Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

Ah. Friday. How I love thee. Here are the leftovers from this week!

  • Cam is pretty much potty trained during the day. He is basically a Rock Star. My Aunt wants to take him out to give him a 'potty training present'. What does he want? A squirt gun. The irony is not lost on me.

  • Maggie has been somewhat cranky all week, and on Weds she ended up with a fever. I guess sore throat and fevers are going around - what the heck! It's summer! No time for sickness! But I was home with her Weds afternoon and Thursday... and I have to admit, cuddly babies are great. But then, she woke up from her nap on Thursday READY TO GO, so I was happy to bring her back to daycare today.

  • Because, I think we all know, working from home with an active, opinionated toddler isn't any fun. At one point, I was on the phone with my boss and I notice she has a tiny marble in her mouth (which, in other news - tiny marble? I didn't even know we owned any). I take it away and she starts SCREAMING at the top of her lungs. I had to hang up the phone.

  • No plans this weekend, just a free summer weekend. Love it.

  • I'm back into knitting, and I'm very happy. I don't know what turned me off it, but it's nice to be productive again. I'm actually starting up on Christmas presents!

  • I think that due to our low funds, I'm going to try and make all of the Christmas presents this year. And make them out of stash yarn (stuff I already have). This seems smart and doable. We shall see come November when I have nothing done, though.

  • I'm planning on doing some canning this weekend - nothing major, but definitely some blueberry jam and maybe peach. Those are favorites in this household.

Go visit Danifred for more Friday Night Leftovers!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rookie Mistake

Yesterday, I was working from home and was feeling pretty good about things. I had a good day at work, I got dinner all ready to go for when Aaron got home with the kids, and I even made a special dessert (Pudding! In little Red Sox hat cups!). So I figured, when Cam got home, I would let him pick whatever he wanted for dinner. We do this every once in a while - Cam usually picks scrambled eggs.

So he runs upstairs from the car, I open the door and ask what he wants for dinner. He looks at me and I say - pick whatever you want, buddy! He runs to the freezer and yells ICE CREAM! And by this time, Maggie has made her way up the stairs and starts running in circles yelling ICE CEM ICE CEM ICE CEM.

Heavy sigh.

So I let them have hoodsies while we cooked the rest of dinner. Which was noodles, hot dogs and rice.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Leftovers

Yeah. I missed the boat on Friday night leftovers, so I'm cheating.

  • The potty training continues. I'm not going to talk about it too much on the blog, because I'm thinking a teenage Cam would be pissed (hahaha) to find me sharing details here, but let's say it's going slowly.

  • My brother is officially visiting in a few weeks, and I'm really excited. He has identical twin girls who are 12, and I haven't seen them in over 3 years. I think we are going to have a blast.

  • It was SUPER hot here this weekend, but we pretty much spent the whole weekend outdoors - and loved it. I'm glad we did too. Because there was a time before AC and people managed to make it through the summers OUTSIDE. It saddens me how many people hide inside in the summer because it's 'too hot'

  • Saturday we started the day at the local lake. We got there early, about 2 hours before the lifeguards started and met friends there. The kids were having a BLAST playing and I was thinking how perfect the lake was. Maggie and spent a lot of time sticking our faces in the water and blowing bubbles.

  • When the lifeguards did start, they tested the water and shut down the lake for high levels of bacteria. Ew.

  • We had our picnic lunch, and then Maggie went home for a nap, while Cam and I went to a pool party! He had a blast and even tried to jump in off the side (you no touch me Mama.) He had on a life vest, and popped up on his own.... but wasn't a fan.

  • I finally got out of my bathing suit around 4 in the afternoon, and realized that staying in a bathing suit and getting in and out of the water makes a HUGE difference in the staying cool factor.

  • Sunday, we slowly started our day, waiting for a very close friend's daughter's first birthday party in the afternoon.

  • It was a two hour drive to Look Park, but we went on a train ride, sang Happy Birthday and even did the splash park, so the kids had a BLAST.

  • The two hour ride home was torture. Maggie had a blow out poop so we had to stop the car, and both children talked the ENTIRE. RIDE. HOME. I had such a headache when we finally pulled into the driveway. What the hell happened to kids that SLEPT in the car?

  • As I went to bed last night, I realized that we had the perfect summer weekend. So that was cool.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day One

Today I sent Cam to school in underpants. We've been doing the very very VERY laid back school of potty training. We talk about the potty. He sits on it and pees everyone once in a while - and just in the last week or so, he's been showing signs of being ready. A big help is that a few of his buddies are toilet trained and we were with a playdate with one of them. We were in their kiddie pool when Cam announced that he had to pee (he refuses to wear a swim diaper). His buddy takes him over the the spot in the yard where they pee. (the fact that they have a 'pee spot' in their yard is one of the many reasons I love these friends, by the way). And he peed there. More than once while we were there!

Everyone once in a while, I've showed Cam the Thomas the Train underpants we have. At first, he would FREAK OUT and run away yelling I NO LIKE UNDERPANTS. Which was counter to every thing my friends told me about the allure of Thomas the Train underpants. So I was nervous that I'd scarred him for life with the underpants. I stopped showing him the underpants and even talking about it.

But Monday morning, he found them and asked if he could wear them. I said sure, once you can pee and poop in the potty, they are yours. He looked at me, and said - "Otay". And last night, he went to the potty, and then asked for underpants. So we did it. Then we spent the rest of the evening in the pool with his bathing suit on. This morning, he asked for underpants again.

So I sent him to school in underpants.

He made it 4 hours with no accident! But then he had two accidents and told the director that 'I no like the bathroom'. He was pretty pissed (haha potty humor) and mad that they wouldn't let him wear the pair of underpants that he peed in. He didn't like any of the other 7 pairs of spare underpants I sent with him. Somehow, they convinced him to wear a pullup, and he is napping.

I'm interested to see what is opinion on underpants is after naptime.

The best piece of advice I got when I started talking about this whole potty training thing was to remember that it was HIS project, not mine. So I'm letting him run with it. Although I must admit, I'm excited to be done with diapers. Well. done with 50% of the diapers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summertime, and the living is easy.

I'm the mom of an almost 20 month old, and a 2.5 year old. And I have to say, I'm loving it. They are great. Maggie definitely has opinions (STRONG OPINIONS) and is sort of an asshole at times, but I love it. I love watching her assert herself and make her opinions known even though she isn't really talking all that much. Every once in a while I worry I little about the lack of talking, and then she looks at me straight in the face and says - "Ice Kem, mama!' and walks over and opens the freezer.

There is that.

And Cameron is totally getting into imaginative play - which couldn't be more fun to watch. Like at the beach on Sunday, they have a big dock on the beach. It's a new floating dock that they just haven't put in the water yet. He is playing around on the beach, and notices it. He walks over, crawls under it... I walk over to make sure there isn't TOO much trouble he can get into, and he tells me it's his workshop and he is fixing things. Then Maggie comes over and he puts her to work - FIX DIS MAGS.

I also started having a 'real' dinner in the dining room each night. Which I love. Aaron likes to eat in front of the TV, and I kind of hate it. I haven't been pushing doing family dinner - but then I started noticing that Maggie eats so much better when we sit and eat with her. So, just last week I started making one dinner for all of us. Cam helps set the table, Maggie helps put ice cubes in every one's glass... and we eat together. It's fun. I like it, even if Cam maybe sits for about 10 minutes totally before he asks to be 'cuzed? Pez?'. Adult conversation is interrupted every two words with random toddler observations like 'Mama! I drinking MILK!'.

So yeah. Is having two toddlers a lot of work? Yes. But watching the little people they are turning into is pretty awesome too.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday night leftovers

  • I'm crazy excited for this weekend. The weather is going to be AWESOME and we have no pressing plans. I'm probably going to take the kids to the lake.

  • Aaron worked almost 24 hours in a row yesterday. So I thought I would surprise him with a steak (we rarely eat red meat). I got him this insane bone-in cowboy steak. He was very, very happy.

  • Today is 'beach day' at the kid's daycare. I was supposed to pack them bathing suits, a swim diaper and towels. I totally forgot, but in the truck of my car, I had everything they needed. Aaron calls me a slob. I say I'm prepared for anything, lol.

  • How is it that I never tried flavored half and half. Hurrah!

  • I used to sit and knit all the time. The last 6-8 months I haven't been. All of a sudden, I'm back to it. Makes me happy. I'm working on a couple of Christmas presents and a fun sweater for Cam. If I remember correctly, I stopped knitting because the kids wouldn't wear sweaters at all last winter. Interesting how I have totally blocked it out and have started knitting for them again.

  • In reference to the point above, it's probably good that I got my tubes tied when the twins were born - because I've also blocked out the horror that Maggie was as a newborn and could possibly be tricked into another newborn. Except I'll never forget that babies can also die and I KNOW I can't handle even thinking about that again.

  • Washing dogs. You guys really don't? Do your dogs stink? Mine kind of do - so I get nervous that my house smells like stinky dog (not enough to wash them, though)

  • And I loved every one's comments on my SAHM mom lust. I'm glad no one got offended and totally understood what I was trying to say.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things that make me laugh

I always have funny stories about the gang, but I never think to share them here. So today, I'll tell you things that Cam and Maggie do that totally crack me up.

  • Often, Maggie doesn't want to hold my hand. But she'll hold Cameron's. So I'll ask him to hold Maggie's hand while we walk through the parking lot. He sticks out his hand and says 'Come on, Mags!'

  • Both kids have a nasty summer cold. This morning, Maggie had a HUGE booger hanging out of her nose. I had my back to the kids making lunches. Cam noticed the booger, and said - 'Maggie! Don't booger me!' I turn around, and see Maggie stick her finger up her nose and then start chasing Cam around the kitchen with her booger. Nice, huh? The girl rarely talks, but she already knows how to torture her brother.

  • Speaking of boogers, Cam was picking his nose in the backseat. He 'hit gold' and was asking me for a wipe to wipe it off. It was raining, and I was actually trying to pay attention while driving, and I told him to just 'flick it'. He then showed his buddies at school how to flick their boogers. I know this because numerous parents came up to me and told me their sons are now flicking boogers because Cam showed them how. Sigh.

  • When Cam farts, he laughs and tells me that his butt is talking.

  • Did I already tell you guys that Cam often says OK - but like Buckwheat - O'Tay!

I can't think of any other's - but I love this age. Both kids are super funny, testing limits but still finding joy in little things that we take for granted.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Life

I often wonder about my life. I choose to be a work-away from the house mom. Full time. In the immediate short term, sometimes this seems silly. The amount we pay in day-care, cleaning lady fees and for dream dinners (things that make the house run) makes it seem as though we are barely coming out ahead sometimes. Aaron and I never discussed me staying at home, at least not truly seriously. Because, mostly, I can't picture it. When I was home on maternity leave, I was honestly MORE stressed out than I was at work. Performance testing? Statistics? Office politics? This, I can handle. Sure, sometimes it's BS, but I can totally handle it.

Child care? Full time? Totally stresses me out. I know that I would obviously get better at it, not be so worried about 'engaging' them 24X7. I know that many people think that being at home with your kids is what is best for them, but my children are flourishing at their daycare. They have wonderful friends, a great sense of self-confidence, and learn so much there. And the teachers are so loving - it's like they have a second family.

And, let's be honest - I wouldn't flourish as a stay at home mom. That is just not my thing. I don't have the patience, the stamina... did I mention patience? So, while maybe we would save some money in these first few years of their life if I stayed at home, I think that the start in life I'm giving them is pretty awesome. I'm keeping my job of 10+ years and staying current and employable. And happy (most of the time) to be in an industry that I like with good colleagues. Maybe I would feel different if I didn't have such a perfect childcare situation, but seems to me that we are all doing great in the life we have.

But I'll tell you what. This morning the kids and I got up a little earlier, and I was working from home, so was able to devote a good 2 hours to housecleaning and organizing before my work day started. I went into my guest room/craft room to get it ready for my stepmother's visit next weekend, and it's a mess. I needed to organize the kids winter clothes. I needed to iron linen (WTF was I thinking when I bought these?!?!)napkins and place mats from a dinner we had over a month ago. I had craft supplies overflowing the table in there. In those 2 free hours, I got the whole room in tip-top shape (sure, many things were jammed in the closet), laundry done and stuff organized.

I wonder if I was a stay at home mom, if it would be different. If, even though I had the kids with me all of the time (which is where I just don't understand how SAHM's do it! How do you clean with a 2.5 year old 'helping'? How long does a grocery store run take when you have to change diapers twice?) I have this vision that things at home would be more under control. Like I could iron while the kids play. Or pop in laundry and actually fold it and put it away when it finished. Maybe wash the dogs more often than once every 3 months. Or spend a nice leisurely day at the beach. In the few hours the kids ARE with me, it mostly either getting them ready for daycare, or winding down after daycare (which is a tight routine. We play for about 45 minutes, then have dinner, do baths, books and bed). Not much flexibility - which again, I think the children thrive with the routine we have. When I'm working, I don't feel like I have a few minutes to organize something. If I do, the kids are asleep in the room that I need to put things away in. Or Aaron and I are trying to sit down and reconnect after our workdays over dinner and I put things off.

What the heck am I trying to say? Who knows. I guess I'm daydreaming about the ideal. Where I stay at home, keeping a perfect house with perfect kids and no regrets about leaving the workforce.... oh yeah. And money is no object.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

An amazing weekend, in pictures.

The family drama was kept at a minimum... and the kids had a wonderful time in Nantucket. First hit of the trip was Aaron's old rocking horse. Both kids LOVED it. Betsy wanted us to take it home, but we didn't have space in the car.

Another HUGE hit for the kids was riding on BIG bikes. Driving around Nantucket is a pain in the ass. Everyone has HUGE SUVs and the roads aren't wide. It takes forever to get anywhere. Betsy had one of these co-pilot seats, and both kids loved riding so much, we rented another. Aaron and I had a blast going for what I think was our first bike ride since 2003. We forgot how much fun it was to ride, and I had to say - it was also a blast having a mini-cheering section right behind you. "GO MAMA! FASTER!"

On the 4th of July, we hit Main St and all the activities that were there. Both Maggie and Cam got flags painted on their faces, and we explored and waited for the annual water fight. Maggie managed to dig in the dirt between the cobblestones... because she manages to sit in dirt wherever we go.

I don't have pictures of the waterfight, but you can go here. They actually pull out the town firetrucks!

After a good long nap, the kids woke up and we had some time to burn before going to see the fireworks, so we explored Betsy's backyard. Her house abuts conservation land, with plenty of trees to climb. (And ticks. I got one, Cam had two).

Finally, we hit the launch to Aaron's Uncle's boat for dinner and fireworks. Maggie LOVED riding on the launch:

And Cam just loved running around the boat and waving to everyone that passed by.

I was surprised at how well both kids did staying up that late. We didn't get home until 10, and both were up and excited to watch the fireworks. Cam still calls them 'bubbles in the sky!' which is too cute. The best part about watching them from a boat is that they aren't loud at all.

The 5th was our final day, and we couldn't leave without a final visit to the family bake shop. Both kids had Boston cream donuts (Mom too) and after we got all the chocolate off their faces, we took a picture under the sign.

On the ferry ride home, Maggie passed out on the deck the second the boat pulled away. Cam managed to stay awake until the car, but was passed out before we pulled out of the parking lot.

Couldn't have asked for a more fun family vacation... although I'm still recovering from all the 'fun'.