Friday, September 24, 2010

Balloon Festival Bust

I just experienced my first Halley's Comet Incident (no offense, Mom :oP). For those of you not privvy to the HCI, here's the story. My mom had a cool idea that we would all head to Oglebay observatory in the dead of winter, late at night to experience the comet. Unfortunately it was too overcast and the whole event went awry. That was our balloon fest experience tonight.

Our friends asked us to join them for the Adirondack Balloon Festival. We were to meet at a pizza shop just up the street and leave roughly 5pm. For starters, we didn't make it out of the house until 9 minutes after 5pm because Jeff had a conference call that he couldn't escape from. We should have just taken that as a sign. :) From there things got progressively more strange.

We arrive in Queensbury around 6pm to find that where we think we should be able to enter the airfield... police are directing both lines OUT. (Imagine a dog doing the crooked head thing here). We drive a little further down the road. Our friend calls another friend who is inside. She says that is indeed the entrance, it isn't very busy and to come in. So, we turn around (3 cars, mind you)and head back to the "entrance". The police officer informs us that the event is over. What?

I use Jeff's cell phone to check the internet for information. Sure enough, the launch was at 5pm, but still... this wasn't late at this point, just a little after 6pm. There is however a street fair, as part of the whole thing in downtown Glens Falls. Since the cars are packed with pizza, drinks and snacks, why not? Right? (Anyone else seeing the warning signs flashing?) I set the GPS to navigate us all to the street festival.

We find it easily, but we are starved and literally cop a squat on the lawn outside our cars at a local church. We have some dinner. Barb entertains the children with glow sticks and we finally make the short trek to Glen Street. It was like any small town street fair, I suppose. Antique cars, live band, a few booths along the way. Kyle thought the cars were pretty cool until he learned that they weren't interested in him actually touching the cars. Luckily Relay for Life was selling the ginormous lollipops, and that tided the kids over while we wandered aimlessly through the crowds.

Jeff and I decided to make it fun and have a friendly competition. Who could spot the most wifebeaters and the most mullets? Surprisingly, there were few mullets to be found. But never fear, the hot night brought out the best in wifebeater attire. And here I am at home now typing about our adventure. We had a good laugh about it though. While the moms and dads had the best of intentions of this cool family night at the Balloon Festival, the kids will only remember a night of glow sticks and giant lollipops. Sweet dreams.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Baby Event

Ha! No, I am not having number 2. But I did spend the morning at a Baby Event. My friends were vendors and I was there for moral support. If you haven't checked out Stroller Strides or Busy Bee Basics, now is the time.

Anyway, I am not solely here to plug my friends. I am here because of some interesting observations about baby events. They prey on the new mom. There are honest to goodness people there - the hospitals, pediatricians, work-at-home-moms (WAHMs) that have learned what we have a need for and design it, and of course, exercise programs that are designed just for us ladies with kiddos in strollers.

But there are also a zillion photographers that charge ridiculous amounts because you would only want the "best" for your little one. Trust me, a chain location can and will do a great job. You just have to find one with a seasoned photographer. For those of you in the Ohio Valley, go to Walmart in Steubenville, OH. YES, I said Walmart! She is awesome, and been taking children's pictures for over 20 years.

There are a million WAHM "programs" that swear you will make money in only a few short hours a week. Don't get me wrong, they have great products. I used to sell Mary Kay. I just can't buy from every one of you out there! I have a budget.

And who can forget the insurance companies that are going to talk to you about life insurance. FYI for the first timers, do not buy this while you are pregnant. They will charge you more. Wait until you have the baby and get to a healthy weight so you can qualify for something reasonable from someone like Zander Insurance. They are highly recommended by Dave Ramsey (and me if you care ;oP).

Then there is the Super Gym Guy, who is going to tell me how to drop those pounds after baby. Can someone explain how he knows? At what stage did he have to lose 20 lbs of fluid that was pumped into his body during labor? Just asking...

Now for the one that got me a bit... a diaper service. For those of you that know me, cloth diapering was an obsession for the first year of Kyle's life. In many ways, I wish I never stopped, but things are what they are. I, at minimum, saved over 1000 diapers from going to the landfill in just that year alone. Anyway, I digress. The service piqued my interest because there seems to be very little cloth diapering resources in the area. I was so excited to see them. However as they stood there making their pitch to the new moms/moms-to-be, I found myself wanting to butt in and yell... "But wait! There are other options!!"

Because they provide the service of clean diapers each week, they don't know or weren't willing to share that doing them yourself is one of the simplest things in the world! They also basically focused on prefolds which were by all means my favorite, but there are so many other kinds - all-in-ones, fitted, pockets, etc, etc. Everyone has their favorite. I thought it would be in bad form to snag the women after they left that table and say... "Psst, go online to these sites. They have everything you need to know." Because really, if they are interested, they should have both sides of the story. They need to know how easy it is for them to do it themselves, but weigh that against the cost of a service. Not every mom gets to stay home, like me, and wash diapers every 2-3 days. Ok, that wasn't really why I stayed home, but you know what I mean.

If you are considering CDing, check out some of these sites: Pinstripes and Polka Dots was one of the first ones I ever encountered and provides awesome insight on every aspect of cloth diapering. I used them as my bible. They review every detergent, tell you how to wash, and sooo much more. And my other addiction was Diaper Swappers, where you can buy, sell and trade your diapers.

Bottom line: New mommies... don't fall for the hype. Your baby will be happy and healthy with whatever choices you make. Your best resources are the moms who have been there. OK, off my soapbox.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Long time, busy as heck!

I just realized that I haven't written anything since before we closed on the house. Hmmm... wonder if there is a correlation? :oP Of course, there is, but we have also just been keeping ourselves busy. Just 3 weeks after closing, we made a trek to Duck, NC in the Outer Banks. We were joined by good friends and family. Fun times had by all. Then Jeff and I decided, Why not continue the fun and skip off Kyle-less to Jamaica - 2 weeks after vacation number 1. In between the travel, I am an organizer for a local mommies' group, Toga Tots, and forever have events and fun things for mom and Kyle to do.

I think that Kyle, at 2, has quite possibly seen just about everything that an upstate Ny summer has to offer. We have been to the state parks for their pools and lakes, farms for strawberry picking, apple picking, and pumpkins soon to come in the fall, science museums, childrens' museums, state museums, the Saratoga Race track for horse racing and Halloween in the Summer, zoos, and probably a dozen other places that I would have to scroll through pictures to remember. That isn't including the exciting time of helping Daddy build 2 bedrooms in the basement! The rooms are complete now with beds. (Reservations are to be made at a minimum of 2 weeks in advance. Please call Chateau Bergman to confirm availability.)

Kyle and I also started a great new adventure with Stroller Strides. SS is an exercise program that is done while the kids are in the stroller. I really enjoy it, and so does Kyle. We go 3 days a week, and he looks forward to knowing that he will see his friends those days. Just don't tell him that Sibby (his little friend) won't be there on Fridays while she goes to preschool and it will be fine :). We also signed up for another round of classes at the Clifton Park Halfmoon Library, so 4 out of 5 days are locked up weekly... We somehow still manage to be busy that 5th day as well! I will post some pictures of the summer's adventures soon.