Monday, December 7, 2009

24 hours in America: Essentials

We are here! Grace, Ava and I arrived at LAX yesterday. All things considered, the flight went very smoothly. Grace slept reasonably well, Ava didn't but was happy to watch "Barbie and the Three Musketeers" over and over, and I got to sit down some. So I count that as a success. One of the many situations as a parent where revised expectations are vital. I should write a book about revised expectations. Very important, I think. But instead, I'll tell you two things we've done so far.


Why, Jason and I went to Super Target, of course! This was last night after we'd gotten the kids to bed, and as the jet lag was starting to really hit me. I was a bit woozy, but that actually enhanced my shopping experience. It's funny, I don't know why the choir of angels didn't show up in the photo, cause I totally saw them when I first walked in. That's weird. It was a short trip, but I did score some zebra striped ballet flats. Jason thought they were ugly.

Hello! He is so wrong.

No, and I say again, no visit to California is complete without a trip to In-n-Out Burger! I love going here. Not only are the burgers the best, the service is so fast, and everyone that works there exudes this fresh-faced exuberance. They are all so earnest--you can just imagine them cheerfully doing their Algebra homework or picking up litter in their spare time.

So, when we left for In-n-Out, I didn't bring a diaper bag for Grace cause I thought Jason had a spare diaper in his man bag. (I'll have to tell you about the man bag another time.) I was so distracted by the thought of a Double Double and fries that I was thinking of little else. And the jet lag!! Yes, don't forget the jet lag! As we're driving, the car fills with a certain aroma. And we all knew what was happening:

Yeah. Jason was amazed at my skilled mothering in not bringing a diaper or wipes, and neither of the nearby gas stations sold any. "It's okay," I told him. "As long as it doesn't leak, she can sit it in for awhile." My mom is reading this and she is appalled right now. So after eating we went into Nordstrom Rack that was nearby. Poor Gracie. She dealt with the indignity of it all with such, well, grace. As I carried her around, though, I realized that her diaper had in fact leaked. And that was such great news. We had a containment breach.

Armed with a packet of Wet Wipes (from aforementioned man bag) and my wits alone, I ducked into the restroom. I thought maybe they'd have diapers in those little vending machines. They didn't. Oh well, I thought. I'll just clean her up and we'll race home with her diaper-less.

That's when I noticed that the bathroom did have a vending machine with maxi pads for sale. Oh no you didn't. Oh yes. I. did. I took off her diaper, cleaned her up, and stuck one of those pads to the inside of her onesie. I was chuckling to myself the whole time. I'm sure the lady in the next stall was wondering.

And now you see how I am the Richard Dean Anderson of mothers. (In fact, can that now be my title? Please?) I felt like MacGyver in there. Flying by the seat of my pants, using my intuition. And a quarter to buy the pad. I exited the bathroom in triumph.

And even though I am a bit of a loser to leave the house without provision for such an incident, I can now tell you that maxi pads will work on babies. For the short term at least. In case you ever need to know that.

And that is the story of our first 24 hours in America. Shopping, eating, and absorbent materials. And MacGyver--remember that part.


  1. OMG!! This is just the best post!! I laughed out loud at poor little Grace wearing a Maxi pad. She is such a good sport. I love your ballet flats-have looked at them myself every time I go to S.T. I know you are thrilled to be here and am so glad that your trip wasn't bad. Have a lovely time. I will talk to yall on Christmas. Love ya

  2. Dear Amy,

    I love you.

    That is it!


  3. I actually had to get up and go to the bathroom part way through reading this because otherwise I was gonna pee my pants. You're so funny.

    And by the way, I LOVE your ballet flats!

  4. I'll be back to comment more later, but WAH! They don't have those flats at my Target, I've already looked!

    Poop indeed.

  5. And this my friend is why I am so thankful that I check your blog on a daily basis. Thanks for the laugh, and thank you Grace for your sacrifice.

  6. Awesome. So I have a McGyver mom story too. Elijah wears cloth diapers. On Wednesday, we were at homeschool co-op and I was changing him and I realized I had forgotten to put a waterproof cover on him that morning. I didn't have an extra one either! Someone suggested I put a Ziplock bag on him. I took a gallon bag and clipped the corners and put his little legs through. It worked! The other moms said he looked like leftovers in his little baggie diaper though.

  7. Yeah ! You are all on your native soil! I laughed at your forays into Target and the burger place. I totally would have done it too. I am impressed at your McGiveresque skills and resourcefulness. Oh, I love the picture of little Grace sitting in the high chair-complete with caption. You are a funny girl !

  8. Welcome to Los Angeles! Let me know if you need anything. I'm sorry if it rains tomorrow like it's supposed to. Drag.

    BTW, the Kotex/diaper is a stroke of brilliance.

  9. OMG, hilarious. I never would have thought of that...simply brilliant.

    Welcome home!!

  10. I'm so glad you're there safely and the flight was pretty good! :)

    And that is some story!! You and Grace are both super girls!! :D xoxo

  11. I love MacGyver. Biggest. Schoolgirl. Crush. Ever.

    Is it true that In-n-Out burger prints "john 3:16" in the inside bottom lip of their soda cups? And something else on their french fry containters? Never having been to Cali, I have not been able to confirm this rumor for myself. Perhaps that's why the workers all look so fresh faced. They are handing over the gospel each and every day. In a hidden, tiny-print, disposable kind of way.

    you need to publish the maxi-pad story on "" awesome sauce.

  12. We went to SuperTarget as well yesterday. As I stood with my wife in the trash can aisle, helping her look for a little bathroom trash with a lid that wasn't one of the expensive metal ones, I thought to myself, "How can anyone like this place?"

    Looking forward to seeing you guys!

  13. I would totally not sweat the lack of materials in the diaper bag situation. You got them all to America in one piece!
    Hilarious post. You should take a photo of you in each Target in each state you visit!

  14. That is an awesome idea, Michele R. 'Tis the season! And here at my SuperTarget, it's the most wonderful time of the year. That is, the time of the year when Target is open until 11.

    What I love about this story is that after she pooped at In-and-Out, you still went to Nordstrom Rack. Target, In-and-Out, and Nordstrom Rack: the Holy Trinity of California retail.

  15. Funny as always! Hey, I am happy for you guys enjoying your homeland:) Rebekah asked me to explain what the caption was on the pic of Grace and she laughed her head off!

  16. Thanks y'all--glad it gave you a laugh. :) And Mad Woman--I nearly made you pee your pants? I must say, I am honoured.

    Amber--wow! Now THAT is a MacGyver moment. Well done! I can just picture a little one toddling around in a ziploc! lol

    Gretchen--hi! Yes, it rained cats and dogs here today. Very un-Californian!

    AEL--they do have verses on the cups and the containers the fries come in (I think). Very cool! And you may have a point.

    And Michele R--that is a good idea. But I might be embarrassed to show exactly how many I'll go into over the course of the next 6 weeks! :)

  17. Damon and I were ROTFL at the visual as well "Hi - I'm sitting in my own poo". What a little trooper Grace is. Can't wait to meet her!

  18. The pad is pure genius. I never remember to bring extra diapers with me anywhere. Now that I know a pad will do in a pinch, there's even less incentive to make an effort with the diaper bag. Thanks for that!

    I hope you all are feeling better. There are few things worse than stomach bugs. Ugh.

  19. I second Meghan's comment.
    You are a champion among moms.
    That story is going to be a favorite thru the years I think.

  20. First, Wordy McWord to In-N-Out. My close friend in NYC comes out almost every year, and nearly our first stop is In-N-Out (then Sprinkles Cupcakes).

    Second, my husband has a Murse, too (our term for the man-purse). Frankly, I was tired of "Can you put my wallet/sunglasses/phone in your purse"? So I made him get it a few years ago.

    Finally, congrats on the award from Mind of A Madwoman. You go, girl!