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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Adventures at Costco

Today I spent $160 at Costco, which is some kind of world's record for me, considering I generally don't like the place. How un-American of me! To admit, out loud and in print, that I don't like the giant bulk-sized quantites and shoppers, mini-van & SUVs in the parking lot, loud people on cellphones waiting on long lines to show their IDs as if it were an exclusive club, then waiting longer inside like pigs at the feed trough to get samples of whatever wares the store is pushing, and then again as you get to the checkout where they don't even have bags (!) but shove your merchandise into, say, boxes that margarine came in. You then wait in another line for someeone to highlight your receipt and pretend to scan the contents of your cart "for your protection". For this privledge, you pay $65 a year.

Why do I go, and why pay $65 a year? Secretly, I don't pay, my mother does. Or, since we have a joint business membership from when I almost started a business back in 1999, the "CFO of my company does". Oh, and that is another thing-my mom to this day gets junk mail at my home address, sent through Costco. They are not upfront about this, but they sell members' info to AmEx and other businesses. She constantly gets insurance offers, etc., the kind of things a real CFO might be interested in, despite all of my attempts to remove her name from any list. (BTW, she has never lived here and never gotten any legit mail here.)

Anyway, back to shopping. I go twice a year. I go around April to buy contact lenses (although lately, I've stopped, and I pay twice as much to directly buy them from my optometrist, whom I adore). and I go in December to pick up some holiday items. I usually buy the boxes of Belgian chocolates to give as gifts for those people you're never sure what to get, and I buy the boxes with liquor filled chocolate bottles in them, for me. :) This year, they were out of both things, but I did manage to find $160 worth of other things. One large $100 item was a nameless gift for a certain person who may or may not read this blog so it shall remain a mystery. The rest? Oxiclean, La Brea Bakery bread, ravioli, 3-pack of organic milk and some photo prints.

Oh, and I think I almost got shot in the parking lot. SUVs were circling like vultures, waiting for my spot, and I chose that moment to have the audacity to strap my child into her car seat and give her some bites of pizza to eat, which did take an extra 60 seconds out of someone else's busy day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And while we are on the subject...

Here's what I wish the common etiquette for invites to families with children was:

"We'd love to see you for dinner on Wednesday the 8th and we're giving you as much notice now as possible so that you can line up a sitter" *

or

"We would love for you, Ryan and Lauren to join us..."

otherwise, we are always guessing if she is welcome or not, and have to assume not, and trying to find out by dropping little hints about it, saying "we'll check if our sitter is available then" so that we can see if you then say "oh, of course bring her if you want" or not.

We don't want to be one of those families that just assumes their kid is invited when maybe not.

And by the way, for those not in the know, sitters around here are $15 an hour these days! So if you invite us for something like a wedding, naturally we'll be there, kid or no kid. And probably kid at grandma's anyway, we get a lot of lead time on weddings to set that up. If it's dinner nearby, sure, once in awhile we like to get out and leave Lauren home and grandpa is happy to read her books for a hour or two. But for a trip to the valley with drinks & dinner and travel time, this could easily cost us $60 and up for the sitter alone.

Musings on Friendships

This is going to be a long middle of the night post since I can't sleep. The rain is pouring outside and I'm downstairs checking email in the middle of the night & reading friends' blogs and wishing I had something more exciting to write about. It's the season when X-mas cards are pouring in and slowly making their way out of my house. We are sending 70 of them this year, down from 85 last year. I trimmed the list because there are some people I haven't heard from in awhile and some whose addresses I don't have. If we get a card from them in the next few days, then we'll write back. No newsletter this year, we had a quiet year of good fun but in small nice ways, nothing spectacular to announce. No new baby, new dog, new condo, new job. Same as ever but not interesting to write home about.

Anyway, sadly of these 70 people, a whole bunch are out of town and even of the semi-local ones, some friends have moved to the 'burbs or otherwise deserted LA. This year we got invited to exactly 3 holiday parties, and one was my office one, and one hasn't happened yet. (Thank you, R & V, we had a great time!) It's been fun reading about other people's adventures on their blogs and in their holiday cards, but I feel left out that I'm not having more of a social life.

I guess at this point in my life and family status and whatnot, I'm lucky to have some good friends I can call at the last minute and just have dinner with (thanks, H & B!) and it's nice to see my parents as much as I have, but I do miss parties and get-togethers and it's especially hard to hear about them on the outside looking in. Maybe I need new friends with similar geography & family demographics. In other words, people who will invite us over with Lauren and we won't have to drive for an hour to get there. It's really hard to make new friends though, and I wish I could just adapt my old ones and say "have kids or just get used to ours! Don't forget about me, I still exist! I'm not going to stay awake until 2 a.m. doing shots with you* but I do still have a phone! Call me!"

*This makes it seem like I used to have this wild partying lifestyle which is a bit misleading. (Yeah, me and Paris and Lindsay out clubbing!) But at least I did get out! And go to bed later than 11:00 p.m.! And talk about adult things with adults!...Ah, the days!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Baby, penguin, cookies! (or "What Lauren Wants for Christmas"

What Lauren wants for Christmas: babydoll, penguins, cookies.

What Lauren is getting for Christmas: penguins of various shapes & sizes from practically everyone she's ever met.

A doll from me, which she has seen before and was there when I bought. We explained that the doll will live in the closet until Christmas morning.

A plasma car, in yellow. She played on one at the toystore and liked it, plus I read that adults up to 220 pounds can even play on it. You'll all be fighting for a turn.

Elmo slippers, which have to be exchanged for a bigger size ecause they were purchased when she was a size 6 shoe, and she is now a 7 or 7.5W depending on the shoe. Yikes!

Stocking stuffers:
Boo-Buny Ice Pack, which she really could have used today when she fell on the pavement and got a giant goose-egg on her forehead!
Cat beany baby, (the closest she'll come to a real cat since Ryan's very allergic)
New toothbrush. She loves to brush her teeth but has been gnawing at the old one
Freeze dried strawberries. She eats these things like candy and since she doesn't know what candy is yet...


Well, that's what she's gotten so far. She told Santa at first that she wanted "baby, penguins", but the second time she saw him, she added in "cookies". Not sure if she wants them, or if she was reminding him that she paid attention when he told her to leave out a plate of cookies. Either way, she'll get some Christmas cookies, too!

I have to say, she's been easier on us this Christmas than I was on my parents at her age when I asked for brown skin!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

20 month Lauren update

Lauren's giggling her way through life and making lots of jokes along the way. Yesterday she came up with a new one: "Nonnon? Yes yes!" and she still has great comic timing, calling Jake "Newman" and shaking her finger at him when he's naughty.

She's got a big giant stye in her eye, which worries us more than it does her. We have been to the pediatrician 3 times about it, and my optometrist once, and finally convinced her ped. to give us a referral to an ophthalmologist. We got the first available appointment, which is not until the end of the month. Meanwhile, she is stuck with this red, swollen eyelid. Oh, and I didn't mention, it's not a stye, our optometrist told us that styes go away in about 2 weeks, this is something else.

Anyway, that aside, Lauren's been pretty healthy this month. Which I hesitate to type because it will jinx her good health for December!

She likes to go around the house naming the person who owns various objects. "Mommy's!", she'll triumphantly exclaim. Sometimes, though, she'll insist something is Papa's, even if it's not. Any suitcase she sees must belong to her grandfather, and she will correct you if you say otherwise.

Our friend Barbara just had a baby (congrats on Baby Thomas!) and Lauren went to the hospital with me to visit them. Thomas's big sister Sophia is Lauren's little buddy. Ever since the visit, Lauren will pat my stomach and say "baby? please? baby?". Not going to happen for a few years!

Lauren at Clippers game

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