My Craigslist Soul Mate

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I’m not Julie, but I kinda am. Dog stalking is a hard habit to break.

Day 6: Too Tired, Still Had to Make Dinner

Today I was at an all day conference and knowing that I’d be tired when I got home, I planned for a Crock Pot dinner. The problem is that I forgot to turn on the Crock Pot. I forgot to take the Crock Pot out of the cabinet and fill it with food, too, which is most likely where things went wrong. I came home tired, then had to make dinner, and am now watching TV in bed before I fall asleep while searching Pinterest for an easy, but impressive cake for a sleepover this weekend. I will not make a rainbow layer cake. I will not make a rainbow layer cake. I will not make it.

The Extra Hour was Wasted on Me

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What a difference a year makes. Last year, I was at Starbucks on the day that the holiday cups came out, and I was there when they went away, all because I lived at Starbucks during our remodel. I don’t miss it.

It’s nearly dinner time, yet I look like I just rolled out of bed and I cannot remember if I brushed my teeth this morning. I’m pretty sure I did?  Much of my fantasy football team is on a bye week, but after some weak substitutions, cursing the heavens, and much holding my breath, I may win. Also, after adding a second beautiful avocado to my bowl of fresh guacamole, the glass bowl shattered and the contents had to be tossed. Oh, Sunday, I give up.

Complying with the NFL Clear Bag Policy

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For scale: the left bag holds a sweater, sweatshirt, t-shirt, and clutch.

I’m torn on this one: part of me feels like sporting events are ripe for some sort of awful terrorist event and better gate protection is needed; the other part of me thinks that making a mom with two young kids buy and carry a clear bag into a stadium is not the solution.

About two days before heading out to a 49ers game, my mom said something to me about the new NFL all clear policy because I didn’t know a thing about it despite following football. (Following football is different from following stadiums. Keeping up with game rule changes was confusing enough, and FYI NFL, when reaching out to bloggers, don’t exclude the NFC West region.) I looked at the policy and then places to buy complying clear bags online through the NFL shop, but the 49ers bags were back ordered for weeks (and the least expensive bag remains backordered). I scrambled out to the nearby 49ers shop where I was able to find a small size bag for $5. I bought three – one for me, and one each per kid – and our stuff fit comfortably, but the problem was with the execution of the bag carry.

Going on a picnic, these bags would be great. They aren’t the most comfortable over my shoulder (longer straps would help), but they were fine. Yet, NFL stadiums are crowded, and Candlestick Park has walkways that resemble a mosh pit. I had to carry all three bags, plus hold my kids’ hands to safely navigate the crowd together. I missed the backpack that I take into SF Giants games, the one that holds all of our gear in one sack. and doesn’t keep sliding off my shoulder, knocking my kids in the head.

What made me uncomfortable about the clear bags is that everyone sees what you brought. I don’t care if you see my sweatshirt or water bottle, but my phone, wallet, and (spoiler alert) tampons are another story. To make me feel better about my wallet, I took a small square clutch – the same size as the one that used to hold my ID and cash on my keychain during college – and used a carabiner to secure it to the bag handle. This way my wallet wasn’t floating around in the bag, possible falling out or getting snatched. It worked perfectly.

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The tampons were another story and were shoved in between the sweatshirts, allowing me to retain some dignity. Maybe the NFL will next come out with a licensed feminine hygiene products bag.

If you bring along a child in diapers, but don’t worry, per the NFL, your baby can carry her own diaper bag!  ”Diapers can be carried in a clear bag. Each member of a family, including children, would be allowed to carry an approved clear bag and a clutch purse into the stadium. That is a quite a bit of storage capacity.”

Here’s the thing, I’m happy to pay $5 for better security. I would have also paid $5 to avoid the out-of-her-mind drunk woman in front of us who threw up like a sprinkler, hitting all the seats around her, but that’s another story. I would feel a lot better about the NFL’s interests if they were not profiting from the bag sales. Paying $5 was fine, but the $10 and up, plus shipping, prices online make this feel like it’s more about revenue than safety. The position that there is a less expensive alternative – simple Ziplock bags – is nuts. They know football is played in the cool/cold weather, which usually calls for layers and blankets too bulky for any allowable Ziplock. Plus, are we supposed to Duct tape straps to make them wearable?

If you’re serious NFL, sell the $5 bag online, at stadium gates, and at merchandise booths inside the stadiums. I was stopped many times to answer where I found our bags for purchase. Answering, “the 49ers store in Palo Alto” wasn’t what people wanted to hear. We all want a safe environment, help make it easy to comply.

Getting Spicy Over Hospital Photo Restrictions

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Someone very important to me was born yesterday (I tried explaining the hilarity of the “born yesterday” saying to Rocket, who wasn’t getting it). There is nothing better than snuggling a little baby while not being the one recovering from a c-section. The pediatrician noted that on their second night, babies tend to get a little “spicy.” I am now going to use “spicy” as a term to describe my own children’s demanding behavior. It sounds spunkier than just being a demanding pain.

Stanford is a great place to be when in a health crisis, and I know that because I saw the children’s hospital staff at their best when I nearly died from severe preeclampsia, but while putting all of the focus on life saving, the niceties of a normal experience get overlooked. I was reminded yesterday as I was talked to several times by security about picture taking. I wasn’t doing anything at the time, other than having the camera on me, but one guy really was nasty about lecturing me about not taking photos of the building, staff, or anyone else that was not my family. Another security guard told me that they have to tell everyone this, yet they only seemed to go after me, with a visible camera and not the other 95% of the people walking around with smartphones taking pictures of everything. Maybe wait until a person appears to do something questionable before going in all bad cop on them.

I don’t respond well to these lectures. I may have taken some pictures of the building.