Monday, January 30, 2012

I surrender.

Saturday afternoon, I felt like I had everything under control. My friend was doing much better and we had her all ready to go home on Sunday. I had cooked her a bunch of meals, done her laundry, and she showed that she was good on her own (could shower without help, change the bandages on her hands...). She even volunteered to watch the kids (once they were down for the night) so Aaron and I planned on a little date night. As we drove away from the house, I took a deep breath - I was wiped out from the week. It hit me all of a sudden that the stress of the week had drained me physically.

We got home from the movie, and I walked upstairs. Maggie's bedroom light was on. I looked in, and she wasn't in her crib. Then I start to realize that I smelled vomit. And then I see that Maggie is in bed with my friend. CRAP. So Maggie had thrown up all over her crib. On the flip side, my friend was nervous that she wouldn't be able to pick Maggie up out of her crib if she needed anything... but this episode showed that her hands were more healed than she thought. Aaron and I got her all washed up, and she went right back to bed with no trouble. I was hopeful that it was just junk food overload from a birthday party we attended that afternoon.

Yesterday, Maggie seemed better - although she did wake up and needed some attention in the middle of the night. But this morning, I woke up and posted to my facebook wall "OK. This week needs to include full nights sleep, happy babies, and no crisis. Begin.".

And then Maggie woke up with a fever of 101.5. And I was just DONE. I don't know why - I've certainly been through worse.... but I just wanted to cry. I couldn't calm Maggie down, and Cam was asking - Mommy? What wrong with Maggie? I just started getting nervous that she was having a super high fever again... but I took a deep breath, took her temp (101.5) and then called my Aunt and got Cam a ride to school with her, so I didn't have to leave the house with Maggie. And she was calmed down once the Advil kicked in.

But I'm home today, trying to work, with a sick baby and plans to have friends over later in the day. I don't want to cancel on my friends as I kind of need the 'friend therapy', but I also want to dive into bed and pull the covers over my head and not come out.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday night leftovers

  • This week has been crazy stressful. I scooped up my dear friend and have brought her home and have been taking care of her. She is slowly regaining use of her hands, but needs a lot of help. Seeing someone I love like this makes me sad. But so glad I'm here to help.

  • Tuesday night, Cam woke up with a nosebleed. Poor guy! We turned on the humidifiers in the kid's rooms, so hopefully that helps.

  • Wednesday, daycare called in a bit of a panic that Cam had slammed his finger in a door and 'We aren't sure if it's broken or not'. I jump into the car in a panic, and even called to doc to see what I should do. They were pretty laid back about the whole broken finger thing - as there isn't that much you can do for a broken finger. But when I got to school? No blood, no swelling and Cameron wasn't even crying. I was a little annoyed that they called me - but I guess better safe than sorry. He was very happy to get a hug from Mommy and when I explained if he came home with me, he couldn't watch any TV - also very happy to stay at school.

  • I wanted to cancel my fun that I had scheduled this week (freezer paper tee-shirt making last night and a massage tonight) but Aaron told me to just do it. And I had a blast last night, so that was good

  • And! My new cooking excitement! I know I told you all how much I love Dream Dinners - it is less expensive than take-out (and healthier) but still expensive (about $4 per serving). I've been slowly changing over to doing my own freezer cooking and I've just found the tool to make it super easy to do on my own! And inexpensive! Seriously, less than $2 a serving! I've been doing Once a Month Mom's mini-menus and they ROCK. So far, I like every recipe I've tried, and they are very simple to prepare.

  • This list has taken me all day to write. I'll sign off for now, wish everyone a happy weekend and get ready for my well-deserved massage tonight!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine's Day

When I was younger and still single, I used to get some cute Valentine's day cards and put them in the mail to all my female friends. Some were in relationships, some were single - but I figured it is always nice to get mail on a day when the hype is all about being loved and remembered. So I would send little packages to the special people in my life and hope it made them smile.

As time went on, I've fallen out of doing that. No reason why, either. And this year, one of my Facebook friends posted the coolest thing:

(Source here)

Totally simple to make and really cool! My plan is to make a bunch of these, turn them into pins and send them to my friends.

Then I was thinking how cute it would be to include a little Valentine from the kids with the pin, and I'd been searching for ideas - but honestly, they are still too young to really do more then scribble on a piece of paper. I'm not saying that isn't cute - but often I can't engage them for more than one piece of paper. And then I turn into the Craft Nazi - "Get back in here and draw! Draw another! And Another!" Which isn't fun for me or the kids. And makes Aaron wonder what is WRONG with me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What's important to me

A close friend had a scary incident this weekend, and called me last night. She needed me to drive her to a doctors appointment because she can't drive herself. This isn't my story to tell, but let me just say she is a fiercely independent women, so it takes a lot for her to ask for help.

She was going to call first thing this morning to make the appointment, so I wasn't sure what time or for how long I would be sitting in the doctor's waiting room. Now that I've talked to her more, she sounds OK and we have a plan in place (she is coming home with me tonight so I know she is safe and cared for) I can laugh at how I packed my bag for the unknown.

In my bag was my laptop, my iPhone charger, two muffins, a dozen cookies, a big mug of coffee and a knitting project. With those things, I can pretty much handle anything.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Carpe Diem

There is an article on Huffington Post that is making the rounds with my facebook friends - Don't Carpe Diem. And I get it. There is a frustration while you are in the trenches of child-rearing to want to punch people in the face when they are constantly reminding us that 'They grow up SO fast! Treasure it now". I get it, I do. I'm finding joy in each age and stage (and the horrors too, trust me) that my kids go through.

But one thing that I do push myself to do is to not rush it.

Mornings are a perfect example. I let the kids wake up on their own in the morning. I have this luxury because they tend to not sleep in past 8, and also, because my work is pretty flexible about when I get in. Cam, the early riser, gets out of bed and wakes me up, and we hang out in my bedroom until Maggie wakes up. And lately, Cam runs downstairs and goes outside in the snow to play while Maggie and I make the breakfast smoothies.

This weekend, we got about 6 inches of snow. And spent a lot of time outside with the kids playing in it. Both kids are finally into sledding - so we spent a lot of time running up and down the tiny hills around our house. This morning, Cam insisted on putting on his snow pants to go outside. Which was annoying, but whatever. I got him into the whole outfit and sent him outside. Maggie and I went back upstairs, and she looks at me and says 'Go outside? Sled?'. At this point, it's 8 AM, and I really just want to get the kids to daycare so I can go to work. But I took a deep breath, and said, sure Maggie, lets sled. As I'm sure most mom's know - the amount of time it takes to get the kids in the snow gear is equal to or more than the actual amount of time they spend in the snow.

I bundled her up, we went sledding for all of about 15 minutes before both kids were asking to go inside for hot cocoa (which I was able to defer to breakfast smoothies in the car). When we were sledding, Cam got sick of waiting for me to haul Maggie back up, and figured out how to lay down on the sled on his belly and push himself with his hands to get going. He was SO proud of himself.

So yes, I was about 30 minutes later to work this morning. But the smile on Cam and Maggie's face as they played out in the cold and the snow was something that I would have missed if I hadn't just slowed down and let them have a few minutes to enjoy it. It's so easy to get caught up in what we think we need to do, or where we need to be next. I catch myself trying to push the kids along - like wanting to pick up Maggie and put her into her car seat when all she wants to do it climb in "myself!' and if I can take the 2 extra minutes that it take to let her do it? I let her do it.

Sure, not everyday am I going to be able to say yes to sledding at 8 AM on a Monday morning. But when I can? I will.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

All about me.

I have a pretty good opinion of myself. I think I'm a nice person, have nice friends, hold down a good job. I try my best to keep the house running smoothly, Aaron and I communicate well and are a great couple, and my kids seem happy and well adjusted. To do all this, I spend a lot of time working hard, fostering relationships and tending to my family's needs.

One thing that has gone 100% to the wayside is my health. I used to be fairly active - I'm sure that if you've read this long enough, you know that I did an Ironman triathlon in 2004. And it does seem like I get into a funk every 6 months or so... sitting on the couch and knitting or playing with my iPhone instead of getting off my butt and being active. But it's so easy to just let the exercise go. Be it that I had a hard day at work, or the kids have worn me down, or I want to meet up with friends or even that I am just being LAZY.

It's also a struggle for me because many of the things I used to love to do either take a long time (like bike rides or going to a pool and swimming) and are also pretty expensive (again swimming but also yoga). And this past year, we have been SUPER tight on money. I tried to join the inexpensive gym in town, but the timings of the classes just was NOT working out for me. I like to spin, and the spin classes are at 5:45 (I'm the only one home with the kids) 9:30 (prime time at work for meetings) and 6:30 (baby bedtime). Aaron is always supportive and tells me he can figure out a way so I can go, but I must admit getting up at the ass crack of dawn is not attractive to me, and baby bedtime is not to be missed. It's my favorite part of the day!

If you want something to succeed, you need to figure out what isn't working and find a way to fix it! I had been walking, but a combination of cold weather and laziness stopped that. But now I have good news. A friend of mine is opening up a yoga studio about 10 minutes from my house, and the pricing is very reasonable. She also put a lot of thought into the timings of classes, so there are many options that I will be able to go to (like a lunch time class for when I'm working at home) that I think this is just what I need to get back to exercising.

Things start up on Feb 1st, and I ordered myself a new yoga top to celebrate! I'll report back. But I really need to get into some sort of workout routine. I hope this is as great as I think it's going to be.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Long Weekend Leftovers

  • We had an energy audit done on our house, and it's become very apparent that the 4 inches of insulation we have in our attic is grossly inadequate. In order to put more insulation in, Aaron needed to add baffles for the soffit vent first. Which is a bit of a job. This weekend Aaron was inspired to do it, so I happily took the kids on a bunch of adventures to allow him to get it done!

  • Why was I so excited? The insulation over the half of the bedroom that I sleep in was 'missing'. No wonder I'm so freaking cold! I'm super excited to be a little warmer in bed, especially now that winter has arrived (it's below 10 degrees at night now)

  • I should also add that is is freaking awesome that I have a husband that is able to do all this home improvement stuff himself. I can't even imagine how much it would cost to have someone else do it.

  • Saturday, I already had plans to go take the kids to a Kidtoons Movie (I had a free pass for Cameron that he got being in the birthday club).

  • One of Maggie's godmother's (she has two, I let Nora's godmother share her with the other godmother) lives close to the movie theater, and has two boys, 12 and 14. It's amazing how much fun BIG kids are to little kids - so we visited with them for a couple hours before the movie.

  • Then we went to the movies, which is always exciting because of the BIG SCREEN.

  • In the dark movie theater, Cam noticed that his light up shoes weren't lighting up all the way anymore. This is annoying to me, because I had already taken these shoes back to Stride Rite once because they stopped lighting up. We bought these shoes specifically because the toes light up and that is VERY EXCITING for a 3 year old. And of course, it's the toes that stop working. So Cam turns to me and tells me that we need to go to the store to get them fixed (just like last time). It kills me the memory this kids has.

  • I explained that we could do that, but we needed to drop Maggie off at home for a nap first.

  • On our way to the mall, Cam declares that he has his wallet so he will pay for a ride on the Round and Around (the little merry go round at the mall) and that he will then go to the indoor playground, and he will stay there while I get his new shoes. I explained that it was shoes FIRST then play, but inside I was laughing because he obviously had this all planned out.

  • And kudos to Stride Rite, they were very nice and accommodating on the return of Cam's shoes for the second time and assured me that they hadn't had any reports of the shoes being defective - so fingers crossed that these last more that the 2 weeks the other pairs have.

  • Sunday was a nice lazy day. Aaron and Cam got up early and went out to breakfast where they SAT AT THE COUNTER ON THE SPINNY CHAIRS (that was the report from Cam when he got home) while Maggie and I slept in until 8 AM.

  • Monday was the super big excitement day - I got up early, packed the kids in the car and went to Suzanne's house (while Aaron did more insulation). After visiting her kitties, we took the bus and then the subway to the Boston Children's Museum. We had a wonderful time. I think 3 is the perfect age for this place - Cam was totally into everything, Maggie was a bit nervous.

  • After lunch, we took the subway and the bus back to Suzanne's house with a quick stop at Henry Bear's Park (where I was thankfully able to get out with a fireman toy for Cam and a microphone for Maggie). Suzanne wanted my help to pick out a toy for her nephew who is turning two. My first suggestion was the Car Carrier from Melissa and Doug - but they didn't have that, so of course, I said a Bruder truck. It was a little dicey getting out of there, Cam realized that he wasn't taking home a new Bruder truck, he was trying to tell me that he didn't have THIS ONE... but I talked him down with the fireman. Phew.

  • Then we were back at Suzanne's, and Cam didn't want to leave. At all. So I left a car seat there, and left. Maggie was a little sad to be leaving Suzanne, but happily sung to me all the way home. I was nervous that Cam would realize that I wasn't there and be upset, but he was fine. Which is nice! I love it that Cam has another grownup that he is perfectly happy with.

  • Cam stayed at Suzanne's for about three hours and then came home and he was the boy on the edge. He was SO overtired and overstimulated that you could tell anything was going to make him cry. He was in bed and completely passed out by 7. Maggie, on the other hand, had a great nap and was up and playing in her crib until 9. Sigh.

  • But, this morning it snowed a few inches so both kids dove out of bed and ran downstairs to play in the snow. A few inches is fine with me - I was able to get a lot of the snow off the driveway too, and we still made it to daycare and work just fine.

  • I'm back at work today, and working full time is going to be relaxing after this weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The excitement of snow

Living in New England, we prep for winter. By November, if you don't have snow pants, snow boots, hat and gloves you are going to get screwed. It's going to snow. Your kids are going to wake up and want to play and you won't be prepared. Of course, this year, it snowed right before Halloween, and it hasn't snowed since.

This morning, Cam crawled into bed with me and we had our snuggle time waiting for Maggie to wake up. This is our new daily thing... Cam wakes up around 6:30 and comes into our room, climbs into bed, gets under the covers and we watch Micky Mouse Clubhouse. Maggie usually doesn't wake up until at least 7:30, so Cam and I get a little bit of alone time. Which usually ends in tears because Mean Mommy makes him get up and get dressed eventually.

But this morning? I told him to get up and look out the window.

Huge intake of breath, and then a solid 20 minutes of him telling me to was snowing and that he needed his snow boots and a sweater and a jacket because he was going to go outside and shovel and "MOMMY YOU NEED TO WAKE UP MAGGIE but first I have to brush my teeth in YOUR BATHROOM and then I go get dressed with my sweater and socks but not my new boots I need my snow boots....."

I think you get the idea. In the 5 minutes it took me to wake Maggie up and get her dressed, Cam was in the basement with his snow boots on. The minute I opened the garage door, he was out and shoveling.
Maggie was more excited to be in her snowshoes... but we obviously need to get a snow shovel for 'myself' so she can get in on the exciting shoveling. We were a bit late getting out of the house this morning, but it was worth it for how excited the two of them were.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Super Kids

The cape obsession continues. I was feeling like Maggie was left out in the whole cape thing - so when I bought the knit fabric for the BatCam shirt, I also bought some 'standalone cape' material (also in hope that the cape wouldn't get dirty like the shirt version, and we wouldn't have to wait for laundry to wear it again). I got 3/4 a yard of a slippery knit fabric, and follow this tutorial loosely. I say loosely because I made mine smaller (as my kids are smaller) and I mostly used the great idea she had of just cutting out a big triangle instead of doing the ties separately. These were nice and quick to make. So easy, in fact, that I'm considering making them for Cam's whole preschool class so that they can play together.

I also tried to make Super Hero Cuffs, but they just were too small and I used Velcro for attaching, and I think that is too hard for the kids to do with one hand - so I'm re-thinking. I'll report back.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rather Awesome

After getting over the whole omgmydaughterisinanambulanceandbeinghospitalized this week has left me feeling like a pretty great mom. First, I made that epic shirt for Cam, and then - I made Maggie's day.

We were home together on Tuesday because she still needed a nebulizer treatment during the day. All weekend she had been asking to paint, and we'd been distracting her because its a HUGE mess (clothes, house, etc). But she loves it so much is was feeling guilty that I wasn't just letting her do it. Then I had a light bulb moment.

Paint naked in the TUB! She loved it, and clean up was super easy. I think that all painting will occur in the tub from now on.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


For Christmas, Cam got an awesome shirt from the Gap. It's a Superman shirt, but attached to the back, with Velcro, is a cape. It's a simple cape made from knit material with the Superman logo printed on it.

Cam LOVES this shirt. He wants to wear it every day. When he is wearing it, he runs around the house fighting fires (we can't get 100% away from the fireman/firetruck obsession, you know) as a SUPERHERO! Problem is, it's only one shirt. And I don't do laundry every day. Being as I am not a superhero expert, I turned to Aaron and asked what other super heroes wear capes. He looked at me like I was stupid and said "Batman".

There couldn't be an easier thing to do with freezer paper stencils than a Batman logo! So I went and bought some black jersey (I got a half yard). I cut out the cape and did a little hem around all side with a zigzag stitch, added Velcro - did the painting and....

Voila! BatCam!

That is Cam's Superhero face, of course.

And here is the back: I'm SO proud of this thing it's a little ridiculous. And it took me all of an hour to make it. Nice.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Well, that was a week.

We had a wonderful Christmas. I could report on all of the wonderful fun, but I'm sure it's similar to many other Christmas's out there. We saw family, had much excitement about Santa, ate a lot of good food and enjoyed our family.

I had the whole week off of work, sent the kids to daycare for 3 days so I could get various thing done around the house - but Thursday I took the kids on a big adventure. Maggie got to go to the New England Aquarium for the first time, while Cam went to the Museum of Science with Suzanne. Both kids had a huge blast, and we then met Daddy for pizza lunch at work.

Maggie was acting a bit sicker than just a cold Thursday, but I didn't think much of it. She even woke up twice on Thursday night - but Aaron went in, soothed her and all was fine. Aaron took Friday off work and let me sleep in (HUGE LUXURY. He gets up with the kids on the weekends, but there is no sleeping once they wake up, trust me) and took the kids to daycare. We had a day of Aaron and Cece time planned, when I got the call from daycare that Maggie had a fever of 102. I went and picked her up, gave her some Tylenol and put her to nap. I did call the doc, and got her an appointment at 3:20, because I figured she had and ear infection.

She woke up from her nap in hysterics, and by the time I got her to the doc, her breathing was shallow and she was really hot. They took her fever and it was up to 104. At this point, I had everyone in our office. She low low blood oxygen, and they ended up sending her (and me, of course) to the hospital in an ambulance. I was a bit of a wreck at this point (inside more than outside). Aaron met us at the ER and the look of panic in his eyes sent me over the edge. They were figuring it was pneumonia - but a chest x-ray ruled that out. They also rules out RSV (eventually) but giving her a nebulizer treatment helped significantly. So we were admitted overnight. And wow. Talk about PTSD.

We were in the room next to the room that Maggie was in for the 3 days after Nora's death when they had her on IV antibiotics. It's a small hospital, so everyone of course remembered us. I didn't sleep that whole night (the nurses were in and our of the room every freaking hour - checking her temp, giving breathing treatments, blah blah blah), but Maggie woke up totally back to her normal self on Saturday morning - her fever was down to normal and she just looked so much better. In the end, they decided it was Brochiolitis. We watched Elmo and waited until she passed all their tests to send us home.

But seriously. I didn't need that shock to my heart this week!

Obviously, we didn't do anything super exciting for New Years eve. We had planned to go to a New Year's eve playdate with a bunch of our friends, but bagged that. With the stress and the lack of sleep I totally passed out at 9 - and we had to wake up every 4 hours to give Maggie her nebulizer treatment, so Aaron and I mumbled Happy New Year to each other before we collapsed into bed after that at 1 AM.

Good times. Wishing everyone a healthy and happy (and incident free) 2012!