Thursday, March 28, 2013

From Connected to Unplugged

What a week. Since Monday, I have been on an isolated planet. Not really, but I have been without internet. Isn't that the same thing? According to The NPD Group about 93% of US households are connected, with an average of 5.7 devices per household. (Interesting note, in 1997 only 18% of US households had internet access). So for the past three days, I have been floating in the small pool of the 7%, which I can only assume is otherwise occupied by disconnected canines (would the US census bureau be counting dog houses in the population?). It's been tough. Sure, I missed the surfing, shopping, and Pinterest, but have you ever tried to work from home without the internet? I was left with a slow, battery-eating phone which struggled to pull a stable 3g connection for all the data I was requesting. No matter how big your smartphone screen is, I don't find it a good viewing space for working or surfing for any substantial amount of time.

Why was I unplugged? Well...AT&T is entirely responsible. I called to ask about obtaining better package pricing after our promotional period had expired. (We were assured upfront we would be able to do this.) The customer service people (all 3 of them) were fairly helpful. They seemed to have no issues offering a new long as we would disconnect our current service and start a new account with them. To get the same prices, same deal, and same services we had previously. It didn't sound logical, but I was willing to go along with whatever i's had to be dotted. Until they mentioned it meant a physical disconnection and two technicians would have to come out later in the week to reinstall. What?? But, a decrease in cable is necessary, so I had to agree.

Day 1: I figure I'll get by using my phone. Two hours later, I'm still trying to accomplish one simple task.
 I gave up and started reading books the rest of the day. internet and no TV got me to read.

Day 2: I am learning a lot from the baby books, and I'm finally tackling a stack of pleasure reading I've wanted to get to for months. Well...

Day 3: I'm really starting to get bored and frustrated. But, TV is back since Tech #1 came out to the house. End of reading.

Day 4: I got the internet back today. Unfortunately, your technician only had to enter a number online to get it working. He and I both thought it was unnecessary for him to come out. Starting to get angry. Then he wakes up the child I mentioned was sleeping. I've now been left with a grumpy and fussy child the remainder of the day which prevents me from even using the internet I now have again.
So the lessons here are:

  1. Corporate America is still full of ridiculous policy and waste.
  2. I am absolutely dependent on having internet access.
  3. I'm okay with that dependency.
  4. I dislike all cable/internet companies. Pretty sure they spend their days conspiring to overcharge and underdeliver.
  5. My kid is really fussy if she skips naps. 
  6. All the helpful baby book reading in the world won't fix #5.
  7. If nothing else, AT&T did give me a blog topic. I guess that's the silver lining, because I had been struggling to find the right topic for a few days. Problem solved. And they are now saving me $30 a month.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

From Coffee to the Salamander

Let me explain...I must have coffee in the morning. I am, by now, positive it is 90% in my head, but still, the fact is I must have it. So, first thing I do after getting Hayley up and ready is to start the coffee while I start her breakfast. Seems like a sound plan. So she has her oatmeal and fruit, followed by a not-so-yummy bottle. Then it's time to help me get ready for the day (shower, dress, get a face on). After all this, it is time for a nap (sometimes for me, but in this case, I mean Hayley). After getting her down for a nap, I rush downstairs to wash dishes, clean her bottles, pick up the breakfast mess, start laundry, and then grab 10-15 minutes of computer time before she wakes. 

Then it's back up to get her up and dressed for the day. Now she's ready to play so we have some floor time with toys upstairs for a bit before coming downstairs to get in her jumper and hop away. When she's bored of that, it's usually time to switch the laundry and do some more cleaning, so she tags along. Then it's either lunch (a pureed veggie) or bottle time before the next nap. 

OK, next nap commences so I am either taking a nap myself on the bad days or I am catching up on some work. I also usually make something for lunch at this point. Wake up time again! Now it's back to the jumper for a bit to wake up and stretch. At this point, she usually plays more with the toys on the jumper rather than hopping. One of those toys is a spinning salamander. She loves to make it spin. While I watch in amusement, I realize I have yet to actually drink my coffee. In fact, it's still sitting on the Keurig. Dang. (Full disclosure there are days where I remember it while working and will drink it then. Those are good days.)

Image from
All of that brings me to my point. I miss my brain. I've said it and alluded to it before, but some days I lament the mushiness that remains where a once-functioning brain used to be. All I have now is Mommy Brain. It happens to the best of us, I guess. 

I have artfully-crafted this post many times in my most-favorite thinking place (the shower), and yet, by the time I have a moment to actually compose the words, I am left with a blank stare and idle fingers. (I promise it was supposed to be full of intriguing insights and thoughtful considerations.) Had I not had a brief, striking moment of clarity at 2 a.m. this morning, it may not have been written at all. But while staring at the ceiling and counting the minutes I was wasting, I suddenly thought of many words I tried to think of over the course of the last week. Words I used to use frequently in my vocabulary. (These days, I am lucky to remember "vocabulary".) I suppose it is how nature intends. When you are a mom, your first and largest thoughts must be centered around your child. The next portion is for your significant other/family. And then typically work, household, etc. The last thing you get to use your brain for is yourself. All the more reason to exercise not only your body, but also your mind (does Words with Friends count?).

So I get the reasoning behind my dearly-departed brain, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I guess I have to take solace in what I can still do with it.

Ask me where the favorite paci, cherished Sophie teether, newest favorite toy, or closest bib is, and I can tell you without blinking.

Ask me to spell salamander, and you will probably have some time to go make coffee for yourself.