Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No news is good news?

Nothing new has been happening. Okay, so lots has been happening; so much so that I don't have time to write about it. Agh!

However, this horrible winter will end soon and I'll be in the mood to write again. Until then, photos of Olivia (and one of Miss Heather, who came to visit! YAY!):

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ten minutes in the Meijer bathroom

Earlier this week Annie, Olivia, and I were shopping at Meijer. Before we finished shopping Olivia had a "blowout." For those of you who are not familiar with babies, we use that term to refer to baby crap breaching the diaper. Ick.

I picked Olivia up out of her carseat and cruised over to the bathroom while Annie finished getting groceries. I ended up having to change Olivia's whole outfit so I was in the bathroom for probably 10 minutes.

The changing station was located on the wall opposite the sinks, and to the left was the door, to the right were the stalls. As I lay Olivia down a Mom and her 11-year-old daughter had just finished drying their hands and headed toward the door. "Don't touch the door!" the Mom scolded the girl. "Here, kick it open with your foot. You don't want to get germs."

I smiled to myself. Go back in time about 20 years and that would have been my own Mom telling me not to touch the door for fear of germs.

And that, my friends, was the BEST part of my stay in the bathroom. From there, it very quickly went downhill.

The next woman who came in saw Olivia and said, "Aw! A baby!" as she walked to an open stall. "Newborn, huh?"

"Four months old!" I told her pleasantly.

"Oh," she said curtly, as if she thought I was correcting her and was offended. I think she was actually touched in the head. But that is no excuse for what she did next.

She used the bathroom, exited the stall, and walked right out the door, scorning the sinks! And she put the big ole crazy-lady-pissed-on hand of hers on the door and shoved it open.

I had to focus really hard on Olivia in order to keep my composure. That mom wasn't kidding about germs!!

Then a grandmother-type lady came in with a 4-year-old who said, "Look, a baby!" as she walked by Olivia. They went into the stall for about two minutes. The woman said to the little girl, "Hey, you little tricker!" and they exited the stall. They did not flush. It was possible that she didn't go to the bathroom. Then they came up to Olivia on the table and the little girl got all excited about the baby. Then they walked out the door, again scorning those beautiful glistening porcelain sinks. Those lonely sinks.

I turned my attentions back to Olivia in time to see her pudgy little baby hand waiving happily in the air, and I watched in horror as it found its way to the wall of the changing station and felt it up. Agh!!!!! I could just SEE the germs crawling en masse from the wall to her hand and down her arm and into her baby mouth. The germs were going to eat my baby! You don't know how hard it was for me to keep my cool at this point. I always imagined that while there were germs in public bathrooms, that the good ole Dutch Christian women of West Michigan were exceptions to the rule and that germs weren't that plentiful around here. Especially not in the CASCADE Meijer, which is located in the land of "new money."

Okay, so I was about ready to puke. I could NOT believe it. So I kept track. Eight females entered a bathroom stall, and only 3.5 washed. I say .5 because there were two who I am pretty sure did not wash, but I couldn't say for sure. One was a woman who I saw at the sink, but who was combing her hair and not washing her hands. It's possible that she washed them extremely quickly before picking up the comb, but after she left I scrutinized her sink and there wasn't much evidence to exonerate her. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt because she did approach Olivia after combing her hair and said, "What a beautiful baby!" and then, looking at Olivia, said, "The world made rosy cheeks just for you!"

Could a dirty bird really be that sweet about MY bird? I'm not sure.

All in all it was a horrific experience. Know what the worst part was? Look back at the story, clever readers. Do you notice any pattern?

How about the fact that the people who gave attention to Olivia were the ones who didn't wash their hands!!!

Now every time a stranger approaches Olivia I wonder, "Are you a dirt bag? How many bars of soap to you purchase annually?"


Shoppers, beware. Don't use those bathrooms unless it's an EMERGENCY.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It was one year ago today that I learned that I was pregnant with the Bird. It was one day after JB's hernia surgery and I was supposed to be taking care of him. Instead, I was suffering from lots of nausea and was having a tough time just taking care of myself.

I didn't expect to get pregnant so soon, so the little plus sign on the stick was a little startling. In fact, I hadn't even considered that my nausea was the result of pregnancy: it was JB who suggested it. I never was ready to have a baby but here I am, one year later, with my own little dolly!

I wouldn't say that my terrible pregnancy was worth it. More like, necessary. But what's done is done and I'll probably willingly go through it again. But I won't be happy about it.

I have many friends who have had trouble conceiving, who still have trouble conceiving, or who have had high-risk pregnancies. So I consider myself blessed that misery was the only byproduct of carrying Olivia around.

Today she was in rare form. She jumped in the Johnny Jumpup with more gusto than usual (I like to think it was because I was playing rock music for her). She chattered up a storm with Annie--Annie would say something to her, and she would respond with a sound or shriek and they went back and forth for some time. Extremely entertaining. She laughed and laughed at JB when he made weird monkey sounds at her, and it was the most she's ever laughed out loud. She also had an incident with her hat falling down over her eyes while we were in the car and she was so scared that she was crying and crying and blowing bubbles and scratching at her eyes in frustration. I felt pretty bad when I discovered the problem. Not being able to see must be scary for a baby!

All in all, I'm glad that the last year is OVER. Being pregnant was tough, having a newborn was tough, and dealing with work drama for the last 4 months and then getting fired was tough.

Work drama is over and Olivia is finally entering the "fun" age. JB's brother is getting married this June and my sister Melissa is having her first baby, a girl, in June as well. The Teague girls are having fun scheming her baby shower preparations. My Dad is also turning 60 and Olivia will be turning one.

Here, here, to 2009!

Latest photos of the Bird: