Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A moment of calm

Now that the Thanksgiving/Maggie birthday craziness is past - I have a few moments of calm before the weekend and Cameron's 2nd birthday on Sunday. I was worried for a bit that it was going to be a rough one - Nora died on the 4th. But, Aaron and I took some time to talk about it - and we both think we are going to be OK. I cried when I was carrying in Maggie's cake and singing Happy Birthday - because damn it - she should be sharing this day with her sister. And I have been thinking a lot about Nora lately.

We talked a little bit about what we should do. Should we do something for Nora on her birthday? But then it would cast a shadow on Maggie's day. What about on the 4th? We did get a candle during her naming ceremony during the memorial service, and I was thinking of maybe lighting that on the 4th. But, honestly, I just don't want have a 'memorial' day either. We are going to live our lives and celebrate our wonderful living children. We are going to stick with our plan to plant flowers near Nora's tree when it is beautiful and bursting with pink blooms in the spring. I don't need to set aside a special time to remember Nora. I can never forget her. She is in my heart and I hold her close always.

I felt like sometimes, people judge a little because I'm not doing things like lighting candles or having a little cake for Nora or something like that. I have lucked into a wonderful friend whose brother died when he was 8. She told me that her mother had a rough time getting past his death, but as a family they also didn't do any memorial things and she doesn't even remember when his birthday was. But her mom did talk about the fun times they had with him... he was never forgotten, but also, wasn't a constant topic of conversation. And that makes me feel better about how we are choosing to deal with Nora. As the kids get older, we will talk about Maggie's big sister, how she was with us for 5 days, and that we miss her... and then we will continue to celebrate our lives and the joy that all of our children have brought to it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quite a year.

Well, my little girl turns 1 today. It's been a hell of a ride - but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

I got her this hat off esty - and this is seriously the face she gave every time I put it on. She is totally saying - "Mom. Take. It. Off."

Hmm.... cake.
Is delicious! Yum!

Here Mom! Have some! Yum!

This was all yesterday at the big birthday party. She had SO much fun - we had a face painter here, and Cam was a puppy. I got my face painted to show him how much fun it was, and that also got the ball rolling with the older kids who were 'too cool'. But the 'big' kids (between 6 - 14) were SO much fun with Cam and Maggie. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. Maggie got some really great presents, Aaron and I had the most wonderful time sharing with our great friends... pretty much the best party we've ever thrown. For the best baby girl in the universe!(Well. In my opinion. There are a few people out there that my have differing opinions!)
Today the house is quiet. I'm working from home, the kids are at school, my MIL is gone, and Aaron is at work. My MIL was here since Weds, and that was actually awesome. She was great, the kids loved her, and somehow, Aaron and her managed to not push each other's buttons the whole time she was here. It was great.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gettin' it done.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I just lost my whole post. So I will redo in bullet points:

  • Getting a little freaked out on the amount of people that are potentially coming to Maggie's birthday party next Sunday. I think I'm up to about 40 people so far.
  • Maggie is turning one! In a WEEK!
  • Maggie took her first steps on Tuesday night. Now she is up to three in a row... too cute
  • Because I have not only 40 people coming to my house on Sunday, but my MIL visiting for 5 days, I've been obsessively cleaning, organizing and finishing unfinished projects around the house. So far, I've spent an entire day painting trim and doors, another day organizing the pantry and stacking wood outside with Aaron, and yesterday was spent organizing the craft/guest room. This morning, I'm doing my office. It feels awesome to has everything nice and tidy.
  • I need to work harder at keeping it this way. Because honestly, organizing isn't that hard of a task in reality, but I think about how awful it's going to be for far too long before actually doing it (and things get messier and messier while I think about cleaning up).
  • Jen is a very smart woman. She blogged for a week about cleaning, and I did learn a lot - but the best advice she gave is to have a place for everything. Because that IS the biggest problem with keeping a clean house! If there is no 'official' place to put things, you end up not knowing what to do with it, and it's clutter.
  • In the last week, Maggie has gotten 3 new teeth. And woken up almost every night at 3 AM. I'm tired.
  • I'm still on the local twins list, and a mom of twins was asking if anyone had a doorway jumper that they were done with - because they only had one and both girls LOVED bouncing. I knew I used to have two, but had given one away, and wasn't sure about the other. I told the mom this, and when I got home from work - went up in to the attic. Well, I did find the jumper, but karma was in play, because also up there was a whole box of 12-18 month clothes... all perfect for this season! Even cute little christmasy outfits, a snowsuit and shoes!
  • Both Maggie and Cameron's godmother's visited on Sunday (Suzanne to help with the yarn room and Tarsha to do some babysitting so we could go to the movies! Hurrah!). It was really fun to have them both over, and they managed to exhaust both children so they slept like ROCKS last night. Even poor little teething Maggie.

OK - I need to get to work!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wow. A week?

Well - this may be a harbinger of things to come, because I was just so busy this week I didn't have time to blog! My job is finally getting busy again, I was prepping for my weekend away, and more birthday party planning... the week just flew by!

I can NOT believe that Maggie turns one in less than two weeks. Blows my mind.

The weekend was a great getaway. I became obsessed with making Aaron's grandmother a crossword puzzle quilt. (Much more info here) I spent much of my free time last week getting everything together so I could work on that quilt during the weekend! I also made super cute 'paper' luch bags out of felt and made felt food (ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato and bread) as presents for my kids and friends kids. It took an insane amount of time to make that felt food - but it was fun.

Aaron was on his own with the kids from Friday - Sunday afternoon, and all reports were great. They slept well for him, had a lot of fun - and one of our closest friends visited with his daughter, Stella. When they were there, they ordered pizza for lunch. Daycare jokingly asked Cam yesterday if he ate pizza all weekend, and his answer? "Don't tell Momma!". I'm still cracking up over that.

Now we are getting ready for Thanksgiving - Aaron's mother is staying from Wednesday - Monday.... so that should be interesting....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lucky Man and well update

I'm fortunate in that I'm able to work from home at least 2 days a week. If not more. And I'm in a management position, so a lot of my day is spent on conference calls. So when I do work from home, I can walk around with a headset on, tossing stuff in the washer, loading the dishwasher, starting dinner in the oven, making baby food, or picking up baby toys. So Aaron is totally spoiled. And he admitted it last night when he got home... so he is forgiven. For now.

The reason I had everything ready to go when he got home last night, was there was special town meeting on the final bit in the drama that is our current crisis (we were even in the news on this issue, here is the article) - the bankrupt well in our neighborhood. I bitched about it here a little bit, but we used to have a privately owned well that served our community of 187 homes. It was horribly mismanaged and went bankrupt. And now, homes that were not designed to have a well on the property (some people have to dig up their driveways or move sheds or other drastic measures) are being forced to do so at GREAT personal and unplanned expense. The state stepped in and they have been talking about low interest loans for us, and last night was the official town vote to allow us to have these loans - and it did pass, thank god.

But the whole thing raises an interesting point about community. It's interesting to see the way people react to this whole thing. Way back in the beginning of this crisis, the town manager made a statement that 'the whole town should not be responsible for paying for 187 homes, when the rest of the town gets nothing for it'. Now, of course, we weren't asking for the town to PAY for it in total, although there were questions raised if the town could buy the well, but the financial situation of the well made it so it would NEVER ever break even - so it became quickly apparent that wasn't a solution. But in the end, there are many families that are affected by this that do not have $10,000 laying around to pay for drilling their own well. And the well was supposed to have been regulated by the town, and then the state. So now, there are people at risk of their home becoming inhabitable because they can't afford a well?! The state said they would give loans at low interest rates, and it did get passed. The way some people talked about it, since they didn't need a loan, they weren't going to the meeting to vote for it.

Call me crazy - but we are a COMMUNITY. I'm lucky enough to have other options to get the money for our well, even if we are tight on money right now. But, I care if my neighbor ends up without water. I care if this stupid course of events causes undo hardship on others. So Aaron went to the meeting, and most others showed up. Aaron said there were about 300 people there, and 4 voted against giving us the loans. That is a huge stress off our plates. So we can all move forward with the rest of the drilling and trenching and filters and all that bullshit - and the cost should be the same as we were paying for the monthly water bill. Which is great news.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Explain to me how it is that any non-husband related stuff is MY stuff. Seems to me that boxes of toys to get rid of, dirty clothes from downstairs on the floor to go upstairs, and other assorted baby shit should be BOTH our responsibility. I swear to GOD if he bitches under his breath one more f'ing time about that sort of thing, I'm never going to pick up after OUR children again and we'll see how the house looks then.

This is after doing (and folding) over 6 loads of HIS laundry and having dinner on the table when he walked in the door.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Totally on top of it.

Well, after my minor panic yesterday, everything is all settled for birthdays and Christmas. Thanks for all your awesome ideas! Maggie is going to get a Leapfrog music table for her birthday, and a grocery cart for Christmas. I'm SO glad I asked you all for ideas - because I remembered being in a toy store with Cam in May, and he fell in LOVE with that exact same grocery cart.

And I saw a posting on the twins list for this tractor yesterday. It has a working front scoop and pedals, and it's going to be a HUGE hit with Cam. I never thought of getting him something like that - they are around $200 new - but this one is for sale for $65. That will be his Christmas present. Aaron is picking it up today, and we'll be hiding it until the big day.

I even got fun stamps to mail the invites with. And the cake pan for Cameron's birthday cake (we already have a pan for a big number 1 for Maggie). I also started asking friends and family to big appetizers to Maggie's party - so I'm not in the kitchen all day cooking... kind of making it a potluck affair. Which will make it much less stressful, I hope!

This also makes me happy to have everything under control, as next weekend I'm off to Portsmouth, NH for my annual quilting weekend with my girlfriends. We all stay in a bed and breakfast, and sit around and sew for a whole weekend. It's a blast, and we get a bunch of projects done! I'm hoping to finish a few Christmas present quilts... we'll see. I'm also planning on letting loose and getting a little bit drunk on one night, as it's going to be my first baby-free night since Cameron was born.... so watch out world!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Birthday planning done and present help needed!

I have to say, obviously not much planning went into WHEN we would have our kids. With Cam, we just did cycle after cycle until it worked, and that ended up with a due date in December. And Maggie, well - she is the definition of surprise. I thought that having a birthday near Thanksgiving and Christmas would suck, and MAN does it. For me, as the planner, at least. But everything is settled now - I can't believe how quickly their birthday's have crept up on me!

Maggie is getting a huge open house party. Huge. I'm inviting everyone under the sun and we are going to celebrate the SHIT out of her birthday. And I got the best invites from Paper Culture -

Maggie never got a birth announcement, I just couldn't figure out what to do - announce just Maggie? But then what did that say about Nora? It was too much. So - I'm using this as an announcement of sorts and sending to everyone. She also didn't get the usual stream of visitors congratulating us on her birth, (thanks to the flu scare, no one was really allowed at the hospital, and we were only home for one night before Nora died) so we are going to do it UP for her first birthday. It falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving - so I actually sent out 'save the date' emails and decided to have the party on Sunday afternoon so that more people could come.

The other thing for Maggie is everyone is asking what sort of presents she would like - and I have NO CLUE. She just loves to follow Cam around. I have no idea what sort of toy she would like! I feel awful. With Cam, I could just say trucks or balls or blocks.... but I feel like with a girl - you can't say dolls for sure - because not all girls like dolls. And we already have loads of trucks and balls and blocks already.... so all those with baby girls - any advice on good presents to suggest for Maggie? Everyone is asking. We already have a play kitchen, a train table, an activity cube and a Happy House. The toy that makes her laugh and laugh and laugh is the Busy Ball Popper - if that helps with suggestions.

Cam's party has a lot of planning too. It's going to be much smaller than Maggie's - but it's also the day after the anniversary of Nora's death. I have no idea what sort of shape I'm going to be in that weekend, so we are doing it at the local Children's Museum. They can take up to 27 people in their space, and you can let up to 18 people go into the museum. I'm just inviting 3 or 4 of his friends, and the rest are his grown up fan club. The party starts at 10:30 and goes until 12:45 - perfect timing to go crazy and have fun, eat pizza and a train cake(!) and then go home for naps. Cam's big present is an Early Rider bike - I think it'll blow his mind.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Our Halloween celebration was a huge success. Everyone had a blast! No meltdowns (at least not from any of my kids), good mix of people to hang out with, and just in general a great time.

Aaron and I have been talking about the fact that we are finally back to 'ourselves'. We are back to doing the little things that we used to do without thinking about it - throwing fun little parties, decorating for Halloween, yard work. Just in general being on top of things. It all started going downhill with our IF struggle, then my pregnancies (just not enough energy to help him with projects) and the final bit - Nora's death. We feel like we are finally 'back'. It's literally been YEARS since we had our house ready for the winter. It's been ages since we had a good shindig at our house... and now we can do it. It feels good.

Aaron and I fell into bed Sunday night, our feet hurting from all the standing and walking (and cooking, and pumpkin carving, and log splitting) we did this weekend. And we shared a happy sigh. Feels good to be close to normal again.