details.

I am proud of the detail element. I originally tried glazing it. The "antique" look made my coffee table look dirty. I wanted to highlight the details not make them brown/black. It turned out so pretty. I used children's sidewalk chalk. Now that's the look I wanted! Fixative spray helped stick it to the paint on the table (it's what artists use to preserve charcoal drawings). Then two coats of sealer to hold it all together. The spray kind wasn't very smooth though. I definitely recommend a liquid sealer.
For my first effort, it worked out pretty awesome! I am really proud of this piece. I can't wait to put in our house...when we get it...later this month!