Home Family Art Homemade Frugal Living Travel

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Charlotte and I played hooky from church

She has a cold and I don't want to spread it, it's not a bad cold, just a bit of a runny nose but I don't want to be labeled as "that" parent so we are not going.

But we can't stay home ALL day, that would be boring and she wouldn't nap very long. She needs stimulation, excitement - I think she needs a day at the beach! Or at least a morning until it rains.

We got a late start and missed all the quarter parking spots. Bummer. After driving around for 15 minutes we resorted to pay the $5.00 parking fee. Next time we'll be prepared to arrive BEFORE 11am. This is the law of meter beach parking.

I pile everything in one bag, grab the umbrella, beach towel and Charlotte. I really need to start lifting more weights, everything combined is getting heavy! I know, I know Hotsling is needed.

It's a hot day, tons of humidity with the impending rain, I want to take her swimming but I didn't wear my swimsuit. The water's been so rough the last few visits with rip currents and jelly fish so I didn't bother. Today's a green flag, totally safe and calm, but she's having fun in the sand, maybe it will be a clean beach day.

It's getting hotter; babies hair is wet and face is red.

We really should just go for it. I don't care if anyone sees me swimming in a black sundress. Then we see the black clouds rolling in and just as I'm packing to leave, Charlotte falls face first into the sand. It happens every single time. I keep telling her exfoliation is not necessary at this age but she doesn't listen!

She really doesn't care, but it's hard to get the sand off her face. The only thing I know that works is a shower of streaming water.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sorry I've been absent

Sometimes it seems like there nothing more to change. I've saved and saved in every area possible - well that I'm willing to compromise at this point in my life. Then our baby started getting into all of our books, CD's and movies and while baby proofing the house, we realized alot of stuff had to go. Here's my strategy:

- dropped off clothes and a few books (they provide a tax receipt and last year it helped increase our return by $100).

- I had to try it out. I've sold two items so far and I'm not entirely sure it worth the hassle. It seems worth it for the immediate payoff but I'm pretty sure if I do the research I'll find that I'd get more back in tax write off from a donation. I guess it comes down to immediate pay off vs annual payoff.

- Pre-baby I bought alot of books. I always dreamed of a big library and just assumed we'd jump from condo to house in 5 years and have an extra room for my indulgences. Life has not worked out that way and now that it looks like we are stuck here for an unknown amount of time we need to clear space to make room for our newest member. I packed up a file box of books - all chick lit - and posted them on Amazon. I've sold 2 books in one week and I made about $1.00 per book. Hardly worth the effort. I'm considering pulling down the remaining postings and donating the books to the public library.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Baby Temper Tantrums

We are dealing with baby temper tantrums. Working hard on the "distract and present with new situations and objects strategy" but it's getting really hard. Tonight I came home from work to find husband completely wiped out. His face drawn and haggard he told a horror story of the trip to Costco where she screamed at an unearthly pitch during the entire drive there and then refused to sit in the grocery cart. I marvel at his ability to stack the cart with bulk groceries while holding our energetic baby.

Tonight I took her to the store to buy an avocado, yogurt and wheat tortillas (I stuck to my list!!!). I elected to hold her with one arm and basket in the other - I know, I know, a Hotsling is needed! At the check out she made a pass for my wallet which I was anticipating and foiled her grab at which she screamed, flailed and - giggled? The ladies behind us distracted her with goo goo eyes. Incredibly grateful I thanked them profusely.

Wood Stork

My 2nd favorite bird is the Wood Stork. He only shows up after a big rainstorm and then trudges through the marshy waters that have overflowed the grassy bank.

Photos taken at 7pm.

I guess I got a bit close with that last one. Sorry Wood Stork.

I did it!

I went to the store and didn't buy any dumb food like chips and pizza rolls. To comfort myself I bought a People magazine.

Why - why would I put myself through this???

Because I want to lose a little weight (specifically 10lbs) don't laugh I have a good reason! 10lbs will put me back in all of my pre-maternity clothes - and with Charlotte's one year birthday fast approaching in 20 days I'm motivated.

I must confess the very minute I set myself into a diet and exercise routine my mind revolted. I haven't eaten chips in 3 months and what do I suddenly crave, CRAVE?!? It's like I have a split personality that's taunting me. Suddenly I want, desperately want junk foods that I couldn't have cared less about before the diet started. I swear a diet is all mind control.

Onto the exercise part - I've walked 2 miles every day for the last 4 days. Not GREAT but it will do for the first week.

Please cheer me on! I need the encouragement.

Monday, May 25, 2009


My favorite bird showed up at the end of our sidewalk. This is the Anhinga, but I call it the prayer bird because with wings out it appears to be praying. This bird swims underwater to catch fish but doesn't have coated feathers so it needs to stand for hours in the sun drying it's wings.

Memorial Day 2009

A day off!

- Breakfast at Cracker Barrel
Charlotte sampled everything on our plates. I love feeding her solids!

- Beach
Where I dropped my phone in a wave while taking photos of baby - it's okay, I've had it for 2 years and AT&T will offer an upgrade ... but I loved my old chunky stylus phone, even if it was almost out of memory and I can't increase the memory because the card size is no longer sold.

Baby fell face first into the sand - it's now a given.

More cute baby photos.

- Baby proof the house
Pack up all books, DVD's and CD's (because we have an open TV Stand)

- In packing up books (that baby's been pulling out every day) we inadvertently designed a box stack that fit 3 cats! They are so pleased. We are inspired to make an actual wooden box set in this shape to hold outdoor shoes and stuff.

- Sell stuff on eBay - I hope this works!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

She's driving me crazy

Flailing limbs
Attempting to toss herself head first off the changing pad
Flipping around in my arms
Trying to squeeze out of my arms bottom first while I'm holding something
Driving her walker full speed into a room divider causing it to fall and hit her on the head
Refusing naps
Shaking everything in sight
Reaching for everything in sight
Bored with everything already touched and examined
Inexplicably getting a scratch on her forehead the one second my back is turned
Opening a cabinet door and shutting it on her fingers.

I just don't feel prepared for this stage.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"Work from home" Friday's

My job has laid off and furloughed enough employees that Friday's tend to have only management left. Being such, I elected to work from home today.

My day included the following:

Workout at 7:30am.

Grocery run at 8:30am.

Not wearing make-up and getting ready for work.

Random shrieks from baby as she chases the cats in her walker.

Mid-day cookies and cream milk shake run - inspired by husband.

Break with baby while husband fixed neighbors bike.

Cat sitting next to me begging for attention.

I got work done somewhere in there - with Bose headphones and loud music playing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Our air conditioner broke. One of the advantages to having stay-at-home-dad is he can take instant action to call repair man and have it fixed by the next day.

Why is gas $0.30 higher in 3 weeks? Major ugg.

My email's been hijacked by spam/scammers. My favorite so far -
subject - Compensation
- actual email address - info@america.net

Greetings to you,
On behalf of the Obama's Foundation, we wish to notify you as a beneficiary of
$99,000,000 USD in compensation of scam victims.Do contact HSBC INTERNATIONAL
BANK, United Kingdom Branch for verification and release of your $99,000,000
USD that we have deposited with the HSBC BANK,UK.

 I want to block them but every day it's a different email address/sender.

Major Ugg...
Finally a friend's husband is losing his job just because the congregation he pastors doesn't like his style. I want to meet the Christians who would throw a family out on the street just because they do not like his preaching style. That's just cruel. I know my friends will be okay because they have God on their side but I'm still really upset with this church.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

If mom's designed cars

there would be a hook to hang an umbrella so that my rear end wouldn't get wet when putting baby into her car seat.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm so tired

This morning, while getting ready for church, Charlotte grabbed my phone and after pressing a series of buttons called my friend Christine who heard a baby screaming and me yelling sorry Christine as I reclaimed the phone. Lately the baby throws a tantrum every time something is taken away.

I was really hoping for a nap today (as she napped) but my body betrayed me and I closed my eyes for a 1/2 hour until baby screamed/summoned me. Then I laid on the bed in her room for an hour watching her play while dozing. That ended badly when I wouldn't let her have my glasses so after a diaper change I put her in the walker where she's been chasing cats, pressing the DVD buttons and spreading magazines pages all over the floor. It's time for her 2nd lunch, maybe she will fall asleep after this?

Next time I have serious jet lag, I'm checking myself into a local hotel for the weekend to recover in peace. This is rough!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


What does Vietnam mean to you? The most likely answer is the Vietnam War. I know the basics - it's a war that happened before I was born, ending April 1975, I was born November 1975. For me it's a history lesson. My trip takes place 34 years and one month following the war and here is what I saw.

My initial thought was I could fly in Sunday night, stay at a local hotel and get picked up the following morning by our factory GM. My boss laughed at me and said no, you are not flying into a 3rd world country alone and without a guide. I was surprised, I've yet to fly into a country that doesn't have hotels nearby and taxi's to ferry one around. Welcome to Hanoi - it's an airport in the middle of a green field. In the drive away from the airport I didn't spot a hotel until we were at least 1 hour into the trip.

In the 2.5 hour drive to the factory I took photos from the car. My photos are all a little blurry from shooting through the window. My impressions are solely taken from the sights seen from the car and commentary from our factory GM who is from Korea and has found life in Vietnam to be very enjoyable.

Houses -

Notice how they all have solid concrete sides, all are long skinny buildings and only the fronts are decorated. I was fascinated by this unusual architecture. SY, our factory GM, said the current leader of Vietnam decreed that all people should have houses and to make room, all should be long skinny buildings.

Transportation -
Scooters, bicycles are 90% of the transportation. The middle line is merely a suggestion as car drivers thread in between scooters beeping at every one to say get out of my way, I'm a car and want to go faster - seriously the car drivers use the horn every 5 seconds.

Merchants -
Scooters/Bikes are used to transport a variety of things. I saw chickens, dogs, balloons, food and building materials. The most people I saw on a scooter was 4 (dad holding baby in lap, mom on back holding baby in lap). I can imagine a couple getting started in life gets their first scooter like American's get SUV's. Before you express any major concern for the babies on scooters, note everyone drives 20-25 miles per hour. It's pretty slow and I'd say they mostly drive on the slow side of that number.

On the road into the factory I saw a stream of people with these items headed into the city, and on the way to the airport the following evening I saw them leaving with empty baskets. It's a bustling economy, it seems that everyone is selling something.

Along the way I saw people selling food in carts, on the ground, in little tents, under a bridge. It seems like where ever there is space, someone is selling something.

Vietnam is a wet country. I saw water everywhere, next to buildings, throughout the fields, etc. Very wet. The humidity was thicker then South Florida, it reminded me of New Orleans. The two days spent in the factory were suffocating, they even have decent fans set up on both sides but it's still hot to the initiated. On that note, here are photos of the factory production -
Pluto skins

Baby Tinkerbell - sans clothing

Minnie - waiting for bows

Minnie - embroidery eyes

And that's all.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 1 in Vietnam

I'd like to tell you about the lovely things I've seen and post some cool photos but I'm too tired. I've been up since 5am Hong Kong time, I'm disoriented, I've eaten strange foods all day, it's that time of the month, I forgot all appropriate supplies, making do with the kindness of friends, just flooded the bathroom, harassed the hotel staff for an internet cord when their insistence that internet is automatic should have been enough to understand they have wireless, tried to SKYPE husband but he couldn't hear me. Going to eat the lovely welcome fruit that is beautifully cut and crawl in bed. Photo post later.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 5 in Hong Kong

I just want to start by saying there are no gels in the world that can keep my hair from frizzing in this Hong Kong humidity! I look fluffy.

Today I went to Star Ferry. Usually when I come to Hong Kong it's for a toy convention and I take this Ferry to the other side to the convention center, but none this trip. In this link, I learned the following "A crossing of Victoria Harbour on a Star Ferry has been named by the National Geographic of Traveler as one of the "fifty places of a lifetime"." Well isn't that cool? I've been to a lifetime landmark today! Visit the link for a much better photo but here's mine.

I bought a People and Time magazine from a vendor at Star Ferry - comforts of home! This is actually the only place I know of to get a current copy of People. Yes I did come down here just for this - oh! and husband requested photos of Chinese boats so here is a cool one.

I swear I saw a tiny pirate ship with a red flag on the front and back but it was so far away I could not crop close enough to identify it from the water. It's really foggy today.

Here is a photo of a tree. The significance is that it's a very old tree and in a city of concrete, trees are considered precious and great care is taken to build around them.

I went to see a movie - X-Men 4. It was awesome - yes it was in English with Chinese subtitles. I've always wanted to see a movie in Hong Kong. I got directed to my seat by an usher with a flashlight - how cool is that!?!

I'm back at the hotel winding down, packing, preparing for trip to Vietnam tomorrow. Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there. Here is my hero, I love this women and my baby seems to really like her as well!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Day 4 in Hong Kong

My very important meeting, the entire reason I came to Hong Kong, was this morning. It was over by 1pm and I had a sudden sense of mild panic - what to do for the remainder of the weekend? I do best with solid planning so I came back to the hotel and made a list:

1. Get Hong Kong map (request by husband who collects maps)
2. Get present for husband and baby
3. Foot powder - it's really embarrassing - my sandals stink! In taking my carry on baggage plan a little too seriously I did not pack any back up footwear. I don't know how it happened but midway through the trip I noticed the bad shoe smell is my sandals. What a nightmare! I must find a Watsons today. I remember they were stocked with all manner of personal care supplies.
4. ATM
5. Phone Card
6. Lunch

First step is Langham hotel - I know I've already been there for buffet but I remember a steak sandwich with hot English mustard. It's better then I remember. Two years ago when I stayed at the Langham, I'd eat at the rooftop poolside - it was so lovely. I don't think they'd let a non-guest eat up there so I settle in the lounge.

I stretch the time to two hours between lunch and latte while reading "The Other Queen" by Phillipa Gregory. At 3:30 I take a deep breath and march outside to rediscover a part of Hong Kong walked frequently two years ago. My feet take me confidently through the subway tunnel that directs foot traffic under a road so congested it is not permitted to cross on foot.

I find Peking Road on the other side and follow it through a strange curve in the road that my feet remember all the while getting offers from street vendors for massage, copy watch, copy handbag. I giggle as an old lady shakes this sign in my face and as I try to photograph it she keeps moving it up. I don't think she liked my intentions.

My feet rediscover a favorite purse store - ah Rabeanco, the softest leather purses in the world, can I resist?

Yes I can, fortunately the black selection is minimal or I'd have lost resolve.

It's hot, crowded and sticky - a street vendor whispers "suit - suit, custom made". The air is thick with cigarette smoke and occasionally a strong waft of fish. I discover an alley art market (every inch of Hong Kong is utilized). I buy husband Chinese health balls for $2.00.

My feet continue along a path of remembrance as I reach Nathan road and suddenly - WATSONS! I knew I could find it and triumphantly I find foot powder along with a few signs that made me giggle.

I consider my trip a success and work backwards to Langham like a homing pidgin. I'm sure there are other places to catch a taxi but I find comfort in a familiar place, plus I need to use their bathroom. An impostor, I feign guest status and march back through the well known hotel. I use their bathroom with all the confidence of a guest along with their doorman support to catch a taxi who I tell to inform the driver of my end destination as the Royal Garden hotel because for all they know I'm visiting a friend there.

ATM and phone card secured near my hotel. My list is complete, my blog finished for today. Moving onto to dinner, reading "The Other Queen", will call mom for mother's day and probably report to boss on the meeting in 2 or 3 hours. Only 4 hours left in my day!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Day 3 in Hong Kong

I'm a bit disappointed that I missed going into mainland China. For all my talk about avoiding the flu police I really miss getting to visit Shenzhen. It's so gritty and I wanted to show you factory photos - well I guess if I really wanted to do that I could recycle those from past visits. But I always come away from China with a story to tell - even if it's just the terrifying taxi ride with the mesh gate between backseat and driver that is broken and shards of metal are pointed at my head and the seat belt is broken and I live in terror of an accident. Well that's a true story and hardly something to look forward to but it's a story.

So let's see, the factory manager came to visit us and things hummed along as usual until we got on the topic of recent Disney lay offs (since we are in the business of such production). I casually mention that lay offs in the US are typically done in one day and there is no compensation package for the average worker. Both my HK GM and the factory GM were shocked out of their seats. Here is a direct quote that shows a Chinese perspective (said in an outraged, shocked tone):

How can Disney - DISNEY! a company that touts social values - force social compliance on Chinese factories that require them to provide compensation packages to layed off workers yet in the US lay off employee's with no compensation beyond the last day worked?

She was pissed - well naturally, she spends her days trying to comply with Disney standards. Why should they have a different standard for China?

Render me momentarily speechless until I stumble to explain it's great to live in America - the land of the free but when one loses a job it is easy to envy our neighbors who provide better social services in the way of health care, maternity leave, etc. When you have a job it's like I want all of my money and let me determine how I want to spend it thank you very much!

So here I am in the hotel room - again - having room service because I'm too grumpy to sit in a restaurant by myself at 9pm at night. Earlier and I don't care but I like to settle in at this hour. I did however pop out for a few photos while waiting for food to arrive.

Here is a view directly outside my hotel facing the harbor:

Sorry it's not the most exciting shot. I'll spend the weekend looking for more interesting Hong Kong photos.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Day 2 in Hong Kong

I traveled by taxi to lunch at the Langham hotel, so no photos were taken. The Langham is a 5 star British hotel with incredible service and I used to stay here before they remodeled and doubled their prices. It looks exactly the same, the only real difference is a high end buffet that I like to stop by least once per trip. They always have fantastic curry dishes and to top it off a chocolate fountain and mini desserts.

At the end of my day, our Hong Kong GM sprained her ankle while on a cigarette break - mom always said those things would kill ya (cue bad joke) so I don't have to go into mainland China tomorrow. She had me terrified yesterday by saying that Monday she saw a bunch of foreigners get pulled into a room and that she'd really hate to see me get detained for a "week of observation" (cue DA DA DA music). In a cartoon sense I imagine the scene in Monster's Inc. where the Monster comes out with a sock attached and the CDC sets off an alarm and shaves him! What if I sneezed? I could be thrown in a room with nothing to do for 7 days!

Tonight I ate at Ruth Steak House - they love me there! Every time I come to Hong Kong I go there and sit at the bar so I can watch the harbor scene and the bartender remembers my name every time. It's been 18 months since I was here last! I must make quite an impression with my lovely scarf and black bag. Until that is they inquired about my dreadfully tired appearance.

Well I DID ask for my soup to go and you said oh no we don't do to go. Then I asked for a soup that wasn't on the menu and you made it anyway so I guess we're okay.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Day 1 in Hong Kong

Would you believe I'm still awake and not tired at 10pm? It's like I took super woman pills or something. By all rights, I should be knocked out right now, instead I'm having a Curry and contemplating ordering Monday's episode of 24 from iTune's for $2.99. I can't seem to get the episode to download for free on Fox's website.

What have I done with my day? Well I got up at 7:15am after 3 hours of sleep. At 8:45 met the company's HK General Manager who marched me down to the subway to get passport photos. We then met the Visa agent in the subway and handed off my Visa and photos for immediate processing. Hong Kong is so efficient like that, what other city do you know of that you can make a phone call and summon a Visa agent in the subway tunnel?

After lunch we marched back through the same subway - did I mention the subway is a duel purpose of underground tunnels for people to walk under the city AND take the subway "train"? This time purpose was to visit the Hong Kong visa office to process my China Visa. Do you see the really little sign that I've highlighted in yellow that says China Visa? How does anyone find anything around here?

How about some bulk dried seafood? Ummm dried prawns, I did forget to pack snacks.

I am endlessly fascinated with bamboo scaffolding. GM asked if we use this in the US - I laughed, we have too many safety requirements I inadvertently stated to which she comments that many people hurt their hands binding the bamboo but they are very strong.

I proudly present 7-11, because there might be some 'Merican's who think it's the same as in the US. Ha!

Click on the photo to see the detail, you might recognize a few products, most are Chinese.

Finally I said hi to baby and husband on SKYPE right around her 9am nap (9pm here) and after listening to me ramble on and on she cuddled up and went to sleep. Awwwww, maybe she thinks I'm there with her. How did I make such a cute baby?

PS. this is my 200th posting, quit fitting since my blog started in Hong Kong. Sounds like someone could have been a tad more grateful at a chance to "see the world". Hurmpt!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I made it!

Today is Wednesday, 10:30am Hong Kong time and I'm taking an extended breakfast to update my blog and "breath".

I left my adorable baby and husband at the Fort Lauderdale airport on Monday, 9:00am and it took me 30 hours to get to Hong Kong.

In Jersey, our plane left one hour late and had a mechanical failure after leaving the terminal then had to be towed back to an available terminal entrance - that took two hours! It then took an additional 5 hours to get a replacement plane and a replacement crew - due to labor laws a crew cannot go over schedule. We left Jersey at 11pm Monday night and arrived into Hong Kong on Wednesday morning at 3am. Dizzy yet? I am!

I slept 10 hours on the plane but it was that uncomfortable sleep where you wake every hour and reorganize all limbs. In the hotel I slept 3 hours before having to get up at 7:15 to shower, eat breakfast, meet our company HK GM in lobby at 8:45am to locate photo booth in the subway, a 45 minute walk, to get passport photos taken - all because I forgot them.

So here's a summary of things forgotten:
* ball point pen - folks do not travel with a uni-ball pen, they explode on planes, they should come with warning labels, my favorite tan linen pants are tragically ruined - not that the frayed cords about to snap any day now had much to do with pants impending ruin but STILL!
* sweater - in my quest to pack only carry on, I forgot the most important element to airport and plane travel - a good sweater and layers. It was frigid!
* passport photos - duh!
* computer mouse - I can probably live w/o this one
* snacks and tea - this may count as overpacking

When traveling alone I like to find buddies and when stuck for an additional 8 hours in an airport people tend to bond under shared duress. I met the following lovely folks who I thank sincerely for making my day interesting:

* Cute young Caucasian mom and dad with 16 month old boy going to Shenzhen for the first time to visit family. I exclaimed at the long distance to travel with such a young one and they breathlessly exclaimed that going to China is a once in a lifetime opportunity and they couldn't pass it up. Right now my husband, while reading this, is mumbling I keep trying to tell you honey to appreciate your travel experiences more. Okay I get it!

* The BEST BEST part is getting a fabulous seat mate with one empty seat between us. I met a lovely woman from Venezuela named Natalie who has a 4 year old and chatted with me about her business in jewelry sourcing. She was so sweet and lovely to sit with. Think about a 15 hour flight, you want someone really cool to share the time with. She lives in Miami, perhaps we will get together again.

* Met a young girl headed to Bali for 3 weeks. Apparently there are only 3 flights per week to Bali and she had a 12 hour layover even with our major plane delay. Ah to be young(er) and have all the time in the world.

I have no complaints! Traveling with lovely people makes it all worth it.

Here's a few pre-trip photos (mostly for my benefit):

Baby trashing the house (I'll miss picking up CD's)

And here's are some beach photos taken the night before I left (our early Mother's day celebration):

Preparing for American Idol

Snagged mom's sunglasses, isn't she sophisticated?

And now for yoga meditation pose, Oommmmm

Ah the beach, feel relaxed?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Pre-trip jitters

So much for my initial excitement in going back to Asia. I was feeling smug because Asia was untouched by the swine flu until Friday when an infected Mexican 25 year old decided to sight see in Shanghai, then Hong Kong. Now HK is in super sensitive mode. Everyone staying in the hotel he checked into has been quarantined. Check the link, it's scary! Can you imagine being on your way out of the hotel to get a lovely Starbucks and meet a client only to be stopped by Chinese police and "health officers" and be told you CANNOT LEAVE!

I've come in and out of China for 9 years and enjoyed total freedom to come and go as I please. It will be interesting to visit during this current state of events. I wonder if my clients will decide to cancel the meeting? But I fly Monday morning and they probably fly later in the week so if they did cancel I wouldn't find out till I'm there.

Let's say I somehow get the flu, can you imagine getting interrogated by the Chinese police as to who you've been in contact with???

I got tamiflu pills, hand sanitizer and face masks. Thanks again to all who pushed my lazy ass to get the flu pills because I was really in la la mode!

Reasons why I avoid Boca

because I want to buy things - like stuff I used to buy when I wasn't on a self imposed budget and I spent every penny earned. Yeah I really should have been more prudent in my late 20's pre-adult life.

Baby and I careened around the mall as she shouted AHHHHHHH in short burst intervals while leaning forward in stroller with both arms up and one comb in hand. She's so cute. I see people with babies in those strollers that force them into a lying position and I don't know how they get the kids to lay there placidly. I must be feeding her some kind of energized milk. She's like this everywhere we go.

I limited myself to the concealer and clothes for baby at Gymboree which were bought with a gift card - oh yeah and a latte. That's all! We passed the Mac store with their "we have an app for everything" signs. We passed Cartier which has armed guards inside and overheard a gentleman say to his lady friend "go ahead baby, get whatever you want" - I guess someone's feeling recession proof. One clothing store decorated their window with paper cone shaped cups - um original? We visited Lucky Brand store and didn't buy anything - yeah that's right I have self control.

Except for the chocolate croissants, habanero cheese, grapes and plain croissants bought at Whole Foods. Again, one of the main reasons I avoid Boca. I'm home now and not likely to do further damage to the monthly budget that is only 2 days old.

Less then 48 hours before I leave for Asia

I'm letting baby blow some steam in her walker before going to Boca Raton to visit Nordstrom's for Estee Lauder concealer. That's right we're going high class today! But only out of necessity - the local mall is completely out of my color and I'm almost out of concealer!

So on with the make up because I'm not going to Boca lookin' like I just rolled out of bed!

I took that myself.

And one of us is going to get lunch at Whole Foods - actually both of us likely will because lately baby is enjoying everything on our plates. She does not prefer Gerber or homemade baby food - why didn't someone tell me it was as easy as do as I do? I've fought for 5 months to get that baby to eat solids and she happily drops her trap open for anything on our plates.