Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Deep breath. I'm leaving in 24 hours for my India trip. I'm excited, scared, and so, so ready for some time off

  • I haven't been away from Aaron for this long sense we met.

  • I spent today getting the little things done. I got a stack of one dollar bills for tips, a bunch of snack foods/granola bars, random toiletries.

  • Now I'm trying to figure out what knitting to bring on the plane with me.

  • I'm currently making a few easy meals for Aaron to cook while I'm gone. Not because I NEED to, but to be nice. Because he may need a little long-distance nice when he's home alone with two toddlers.

  • In other news - the summer is almost over! WTF. Summer is super fast.

OK. Back my my obsessive packing. Talk to you all in a week!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Travel. Freakout.

I'm a pretty laid-back traveler. I traveled somewhat as a kid - my dad would take me on plenty of your stock winter trips (Cancun, Florida, even Jamaica). He was obsessed with history, so I also did trips to all the civil war battlefields, Gettysburg, and lots of national parks (like the Grand Canyon). My mom, who is a bit leery of travel, even took me to Washington, DC and New York city more than a few times.

On my own, I spent a term abroad in college where I attended school in Wales, but also saved up a lot of money the year previous and went to Dublin, Paris, London, Bath and other locations in England in the 3 months I was there. Aaron and I have gone to China (Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Xian), France, Greece, Italy. Plus I've gone on more than a few in country trips alone since the kids have been born (twice with Maggie and once without any kids for my Dad's funeral). I used to travel once a month for work. I know that you pack your bags, get your stuff together, and enjoy. I never 'push it' on time lines - I get to my flights with time to spare, and I just go with the flow.

But yesterday, I started freaking out. I was getting all my information together for Aaron. I want him to know where I am when - and this is awful - because of the chance of something happening. There have been bombings in India, and I'm also going on 2 different flights along with a train ride, so I don't want him to freak out if he hears of something bad happening. But as I listed it all out, I realized that India is 9.5 hours ahead of Boston, so the conversion to what 'my time' versus 'his time' would be hard. So I started to make a spreadsheet (seriously, with colors). That wasn't right either, so I came up with a less complex spreadsheet that tells him where I am for the morning/afternoon of each day (his time) and how to contact me - and I made sure to put the WHOLE number (so 011 91 xxx xxxxxxx) so all he needs to do is pick up the phone and dial.

What the heck!? This took me like 2 hours! And I pretty much guarantee you that Aaron will not look at it once.

Sigh. Don't even get me started on the current debate as to what bags I should bring. Aaron doesn't think I should bring my 'big bag' as it'll be hard to handle (which I don't agree with - it's got wheels and a handle) and what if I want to bring something home? Since I don't have to pay for a checked bag... I'm thinking it doesn't matter, but then, what if they lose it? Maybe I should just bring everything with me in a carry on? But then, what about the in country flight I'll be taking? Augh.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Right as rain

It rained all day yesterday, and as weird at it sounds - that helped my mood. I love rain. Although it was cool and rainy, so it was a bit strange to be cool in the middle of August, but there it is. Your comments all helped immensely too. And as usual, just giving voice to my stress and frustration helped too.

My trip to India is soon! In less than a week, I'm hopping on a plane and going to be away from my family for the longest stretch of time EVER. The longest Aaron and I have been apart since we met over ten years ago was 4 nights. This is going to be 8 nights.... so that's a bit crazy. I also haven't had a long vacation since Christmas, so I know I need this time off. And it's going to really be time off, as I'll be alone, only responsible for myself and completely offline. The cost of being able to have my iPhone working in India seems not really worth the luxury.

I'm lucky in that I have Suzanne's brother to hang out with in New Delhi - he lives and teaches law there. So he will meet me at the airport and has already given me great advice for the trip. I arrive on Sunday night, and then I will do some sightseeing in New Delhi Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday is the wedding that I'm actually making the trip for. I went a little hog wild and bought 2 outfits so that I'll 'fit in' for the two day affair. The reception is Tuesday night, so I'm planning on wearing this:

I'm kind of nervous that I'm going to sweat like a pig, I've been told that the wedding hall doesn't have A/C but it does have fans. (Great. Fans. That'll help. Not.). Both of these outfits are silk. Lightweight... but still. So I'm thinking the darker one for the nighttime event where I think I'll be talking to more people. Maybe the pools of sweat won't show as much.

This is the original outfit I bought, before I realized that it was a two day affair. The wedding itself is the next morning at 7 AM - so I think it may be cooler then?

Who knows. At least I'll look pretty. It's kind of exciting to get to dress up like this - obviously I'd never wear a Salwar Kameez and anything with all this beading.... so that is exciting in itself. Plus, all the travel plans (I'm going to see the Taj Mahal!). I'm guessing this is going to be a big adventure, but probably exhausting too.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Pain Olympics

I don't often go down this road. But spending a week with my mother brings it out. My mom is the type of woman who (at least it seems like) loves tragedy. On Weds, she found out that a friend of hers had died. So, while hanging out with us, she spent a lot of time on the phone with his wife asking how she was doing, finding out arrangements, and helping her notify other friends. All necessary things when someone dies. (I hate it that I know all this). Anyway - one of the people she called had a lot going on - his daughter has MS, his wife was in the hospital, and he cat needed to go into surgery. She got off the phone with him and said - this man is an angel! Going through all his has in his life, and taking the time to worry about Bob and making sure he goes to the funeral.

Yeah. What an angel. She NEVER said ANYTHING like that to me. I was dealing with my son's first birthday, the death of my daughter in my own house, a baby girl with awful acid reflux and a milk allergy, the death of my father, finding out I needed to dig a well (12K we didn't happen to have in our back pocket).... WHAT ABOUT ME! Seriously. And that is all after going through the 3 years previous in which I dealt with infertility, an ectopic pregnancy, a miscarriage and my FIL having a major stroke and now being totally incapacitated.

This has been a lifelong thing. I have done amazing things in my life. I've finished an ironman triathlon. I've swum 10 miles in the Boston harbor. I've swum Alcatraz. I was all American in college in swimming. My boat almost won nationals in crew in college (it was actually a photo finish - took 30 minutes to decide who won). I graduated with honors from college. I'm a VP at work. And she sends me a cut-out from the newspaper about this guy that swam Alcatraz... and the whole thing about how it was a life long goal of his. Her note? "Look at what a big deal this guy made about this!". How do I explain that it IS a big deal to swim Alcatraz. Jesus. She just assumes I can do it. Which in some strange way is good, I guess.

Never, ever, has my mother told me I am amazing. Never. And sometimes I just want to shake her and scream WHAT THE FUCK. But I also don't want to sit here and list out all the shit I've gone through and make her worry either. Because I am OK. My life is wonderful. But maybe, just once, she could realize that I'm a survivor. Just a little pat on the back. But I know I won't. And sometimes it pisses me off.

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's Friday!

I'm going to do a combo of Friday night leftovers and a 'real' post. This week, my brother has been visiting with his identical twin daughters. It's been great. This week is a BIG week for me at work, so at first, I couldn't figure out how I was going to be able to swing going up to meet them at the cabin. But then my mom asked around, and found a friend who has a cabin with high speed Internet. I drove up on Monday morning, and was able to leave the kids with my family while I worked. Turned out, things with my project went really smoothly, so I could have taken more time off - but I loved that I was able to walk away and really let my brother have quality time with my kids. He lives so far away that he never gets to see them.

I would work for the day in my version of paradise (a soft breeze, looking out on the woods), log off in the afternoon, and get to go to the lake with the kids, joke around, play... just a wonderful time. They had planned to stay at the cabin until Thursday, and then come down and see Boston - but I was able to convince them to leave with me on Weds. I'm charming that way. The girls, who are 13, are having a blast at our house - we have a big TV and an x-box with Connect - so they've been playing that constantly.

Cameron is so in love with his cousins. He runs around asking - where is my cousin? Where is my OTHER cousin?! They leave Saturday morning, and I think it's going to be rough.

Now for the leftovers:

  • Man, do I wish my brother lived closer. I just love spending time with him. And my nieces are wonderful. Hate it that thousands of miles are between us.

  • My 'mini-vacation' this week made me realize how excited I am for my real vacation to India! I leave in a week!

  • I'm not going to bring a computer or make it so my phone works in India. I'm going to try for a little tech-free time. Scary, huh?

  • Aaron is going to start building Cam's fire truck bed soon...which is super exciting!

  • This week, Maggie learned a new word - STOP. And her first sentence 'I no want that'. Does it surprise me that was her first sentence? Nope.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • First - if Erin is reading this - thanks for the comment! I'm so glad you found me! Erin is my buddy from my very first job out of college. We shared an office (back in the days before cubicles). She rocked. I assume she still does.

  • Everyone (except Aaron) seems healthy again. Hurrah!

  • Work was looking like a huge disaster was going to happen - and then we found the fix and this week has just been getting things done. Love it when that happens.

  • The fact that work is somewhat 'smooth sailing' means that I'm going to be able to have a mini-vacation next week

  • My brother is visiting with my identical twin nieces. They are 13. I haven't seen them in over 3 years.

  • Aaron is staying home, and I'm taking the kids to meet them all (including my mom) at the cabin. My plan is to work during the day(at a friends cottage where they have Internet. Our cabin is still in the '70s. We only have a phone. Which is nice sometimes, awful at others) while everyone plays with my kids.

  • This plans has a few flaws... biggest being that Cam and Maggie have never met my brother and my nieces. Second biggest is that after lunch, I'm thinking my brother is going to be drinking a case of beer. Fingers crossed it works out.

  • We'll stay at the cabin until Weds, and then back here on Thursday - when we'll go to the Bolton Fair! My brother lives in Florida, so the girls have never been to a real country fair.

  • And then they leave on Saturday, where I'm thinking we'll send them off at a local balloon festival.

  • This week, I've gotten my immunizations for my India trip, and the outfit that I'm wearing to the wedding! Exciting!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Being Home and questions for the internets

In the past week, I've been home for 2 days with each child. Both Maggie and Cam were hit with the current bug that is going around - sore throat and fever. I'm saying this is a bit of a caveat, but it is good, sometimes to have some one on one time with a sick kid. Remember, that I work full time, so my kids are in daycare full time. And our weekends are usually filled with fun things for both grown-ups and babies - especially in the summer. So, having a few days where they had to lay low, and I was with them for 48 hours straight - was fun to see the little people they are growing into.

Maggie was home with me last week, and without her brother around, is a super chatterbox! I never get to see that, because Cam is always talking over her. And a huge cuddler. I think a lot of it was being sick, and she wanted to be close, but once the fever broke and she was obviously feeling better - she was running around the living room, playing with all the toys - bringing them over and showing them to me... just a bundle of fun. But, interesting to watch, no one, NO ONE can make that girl smile like her brother. She was SO excited for him to get home from school and play with her - warms my heart.

The last two days, I've been home with Cam, who was hit a lot harder with this. Tuesday, he woke up with a fever of 102.5, and just laid on the couch and watched movies and slept. He was so out of sorts being sick. But yesterday? Yesterday he was a little slow in the morning, but then was full out, talking a mile a minute, and making up all these hilarious pretend games! So much fun to watch.

But - now I have some questions for you all. First. When Aaron and I are trying to talk about something - Cam always, always interrupts us. If we try to ignore him, he just gets louder and louder and louder until we are forced to stop what we are talking about and listen. In the car, if we are talking, he starts singing to himself and also gets louder and louder until it just isn't possible to talk. Many times I'll stop our conversation to ask him what he'd like, but other times, I'd just like to talk to Aaron and finish a freaking thought! But I love it that Cam is so happy to be with us and share - and sometimes I think maybe he's to young to explain about not interrupting. Thoughts? What do you guys do?

And pooping. My theory of just waiting until Cam was ready for potty training has worked so well. He pees in the potty all the time. No accidents, no issues. But he does it standing up like a 'big boy', which I think may be some of the issue. He never wants to try to poop in the potty, usually doing it in the morning in his diaper. Is this another thing I should just wait until he is ready? I'm fine with him wearing a diaper at night - but wondering what others did.

The last thing is bedtime/naps. Cam is a real pain now about sleeping. He pretty much never naps on Saturdays, and when he was home with me, once he was feeling better, he didn't want to nap. Last night, we didn't get him down to bed until 8, and he stayed awake until 9:20, using his pillow as a guitar, jumping up and down - until finally Aaron went in and read him another book and he went to sleep. Are naps over? If he doesn't nap, he is a bit of a basket case in the evening.... but he'll fall asleep faster (except last night). Sometimes we send him up for 'quiet time' which isn't really all the quiet, he sings and jumps around his bed like a monkey - but I don't get involved. A few times I've laid down with him and he will eventually nap - but that seems like a bad practice and sometimes I don't want to nap either!