Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Grocery Shopping

When I first moved to St. Louis, I quickly decided that I was not going grocery shopping by myself. Once, on the way home from work, I was trying to be efficient so I went to Aldi’s—a totally St. Louis place to grocery shop. It is German minimalist so it is a tiny store with only one brand of everything. It is the cheapest place to buy food (I think) so naturally, it attracts ME (student budget) and a not-so-upstanding other population of the city. Oh, and you have to release your grocery cart with a quarter, which you get back if you return your grocery cart. Awesome, I love it. Anyway, you can only pay in cash or by debit card, so I paid by cash and I forgot to zip back up my change purse because I had to pay those pennies (I am so my mom) and all of my change dropped on the floor. The cashier was really nice and jumped down to help me. The man behind me also stooped down and kept what he picked up. Thus, I decided that he could keep the 35 cents or whatever, but I was not going grocery shopping alone because it just creeped me out.

But now that I am a stay-at-home mom, I feel bad making Blake go grocery shopping with me. “Hi, Blake, I’m glad you’re home from school. I haven’t done anything productive today except to feed and hold/bounce your son.” So I went to the store by myself. This time, though, I was at Shop N Save instead of Aldi’s, which attracts a slightly nicer crowd. What a workout! I held Isaac in one arm and pushed the grocery cart with the other. It got quite heavy too, because we are trying to build up our food storage again now that we know we aren’t moving for another three years. And it was buy $50, get $10 off day. I love that! St. Louis does have pretty good grocery stores. When I got to the checkout, I started to one-handedly put all of my stuff on the conveyer thingey (is there a name for that?) and a lady pulled up behind me and started helping me! Such a small thing but it absolutely made my day. Made my week. Made my whole grocery shopping experiences in St. Louis that much better. So thanks to the nice Shop N Save patron.

I have a great husband. Whenever I complain, he does something about it. Usually. So I complained that we never go on dates anymore and this weekend he took me on one! Isaac tagged along, but he made it more fun. We picnicked in Forest Park and went to the zoo. I guess Isaac had to come along or we would have looked a little silly at the zoo by ourselves. Not that it probably looked all that better with Isaac sleeping in the front pack or chewing on the front pack with his head down, totally oblivious to all time and place.

Isaac has decided that he likes his baths! This is a huge relief to me because he has screamed through every single one since he was born. Needless to say, I only bathed him once a week (maybe once every 10 days...). But now we are bathing him every other day because he has discovered that as much fun as it is to kick the bed, it is much more fun to kick water! I took a video but you can’t see his legs because I couldn’t bear to bare all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Families are forever

When Blake and I moved to St. Louis, we quickly realized that when people say Utah drivers are bad, they have no idea what they are talking about. St. Louis drivers are terrible! They turn left from the straight lane if the left turn lane line is too long. There are exits on the left on the freeway so that is an excuse for slow drivers to sit in the left lane. They are the slowest mergers: either they expect everyone to make way for them, or the slow down if a car is approaching when everyone knows you’re supposed to accelerate when you are merging on a freeway. They don’t get in the intersection to turn left if there is a yield on green sign and if the light turns yellow, they won’t make the left. If they can cut in front of you, they will. And they coast through stop signs.

Not that that is peculiar to St. Louis, or that it has particularly bugged me before. I think we all laugh on Clueless when Dion says, “Hello, there was a stop sign back there...” and Cher answers, “What, I totally paused!” because we all do it. But last Sunday, Blake, Isaac, and I went for a walk. We were crossing the street at a stop sign and a woman approached in a car while we were already in the intersection. She coasted through and started speeding up right as she was hitting us. Blake and I both had to jump out of the way. The car touched both of us but not hard enough to bruise us. We are so lucky that we weren’t knocked down, especially since Blake was wearing Isaac in the front pack. I am glad, though, that I insisted that Blake wear the front pack because what if Blake had dropped Isaac?

Anyway, an experience like that makes you realize what is important in life. We both were just concerned about Isaac. As I cried on and off Sunday night, I thought about how grateful I am for the knowledge that families are eternal. I know that if anything happened, I would see my little boy or husband or sister or mother in heaven.

Anyway, to lighten it up, here is a stick figure dramitization.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Isaac's first Cardinals game

Our friends Logan and Sarah got tickets to the Cardinals game so they invited us. Isaac was a real struggle. Blake and I took turns taking him to the back of our section to bounce him and a lady back there was so enraptured with him that she gave him a pack of baseball cards. But then she wanted to hold him and I couldn’t exactly say, “Thanks for the cards but no touchie.” He screamed the entire metro ride home. I think he was just tired of the noise. Kudos to Logan and Sarah who listened to him. I’m sure they’re crossing their fingers that their child, whom they meet in March, is not as loud. But when we got home he was all smiles. He was happy to finally be home.

He is also starting to reach for things, which is fun to watch. We wonder if Isaac is going to be a leftie because he always reaches with his left hand.

The goal of the week is to get Isaac to sleep in his crib. Sunday night he slept 5 ½ hours! I slept horribly because I was worried he would 1) die of SIDS or 2) wake up too often or 3) I wouldn’t hear him when he did wake up and he would cry and cry with no relief.

You're supposed to be sleeping, Isaac!

Logan and Sarah at the Cardinal's game

Isaac's asleep! Not for long...

This picture is for Megan--the shoes she made are so cute!

Goodbye Larson

I'm officially unemployed today--I’ve decided not to return to work. It was a hard decision when it came down to it. I have loved my job here in St. Louis. It was a young, fun office with great people and opportunities. I’m going to miss eating lunch with all the women engineers in the office! I never knew there were so many before I worked here. Hopefully they will let me still go to Girl’s Night Out with them. Anyway, it’s a great company and they have been really generous and fair with me. For example, they paid for my insurance and Isaac’s insurance for my whole 12 week maternity leave, knowing I wasn’t coming back. So if you ever need engineering services, try them first: http://www.larsonengr.com/.

Since Blake still has three years left of school, we really can’t afford to have no income. But we’ve decided we’d rather regret making less money than regret missing these early formative years in our kids’ lives. So we will take out more loans and maybe some day I will go back to work, but we’re not going to worry about that any time soon. Elder Ballard gave a great talk about staying home with your kids right before I had Isaac. It really inspired me, especially this: “It is crucial to focus on our children for the short time we have them with us and to seek, with the help of the Lord, to teach them all we can before they leave our homes.” To read it, click here.