Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random Tuesday and a what would you do?

I haven't had enough for a real post, but lots of little random shit, so a random post for you all:
  • Huge amount of excitement when I figured out I could cook steel cut oats in my rice cooker. I tried it yesterday (4 cups water/1 cup oats) and it's going to make my mornings 100% better. I'll make a batch on the days I work from home (Monday and Wednesday) and keep the leftovers for bringing to the office!
  • I got the Elefun game. And it SUCKS. The butterflies don't even make it out of the elephant part, no matter the trunk. Should I return it? Any tricks that I'm missing, carrie27?
  • Maggie isn't a talker. She just modulates her screaming to indicate what she wants. But every once in a while, she pulls out a full word. Last night, I was putting her to bed and I said, 'night night, sweet baby' And she said, clear as day, Night night!
  • She does uses baby sign language - she has more, please, all done and thank you down pat.
  • Cameron is currently obsessed with play-doh. Which I guess would be annoying to other parents, but I love it! I got him a fun factory (I didn't have one growing up) and it's super fun. I'm considering getting a Mega Fun Factory.... because Cameron isn't big on sharing.
  • I was planning on going to a talk at the kids daycare tonight on "Raising Socially Responsible Children'. Instead, I've changed plans and am going out to margaritas and watching Tron in 3D with my girlfriends. Is that wrong?

Ok - and this final question. We had some friends over on Saturday night for make your own pizza and play date. They have an 8 and a 4 year old, and the kids have fun playing together. The son seems to me to be a bit immature, but I'm not all that familiar with 8 year olds. Anyway, the kids had already eaten, and while we had our pizza in the dining room, they were all playing happily in the living room. Aaron got up and walked into the living room quietly only to hear the 8 year old tell his sister 'If you don't stop sniffling, I'm going to knock your head off'. Aaron told him to come with him, and asked him to tell his parents what he just said.

The kids broke into tears, the father tried to calm him down... finally got him to whisper it, and the mother told us that J had very sensitive hearing (meaning that her sniffling was louder to him than us, I guess?), and they were working on it.

Aaron felt really bad afterwards - because he didn't want to get the kid in trouble or make him cry - but when you hear a kid talk like that in front of your kids - what do you do? That family also doesn't say anything when he says someone is 'dumb' or 'stupid'. More than once I'd told J that we don't use those words in our house. I thought maybe Aaron's way of handling things wasn't perfect, but into retrospect, I don't mind being the house where you aren't allowed to threaten your little sister or call someone stupid.

Things were easier when playdates were just us moms sitting around watching our babies lay on their backs and complaining about how many hours they were or were not sleeping. Sigh.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I have such a great weekend, it was almost like a vacation! Aaron went to spend some time away with friends, and the gang is so easy that I had no issues handling them on my own. And then, when he got back on Sunday, the great weekend continued! I think this is going to be a bullet point post...
  • Friday night, picked up the kids at daycare, and got a call that we had some family in town (at our Aunt and Uncles') and they wanted to come over and see the kids. Fun time, and got an agreement for babysitting from my Uncle so us gals could go see Black Swan on Saturday at naptime.
  • Saturday morning, had a play date with a mom who had loads of board games for me to borrow. She also had bunnies which were a huge hit! We ended up staying there until lunch/nap time. (PS - Cam is totally NOT ready for board games. Oh well)
  • Saw Black Swan. Everyone should see it.
  • Got home, and Jay had a BLAST with Maggie (Cam never woke up from his nap!)
  • Took the kids to a potluck at church. Both kids were awesome, Cam got to play with the 'big kids', my dish was a hit*, and I finally attended a church function that I didn't ruin.
  • Sunday morning, Aaron got home before the kids woke up - we went out to breakfast and he joined me at church. It was nice to go as a family and hang out together.
  • On the way home from church, stopped by a neighbors house and our kids played while Aaron helped fix their toilet. Fun fun! It actually was fun. They have a two and a four year old - I forget that different toys are EXCITING!
  • Got home, and waited for our friends to arrive to watch the Pats. We Lost. Sigh.
  • Had all my girlfriends over for cards night - had a bit too much rum punch and a LOT of fun
  • Monday - MLK day - long weekend! I slept in (rum punch aftermath) and then we played, and Jay babysat again so we could go to the movies together. Saw the Green Hornet!
  • Then, dinner with the Aunts and Uncles - Cameron was in heaven with both Andy and Jay there to play with!

When I woke up and went to work on Tuesday, I felt like I had taken a whole vacation! It was so great. I love weekends like that.

* I brought beet salad. Couldn't have been easier. Shredded equal parts of raw carrot and raw beets. Mixed them together and tossed with equal parts of red wine vinegar and olive oil. Topped it with green onions. Awesome.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good and Bad

Shall I start with the bad?

I have this very annoyed feeling deep inside. I got my review on Tuesday at work, and it wasn't great. But I did everything asked of me in 2010 - the issue was that my boss didn't ask much of me. So, compared to other VP's in the organization, I was kind of low in the ranking. Not awful, but I'm used to being close to the top. And I asked over and over again to do more stuff. I drove home, ready to vent about it with Aaron - and when I got home, the dogs had pooped all over the rugs, and he was berating me for leaving a mess that morning.

Now, granted, the rational Cece says that it's true! I didn't do much work in 2010, and that was a blessing. Helped me get things under control, and get things slowly back in order. I certainly didn't PUSH to get busier at work - I was enjoying having a more relaxed work life. And yes, Aaron and I had agreed to hold each other to task when the house was messy - but damn it. I was in a fragile state! And I wanted a hug, not bullshit. Having him take care of the kids on his own last week I think was a really good thing - gave him appreciation for everything it takes to keep things running... but now he thinks he knows the best way to do things. Maybe his way is better, but I admit that it's a bit hard to have someone telling you how to do things, when I was the boss of it all for over two years.

Deep breath.

The good? We are both trying hard and helping each other get things done. What worked for us for a long time was separation of duties - Aaron did the outside stuff (plus dog puke and poop if it occurred inside), I did the inside (but somehow I'm in charge of outside cleanup of dog poop. That is kind of funny, now that I think about it). Worked great, except as the number of people INSIDE the house has increased, so has the load of the inside work, and I was getting overwhelmed and frustrated. So we've set up a few things that have made huge differences, and Aaron is really making a big difference in my stress level... once I except his new ways.

And the other good? Cameron is loves to play games! I also love to play games of all types, so this is huge developmental excitement for me! We've been playing Don't Break the Ice for a few weeks (Cam loves taking turns. MY turn! Mama's turn!), and yesterday, when stuck home in the snow, I showed him how to play a memory game that he LOVES. And was disturbingly good at. This weekend, I'm meeting up with someone from the twins list to paw through her old toddler board games, and hopefully we'll find some good ones. Any recommendations on favorites? I'm already thinking we need Candyland, Snail's Pace Race, Cootie and Ants in the Pants.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The New Year

I wasn't able to reflect upon much at the beginning of the year... but now that I'm getting back into the swing of things - I wanted to share my thoughts.

Last year was a good year. Hard, but good. We are a happy family that is growing stronger together. And that is really a good life, isn't it?

I also don't usually do resolutions, but I do think of things that I'd like to try to do better, and I have a little list:

  1. I want to be able to sit on the floor with my legs crossed. This may sound crazy - but I've NEVER been able to do this. The one time I could was when I was doing Tai Kwon Do, and we were forced to sit like that. It took me almost a year. Anytime I'm sitting on the floor with the kids, I'm going to sit like that and try to get flexible enough to have it be comfortable.
  2. Relax about exercising. I stress about doing it or not doing it all the time. I need to just go when I can and not beat myself up about it.
  3. Get a better handle on finances. Things are going to loosen up a bit for us when Maggie moves to the toddler room ($300 less a month!) and we have a loan that also finishes up next month. I want to use that money in a smart way. And also not do as much impulse purchases (I tend to spend without thinking on craft supplies, baby clothes and toys. We are not lacking in any way, shape or form in any of those areas.)
  4. Tied into #3, I didn't sign up for my usual Sock Club this year. It's about $240 for a year, and you get yarn and 2 sock patterns in the mail every other month.* I went into my yarn stash and made up my own Sock of the Month club. But, instead of every other month for 12 months, I had enough patterns and yarn to do a different pair of socks every single month for 22 months. Yeah. Now to see if I have the time to do that kind of knitting!
  5. Work to keep the house more organized. We have it in pretty good shape right now. I'm going to put a reminder each Weds (when I work from home) to look around and make things are in decent shape.

* Proof that I really need to work at this. I thought that club was $300. When I linked to it, I saw it was 'only' $240. And thought maybe I should sign up. And then forced myself to do the math. That's $40 for a skein of yarn, and two sock patterns which, at most, I'll knit once. Step away, Cece, step away.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm back!

Well, first thing I will say is that I'm done with funerals for a long time. A long, long time. I expected it, but of course, this whole thing made Nora's death raw all over again.

As I said before, I left here on Sunday, and stayed until Friday. The good thing was that my half-brother, who was at first only thinking that he would stay until Sunday night (he actually already had a planned visited on Sunday to see Dad) ended up staying until the service, which was Wednesday. When I first arrived, there were hugs all around and we did a lot of small talk. The thing I was most nervous about was my stepmother's reaction, and my ability to make inappropriate comments. Well, Barb was in pretty good shape. Although it was sudden, it wasn't really a HUGE surprise. I know I've mentioned before that he was in pretty bad health - diabetic, overweight, blah blah blah. And, even Barb was admitting that he was a 'hard' man.

On a side note -people brought Barb food for Sunday - Tuesday night, and I managed to get food poisoning on Monday night - I was up throwing up in the bathroom from 11 PM - 2 Am. And the nice touch for me is that when I throw up, I pass out. Barb had taken a sleeping pill and didn't hear me in there, so I'd throw up, position myself so I wouldn't hit my head, pass out, sit up again so I could throw up some more.... this went on for 3 hours. I was so thankful when it was over and I felt 100% better. I couldn't imagine having the FLU in a situation like that!

Slowly, people started arriving for the service, and that is when I started to get really frustrated. Everyone from the town they lived in was talking about how much fun he was, and how kind and thoughtful he was.... and I was really getting fed up with all the talk of 'Saint Jim'. Because, for me, growing up - his love was completely conditional. That is the most I will say, because once I get started I could write for pages, but let's just say it because very hard to hear over and over and over again about all the wonderful things my dad did for other people. By Tuesday night, I was fed up! Thankfully, my brother and I went out for some drinks alone, and we did some venting, and I felt a lot better.

But, for my stepmother's sake, it was wonderful to have the whole church packed for his service - they needed to bring in extra chairs. It was a nice memorial, and that day, most of the visitors left. I stayed for two more days, which I think was good for Barb, and then I came home. Thank god!

I got home on Friday, cried when I saw Aaron at the airport.... I just missed both him and the kids SO much. Of course, in the week I was gone, Maggie seems to have grown into a toddler, and Aaron got Cam to have the most perfect manners! I asked him if he was ready to go upstairs for his bath on Friday night, and he said 'Yes mama. Hold hands please?' So I held his hand so he could walk up the stairs, and he looked and me and said, "Tank you, mama!'. Melted my heart.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


My dad passed away on Thursday. Had a massive heart attack and died. Which, if you think about it, is pretty much the best way for an 80 year old, insulin dependant diabetic to go. It was a bit of a shock, but then again, not really. He's been in awful condition for such a long time, and abused his body pretty much his whole life.

It's interesting. My dad was a hard man. Bad at relationships, hard to take at times, but I find myself only focusing on the good. I guess that is what happens. He taught me to fly airplanes. Showed me the joy in little things (we used to go for wonderful waterfall weekends where we would drive to waterfalls and look at them. And I loved it). He would stop at any carousel and let me ride on it. He was my 'fun' parent for much of my childhood - letting me do and eat whatever I wanted on the weekends I spent with him. He always has great stories (if he did manage to insert himself into them in a bit of a fictional way).

So tomorrow, I fly into NC to spend the week (god save me) with my stepmother and my half-brothers and hope that it's OK. Hope that Aaron survives with two kids on his own for almost a whole week, and hope that I can deal with Dad's crazy extended family. I'm sure there will be stories to tell on the other side.

Happy new year.