For Christmas Jason bought us a meal package at a place called the Dinner A'Fare. I've been to other places like this (namely Dinner Studio), and it seems to work well for us. The way it works is that you pick out your menu based on the available main entree selections and sign up for a session. Then you show up, throw together 6 or 12 meals (portioned for 3 or 6 people), store them in freezer bags (or other appropriate containers), stick them in your freezer, and have ready-made meals for when you are super-busy. Which for most people is all the time. They say it takes about two hours, but it never does. And you don't do any of the dishes or clean-up. And not only do they provide the recipes (and the nutritional information), but they have all the ingredients pre-chopped up for you and sitting out with proper measuring spoons. For me this is great because I never have time to prep food in advance. And I don't have a lot of spices to use for one-time meals (like the 5-Chinese spices spice or Cumin or a number of other things).
This is also great for us, because we just throw the food in the oven and prep some veggies, and we have a meal in about an hour. The only real preparation is remembering to put the meat in the fridge to defrost the night before. But that's just the kind of planning I like!
Anyway, Jason bought us 12 meals for Christmas, and we scheduled to go make them today. But somehow we hadn't actually contemplated who would watch the kids while we went to do this. Fortunately our scheduled time fell during nap time. Unfortunately Marcie decided to nap early today while we were out on a walk. And if you read the other Babysitter Blues post, you know exactly where this is headed.
We asked the babysitter to arrive over 30 minutes before we had to leave so Marcie could get familiar with him. We even asked him to come during her lunch so he could help feed her. Marcie loves to eat, and so I thought she'd love whomever was feeding her.
Not so much.
The minute she saw our babysitter, she burst into tears and was nearly inconsolable. She wouldn't take any food from him. She sealed up her mouth and sobbed. She wouldn't even calm down for Jason. Still, the babysitter stuck close by, so she could see we thought he was okay. And by the time Marcie was done eating, she would at least high-five him. Though she never took any food from him.
I was insanely worried. I even made Jason call his sister to come over and babysit with the babysitter. My rationale was that then Marcie would at least have a familiar face here. But she didn't answer her cell phone.
So I put Marcie down for her nap. She fell asleep after about 10 minutes of alternately screaching, sobbing, and quietly crying. And we left behind strict instructions to call us if she cried for more than 15 minutes because we weren't far away.
Two hours later, when we pulled into the driveway, there was no sign of the babysitter's mom's car. There was no sound of sobbing leaking out through the door from the house to the garage. In fact, there was our babysitter playing video games right where we'd left him. Both kids still fast asleep (until I woke them up).
Marcie got to see the babysitter again before he left. But she wouldn't let go of me-- she was not happy we would consider leaving her behind. Not. Happy. At. All. But we can't be stuck to her like glue forever, so we'll continue taking these baby steps for now.
In other news, today Marcie skipped her morning bottle and took her milk in her sippy cup! I think we will do the same thing tomorrow. And if it works, for the rest of the week. And then we'll take away the nighttime bottle and repeat the process. Heck, maybe we'll try to eliminate the nighttime bottle tonight. If she's willing to sit on our lap and suck down a sippy cup contentedly, there's just no reason to keep the bottle anymore that I can think of.
AND Marcie officially has a "name" for Casey. It's ga ga (or ge ge, or ga gah with the emphasis on the second gah). The Mandarin word for "big brother." It's taken us a while to figure out that's what she's saying. But it is so consistent now-- and so clear, that it is definitely what's going on.
She's also blowing kisses. Now that's something worth capturing on video!