Monday, July 26, 2010

Tips for a Hassle-Free Car Purchase

1) Be sure to take your two children under the age of two with you to the dealership.

2) Ignore concerned looks of employees and salesmen when you walk in the front doors.

3) Be sure to give your two year old toys that she can throw at the glossy, shiny new cars located inside the dealership. Ignore the fact that most of these toys have plastic edges that don't coexist well with shiny, new auto paint jobs.

4) Be sure (dads, I'm looking at you) to give your two year old a guided tour of the same shiny, new cars while completely ignoring the fact that said two year old's fingers are perpetually sticky. Not to mention the fact that she likes to touch EVERYTHING.

5) To keep said toddler busy during the inevitably long negotiations and needless wait times, be sure to show her the columns upon columns of balloons the dealership has so sweetly provided for her entertainment.

6) Try not to wince every time said toddler yells "Alllooons" at the top of her lungs.

7) Try not to wince every time said toddler pops a balloon-- and then cries because the noise scared her.

8) During negotiations-- and especially while reviewing long, convoluted lists of financing and amortization terms-- make sure your toddler and baby are both crying. This makes concentrating so much easier.

9) To further distract said toddler during negotiations, let toddler play "soccer" with balloons she finds on the floor-- even if her game tends to run through the middle of other people trying to look at or purchase vehicles.

10) Finally, be sure to show your toddler the water cooler that is conveniently just her height. She'll gladly pretend she's playing in the bath tub for 20 minutes while splashing water all over the marble-tiled showroom floor.

Follow these easy tips and I guarantee that car salesmen will rush to ensure that your negotiations run smoothly and you are out of there in no time flat. I think the car salesmen we met last night would have given us a new car to make us leave.

On a happy note, we are the proud, owners of a new Camry. Whoo hoo!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Check me out

My Baked Southwestern Corn Dip recipe was featured on Tipnut as one of "24 Delicious Dip Recipes." So cool! Seriously, I've never even heard of Tipnut before, and I have no idea how they even found my little, bitty blog. But, hey, I'll take the link any day!

I'm off to get ready for another telephonic job interview. I guess my screaming banshees didn't completely ruin my first interview. Keep your fingers crossed that everyone manages to nap through this interview.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The lunatic is in my head**

I am just having one of those weeks. You know-- the kind where nothing goes right. And I mean absolutely nothing. I have woken up feeling like I have cotton in my temples every morning. Worst of all, I had a headache that was so bad yesterday that I ended up sleeping for two hours after Sean got home from work. I almost missed dinner and that, I tell you, never happens.

I set up a phone interview for a potential job on Tuesday and didn't realize that the interviewer was in a different time zone than me. So, the painstaking planning I did to ensure that the kids would be napping during the interview came to a grinding halt when the interviewer called me an hour before I thought we were scheduled to talk. Surprise! Time for an interview and both kids are not only awake but also screeching like little chimpanzees. I'm sure I got that job.

I've forgotten things left and right, like extra diapers for the trip we took to have lunch with Daddy, and Hadley's swim diapers for the trip to the sprinkler park. Today, we went to the botanic gardens to play in the little wading creek and "rain storm" area, and I completely forgot towels and extra clothes. Poor Hadley had to ride home in her diapie because she was way too wet to ride home in her clothes. I'm sure she loved that. Actually, I take that back. She did love it. She sang the whole way home while she gobbled up Craisins. She's easy to please.

That reminds me-- I was going to give you guys the oh-so-difficult (ha!) popsicle recipe I use for making Hadley little sweet afternoon treats. I knew that we would want to give Hadley cold treats this summer, and when I saw a little popsicle-making kit in the dollar section at Target, I jumped on it. Now, I can make her 8 little popsicles at a time, and she loves them. To make, I just fill each little cup 3/4 full with water and 1/4 of orange juice. Easy, healthy, and free of tons of added sugar and dyes. Since Hadley has never had a real popsicle, she thinks these are the best treats ever. And, while she is eating one, I can buy myself a few minutes to get laundry started or to chop veggies for dinner. Win-win, my friends.

** Extra credit if you can name the song I stole this title from.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Toddler Time

[Warning: excessive whining contained herein. Don't say I didn't warn you.]

So, what exactly do you do with a toddler all day? When Hadley was younger, it was easy. We had our little daily activities, like a playgroup date or Little Gym, and afterwards we would shop a little or go home and play. But now-- now, we have boredom. It's like I live with a teenager already.

We still have daily activities, except now we have upgraded to swimming dates with friends, playgroup dates, kindermusik classes, and storytimes at the local bookstore. But seriously, those don't take up nearly enough time each day. Afterwards, we end up with soooo much wide-open time that I find myself panicking with the thought of trying to fill it with things for us to do. Let's be honest, eating lunch only takes so long. We still have about 3 hours to kill after Hadley's nap before Sean comes home. And let me tell you, just playing or cuddling so does not cut it. At least, that's what I've unceremoniously been told by my little toddler who I can usually find curled in a ball on the floor writhing in boredom by 4:00 each day. Perfect.

Given that I don't especially love seeing Hadley writhing on the floor in boredom, I try to create little activities for us. So far, I have the following (and I warn you, this list is pathetically short):

* Listen to music and dance;
* Read books;
* Play with toys in the playroom;
* Color with markers and coloring books;
* Fingerpaint;
* Play with Play-Doh;
* "Cook" with pots, pans, wooden spoons, and dry pasta;
* "Water" the plants on our back porch;
* Eat popsicles (I'll post my "recipe" later this week) in the backyard;
* Clean the house (seriously, Hadley loves to do laundry and vacuum);
* Make pudding or bake a special treat together

That's all I've got and when you consider that we can do almost all of those things in one afternoon, I can understand why Hadley gets bored. So, dear readers, this is where you come in. What activities/crafts/projects do you do to fill time/entertain/educate your toddler??? I'm desperate for ideas!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Brynn's Nursery

I had the hardest time deciding how to decorate Brynn's nursery. I knew I wanted it to be different than Hadley's nursery, which is a pretty pink and brown haven. But, I really didn't know what direction I wanted to go. And it seems like your options with girl bedding are a little limited to pink. Okay, a LOT limited. I contemplated orange and violet and then I saw this nursery on Ohdeedoh and thought, AHA!! Turquoise with lots of pinks, greens, and yellows.

Brynn's nursery came together easily after that. I ordered her bedding first, which is the Brooke nursery bedding from Pottery Barn. The bedding has lots of little owls and trees in multiple shades of blues, greens, and pinks on it. That ended up being the inspiration for the room.

We found the wall decals and canvas art at Target and amazingly, the colors and design match the bedding almost perfectly. We also painted the letters for Brynn's name and hung them with ribbon and little TLC.

This Eames-esq lounge chair is by far Sean's favorite part of the room. He found it in the back of a local antique store and was so surprised and excited to see it that he immediately sat in it and snatched the "for sale" tag off. It was a steal at just $130 and is absolutely the most comfortable rocking chair ever.

These pom poms are my favorite part of the room. I made them by following Martha Stewart's instructions. They were so easy and add tons of visual interest to the room. Brynn already loves staring at them as they softly sway and swirl above her changing table.

Here is Brynn's dresser/ changing table. I love doubling the use of a dresser by having it serve as changing table, too, and the IKEA Hemnes works great for both functions. It's hard to tell scale from this photo, but the actual size of the dresser is massive. I was a little freaked out when we put it together and it was literally the size of an elephant. It looks so amazing now that her room is put together, though. And the best part is that it will easily transition to her big girl room, teenage room, and even into adulthood.

We had so much fun designing and decorating Brynn's room and it is perfect for our sunny, sweet little girl.

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