Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Am I crazy?

Well, wait. We already know the answer to that question. Yes.

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to go to Washington, DC to see the cherry blossoms. I started looking into it about 5 years ago and brought it up to Aaron - he was completely uninterested. He has family down there - so it would be a relatively inexpensive trip - I'd just need to get there. But Aaron wasn't into it. And it wouldn't be fun alone.

But now, my mom is retired. She loves Washington, DC. So the two of us, along with the kids, are taking the train (8 hours!!!) from Boston to DC to see the cherry blossoms. Aaron thinks I'm being silly to take the kids...but I think it will be a blast.

We are taking the train on Wednesday the 21st - it's an 8 hour train ride, so we arrive there at 4:15 in the afternoon. Depending on how much luggage I have, maybe we'll look around when we get there. And also depends on the blossoms. I'm taking a bet that they are early this year. But we'll be there for 2 full days (leaving Saturday morning) - so I'm hoping to see the zoo, the blossoms, the air and space museum and the Natural History museum. Any one been there with little kids? Advice? Must sees?

I'm hoping that Maggie will nap in a stroller - I'm planning on bringing a double stroller. It'll be interesting! No matter what, I'll have a good story to come out of it, lol.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weekend in pictures

We had a BLAST at the cabin. The kids love, love, love my mother. We got up a little later than usual, and drove to that children's museum I talked about (The Amelia Park Museum). What a great place. I would highly recommend it if you are ever in the area!

Then we made our way up to the cabin. Maggie took a nap, and Cam had 'quiet' time. Which was mostly running around checking out everything. When he finally settled down, he asked my mom to play cards with him. Which is a heart melter in my mom's book. Her father used to play cards with all us grand kids all the time - you started out with War as a little kid, moved up to Go Fish, and then it was Rummy 500. And even if you were 3, you were expected to flip the cards right, not cheat, and play until Grandpa won, lol.
Cam is really getting the hang of it - it's a fun card game with kids - because they get to 'win' with each flip of the card.

By the end of the day, Cam was totally ready to pass out. He was completely overtired, and both kids fell asleep by 6:30. Which, of course, meant a 5:30 AM wake up call. Mom took the kids and watched after them while I slept a little longer. She was totally wiped out by the time I came out of my room 2 hours later. The kids had her read them every single book in the house, twice:

They insisted on having 'Circle time' and teaching Henry about polar bears (Henry is SUCH a good dog. He just laid there and watched the kids chatting away to him for about 30 minutes)

And finally, we all went outside for a hike! In the WOODS! Maggie loved it - she kept clapping her hands and yelling ADVENTURE!

My mom just finally made the decision to truly retire. She is selling her main house, and moving up to the cabin. Which is a great decision in my mind. She will have lots of free time to spend with the kids, and not as much stuff to worry about. And now that we only have one dog, it's reasonable for her dog to come and stay at our house. A win-win all around.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

Happy Friday!

  • Aaron is away in Vegas with his college buddies this weekend. Let's hope for no facial tattoos.

  • I'm going to bring the kids up to the cabin and spend the weekend with my mother. They are super excited about it.

  • I just made these 'real' cereal bars for the kids - one fell apart while I was taking them out of the pan, so I tried it. They are freaking delicious. I used jam that a friend made and super yummy. And easy. Here's hoping the kids like them.

  • I'm planning on taking the kids to this Children's Museum this weekend too. I love trying new places.

  • Aaron's mom gave the kids pez for Valentine's day. They freaking LOVE them. And, as far as candy goes - I love them. No sticks (lollipops) and no chocolate drool/fingers. So I got more pez for bribes.

  • One of my girlfriends has a longer drive to daycare then I do, and has put a bin of books between the kids car seats. I saw this a few months ago, and thought- hey! Good idea. But didn't do anything about it. Just a couple days ago, I got an order from Amazon in a perfect sized box for in between the kids car seats. And what a HUGE hit. They love having a bunch of books to pick from. Of course, they are only in the car for about 10 minutes at a time, but I'm excited for the drive to the cabin - I think it will stop the constant commentary from them on the highway.

I always forget to link back to Danifred on Fridays! Go see her sweet new baby!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Two Things

Last night, I had the kids make monster toast while I finished up dinner. What a hit! Both kids had a blast 'painting' the toast, and then they ate up the whole thing because they made it themselves.

It's just milk mixed with food coloring and painted on the toast. Simple genius. When I was growing up, my mother NEVER did anything crazy like adding food coloring to milk. It's fun.

In other news, I'm starting to discipline Maggie. And oh MAN. I tend to forget that she isn't a baby anymore, and haven't been holding her accountable for things. On Sunday night, Cam asked for a donut. I said sure, buddy - if we get out of the house smoothly in the morning, we can go get donuts on the way to school. Well, Monday morning came and went without anyone remembering about the donuts. Tuesday morning, same thing. But then, yesterday, we were driving to school and Cam asked for donuts. And of course, I didn't have my wallet. I promised him that if helped me remember my wallet, and everyone got dressed nicely, we would get a donut this morning.

There were a lot of threats, but he did manage to get ready. Maggie, on the other hand, threw a full on temper tantrum because I wouldn't let her wear a shirt over her dress. I told her if she could stop crying and tell me what her problem was, we could talk about it. But no. Full out, throw down tantrum. I told her if she didn't stop, she would have to stay in the car and not get a donut with Cam and I. And she didn't stop. And man. By the time we got in the car and were headed to school, I could see how hard it was going to be to deny Maggie that donut. Once she got over herself, she was perfectly fine all morning.

We get to the donut store, and here was the conversation:

Me: "Maggie, you stay in the car while Cam and I get our donuts".

Maggie (reading her Elmo book) "OK"

Cam and I leave, get the donuts and return to the car. Maggie looks up from her book and sees that we have donuts.

Maggie: "My donut?"

Me: "No Maggie. Remember how I asked you to talk nicely to me, and instead you were screaming? And how if you didn't stop, you wouldn't get a donut? Well, you didn't stop."

Maggie (with total look of shock on her face): "Ameron? Share donut?"

At this point, I'm trying not to laugh. Cam is about to share his donut with Maggie, and I explain that Maggie will NOT have any donut. The look on Maggie's face was priceless. We'll have to see if it sticks. But man. I started things like this with Cam much sooner, and you can tell that Maggie is SHOCKED to the core that she didn't get what she wanted. She may be perhaps a bit spoiled. Sigh.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Back to the land of the living

Phew. I feel like I just survived a whirlwind of illness. When I last posted, I mentioned that Aaron was sick. Well, since then, Maggie has been diagnosed with a double ear infection and I was struck down with strep throat! Strep throat as a grown up sucks ass. My throat was on fire, I could barely function, and I missed 3 days of work. Aaron ended up taking the kids to his mother's so I could rest - and I seriously stayed in bed for almost 30 hours straight, only waking up for medicine and drinks.

In non-sickness news - Maggie is the 'I do everything myself' phase - which I knows annoys many people, but I just roll with it. she looks at me with this fierce face and says 'NO HELP MAMA!". She insists on dressing herself. She can get fully dressed by herself, which to me is really impressive for a 27 month old. I switched to pullups for her because she loves being able to get dressed - and the extra 4 cents a diaper is worth it. She is so happy with herself. And what she ends up picking out the wear totally cracks me up. Here is today's outfit:

Jean skirt and striped shirt, my pick. Tights, tutu and super hero cape her additions.

And I have a TV question. How much TV do you guys let your kids watch? Cam gets up early in the morning and watches about and hour to an hour and a half while I wake up and get ready for work, and then sometimes another 30 minutes at night. It's always 'educational' or age appropriate(Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Super Why or Curious George) - but he seems OBSESSED with it. He is always asking to watch TV. Always. It's frustrating at times. Either the TV or the iPad. Sigh.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Tomorrow, I'm using a groupon and having a complete spa day. Massage, facial, manicure and a pedicure. Oh yes. It's been a stressful few weeks with friends, family and a bit of over-committedness (not a word I'm sure) - so this is my treat to myself.

But I have so much to share, so I will do a bullet point post...

  • Aaron has got bronchitis. Which means he's been home from work, and has experienced what my mornings are like for the past 3 mornings. In an effort to get us more sleep, Aaron tried to convince Cam that he could stay in his room and play once he woke up - instead of coming into our room. Let me remind you of the fire truck bed. This morning, I hear Cam getting out of bed at 6 AM. He runs down the hall and pops his head in my room. MOM! IS DAD IN THERE?! No sweetie. Do you want to come and watch Sesame Street with me? He shakes his head no, runs back to his room and proceeds to play fire truck. Alarms and all. And then he gets quiet, runs back to my room, and asks if he can go wake up Maggie, because he needs her to be his tiller man. So, that idea was a bit of a backfire.

  • This week was a bit of a craft explosion. I made the capes for Cam's pre-school class and it was a huge hit. Most of the kids LOVED it and the mom's were so impressed. It's nice to get feedback like that considering the amount of time that went into dealing with it all! I don't have a picture of a finished cape - but here is Cam painting his letter:

  • I also somehow found time to make 20 of these little zipper heart pins to give to family and friends for Valentine's day. And a few hot glue gun injuries to go along with it.

  • I finally made the cute fabric bows I saw months ago. I made a one in a few different colors, and Maggie insisted in wearing two different color ones this morning - Like Zoe!

  • And! I ordered photo Valentine cards from tiny prints. They are going to be super cute and should arrive tomorrow, so I can send out my little pins with a cute card from the kids.

  • I bought myself a cake pop maker. My friend got this one for Christmas, and I coveted it. But it makes really large balls (that's what she said, lol) so I got myself this one, and I figure we can share. I'm hoping to make some for Valentines day. I know they aren't 'real' cake pops but I'm thinking these would be less sweet than the cake/frosting mix that is a real cake pop. I'll report back.

  • We've got a busy weekend planned. I'm trying to keep the kids out of the house so Aaron can rest a bit and recover. We are planning on Farmers Market, a playdate, a birthday party for their favorite grown-up Suzanne, and then a hockey game!

Monday, February 6, 2012

She's crafty

Since I can remember, I've loved making things. All sorts of things. Knitted scarves for my dolls, clothes for myself, teddy bears, mittens, and forts outside in the woods. One of the BIG things I remember was my mother being PISSED OFF at the messes I'd make. And squashing many of my artistic vision when she realized what sort of a mess it would entail.

I always said that I'd let my kids go wild with crafts... and thankfully they get a lot of that energy out at school because DAMN. The clean up is exhausting. And it also kills me to watch the kids combine play-doh colors (It takes so much self control not to rip it out of their hands when they are about to squish two different colors together. It's a sickness) And Maggie could paint for hours and hours (hence the whole paint in the tub solution).

As a grown up, I certainly haven't stopped crafting. Before kids, I would knit and sew, and every once in a while dabble in something else (I tried spinning and needlepoint embroidery) but now that I have kids - Freezer paper shirts! Tee-shirt capes! Sidewalk Chalk! Princess wands (and dresses)! Firetruck beds! Reusable snack bags! Dolls! Clothes for dolls! Blankets for dolls! Fairy Houses!

I. Can. Not. Stop.

So, I've perhaps overdone the crafty thing. When I was looking for a way to make the kid's super hero capes, I found a great tutorial on tee-shirt capes. Cam and Maggie were wearing their capes to school everyday - and the reaction from the other kids made me realize that all kids would love capes. So I volunteered to help the kids each make one.Without taking into account how many kids were in Cam's class. There are 22, my friend. That is 22 capes.

Twenty. Two. Capes.

So, tonight I'm having a few other crafty parents over from school, with their kids, and I'm hoping that while the kids play quietly, by themselves (HAHAHA) we will manage to slap these things together. I've already cut out 14 of the capes, and will hopefully get the Velcro sewn on before they arrive. But then we need to to cut out and iron on the freezer paper stencils on the back - because I'm having each kids paint the first letter of their name on the back with fabric paint.

And of course, right after I finished cutting the shirts out, Henry rubbed his jowls all over them so I've had to wash them. Sigh.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

If I didnt laugh...

I'd cry my eyes out!

Yesterday, Maggie was on day 4 of a 104+ fever. We'd ruled out an ear infection, strep... And needed to rule out an UTI. So Maggie needed to pee.

And this, my friends, is why I drink.

She finally did pee, and they were able to rule out a UTI. She woke up this morning fever free! Hope springs eternal.