Monday, June 30, 2008


Do you know what Saturday was? Why yes, it was Brian's dad's 57th birthday. But do you know what else it was? It was my first blogiversary. I said "blog anniversary" for those of you trying to say that ten times fast. Yep, one year ago from June 28 I wrote my very first post. Yay for me!

I can't believe I've made it a whole year at this thing. But it's a good thing I did because I'm really, really bad at keeping up with William's baby book and when I look back at these pictures from last July I just can't believe it's only been a year yet look how much he's grown!

And you know who else has grown? Me. Well, not physically -- I hope not! But more as a mother. So that's why I'm throwing out the title "New Mama." I don't think I really qualify as "new" anymore. True, I'm still learning a ton every day but I think any mother would tell you she is still learning even if her child is 35 years old.

So out with the "new" and in with "Mama Nash & Company." I really dug around in my brain for something more creative or catchy than that but then I remembered that my URL is and I thought, let's just keep this simple.

I also thought about jazzing this place up with some new colors or a new layout. But I decided against that as well because don't you just hate it when they take a perfectly fine website and then one day you pull it up and you have no idea where you are?

So until the spirit moves me it's the same bat time, same bat place. I hope you'll stick around to see what's in store for Mama Nash & Company this next year!

Loves Chocolate?

I don't know, tell me what you think.

Chocolate ice cream cone.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Duckling Story

Sometimes I feel like God is sarcastically saying to me, "Think you have nothing to write about?" And then He springs a great story right in my face.

That's what happened yesterday.

After dinner our entire family headed to Target. Brian doesn't usually accompany me on Target trips but because we had to pick up a rather large and heavy Father's Day/birthday gift for his dad, he came with me.

I need to pause this story for just a second to explain where, exactly, our home is located. Trust me, it's important for the story. We live very near a park reserve called Ojibway Park. You've heard me talk before about how it's not uncommon to run into such wildlife as deer. And about a month ago Brian stopped to allow a coyote to cross the street on his way to work. It's odd to see such things in such a suburban setting, but it's rather comforting as well to know we can kind of have the best of both worlds: an urban setting but not too far removed from nature.

When you are entering our development there is one street that has Ojibway Park on one side and a small marshy pond on the other side. This is where we commonly see geese, ducks, herons and every once in awhile a passing deer or coyote.

So on our way back from Target we were driving on this very road when we spotted a cable company's truck pulled over to the side with two burly men standing outside. Ahead of them was a mama Mallard duck and 7 or 8 of her newly hatched babies. And when I say new, I mean NEW. I bet this little guys and gals had just hatched in the past day. The mama was leading her babies from the Ojibway Park side over to the pond side; probably for their very first swim.

As I've told you before, William is very into animals and especially ducks. So I told Brian to pull over so that I could get William out of his carseat so he could have a better view. I told Brian to drive on home and that I would walk home when we were finished.

On the street I struck up a conversation with the cable men. I told them that my son was very into ducks so we too had to pull over and get out to take a peak.

The men told me that they hadn't merely pulled over to take a peak but rather to save their lives.


They said they were driving along this road when they spotted the mama duck standing near the curb squawking uncontrollably. So the men decided to pull over to see what all the fuss was about. When they got near they saw 7 or 8 little ducklings staring up at them from the bottom of the storm sewer drain! You know what I'm talking about, right? Those grates that are on the side of road where all the water runs when it rains really hard? Yep, those ones. Those poor little duckies were just following their mama to the pond when plop, plop, plop. Each of their tiny bodies fell through the slats in the grate.

Well these two men decided they couldn't just leave. So they grabbed some of their tools from their truck and pried off that grate. One of them climbed down the 3 or 4 feet to the bottom of the drain and one by one rescued those baby ducks and returned them to their mama.

But the story doesn't end there.

I listened to the men tell their story while William and I watched the family of ducks scurry across the street on their way to the water. And that mama was in a hurry to get to the safety of the pond. She wasn't holding back for anyone. In the process of her haste three ducklings got left behind because they were too small to make it up the side of the curb. I waited for a while to see what would happen and when it was apparent that mama wasn't coming back and those three babies weren't going to make it up the curb, I took action. I walked over and scooped them up on to the grass hoping they would follow their mama. But the brush was too high and they could no longer see where their mama and the rest of their siblings went so they just sat there huddled in a circle squeaking out in fright.

If I would have been alone I would have gladly braved ticks and mosquito bites to talk those babies through the tall brush and down to the pond. But as it was, I had William with me and I couldn't leave him on the side of the road while I save some ducks.

A few minutes earlier the cable men had decided their work was done and had started to leave. But when one of them saw the trouble these three ducks were in, he knew his drainage climb was not going to be in vain. So he got back out of his truck, scooped up the three ducks, walked through the waist-high brush and gently placed them in the pond. The three ducklings quickly scurried across the water and reunited with the rest of their family.

Yesterday I was once again reminded of the kindness of every day strangers. Two of the most unsuspecting men took 20 minutes, probably at the end of a long workday, to help this mother duck and her itty bitty babies. And as is often said, after seeing this (or reading it!) it made me want to pay it forward. Hopefully it makes you want to do the same!

A Good Read If Your Heart Can Handle It

I know this link is going to be a little sad for this bright sunny week but sometimes that's just the way life is. And I can't not link this up because it's touched me through and through the last couple weeks that I've been following this story.

In my lifetime I have experienced two traumatic events. The first was when my dad unexpectedly passed when I was 13 years old. The second was when William remained in the NICU for 10 days after he was born with a critical lung condition. In each of those events I remember crying, sobbing even. But I also remember laughing and joking and smiling. A lot of people wondered how that was possible during such a trying time. I really can't answer that. I just know that when I was placed in those situations something bigger than myself came inside of me and gave me peace, calmness, serenity and a few good laughs.

When I read this latest entry from a family who just lost their 7-month-old daughter to heart complications, I feel that he [the father] is in the same place I was. So completely overcome with grief that there isn't anything else to talk about except your extreme gratitude at having known this little baby girl and maybe a few poop jokes thrown in there just to lighten the mood.

If you're up for reading it, click here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gotta Love It, Gotta Have It

My item this week isn't an item at all but rather a person, or people.

Our next-door neighbors are a family of five. The dad works downtown (same as Brian) and the mom stays at home (same as me). They have three children: two girls ages 4 and 2 and a little boy who is just two months younger than William.

In the winter we barely see or talk to them except for a passing wave if we happen to be driving in or out of the garage at the same time. But in the summer we see each other almost every day and pretty much all day long. In the mornings and afternoons Neighbor Mom and I are outside chasing the kids around in the backyard. And in the evening Neighbor Dad and Brian are in the driveways pushing around bikes and trikes.

This week Neighbor Mom and kids have been gone all day on Tuesday and Wednesday. And this afternoon when William woke up from his nap and we wandered outside I realized how lonely it was here without our friends.

So this week I'm saying yay for fun neighbors and here's hoping you've got a few good ones on your street.

This Morning

Rushed out of bed this morning when I glanced at clock to see it read 8:30.

Put contact lenses in and heard front door open and shut.

Husband just getting back from workout now?

Listened outside baby's door and heard absolute silence.

Baby still sleeping at 8:30?

Go back into bedroom.

Glance at clock again.


Too late now, I'm already awake.

Go downstairs for coffee and quality time with hubby.

Pleasant morning but note to self: Get Lasik eye surgery.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Babies Babies Everywhere!

On Thursday my cousin gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Madison Lynn. Congratulations to the new family of four!

And on that note, is it just me or has everyone I know just given birth recently or announced a pregnancy? It's like someone is trying to tell me something. If I could just figure out what it is...


Since yesterday I've completed #1, #4, #6, #8 and #9 off my "need" list. And after I'm finished writing this post I'm going upstairs to complete #2.

On the "want" list I've checked off #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #8 and #9.

That's six for "need" and seven for "want." Hmmm...let me reevaluate my priorities and get back to you on that one.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Have You Ever...?

...had your child drop a #2 in a soaked swim diaper? If so, you feel the pain I experienced this weekend. If not, I don't wish it upon you.

Conflicting Lists

Things that need to be done:

1. Dust upstairs
2. Vaccum Upstairs
3. Wash windows
4. Grocery Shop
5. Buy Father's Day/Birthday gift for father-in-law
6. Buy supplies for sister's shower
7. Meet out-of-town friend who is in town
8. Make bed
9. Shower, put on makeup, get dressed

Things that I want to be done:

1. Drink coffee on sunny patio
2. Water my flowers while taking in sunshine
3. Go for long, sunny walk
4. Set up lawn chair
5. Put hair in ponytail
6. Dress in bathing suit
7. Fill William's tub
8. Read my book (in the sun, of course)
9. Close eyes, bask in sunshine

Sunday, June 22, 2008

How Nice Has the Weather Been?

Well, see if you can spot an indoor picture in the bunch. Go on, I dare you. Didn't find one? Yep, that's how nice the weather has been!

"My cousin Lauren and I are BFF...or is that BCF?"

"I love my 'Uncle' Chip!"

Pretty smile Addison.

Swimming with Daddy.

And Mommy too!

Oh, so tired. Time to go home.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Longest Day of the Year But No Long Post Here

Well it's one of those week where it's too nice outside to spend any time thinking about a thoughtful post to write while sitting in front of my computer screen and therefore out of the bright sunshine. Soooo...I will fall back on a tried and true post of pictures.

Yesterday we went to Como Park with my good friend Kati and her little kiddies James and Maggie. It was a perfect day weatherwise but what would have made it even more perfect would have been if the one thousand and one YMCA groups had decided not to go to the zoo that day. Oh well. Instead we spent a lot of time at Como Town. A first for William. They have a lot of the traditional kiddie rides you'll find at your average carnival.

The pictures you see of William smiling are BEFORE the rides started. After they started to go round and round he wasn't so sure he was having fun. He never cried but he definitely wasn't laughing either. Maggie, the youngest in the group, was the biggest crowd pleaser with laughs at every turn.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gotta Love It, Gotta Have It

For me no summer is complete without a good book. And nothing irks me more than wasting my time on a boring read so that's why this week I'm going to list some of my favorite books of all time. I love it when someone who reads similar books as me recommends something. It means it's a sure bet. So here there are in no particular order.

1. I Know This Much is True, by Wally Lamb

This book is nearly 1,000 pages long but I promise it will grab your attention from the start and never let go. This is one book that I could easily read again because there are so many interesting sub-plots that I know I've already forgotten about.

2. White Oleander, by Janet Fitch

Ok I realize I'm picking another Oprah book here which is kind of cliche but bear with me. This one is about a girl whose mother goes to prison for murder and the story of her life as she bounces from foster home to foster home. If you've already seen the movie the book is still worth it because the way the author writes is like wind blowing. The words flow almost like poetry.

3. Best Friends, by Margaret Moody

A few years ago I pulled this off the sale rack at a bookstore. I read it while on my honeymoon in Jamaica. Now I see this book on all the Must Read lists so I'd like to think I caught on to this book before anyone else knew about it. It's a story about two unlikely friends and the twist and turns their lives take throughout the years.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, by Lorna Landvik

If you're looking for a lighthearted and funny read, this is the one for you. I particularly liked this book because it's set in the Twin Cities and the author makes numerous references to well-known landmarks in the area. I remember actually laughing out loud while reading this book.

5. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters, by Elisabeth Robinson

Keep your tissue box close to you during this read, but it's still oh-so-worth-it. I remember reading this book cover to cover while on vacation with my family in Mexico. It's a bit on the depressing side but still so endearing and uplifting at the same time.

6. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult

If you like #5 then you should read this book. Jodi Picoult has written a lot of books and this is my favorite. It's a story that forces you to ask yourself what you would do in the same situation. Again, depressing but at the same time uplifting.

7. Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells

Ok, I know this is another cliche but I can't help it if a book is good. And what is it about books that take place in the South? For some reason I just love them. In case you've been living under a rock it's the story of four girlfriends and the trouble they get themselves into growing up in Louisiana. I should note that I don't recommend the movie. Cannot even come close to the hilarity of this book.

8. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

This book is a classic but for some reason I was never assigned to read it in school. So after I finished college I sought it out myself and loved it! Unlike many classics it's very easy to read. If you have a male in your life that you have a tough time getting to read, buy him this book. He will relate to the predicaments this character finds himself in.

I was hoping to get to ten for you but the sunshine is calling my name. So help me out, what are some of your favorite books of all time?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Daddy's Day

Our Father's Day was great and full of a lot of guy things--well, a lot of Brian things actually. We started out with brunch at Fabulous Fern's in our beloved St. Paul. It was a beautiful day so we were able to sit outside on the patio. We then wandered around for a while to a cute little neighborhood coffee shop followed by a few open houses just for fun.

When we got back to Woodbury it was well past William's naptime so he went to bed while Brian and I indulged in a board game and Brian cooked dinner. I know it sounds weird that Brian cooked on Father's Day but he likes it so that's what he did. He made Jerk Shrimp Stir-Fry and it was very good even though it was a bit too spicy for littler taste buds.

We finished off the day watching two sports championship games but neither ended with a winner. The U.S. Open ended in a tie and the Lakers narrowed the Celtics lead to one game in the NBA Finals. So I guess we'll have more sports viewing ahead of us this week.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Splish Splash

We don't have a kiddie pool yet so thanks to my Aunt Nancy for this great idea. She used to use one of these containers for the kids when we would go on long pontoon rides.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Reading Corner

If it's any indication of how bad my previous book was, I've forgotten for some time now to change the book I'm currently reading on the side panel under "The Pages I'm Turnin'".

The last book I read and had listed on the side panel for quite some time was The Ten Year Nap. It was awful. So if you see it, don't bother picking it up. The characters were boring the dialogue was boring and in the end I couldn't even tell you what the plot was. But I stuck with it until the end because I have this annoying rule that once I start a book I have to finish it even if it's terrible. So that's what I did.

To be honest it kind of turned me off to reading for a few days which is especially sad because it's summertime; a season that I find provides the best opportunity for reading. So to get back in the swing of things I knew I needed a sure-bet good read. So I've picked up The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I snagged it out of my mom's stash who probably snagged it out of her sister's stash. She said was it was good and worth the time so that's that.

And speaking of which if anyone else has suggestions for good summer reads I can post the titles, authors and links in another post for all to see. I define a good summer read as a book that starts off interesting right from the first page. And I tend to do more easy-reading and less-challenging books when I'm reading during the summer. I'm constantly heading in and out of the sun during naptime so I don't have time to waste trying to remember what happened a few pages back. So if any of you know of books that fit this bill let me know in the comments!

NBA Bliss

If there's one thing you can bet on with the Nashes it's that we don't do basketball. We don't play it, we don't watch it on television and we don't go to games. Ok, so I guess I've been to two Timberwolves games but that's only because on those two occasions we happen to run into some box seats for free. And who doesn't like to feel like a VIP every once in a while?

So when Brian's interest piqued about the 2008 NBA Finals I was taken aback. What? Who are you?

We went out with our friends Santo and Kali last week and I rolled my eyes when he said he wanted to find a seat in the bar that was close to a television so he could watch the game. He explained that yes, we don't do basketball but that this was different. THIS was the Celtics and Lakers. The Celtics, with former MVP Timberwolf Kevin Garnett, verses the almighty Lakers with the controversial Kobe Bryant and other players with a not-so-squeaky-clean background.

Still, I informed my husband, I didn't really care. Yes, it would be nice to see Garnett win because I believe that he is a genuinely decent guy but I was content to take 3 seconds out of my day and read the score in the newspaper the next day.

But then Kali reminded me. "Jenny," she said, "you do know that this is the L.A. Lakers we're talking about, right?"

Me: "Yeah, so?"

Kali: "Yeah so...that means these finals provides for excellent celebrity sightings!"

Ah ha! Now my interested was piqued! How could I forget that a Lakers game is second only to the Academy Awards when it comes to spotting A-list celebs?

So last night Brian and I settled in for the second half of Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Only the second half because (1) it was too nice out last night to sit inside for a full three and a half hours, (2) basketball doesn't get exciting until the end, and (3) in the third quarter the network does a celebrity montage showing a close-up of each and every A-lister in attendance that evening.

So when Brian whooped, cheered and hollered as the Celtics made an amazing comeback, I whooped, cheered and hollered every time I spotted David Beckham, Will and Jada Smith, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner or, my personal favorite, Justin Timberlake. Woo hoo, JT!

In the midst of all our rooting I turned to Brian and said, "You do realize this is like the perfect thing for us to agree on watching."

He said, "How's that?"

I said, "Well, it's kind of like what we would get if we merged together with your favorite Notre Dame blog websites."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dinnertime Dilemmas

Does anybody else have difficulty coming up with idea and cooking dinner in the summertime? In the colder months I cook a full meal at least four out of the seven days in a week and eat leftovers the other three days. But most of these meals are soups or hearty pasta dishes. Much too heavy for the summer.

But ever since the end of April I'm having a hard time coming up with meal ideas. We've been having a lot of hot dogs, brats, hamburgers and chicken on the grill but I daresay I'm already tired of all that meat.

So if any of you out there have some good summertime recipes that don't involve a grill I'd love to hear them. I don't mind using the good old pots and pans as long as the end product is a bit lighter than what we've been used to.

I Mean Seriously

Sometimes, when William is sick, I feel like we are part of a medical research study and we've secretly been given a worthless placebo instead of a real pain reliever. C'mon Motrin and Tylenol. What gives?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gotta Love It, Gotta Have It

So I'm going to cheat this week (because it's been a long week and it's only Wednesday) and post both my Gotta Love It item and the Before & After pictures of William's new room. The two are related so it works out nicely.

Now stupid, stupid, stupid me forgot to take a before picture. I'm sure I have a great shot of William as a newborn on his changing table but I have all those pictures archived on CDs and I don't really have the time to dig through them for the sake of comparison. So, you can either check out the best before picture I could find below or you can click here to view a video that shows the previous layout of the room. As a bonus the video is pretty funny. Don't want to click on the video? Ok, here's the best picture I could find.

Ignore the scary face William is making and focus on the room. So you can see we've got a changing table to the left (the very same changing table my mom used for me!) and then a bookshelf angled in the corner. And on the opposite wall is a rocking chair and his crib. The crib I love! It was a steal. It's a Pottery Barn crib that I bought used from a friend for $200; mattress and all. But one of the biggest things that bothered me about William's room from the get go was that none of the furniture matched.

Ok so now are you ready for the after pictures? Drumroll...(are you making your best drumroll impression like in Christmas Vacation?)

Do you likey? As you can see the room looks more cleaned up and just a lot more put together. And you won't believe the price tag. We only put in $169. The rest are items we already had.

The one dilemma I'm having (and maybe you can help me out) is what to do with the wall space above the crib. To me it looks a little bare. Am I right? But if so, then what do I put there? I used to have that long picture frame you see off the left above it. But clearly when I made that decision I never believed William would grow to the height he is now. There's been a couple close calls when he's nearly pulled it down on top of himself so we just had to move it altogether. So I'm not really sure what would help fill it in but won't cause curious hands to want to yank it down. I'm open to your suggestions.

So back to my Gotta Love It item. It's the dresser! Check out my bargain hunting skills on this bad boy. I first spotted this on I knew it would be perfect because: (1) it's white (2) the dimensions fit perfectly, and (3) I love the cabinet space for storing diapers, wipes, etc. It was listed at $319 which was well within our budget but I ran into a snag when I found out that this item could only be purchased online (no pickups or in-store purchases allowed) and it would cost me $200 to have it shipped. I thought this was ludicrous. If I wanted to spend more than $500 on a dresser I could have easily found a better quality piece at a furniture store.

So I called Target and was lucky enough to be able to talk to one of the most helpful customer service reps in the history of customer service. He understood my dilemma and helped me track down the manufacture, the UPC code and even a website and phone number. I contacted the manufacturer and they were able to do a local search for this item and found that this dresser was available at ShopKo in River Falls, WI for only $219!

So one day after he got home from work, I dragged Brian into the car and we drove to River Falls (about 20 minutes from our house) to pick up the dresser. Much to our surprise ShopKo only charged us $155 (including tax) for the dresser. So I went from over $500 at Target (when you include the shipping) down to $155. Now if that's not a bargain hunter's dream than I don't know what is.

And I should probably mention that besides the price, the product is pretty good too. It took a little while to assemble but that was expected. All in all we're so thrilled that the room turned out. Every time I walk in there it's like I'm in someone else's house. And I guess that's what will have to get me by until we can sell and get something just a tad bigger.

Feels Good on my Froat

Mmmm...thanks, mommy.

There's that smile we've been missing!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Cliff Notes

William sick.

Up all last night.

Hysterical crying.

So tired.

No ear infection.

Bad sore on tongue=not eating.

Hoping it's not hand, foot, mouth disease.

Napping three hours and still going now.

Going to shower and close my eyes.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Why I Haven't Posted Since Thursday Morning

  • Thursday was a full day. A trip to the grocery store was followed by a rain-induced 2-hour rush hour drive to my sister's so that she could watch William so that I could go out with Brian and friends.

  • Friday Brian took the day off work and we all know that when our spouses are home from work we stay-at-homers actually get less work done.

  • We went to a party on Friday night and Saturday morning I realized I left my camera there. So there's my excuse for not even being able to post a picture.

  • Saturday was our first trip to the (outdoor) pool this year. This would have provided a perfect picture post but see third bullet point.

  • On Sunday we (Brian) began our project of redoing William's bedroom. At the same William found it a good opportunity to come down with some sort of a bug. Brian assembled a rather large dresser while I lounged in our bed with William alternating between reading books and taking his temperature.

  • This morning I completed putting together the bedroom. Before and after pictures coming soon. See third bullet point.

  • This afternoon the sun is shining but William still isn't feeling 100 percent. So when he's awake we've been vegging in the living room. When he's sleeping I've been catching some rays.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Oh Yes I Did

OMG, do not even tell me I just saw Sarah Jessica Parker making a cameo on Sesame Street!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Gotta Love It, Gotta Have It

This morning I was reorganizing the clothes William has outgrown and packing up a few things to share with our new buddy Matthew. And that's when I figured out what today's item was going to be.

Because our house is so tiny we are constantly short on storage space. That's why I love to use Hefty Big Bags. I know a lot of people are used to using something like this bin when it comes to storing clothes or other items but I've found that these bins are hard to carry when full, don't hold as much, are expensive and take up too much space.

Enter Big Bags. I found them when I was shopping for sandwich baggies at Target one day. For around $5 you get three large bags so I thought it was worth a try. I converted the one Sterilite bin I owned into a toy box and transferred all William's old clothes into two Big Bags. Once the bags were full (which took A LOT of clothes) I laid on top of them to squeeze out all the air. This is William's favorite part. Then I just zipped them shut and slid them underneath his crib. I am able to fit two completely full Big Bags under his crib. The crib's dust ruffle hides the bags which I love because I hate nothing more than visible clutter.

I've also found these bags useful for storing my maternity clothes and our feather bed during the warmer months. Because the bags are fairly airtight I don't have to shoo away any dust bunnies when I go to retrieve something. (P.S. My maternity clothes come no where near filling up one bag. Not even close. How is it that William has been here for only 18 months and he can fill two of these bags plus an entire closet?)

The one caveat I have for you is that Ziploc sells similar bags. I've purchased these before and was not as satisfied. Once the bag is completely full the Ziploc bags are tough to close. They work just like a sandwich baggie in that you slide your fingers across the seam to lock it. But this is difficult to do on a large and very-full bag. It's much easier to use the slider and just pull it across as the Hefty bags allow.

Affectionately Yours

One of William's new words (of the many!) is "hug." He holds his arms outstretched and says, "haaaaag!"

I can't tell if it's because he really wants/needs a hug or if it's because of the novelty of a new word. Either way, I'll take it. Even if he is all grimy after his breakfast.

Oh And Also... it too cruel to allow William to answer the telephone when caller ID is telling me it's a telemarketer?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Thoughts for Today

  • I hope he never outgrows being completely engrossed in a book on a car ride. I never want to succumb to the can't-live-without-the-DVD- in-the-car syndrome.

  • Note to self: Don't let toddler taste-test your iced espresso latte to prove to him that he won't like it. True, he won't like it but that doesn't mean he will stop screaming and begging for it.

  • Why am I still so tired after downing said latte?

  • I think every lift-the-flap book should be sold with a roll of Scotch tape.

  • Wow, I don't think he's ever gone this far without a nap. Someone unleashed the monster! I think I hear a 6 o'clock bedtime calling his name.

  • I love all our new haircuts!

Monday, June 2, 2008

One of the Things They'll Never Tell You in Parenting Class

Alright so I've never taken a parenting class but if I did I assure you this little lesson would not be included.

It's true that when the topics "parenting" and "public bathrooms" collide the stories are endless. So here's another one for the book.

As you can see from my previous post, we attended Grand Old Day yesterday. Grand Old Day takes place on historic Grand Avenue in St. Paul, MN. If you're not familiar with this street you should know (for the story) that Grand Avenue is about a 4-mile stretch of shops and restaurants where old meets new. It's where you'll find a Pier One next to an antique store. You would also see a quaint sandwich shop a block away from a hoppin' sports bar. And there's a J. Crew across the street from an apparel boutique.

I'm sure these businesses both look forward to and dread Grand Old Day all at the same time. It could boost their sales and brand. But it can also be a huge nuisance to have gobs of people (who may or may not be potential customers) rummaging through your shop. This is why all the shops close their individual public restrooms and divert people to the plethora of portable potties on the street.

This is all great and fine until you find yourself alone with a baby and a stroller packed with valuables. This is exactly where I found myself after I dropped Brian and my sister off at the 5K starting line.

I parked the car (free street parking after 15 minutes of looking!) and unloaded everything from the trunk into the bottom of our stroller. And then it came. The urge to pee right. now.

I passed a line of 10 potties on the way to Grand Avenue. But how would I finagle that? No, really, I'm asking. I could possibly manage to get William in there with me but then what to do about the lonely stroller with purses I would have to leave behind just waiting to be taken?

I first tried Walgreen's. I thought this drugstore would probably be most unfazed by the crowds of people and they might have left their restrooms open. Isn't Walgreen's pretty used to people wandering in and out? They are, after all, open 24 hours a day if you catch my drift.

No dice. Walgreen had their restrooms locked with a big sign that said "Restrooms closed today."

Next I tried my BFF Caribou Coffee. Maybe Caribou doesn't know it's my BFF but it would if anyone took the time to look up credit card transactions and the name Jennifer Nash.

So I walked in and lucky for me the place wasn't that busy. I saw that their restroom was blocked off with a bunch of tables and overturned chairs. But that didn't matter to me because I had a plan. I walked up to the cashier and put on my best "damsel in distress" face and ordered an iced coffee. (I knew this drink wouldn't help my bladder situation but I thought it might give me a few bonus points while I pleaded my case.)

I said, "I have a huge favor to ask. My husband is running in the 5K race right now and I'm all by myself. I really need to use the bathroom but I can't leave him [pointing at William] alone to use the portable restrooms. Do you think there's any chance I could just sneak in your bathroom real quick?"

With ZERO emotion he responded, "No, I'm sorry."

Me: "Really? I mean I don't really have any other options here."

Him: "There's nothing I can do. The bathroom is full of chairs and tables."

I looked at him suspiciously detecting a made-up excuse. "Really?"

Again zero emotion. "Really."

C'mon! Where's the love Caribou man?

We had a momentary stare-down and then he said, "Do you still want to go through with the order?"

I should have said no but this proves how much I heart Caribou.

So now I was back on the street, still with a full bladder and now with a full cup of iced coffee. And then it came to me. The best idea!

I walked across the street and down the block a bit to one of my old college stompin' grounds, The Wild Onion. In the parking lot there were about 20 men working to set up a stage for a band later on in the day. A few people were also setting up outdoor bars for the event. And what do you need when you set up a bar? Bathrooms! About 30 to choose from to be exact.

I put my "damsel in distress" face back on and walked up to three bartenders setting up their stand.

Me: "Excuse me. I have a huge favor to ask. My husband is running in the 5K race right now and I'm all by myself. I really need to use the bathroom but I can't leave him [pointing at William] alone. Do you think there's any chance you could watch him for a minute so that I could sneak into these bathrooms real quick?"

All three men in unison: "What? Of course! Sure! No problem!"

And that's how I bought myself 30 seconds to use a bathroom all by myself.

When I came back one of the bartenders was crouched down playing and talking to William in his stroller. And that's when I knew I came to the right place.

When you're with child and in a rut it doesn't hurt to ask a complete stranger for a little help. Sometimes they'll say no. But sometimes the most unsuspecting person will say yes and it will make for a great story.

What a Grand Old Day!

Yesterday Brian ran in the Grand Old Day 5K race with my sister Jackie, my good friend Jill, and her brother Chris. The weather was perfect although I did hear a few complaints from some of the runners that it was a little too hot.

And they're off! There's three of them off to the right (Jackie's in the hot pink shirt) but it seems Brian is hiding behind the pack.

Jackie's coming in for a finish!

Next is Brian!

And there's Jill not far behind!

"You guys are too sweaty to hold me!"

So proud of his daddy!

The 5K crew a.k.a. "The Crack Snakes." (That was their team name. Don't ask.)

Mesmerized by the parade.

"Aunt Jackie caught a sucker for me and LET ME HAVE IT!!"

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