17 April 2014

let's talk about miss harlow

When Mabes was born I documented everything.

First sneeze, September 6, 2007 9:05pm!

I documented every day with photos.  No joke, I have folder after folder filled with photos that chronicle every single day for the first three months of her life.  After that I have folders filled with photos from every week of her life up until she was about four.  Furthermore every single photo is meticulously labeled with the location, every person in the photo, the date, and what we were doing when the picture was taken.  I'm not a big scrapbooker (read: I hate scrapbooking) but that didn't stop me from putting together a custom fairy tale themed scrap baby book for her to treasure all the milestones of her first year of life.

Then comes the second child.  Loved just as deeply as the first, but unfortunately just not as well documented.

Poor Harlow.  I tried my best to at least photograph her once a month on her "birthday anniversary."  That worked well for the first eight or so months and then I forgot until a few days after the fact and then dropped the ball entirely.

Documenting firsts, that is a joke.  I had to answer some questions the other day regarding some of Harlow's bigger milestones and my answers were anything but specific.  

Doctor: When did she roll over for the first time?  
Me: Um, four months?  No!  Five months.  Yeah, I think it was five months.  Maybe?  Does that sound about right for a baby?

I also have a folder on my desktop called "SERIOUSLY EDIT THESE ALREADY."  I kid you not, inside that folder is over 4000 photos from the last 16 months of all of our family events, Harlow's newborn photos, etc. that have never been sorted, looked at or edited.  Labeling them with accurate dates, people, locations...that's never going to happen.  

At this rate when the new baby comes this fall there will be one blurry Instagram photo of the little gremlin taken before I hand him/her off to a pack of wild dogs and say, "Raise yourself kiddo.  It's a sink or swim kind of world."  

In all seriousness, this is something I want...no NEED....to rectify.  It weighs heavy on my heart that I don't blog and document our lives as much as I once did.  The story of my family is fading quickly into distant memories that we may not remember.  I have decided to make it a priority to sort through the folder of photos from the last 16 months, to finally edit my baby's newborn photos before the next newborn comes and before my baby isn't a baby anymore.  I'm also realistic and realize that there are some things that are going to have be lost to the dark recesses of our minds.  I will never have some of the dates/times of Harlow's firsts.  However going forward I am going to make a greater effort.  I may not be able to document the big milestones the second they happen, but I will document them.

Starting now.

Let's talk about Miss Harlow.

This girl is the biggest chatterbox.  Almost everything she says is baby babble, but there are some words mixed in.  She says Mama, Dadda, Mabry (pronounced Maybe), bye-bye and night-night (she just started saying it this week).  She also knows and uses some sign language.  The big ones she is consistent with using include, Please, More, Thank You and All Done. She also does this silly thing where she sticks her tongue in and out of her mouth (almost like she is licking her lips very quickly) to indicate she wants a drink from her sippy cup.  

I'd show you videos of her talking, signing and even babbling.  Except I can't.  Because every single time I try to video her she either grabs for the phone and throws and unholy fit if I won't give it to her or smiles and refuses to do anything but stare at me. 

The girl has a stubborn streak that is not only a mile long but equally as deep.  Translation: Dan and I are in so much trouble when she gets older. 

We have been working for months on trying to get her to walk. The stubborn streak has been making the whole walking thing hard.  I made an appointment with a therapist to come and observe her and make sure we were all doing what we can to encourage the walking.  I made the appointment two days ago.  Which meant that yesterday she decided to take a few steps on her own for the first time.  Of course since then when we try to get her to walk she immediately sits down.  I'm keeping the appointment.

She loves bath time and is still the biggest cuddle bug.  As I type this she is sitting on my lap with her chubby cheek pressed into my chubby cheek and she is calmly watching the words I type appear on the screen content to be held by Mama.

She also loves any toy with wheels that she can push around.  For Christmas we bought her a car that she can ride in while we push her around.  In the evenings we take her on walks while she rides in her car.  She loves to beep the horn and wave at people.  

Bedtime has gotten much better.  I figured out that as long as she has a pillow, she will stay in her own bed.  I guess she got used to sleeping on mine and that was why she would scream and fight until we broke down and put her in bed with us.  

She eats everything we eat and has started to insist she feed herself.  Anything pasta related is her favorite.  

Tomorrow I am making it a point to photograph the girls in their Easter outfits, so expect the next post to include photos.  

15 April 2014

what is the cop code for purse in a potty?

This morning Dan, Harlow and I went to breakfast at McDonalds.  This is something we do fairly often as long as his work and my schedule allow.  It helps that the McDonalds is right down the street from Mabes' school and on the way to Dan's work.

We sat at a table in the back corner.  There were some other soldiers sitting at a table near us and a few other people scattered throughout the dining area.  It was business as usual as the baby scarfed down her pancakes.  When it was time to leave we walked out and it wasn't until a minute or so later that I realized I had left my purse hanging on the back of the chair I had been sitting in.

I quickly went back inside and immediately went to where we had been sitting.  The purse was gone. I asked the lady behind the counter hoping that someone had turned it in.  No such luck.  The good news, she informed me, was that they had cameras and she could have her manager take a look to see if she saw anything unusual.

While the manager was reviewing the footage, I called the bank to cancel my debit card.  Thank goodness it was the only call I had to make.  (Yay for being a credit card free household!)  Dan went outside and started looking in all the trash bins in the parking lot to see if whoever had taken it might have thrown it away.

Dan came in just as the manager approached me.  It turns out there was a tall man, dressed in dark clothing, who had been sitting in the opposite corner of the dining area.  She said you could see him watching us and as soon as we got up, the table of soldiers near us also got up.  The darkly dressed man immediately walked over, grabbed my purse and left the building.  Another worker piped up and said that she remembered the guy and that he had been on foot.

Without really thinking about it, I handed Harlow to Dan and walked out to my minivan.

Tall guy, dark clothes, on foot.  I don't know how far he could have gotten in just a few minutes, but I was going to try and find out.

Turns out not far.

I located him standing by the grocery store in the plaza down the street.  I called Dan to have him confirm with the manager that the guy who took my purse was dressed in the exact clothes this guy was wearing and that he was carrying a backpack.

It was the guy.

I hung up and dialed 911.

By this point the guy noticed me.  Of course, why wouldn't he?  Tiny white lady, behind the wheel of a giant minivan, pulled right up next to him, giving him the death stare as she spoke to the dispatcher.
If you ever need a stalker, my amazing skills can be yours for a few small payments of zero dollars!

The guy started to act really fidgety and nervous.  He kept watching me and then started to speed walk through a little field that connected the plaza with a restaurant.  I followed him in the van.  (Not through the field, though I wanted to, but on the street that ran in front of the restaurant.)

I saw him go inside the restaurant.  But by that point the dispatcher had demanded I stop following him.  I had already confirmed that I wasn't in any immediate danger.  However, I also could neither confirm nor deny if he had a weapon.  Let's face it, in this town the likelihood of him having a weapon is pretty high.  I understand where the dispatcher was coming from and I know she was doing her job.  But I wasn't too happy to stop mid pursuit.

I hope you can sense the bitterness of me no longer getting to follow the guy.  I like a good dose of getting what you deserve.  Who knows where the guy could go if I didn't have eyes on him?

I waited in the parking lot and watched the door like a hawk.  Ten minutes later a very nice police officer pulled up.  I told him everything that had happened up to that point.  Dan had also called me while I was waiting for the cop and I had asked him to go back to the plaza and search the garbage cans there.  Dan met the cop and I just as the cop was going into the restaurant to try and find the guy.

The cop searched the bathrooms, dining area, and kitchen and couldn't find the guy.  His best guess was the guy had a change of clothes in the backpack and so he didn't match the description I had given the cop anymore.  Or he left out the back somehow.

The cop helped Dan and I search the trash cans in the area again.  We also searched in some trees and in the grassy field area.  I may have also hoisted myself inside two donation bins at the edge of a parking lot.  We found nothing.

A report was filed and that was about all that could be done.  I was angry and felt violated.

Dan was super awesome about the whole thing.  I was pretty hard on myself about forgetting the purse to begin with.  He reassured me and said he would help as much as he could to replace my IDs and other important purse items.  We spent the next several hours driving around, making phone calls and trying to figure out the best way to obtain everything I needed before the weekend.  He also bought Harlow and I lunch.  :)

Finally we had to part ways so he could go back to work and so that I could get a few things done.  Later that afternoon I got a phone call from another police officer.  He asked me if I could meet him near the plaza we had been searching earlier that day.  As it turns out I was right by there and so two minutes later I was pulling up next to a cop who was handing me some blue medical gloves.

There is another restaurant under construction across the street from the plaza.  One of the construction workers had went to use a port-a-potty and found my purse and ID floating/half submerged in the blue water.

Go ahead and gag.  I surely did.

Anyhow, the construction worker told the foreman who immediately called the police.  The cop and I went through everything in the purse.  Every single thing was there.  My debit card was in the same spot it had always been in.  A gift card I had received for my birthday was still there.  Nothing was missing other than the cash I had in the wallet.

The case of the missing purse was solved.  Minus the whole finding the guy and bringing him to justice aspect.

Everything (minus the IDs which were washed in extremely hot water, Lysoled and then washed and Lysoled once more) was a total loss that ended up in the trash.

Silly as it sounds, I loved that purse.  It was a really nice leather purse Dan had given me as a gift.  Worst of all, if the guy would have asked I would have given him some money.  I would have bought him a meal.  He didn't need to break the law or destroy my things.

I'm still chalking it up as a win.  1.  I no longer have to retake a driver's test to get my license reissued.  2.  I chased a bad guy and wasn't shot in the face.

People always think bad things won't happen to them.  And if they happen to live around here, it is true, they really don't have to worry.  Bad things probably won't happen to them, because they seem to happen to me.

Just call me Super Freak Magnet.  I'm happily accepting donations for a cool superhero cape.

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