February 26, 2012

Our First Shopping Trip

My secret shopper
A quick trip Babies 'R Us and Ross.

It sounded so simple, but the agenda for my first solo trip with baby boy was more intimidating than I was willing to admit.

I was set on proving to myself and my family that Bryson and I were ready to roll. Running errands would be a breeze. I packed him up in the carseat, loaded up the ERGObaby carrier and an incredibly overpacked diaper bag considering the occasion, and threw in the few items we'd be returning. Off we went.

In the hour and change that followed, I learned some important lessons:

1. Practice with your baby carrier of choice before trying to use it in public. I had never used the ERGObaby. I'll also confess that I haven't used it since. Not because it's not comfy or stylish; it's both. I just found it incredibly awkward to maneuver on this particular afternoon. Granted, a lot of the awkwardness had to do with the fact that it was raining, so I was trying to put him in the carrier while unfortunately crammed in the back seat of our tiny car. Even worse, the parking lot was full, so people were waiting for my spot.

All I could do was laugh to (at) myself and think, "You have no idea how far away from the keys-in-ignition phase we are, buddy. Carry on."

It's safe to say that the first time I used the Baby Bjorn (which is technically Jeremy's, since Baby Carlos in The Hangover apparently made them en vogue for dudes) was in the privacy of our own home. It's also safe to say that I have become a lot more patient with slow pokes in the parking lot since that day.

2. Dress for the weather. If it's unusually hot, don't wear layers. If it's supposed to rain, don't wear flip-flops. They're slippery, and that's unsafe. And potentially embarrassing. If it's cold, well...it's never cold here.

My mistake on this particular day was the decision to wear a sweater over my usual tank top selection. (Just because I was actually getting out of the house, and it made me feel more...put-together. HA!) I've joked for years that our kid would be doomed, since Jeremy and I could both break a sweat sitting in a igloo.

My genetic predictions were correct. It doesn't take much for our little guy to get warm. A warm, rainy day, a rather insulated baby carrier, and a warm-blooded baby nuzzled up to a mama with a penchant for glistening led to a sticky situation all around. Still, he never once complained. He fell right asleep just as soon as we were up and going.

What. a. champ. Nevertheless, next time, we will check the forecast and dress accordingly.

3. Check your wallet before you leave the store. Once we made our returns and browsed the aisles of BRU for good measure, we loaded back up in the car and headed to Ross to make some more returns. I was returning some items that I had originally purchased in a nesting frenzy in October, on what happened to be the day before Bryson was born.

His room had been almost finished for weeks. All I needed was some pizzazz to add the one blank wall and it would be done, so off to Ross I went! I didn't end up liking what I bought, hence this return trip, about two months later. [Sidenote: The blank wall is still blank and still driving me nuts. Ah well.]

When it came time to actually make the return, the cashier asked for my license. I opened up my wallet, and it wasn't there. I have a sweaty baby strapped to my sweaty self, and no driver's license to be found. Clearly, I had left it at BRU.

Oy. This was not part of my maximum-efficiency baby errand plan! I was so over the loading and unloading process at that point that I Googled the phone number, called BRU, and asked a) if my license was there, and b) if someone could just meet me outside with it. I didn't know if I had left it on the counter or if the lady forgot to hand it back to me.

Didn't matter. What mattered is that I realized it was missing while I was still in the area, a kind soul in a purple polo was willing to walk it out to me, and Bryson was sleeping comfortably in the air-conditioned backseat.

It didn't go quite as a I'd planned, but what ever does - especially when you have a tiny new person involved? We may have had a few kinks to work out, but considering the crucial lessons learned, I'd call this first shopping trip a success.

P.S.  This post is not related to my business, which is about helping bright entrepreneurs attract their dream clients, one brilliant message at a time. HOWEV - if you like my writing and want help with your own, sign up for free tips at www.nikkielledgebrown.com!

February 25, 2012

Going Bananas in Pajamas

I should begin this post by acknowledging that I am extremely thankful that even since the last trimester of my pregnancy, my work responsibilities have lended themselves to telework. Still. One of the biggest advantages AND disadvantages to working from home is the fact that it's frighteningly easy for me to stay in my pajamas all day. Conference call? No problem. Emails? Nobody will know! (Well, they will now...)

Sounds nice, you say? Well, sometimes it is. Other times, it drives me bananas. It's entirely possible for me to go an entire day in pajamas, until it's time to shower and get ready for bed...which involves more pajamas. When I take the time to get dressed, in most cases, it's a switch to workout clothes, which could easily double for...pajamas. Get my drift?

I don't know if this post is meant to be more of a confession or a call-to-action. Maybe it's both. The point is, it's not working for me anymore. I have too many clothes (and fabulous accessories!) to let them go to waste, and life's too short to feel frumpy all the day long. If I can put my four-month-old son in something cute every morning, I can do the same for myself.

So who cares (or knows?!) what day of the week it is:

Stay-at-home, work-at-home moms of the world...GET DRESSED!

We're worth it.

P.S.  This post is not related to my business, which is about helping bright entrepreneurs attract their dream clients, one brilliant message at a time. HOWEV - if you like my writing and want help with your own, sign up for free tips at www.nikkielledgebrown.com!

February 24, 2012

Public it is!

Well, after taking the issue to my good ol' Facebook profile, I have decided to make the blog public. This way, it will mostly be accessible to people I send it to, and/or people who see it via my Facebook profile. I think that's reasonable.

I'll use the rule of common sense, OPSEC (that's for you, Navy family!), and my Paw Paw's advice, (adapted for the 21st century): Don't post anything you wouldn't want on the front page of the news feed. So there. I think I can handle sharing our stories without giving away incriminating details, answers to top secret security questions, and social security numbers.

Now to decide where to set up shop: here, WordPress, or the great unknown...

P.S.  This post is not related to my business, which is about helping bright entrepreneurs attract their dream clients, one brilliant message at a time. HOWEV - if you like my writing and want help with your own, sign up for free tips at www.nikkielledgebrown.com!

February 21, 2012


Hello, world! (And by "world," I of course mean "those of you whom I trust enough to give access to my Facebook profile and thus, this blog address!")

It's time. Time for me to start recording funny, interesting (or delightfully mundane, let's be honest...) stories from our life on the other side of the rainbow. Life is moving SO quickly, and nothing makes that more apparent to me than the teenager-slash-almost four-month-old fella who's sleeping upstairs at the moment.

My blog title may change as my mood changes, but for now, "Stories from a Screensaver" works for me. It's in reference to an iPhone photo I posted to Facebook last year with the caption, "The beautiful view from my 'office' this morning. I'm living in a screensaver." My dear mom, who understandably wishes this "screensaver" was a bit closer to Texas (as do I!), won't let me live this quote down, and so, I've embraced it. Why not?

YES, Hawaii is a gorgeous example of God's creation. You can take a screensaver-worthy photo without much effort here. We are more than fortunate to get to call this place home for now. However, the vast majority of my favorite screensavers are of my favorite people, and my favorite people are why I finally feel compelled to start a blog.

Some entries will be short, some will be long. Some will have photos, some will have typos. Some will be about life at home, some will be about life in general. I may write three per day or three per month. They may be informative, entertaining, or even boring at times, but my main hope is that they will be worth remembering one day when we look back at our first few years as a family.

So this is for you, my favorite people. A nice little way to keep track of our stories from a screensaver.