Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chef Cece

My dinner last night was a huge hit. The food was awesome - but to me, the best was the pasta salad. I wanted to share the recipe here, because it was super easy! A bunch of reviews said the vinaigrette was too strong on the vinegar - but I didn't find that at all. I wonder if the people who said that didn't read the directions, where you were only supposed to dress the salad with 3/4 of a cup of the dressing. Anyway, everyone loved it, and I will totally make it again.

It was also great to get the baby stuff out of the house - I even got rid of a bouncy seat. Kate doesn't understand yet the importance of having a place to put the baby down - but thankfully Darrin's sister was there to convince her. You know, because I know nothing about babies. Sigh.

Anyway - I love cooking for a big group and having everyone over. There were 7 adults at the table, talking, enjoying the dinner and admiring the baby. And can I tell you how nice it is to be holding a sweet little baby? And when she would wake up and cry? I could hand her off! Perfect!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Organizing, baby food and babies!

Last week, our best friend and his fiance had a little baby girl. I, of course, knew it was a little girl from the day they told me they were pregnant. I got to see and hold her on Weds night... and she is just perfect and sweet (and looks EXACTLY like Darrin. Jury is still out if that is a good thing for a girl). I said I would never forget - but you DO forget what it is like to hold a little 6 pound baby. This birth has helped tremendously in our house, because ever since I found our she was pregnant, I've been saving everything that BOTH children grow out of.

This weekend and Monday, I did the HUGE purge. I went through all of Maggie's drawers and got rid of the things that were less than 9 month size. I boxed up little hats and blankets and nursing pads and burp cloths.... ANYTHING that they may need/want and we don't need here. 6 large boxes. And damn, does it feel good. Any I'm telling them that we don't want ANY of it back. To donate it if they don't want it.

When I called to tell them of this huge pile of clothes... I was nervous. Because I know that when people started offloading stuff to us, it was overwhelming. But Kate seems excited, and asked if they could come over tonight. So, I spent the morning preparing a nice, light summer dinner (tomato and mozzarella salad, orzo salad, and lemon pepper chicken) and figured while I was in there, I should whip up some baby food. Maggie is eating EVERYTHING now - so I can make some of my favorite baby foods. I made her avocado/banana, spinach/pear, and tofu/strawberry/banana. I also found the sweet potato/peach I made before she was born in the freezer. I'm defrosting some and hoping it's OK. They say that you should only freeze stuff for 4 months... but it's been double bagged. I hope it's good.

The only other thing I'd love to get done today is to sort out digital pictures and get them printed. I haven't printed pictures since April of last year! Bad mom!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This weekend, we had a blast. I had been surfing around looking for toddler race car beds, and found one for sale on craigslist for $90 including the mattress. Seemed like a good deal to me, and it was in the same town that Aaron's younger brother lives in, so I was figuring it was a win-win. We could get together with them, pick up the bed, and maybe even get in a visit with Aaron's father. So we called and set a time to meet - and went to the zoo together.

On a side note, I took Friday off work, and brought Cam to Davis Farmland. I thought he would LOVE it there. He did, after a bit. But the animals come right up to you. They are very gentle - and after while he thought it was fun! Especially the chickens. He LOVES the chickens. I didn't really think about the effect that experience would have on going to the zoo the next day. The first thing we saw were the elephants, and I was sure he was going to pass out in fear. I realized that he thought these HUGE animals were going to come over to him. Once he realized that they were all safely behind the barrier, all was good. But it took about 30 minutes to convince him of that.

Anyway. Back to the bullshit. Our SIL met us there with her two kids, and we had a blast. Her younger child is only 6 weeks older than Cam - so it's really cool to see them together. But of course, the family drama has to come into play. Long story short, Aaron's older brother A (the one that didn't come to Nora's memorial) is going to be in the area in a few weeks. In Nantucket. And J (my SIL) will also be going to Nantucket at the same time. This also coincides with the Pops On Nantucket. Months ago, I was trying to plan our summer - and I called our MIL and asked if we could come the week of the Pops for a vacation. She told us that she was 'booked' the week before and after. So I was like, huh. But OK, whatever. She didn't mention that both brothers were going to be there with all the cousins. I found that out when I called J a few weeks back to see when we could get together.

Both Aaron and I were somewhat offended. Not only was basically the whole family getting together without us, but our MIL was trying to hid it. Which is stupid and weird - because you know it was going to get out at some point that they were all together. Aaron's Grandmother and Aunts and Uncles also live on the island. Aaron mentioned it to his mother - that there was a family reunion going on that we weren't invited to - and everyone denied it. Whatever.

At the zoo, J was pushing for us to still come to Nantucket. And we just ignored her. At the end of the visit, she gave me a box of baby clothes. I opened it up last night and there were SO many cute things I had to call to thank her. She pushed a bit more on us going to Nantucket, and I finally said - we are NOT going to Nantucket while A is there. I don't think anyone understands that the 30 second phone call that A made when Nora died was awful. No matter what is going on in a family - you come. No matter what BS is going on, you congratulate you brother on the birth of his daughters. You hug him when one dies. And he didn't do it. That whole family didn't do a lot of things, but this was the worst. So no. We aren't going to freaking Nantucket when he is there. And she tells me that she knew that A thought really hard about coming, and it was a hard decision for him.

I'm sorry - but I don't care how hard it was for him. It is and was a thousand times MORE difficult for us. And a brother should know that and MAN the FUCK UP.

J was talking about the whole situation, and she said that Justin mentioned there will need to be a death in the family for the 2 of them to get together again. I paused, and said - there WAS a death in the family. It's like people have already forgotten. And it's total bullshit. So, I hadn't been fired up about this whole thing in a long time - but now I am all over again. Stupid family drama.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What she said.

A while back, I posted about how this isn't supposed to be my life. Since then I'm gotten a bunch of comments, talked to friends, talked to Aaron, a study came out about how having children doesn't make you 'happy' and I read this post.

Like I said the other day, nothing prepares you for having kids. Nothing prepares you for the 'easy' things like lack of sleep, crying, teething, choosing your discipline style... or the truly awful things that you don't even think about happening, like a baby dying or your baby seriously ill or needing surgery. My therapist told me that most people don't even try to prepare for the really bad things because that don't happen to many people.

Well, we had a really bad thing happen. And we survived. And I know we've changed as people because of it. Heather commented that 'I also know that my son's short life makes me love the girls, hug them, and laugh with them more. In a way, life is more sweet because of him. Even if I still miss him terribly." And yeah. She is right. Nora is missed. And yes, she should be here. But her short life, it meant something. It showed us that we need to hold on and love what we have and never EVER take for granted that it will be there tomorrow.

So yeah, Heather. What you said.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hammered (and a toddler bed question)

And no, not in the way you are thinking. A few minutes after I posted my entry last night, that storm came raging through. It was such a violent storm that I can't stop thinking about it. We lost power pretty quickly and I was home alone. I couldn't find the flashlight right away - and all I could think was how I would handle it if the babies woke up. Because seriously, what would I say? Cam wouldn't understand that it was weather, would he? And it isn't like I could turn off the storm! Fortunately, both kids just slept through the onslaught, and the power came back on about an hour later.

On a totally different topic - what is the deal with transitioning to a toddler bed? Cam is totally happy in his crib and has never made any attempt to get out. He is close to 20 months old, and about 34 inches tall. Most of what I read says that you should start transitioning when the child tries to get out of his crib or is 3 feet tall (as someone that tall should be able to easily get out of the crib). And besides that he isn't making any effort to get out of his crib... he really likes it. I wonder if it'll be traumatic to take him out? I'm thinking that we'll switch to some fun toddler bed before going to real 'big boy' bed - I have a truck in mind.... but haven't found anything I like yet.

Any advice from those who've already gone through it?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tornado warning.

Seriously. We have one. In Central Mass. Hahahahaha.

Everyone was doing well by our Saturday night date night, thank god. We left both kids (who were napping when we left) in our friend's hands, and headed off to our date night. The big plan was to get a coffee at Starbucks (we don't have any Starbucks near to us, so it's a treat), go see a movie and get take-out to bring home for dinner. We are nothing if not exciting! Anyway, we are about 5 minutes until the end of the movie, when Aaron's phone rings - it's our friend. Maggie is crying hysterically.

Now. Maggie is a very happy baby, but no limits can be pushed. If she is hungry FEED HER NOW. If she is tired PUT HER TO BED RIGHT THEN. If she poops, CHANGE THE DIAPER. If not, all hell breaks loose. We, fully trained in Princess Margaret Care, know the rules. We mentioned these to Justin, but I don't think he took us seriously. He was trying to soothe a sleepy baby - figuring she had just gotten up from a nap, and couldn't still be tired (ha. ha. ha.) But in the movie theater? 20 minutes away from home, knowing that a baby that had a fever 24 hours previously was crying?!?! I was freaking out. I surely didn't admit it to Aaron. We watched the end of the movie, hit the bathroom, and Aaron turned to me and said - you know we aren't getting that take out, right? And the two of us walked as quickly as we could to the car without running.

We got home, she wasn't even crying, she was obviously tired, and I got her happily to bed with a bottle in no time. And it was a good date even if it ended in a minor panic. But damn if that little panic didn't keep me up all night. Thinking of all of things I should worry about and wondering if ALL mother's worry this much? I love these kids so much it hurts. It's this fierce, raw, protective love that shocks me sometimes with it's intensity. It's unexplainable, really.

But Ill still leave them in other's hands while we go out together as a couple. In a few nights, we are off to meet our best friends brand new baby girl! They live 1.5 hours from us - so we will get the kids to bed and make our way out to meet her. I can't wait.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

We have the sick.

My older dog, Abby, has a tick born illness. She is on antibiotics, and was limping around for the past few days. The vet told us that the meds may take a bit to kick in. Last night, she could barely walk. This morning, she wouldn't get up. I was totally freaking out. All her joints were swollen, and she had a fever. I got the vet, and all I could do was cry.


They took her for the day, she is doing much better - and we just have to wait for he meds to kick in. But damn. I was scared there for a while. Aaron swooped in, left work and stayed home today to deal with it.

Then, just as I was about to dial into a big conferance call for work I get a call from daycare. Maggie has a fever. I had a feeling something was up - she woke up more than a few times last night, just rolling around and crying. Poor girl. So, Aaron, as he is home - is going over to pick her up.

I'll be home tomorrow with a sick baby girl and a sick dog. Good times.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Update on everything

  • Job is totally fine. He just wanted to talk to me about it in person. Huge new project. Phew.
  • Just in case, I talked a little with my old boss, and she said she would take me back in a minute. So I'm done with the freaking out.
  • Cam is 100% better.
  • Maggie is 'crawling' backwards. She is doing more like pushing backwards on her belly, but she is moving.
  • And SO happy. Just such a happy little girl. She just makes me smile all the time.
  • I've been weaning Maggie off the acid reflux meds for over 2 months now. I'm doing it super slowly and she is doing great.
  • My older dog is limping around not putting any weight on her back leg and it's freaking me out. The doc, who just started her on antibiotics for a tick born illness (she has lymes also, this is another one) says to wait a few more days to see if the antibiotics help.
  • Aaron and I had a good talk about the state of our little world last night. Things are still hard, but we have each other and that is what matters!
  • We have a date night planned for Saturday - we are both excited to see Despicable Me, and I have a gift card to Outback. Our date nights have changed DRASTICALLY since we first met.
  • Oh - isn't this a cool idea? Getting wine with a vintage from the year your child was born. The idea is to open it with the child when they turn 21.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hand, foot and mouth and paranoia

Cam woke up this morning with a fever of 101.3. Not super high, but of course enough to mean he can't go to school. And after how sick he seemed all day, I'm pretty sure he has hand, foot and mouth disease that is going around the daycare center. Goodie. And we just pray that Maggie doesn't get it too, but I'm thinking that odds are, she will have it soon enough. So I'm on sick baby patrol today and tomorrow, and Aaron is taking over on Wednesday, when my boss is in town.

Which is where the paranoia comes in. Since I've been back at work, my boss has been too busy or disorganized or WHATEVER to get me going on any projects. So I haven't been super busy. Which is slowly killing me (I'd rather be up to my ears in it). And also freaking me out that I'm expendable. I don't think I am, but I just don't know. And I push him to get me things to do, but at the same time I don't want to sound like I'm not doing anything either. It's a weird place to be in.

So today, I dialed into work and mentioned I would be out today and probably tomorrow because my son was sick. And I get a one line email from my boss telling me he will be in Lowell on Weds. And then, after we get the kids to bed, I can't log into my computer. So I'm a little freaked out that my boss is coming to lay me off or something. So I call his cell, on the premise that I need the 1-800 number for tech support for my laptop, and 'oh by the way, what brings you to Lowell on Weds?'. I totally forgot that some people are in from India and he is showing them around. Which is totally normal.

I'm really going to insist that he get me on a new project when he is here so I can start feeling more useful and less paranoid. Sigh.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Ha. I'm kind of a crafty girl... I'm currently in the middle of knitting socks for Cam for the fall. Yep, my toddler will be sporting handknit wool socks come fall. And not just one pair. I'm on pair 6 now. I love to knit, and baby knits are awesome as they are quick, no matter how thin the yarn. I've also started working on sweaters for both kids for the fall/winter also - and planning on sewing matching pants/dresses whatever to match.

The kids are basically my dolls.

As I was thinking about sewing a few dresses for Maggie, I got to thinking about Halloween. My mother sewed all of my costumes growing up - and I LOVED them. I was a fairy, a princess, a witch - and still my favorite.... a watermelon slice.

My watermelon slice costume was better than the above - the rind was on the bottom - and I had more seeds.

Anyway, I'm daydreaming of making Cam's costume. I'm thinking either a lion (his favorite stuffed animal is a lion) or a dog (he LOVES dogs). Big decisions.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This isn't supposed to be my life

Since coming back from Nantucket, something has been nagging at me. Aaron and I joked after we found out I was pregnant with twins, that we wouldn't have to worry about visiting family for a while, because how could we? No car was big enough to accommodate 3 kids and three adults (at least no car that anyone in our family owns) and just the sheer logistics of traveling with 3 kids under the age of two seemed insane.

When I was on Nantucket with my two wonderful children, popping around from place, enjoying the beach, watching the fireworks... I realized - This isn't supposed to be my life. I'm supposed to have another baby. Things should be harder. Things should be different. Sure, maybe we would have figured it all out and would have been on Nantucket just as we were last weekend, but it would be different.

Or is this life I have now what I AM supposed to be living? How does that all work? Is our life destined to be what it it, or could I have changed it somehow? Rational Cece knows that there is nothing I did to cause Nora's death (although every once in a while I worry about what I did when I was pregnant... did I not eat right? Should I have had more milk/protein/whatever would have made Nora's heart work 'right'!?!?).

So the past few nights, I find myself thinking about my little family. It's perfect, to tell you the truth. Cam is a super happy, well adjusted toddler, learning new words every day and just in general a wonderful guy to be around. Maggie is really a perfect child. She is happy when she is awake, and sleeps beautifully through the night. For someone with 2 small children, our life is wonderful and predictable. I am woken up each morning at 7 Am by Maggie giggling and playing with her feet... I get both kids dressed and out the door and to daycare by 8. I go to work, hit the gym, and am home to enjoy my kids until they go to bed at 7. We then have grown up time until we go to bed around 10.

Nothing to complain about whatsoever.

Except that someone is missing. And it still hurts.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bullet Points of fun

Nantucket was wonderful. Can't say it was 100% of the time, because of normal MIL issues, but here are the highlights:
  • Getting to spend time with Aaron's Grandmother. My kids are very lucky to have a great-grandmother, and they love her. She always manages to have just the perfect things for the kids. She gave Cam a book, and all weekend he was running around with it saying BOOK BOOK! (She ran a daycare center. She knows babies).
  • We went to the beach - but the biggest hit was Children's Beach. It also has a boat launch, so Cam would sit in the sand, and point at the boats. BIG TRUCK! BOAT! Bye-bye Boat! (as the people would come launch the boats - huge levels of excitement).
  • Maggie LOVED the beach and watching everyone. I think she may be my water baby.
  • We brought our friend Suzanne with us (Cam's godmother). Her goal for the weekend was to get Cam to say her name. We would try to get him to say Suzie (thinking that was easier than Suzanne)... but he would only say it every once in a while. But he kept saying Ani (rhyme with Mommy)... and we finally caught on that was his name for Suzanne. She was rather pleased. Until he would run around DEMANDING that Ani came with him - ANI! AAAAAANI!
  • My MIL had a friend with a pond in her backyard where there were ducks. The first time we went was after his nap on Friday. Saturday he woke up and said BWAK BWAK (that is what all birds are to Cam). So it was what we did each day after nap time. He would run downstairs to the door, get in the car, saying BWAK BWAK the whole way to the ducks. Crazy cute.
  • Cam also got to see the antique fire truck go down Main St (a 4th of July tradition followed by a big fire hose fight). Exciting, but also a bit overwhelming.
  • We saw fireworks. We went out to Aaron's Uncle's boat (Cam said 'BIG boat! WOW! when we pulled up to it in the launch - perfect way to get in good with the uncle, huh?) so it was easy to keep him awake until 9. When the fireworks started, he pointed at them and said BUBBLES! Too cute. After 10 minutes though, he was toast and passed out in my arms.
  • Yesterday was rough getting off island. There were consequences to keeping him up until 9 the night before, but both kids were troopers. I was more than happy to see Aaron and sleep in my own bed!