Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday night leftovers

  • In less than an hour, my vacation begins.
  • First things first, we are off the the local lake tonight to play and cool down (it's 95 degrees here today)
  • We have the exact same plans for tomorrow.
  • And a little birthday party for friends on the street - they are twins, and turning two - so I made them cute freezer paper shirts with a 2 on them.
  • Sunday, Aaron is taking Cam on a boat tour of the Tall Ships. Because our day starts at 6 AM no matter if it's a weekday or weekend, I got tickets for the 8:30 AM tour. Hopefully it'll be somewhat cool and less crowded.
  • After we are done with the Tall Ships - we are headed up to Maine!
  • We are staying at a friends house in Camden, ME. The weather outlook says it's going to be 70 degrees all week. That is about 15 degrees cooler than home. Nice, except that the kids are going to want to be at the beach the whole time.
I'll update as I can from vacation, but hoping for a nice, relaxing, unplugged week.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Collateral Damage

IF for me, it's a far way off. Over 7 years have passed since I first started dealing with IF. 4 years since my last cycle. During those years of IF, I have a lot of stories, a lot of breakdowns, a lot of drama. But yesterday, one of the sources of a bit of drama showed up in a totally unexpected place.

Here is the back story: It was about 3 weeks after my ectopic pregnancy. I was a HUGE wreck. My quilting friends and I go away every fall to a girls weekend. Aaron FORCED me to go (I didn't want to be seperated from him AT ALL). At first, I was having a blast. Then I started to get more and more sad - and one of the reasons was that there was a woman (well meaning, of course) who had already gone through many years of IVF, had all the heartbreak, joined RESOLVE and had just adopted a baby. She was over the moon about this baby. Showing me pictures, telling everyone stories. Which, at first, I was totally into. But, I wasn't in the best mental state. And she kept telling me to just not do IVF. To focus on adoption. That IVF was a waste of time. Over and over and over.

My friends watched me go from my normal self to wanting to go home and pulling away from the group as the weekend continued. I started doubting that IVF would ever work for me, that I'd never have my 'own' baby, getting more and more nervous about the whole idea of assisted reproduction (I had my ectopic naturally - so hadn't yet done anything stronger than clomid). I was at the point of leaving the weekend because this woman just wouldn't stop talking about RESOLVE and adoption and how awful IVF was.... when finally my girl friends cornered her at the fabric store and told her to LAY OFF. And she did. Looking back it's easy to see how she just wanted to help. And that she was crazy excited about her newborn. That certainly isn't how I saw it at the time.

As a coping mechanism, even though she is in my circle of acquaintances. I’ve been very careful to not cross paths with her. Not that she was mean or anything, but my only memory of her was that she made me feel bad.

Guess who is on this new swim team I've joined? And guess who is a perfectly wonderful person to talk to and share stories with? I didn't even recognize her (everyone looks weird with bathing caps and goggles on). But after practice, we were chit-chatting and we finally realized who each other was. At first, I got a tightness in my belly - but then it came to me. This poor woman was collateral damage to my issues. I was such a hormonal mess after that ectopic (it took almost 2 months for my HCG to get back to zero). And looking back, she was just enthusiastic about her success in adoption and wanting to spare me the pain she dealt with in IVF (which, although mine wasn't as bad - I knew after Cam was born that I wasn't willing to go through it again). So, I've got a friendly face to hang out with at swim team! And she has a 3 year old and invited us to hang out with her at the pool.

And life moves on. Funny, that.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Leftovers

Since I wasn't online Friday and we've done so much these past few days, bullet post it is!
  • Thursday, I took the kids to a local circus. There was a groupon, so it was $26 for 2 adult tickets and 4 children - plus all you could eat pizza. I was all excited about a cheap night out - but everything else was $6. Want an ice pop (in the 100 degree heat)? $6. Ride on a pony? $6. Three slides down the bouncy slide? $6. Thankfully, I ignored the sign that said no outside food or drink, and brought water bottles for all of us. Cam rode a pony and was SUPER excited. The circus itself was fun, a few acrobats, a couple of animal acts and a funny clown. Maggie was VERY distraught by the trapeze and high wire - Uh oh, Mommy! Tell dem to be careful! And she CRIED like bloody murder when the animal acts left (No! Come back!). Cam and his buddy had a BLAST.
  • I don't regret going at all, but damn, it was hot in that tent. It's amazing to me how kids seem to not notice the heat.
  • The next day, I had the day off. I was going on a Girl's Weekend to the Cape (a friend has a house there) so in order to avoid traffic I took the whole day. The friend I was carpooling with couldn't leave until noon.
  • I spent the morning with another pal watching SYTYCD (saved on the DVR) and getting pedicures.
  • Then off to the Cape, where we hit no traffic!
  • Spend the weekend, child-free, reading books, going for bike rides and swimming in the ocean. It was heavenly.
  • Got home just in time for the Block Party I helped plan, which was also a huge success.
  • Monday morning was my first swim team practice - and it was great. I felt awesome during and after - and am looking forward to going again tomorrow!
  • Last night, took the kids to member's only night at the New England Aquarium, where Cam was finally brave enough to pet a shark! He was SUPER excited.
  • And now, I'm getting ready to take all of next week off - we are planning on going up to the coast of Maine.
  • I love summer.
Random question for you all. If you have some alcohol before you go to sleep, do you have trouble sleeping? This was never the case with me, but the last few months I'm finding that if a drink more than a couple drinks (like say 3) I'm up the entire night. And of course, it's not often that I drink that much, so I can't tell if it's the drinks, or something else.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Weekend in Video

This weekend, we did a lot of fun things. The first was a scavenger hunt! It was a big hit. Each time they found the next clue, Cam would open it and 'read' it to Maggie. It was super cute, so I wanted to catch it on video. Watch it until the end, it was funnier than I expected.
 Then we went to a birthday party on Saturday - where they placed a wading pool at the bottom of the slide. Both kids spent the whole party playing in there.
 Sunday morning we went to the Collings Foundation - which was a LOT of fun. Every time a plane took off, Maggie would clap and cheer it on. I wanted to catch that cuteness, but this time, she did something even cuter.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Yesterday was a beautiful day, and I didn't take my bike to work. I was bummed that I didn't get out. I tried to get out of work in time so we could ride together to get the kids, but that didn't work out either. So Aaron and I took the kids to a local park to meet up with friends and have a picnic on the bikes. It ended up being a hilly 9 mile ride. Phew. I don't even think I could have done that 3 weeks ago! It was great.
  • When we went to the Museum of Science a few weeks ago, I told Cam there was a scavenger hunt. It turned out to be a bit to involved for a 3 year old, so we passed on it. But ever since, Cam has been asking to go 'hunting'. Aaron is going to be home a little late tonight, and I'm going to put together a little scavenger hunt for Cam and Maggie to go on after school (little child diversion for missing daddy and fun all at the same time). My plan is to take pictures for each clue, and at the end have a little treasure box for each kid.
  • We are off to the Collings Foundation again this year for Father's Day - this time I'm getting smart and packing a picnic - that will include Jen's Often Requested Pasta Salad.
  • This weekend will also involve gardening. I need to plant a bunch of stuff I got from a friend in my new shade/fairy garden. I promised pictures of my current gardens too! Here are the lilies that are currently blooming. These seem to come up the earliest:

This is a view of lily garden from the front - in the back is an apple tree that we severely trimmed back. We hadn't realized it was an apple tree - so it was about twice this height. When you have apple trees, you want them to be trimmed so that they are short (for access to apples for picking) and flat topped (so sun gets to the middle of the tree).
And this is the view as you walk up the path to the house. I like it a little 'wild' but not as wild as it's been in years past!

The other garden that I love is my day lily garden, but not much is blooming there, so that is a picture for a different day.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cool things

A friend of a friend is creating these fun kinetic creatures - they are trying to fund start up costs through kickstarter, check it out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Goals

I love the summer. I have visions of my childhood, where I honestly didn't do much more than hang out at the town pool or at the lake - and spend a few weeks at camp. It isn't exactly the same as a grown up, but I do love spending as much time as possible outside, and we are doing just that! I have a few goals for the summer, and wanted to share them here and see if you guys also had fun goals to share with me.

Stay local: A few months ago, one of my brothers tried to convince me to meet him in Orlando and do Disney with him and his 4 boys for a June vacation. I was excited about the idea for a while, I love spending time with him and his family, and they even were willing to share their condo with us. But then I realized the cost. The plane tickets alone were at least $1000 (plus food, plus park tickets, plus plus plus). And the trip would be pretty stressful - traveling with little ones is never easy. Aaron and I decided to wait until the kids were older and could actually remember the trip, and I spent the money on memberships to local museums. We belong to the New England Aquarium, the Boston Museum of Science and the Acton Discovery Museum. To join all three was less than one plane ticket, and we are certainly getting our money's worth. We had taken full advantage of the members only nights that are offered, special events like a boat tour when the tall ships are in town, and fun little trips to the different museums that they reciprocate with.

I've also mentioned the tickets to our local AAA baseball game - for $15 a child, we got tickets to every Sunday afternoon game. We went to our first game this weekend, and both kids loved it. Maybe not watching the actual game, but exploring the ballpark, watching the action and meeting the mascot!

Maggie watching the game (we got a LOT of comments on her dress, people loved it):
Cam giving Twister 'knucks':

We also will get a pass to the town beach (it's a lake), and I'm also planning a trip to the circus in a couple weeks - I'm interested to see what they think about it.

Travel: We are lucky enough to have friends and family who live or have summer houses near the water. We are going up to the coast of Maine for the 4th of July week, will definitely be spending time with my mother at the cabin, and at some point, a trip to Nantucket to see Aaron's family.

I also get a lot more vacation than Aaron, so I'm planning a few trips on my own and with girlfriends to kick back and relax.

Move: Both Aaron and I are having a lot of fun now that we have our bikes on the road. As I said before, I'm taking it up another level and getting back in the pool (that starts up on June 25th - I promise to report back). I've said it before, but it's always hard for me to realize that yes, doing a little something is better than doing nothing. So I'm taking baby steps and enjoying it. The kids absolutely LOVE getting picked up at school on the bikes, so that is a good incentive also.

CSA: As I've mentioned, we joined my uncle's CSA, and I know as the summer goes on, it'll be a bit of a pain in the ass to get over there and pick our veggies. I not only want to keep up with this, but hopefully will can and freeze some produce too.

My Garden: I'm pretty excited to report that I've been able to keep up with the weeds and the bugs in my gardens, and they are still looking great. The Asiatic lilies are just blooming, and someone who came over to drop something off commented on how pretty my gardens are. That made me smile.

What about you guys? Big plans for the summer? Ours aren't 'big' but they are perfect for us.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I've done CSAs (community supported agriculture) in the past. My problem with them is that its a HUGE amount of vegetables and many of them aren't mainstream enough for Aaron and the kids to actually eat. So I would either be the only one eating them, or they would go to waste. My Uncle, who lives in our town and has a farm stand, decided this year to 'go big' in the farming thing. He has started a pick your own CSA, and we are doing it. He plants all the veggies we love (lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, summer and winter squash). Last night, Aaron stopped and got us bok choy, romaine and cucumbers. It's amazing to me the difference in taste for fresh, local, organic produce. Aaron made an awesome stir-fry with the boy choy. Yum.
  • The White Pond Farm CSA theory is awesome. He gets money from people that pick their own produce (you get to pick twice a week, which with the pricing is approximately $10 a visit). If you don't want the current vegetable offering, you can use that $10 towards the pickles and jams he offers. Isn't that a great idea?
  • I'm slowly planning my summer vacations, and that always makes me happy. We have nothing exotic planned, mostly visiting friends that have summer places - but it's fun.
  • Cam woke me up first thing asking for a new color on his nails. He went with sparkly green today. Turns out all the boys were asking their parents at pick up for painted nails. 
  • This morning, Aaron rode his bike to work. When I went downstairs with the kids to get them off to school, Cam was looking at Aaron's truck. Then he looked at my car. And he said - Mama! Daddy's truck is here! And your car! Where is DADDY!? (like I was hiding him or something). So I explained that Daddy rode he bike to work, and that we were going to drive and pick up Daddy after school at his work. The kids are crazy excited about it.
  • I guess they assume that if we spend all day at this work place, it must be awesome and fun. Ha.
  • Aaron and I are both feeling better now that we are riding our bikes and being more active. Aaron is starting to ride his the 20 miles to work, and now I've join a masters swim team. It's nice.And of course a bit of work (Aaron isn't ready yet to ride 40 miles a day, so I have to pick him up at night - and when I start swimming, Aaron is going to have to go into work later, because practice is from 7-8 AM). 
  • Happy weekend everyone! Ours is filled with picnics, birthday parties and baseball games. Hurrah for summer!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


This weekend, I was a bit crabby and a little annoyed - so I left the house with Maggie. I needed to get a pedicure, and I figured she could sit on my lap and watch. She ended up being VERY interested and we painted her fingernails and toes purple and she thought it was MARVELOUS.

My mom never did these things with me. I actually don't think my mom has ever gotten a manicure or pedicure in her life. We were always tight with money, so I'm sure that had something to do with it, but she is also just not that kind of woman. She shops at LL Bean and Land's End and for something special, maybe Talbot's. She  isn't a frilly, fingernail painting kind of woman. I'm not really either, but I do love keeping my toenails pretty, and it does give me a smile when Maggie plays dress up or spins with a twirly dress.

So when everyone was telling me a was crazy for 'starting her so early' on the fingernail thing, I just shrugged my shoulders. It's fine. It's fun. And we like fun! Cameron was very interested in this whole ' paint on your fingernails' thing.... but kept saying, it's just for girls though, right? I said that there are a bunch of different colors, and if he wanted, we could do orange sometime. He nodded his head and walked away.

Maggie purple fingers chipped and she was getting upset about it. I don't have any nail polish in the house, so I ordered this set. It came yesterday, and it's a nice, quick drying polish (although it's matte, so if I used it I'd need a topcoat). It also has 24 fun colors including orange. This morning, Maggie saw it in my bedroom and insisted on pink nails - and Cam wanted orange. So, I sent them both to school with painted fingernails. Cam was super excited about it, and I'm really hoping that the other three year olds think it is fun and not 'for girls'.

That is one thing that annoys me about about the gender 'rules'. I can completely understand why boys would like the girls stuff - it's bright! and sparkles! and twirls! and all their toys are dark colors and tough and usually trucks or balls. If any boy expresses an interest in things bright and sparkly, they are quickly told 'that is for girls' whereas girls can play with pretty much anything. As long as Cam is interested in things like fairy houses and orange finger nails, I'm running with it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tee Shirt Dress

This Sunday, we are attending our first Tyke's Club game. When I got the email about joining, I saw that each member got a tee-shirt, but the sizing was youth s/m/l. Even Cam is still too small for a youth small, so I called to ask if they happened to have an extra small shirt. They were able to find one from a previous year in extra small for Cam, but what about Maggie? She would love to have a special baseball outfit too! And then I saw a cute tutorial for a tee shirt dress.

The tee-shirt in the tutorial was made out of an adult shirt, but I figured I could do it even easier with a youth small size. If you have scissors and a sewing machine, you can make this!

Here is the shirt:

I took a 3T dress with simple shaping, folded both the dress and the tee shirt in half:, and laid the dress on top as a pattern:
Here it is cut out:
And all I did was sew up the sides, stopping at where I wanted the armholes to be. I was going to do a bit more shaping for the arms when I first planned making this, but there is a pattern on the back of the shirt too. If I did anymore shaping that design would have been cut into.
Turns out that a youth small sized shirt is the exact same length for a toddler 3T dress. I'm hoping it looks more 'dress-like' on Maggie. On the hanger, it just looks like a tee shirt with the arms cut off! I'll try it on her when she gets home - if I have some space, I may do a little more shaping in the waist to make it flare a little more... but I know that she will love having a special baseball dress for the game on Sunday. 

And if it really looks silly, it was a free tee-shirt and took me all of 10 minutes to make.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chicken Pox

For over a month now, there have been cases of Chicken pox at the kids' daycare. At first, it was only in the infant room - which makes sense, as you don't get your first chicken pox vaccination until 18 months. And then a few cases in the toddler room (which I also understood as toddlers start there at 15 months). But now, the board of health has actually shut down the infant room for a week, and now there are children in preschool who have it.

And they sent out an email about if you child hasn't had their second booster shot, they should get it now or will be excluded from Preschool from the 11th to the 20th - and this was from the Board of Health, not the daycare. So, Aaron already left work early and they have had their shots. And as a big surprise, they are going to the Discovery Museum with Daddy (it's right near the doctors office).

But it kills me a little that chicken pox is all such a big deal?! I know when I was a kid - parents would get together if someone had chicken pox just to get it over with, because EVERYONE got them. And I got them when I was older, so I understood what the heck was going on... Maggie would be a wreck if she had itchy spots everywhere. Please please please let this one skip us, working from home with two scratchy preschoolers seems like one of Dante's Circle's of Hell.

Monday, June 4, 2012


This may be a little ranty, and I apologize in advance. But Mel had a good post today, and coupled with a huge amount of other factors (included but not limited to PMS) I feel the need to say my piece today.

There is a lot in this world that I just don't give a damn about. DO I have an opinion about it? Yes, most probably. But do I give a damn?! Only if YOUR actions negatively affect me or those I love. You have a different political, religious, or even lifestyle opinion than me? Go for it. I think that having people that believe in many different things is what makes this great world go around. I may not agree with you, but if you are willing to give me your view in a calm, rational manner, I usually like to hear it.There are a few things that I feel passionately about, but I usually speak of those with like minded people. If someone starts to offend me with their words or actions, I tend to just walk away.

That is why all the anger and judgement in the mothering community gets me down.I makes me sad to see the anger and vitriol that comes out of peoples' mouths. I know for a fact that I do things that other people disapprove of. Other parents also do things that I would not choose to do. Honestly, Aaron and I sometimes differ on what the two of US would do in a given situation, and while not 'perfect' parenting.... it happens. And I'll admit to judging other parenting styles myself. Tell me someone that doesn't. And yes, there are a few people in my circle that I limit time with because of their parenting choices, but that is normal too.

Sometimes, I beat myself up about it. Like this weekend, I told Cam he could ride a bike at a birthday party without a helmet on. The rule is that we do not ride bikes without helmets, but this was on a porch in a backyard, and all the other kids were riding. Aaron came around the corner and saw Cam nd promptly picked him up off the bike and told him no riding without a helmet! At first I was horrified. Poor kid is getting mixed messages. But in all honestly, it was all out of love. Aaron showing his love through concern... and of course trying to calm him down (as he starting crying when Aaron took him off the bike) and even apologizing to the little guy, saying "I didn't know Mommy told you it was OK, I'm sorry. Remember it's only OK to ride without a helmet today, at the party, OK?'. But I still feel bad about it 24 hours later. We  try to be a parenting team here. Aaron is often more strict than I am, but I'm OK with that. Trust me, our kids have fun. But they do have discipline. And love. Lots of love.

In the end, though. What REALLY matters? Love matters. Unconditional, unwavering love. I live in a pretty affluent part of the country, and all of the parents I know have absolutely no trouble with the basics - food, shelter, and clothing. Every kid I know has toys and good childcare and lots and lots of opportunities. And parents that love them, unconditionally. When thees kids are 18, I'm sure that some will be better equipped for the 'real' world thanks to whatever guidance their parents gave them, but because they were loved, they will be OK.

Can't we all understand that?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I've owned my bike for 2 weeks and I've pretty much ridden it everyday. I'm happy. And sleeping better. Duh. This is like Jen's recent revelation that she feels better when she eats better.
  • We have started the phase where Cam gets out of bed at least once (on a good day) after we put him to bed. It's super frustrating, as the arguments he has (I'm hungry, I have to go potty, I'm NOT TIRED) are somewhat reasonable. And it usually ends in tears when we get him back in bed. We been tackling the 'hunger' one head on, as he will usually fly through dinner so he can go play for a bit more before bedtime. We have been telling him when he asks to be excused that this is IT. No more dinner after he leaves the table. And he acts like he understands. Last night, after eating a whole grilled cheese sandwich, a huge bowl of grapes, milk, 2 ice pops, and a huge amount of peanut butter pretzels.... he got up 10 minutes after we put him to bed (and maybe 30 minutes after getting up from the table) claiming he was hungry. Last night we laid down the law and man. That sucked (after trying the 'I'm hungry' he tried to tell me he wasn't tired - while SOBBING, so yeah, I don't believe that one buddy, and the grand finale of "I just need a drink of water'.... we prevailed. 45 minutes of bedtime negotiation is not my idea of fun.
  • In related news, I'm not taking Maggie out of a crib anytime in the near future.
  • I picked up our season tickets for the Worcester Tornado's.... I'm really glad got them. I think it's going to be a blast. The kids get special tykes club shirts, and of course all the shirts are way to big for Maggie. So I'm making her a little tee-shirt dress. Of course I will show you all how.
  • I now have a fancy iPad. Can I blog on blogger from it?
Happy weekend all!