Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No longer my LIttle Baby

In the beginning of July, Maggie moved from the toddler room to Preschool. A bunch of kids have an issue with transitions like this. Not Maggie. She moved into that room liked she OWNED it. The director of daycare said that if she didn't know better, she would have thought that Maggie had been there for months. I wasn't too surprised about this, as Cam is always 'talking up' preschool to her.

But then, after being in preschool for all of about a week, she announces that she 'No wear diapers. I wear underpants". She has been in underpants ever since, and has had only one accident.

OK. Fine. Awesome. As I've said before, I'm all for self led potty training. And she is obviously doing great with it.

Then we visited my mom this weekend, and I gave Maggie the option of sleeping in a twin bed instead of her crib. She picked the bed. Which was fine - I had mom put a bed rail on it before we arrived and she did great. It certainly helped that Cam shared the room with her. We got home on Sunday night. Maggie was watching a DVD when we pulled into our driveway. She looked up and broke into tears. I NO WANNA GO HOME! I WANNA GO TO GRAMMAS! When I finally got her (somewhat) calmed down, she told me she didn't want to sleep in her 'baby bed'. I assured her that we'd get her a big girl bed as soon as we could.

I managed to get a sweet toddler bed yesterday from a friend and put it together for bedtime. I dismantled her crib and brought it downstairs. I actually didn't get to see her reaction to the bed as I took my mom to the Red Sox last night - but Aaron said she was really excited, and she slept really well last night! She didn't fall asleep right away, but she did sleep all night and stayed in the bed.

My point for all of this is to say WHAT THE FUCK! Maggie is my little baby! My sweet little girl! She isn't a baby anymore! She is a potty trained, big girl bed sleeping PRESCHOOLER. It's blowing my mind.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I just watched all of Season 2 of Downton Abby by binge watching the whole season on DVD. That show is awesome.
  • But it has occurred to me, as I've been going through my week, which included working, prepping the house for a visit from my mother, cooking meals for the freezer, doing laundry, making items for a busy bag swap and shipping off packages.... that I am SEVERELY understaffed. Anyone want to go into service for Lady Cecelia? (for free, I must add).
  • I'm currently working from the clubhouse at the Lake. I've left the kids alone with Grandma. This is a first.
  • She's mentioned to me multiple times that my brother never left her alone with the kids, and I know it breaks her heart a little. So, now that both kids are pretty reasonable, I'm hoping it's a good experience all around. At a minimum, we'll all appreciate each other more at the end of the day.
  • I'm right now watching her walk the kids to the lake. It's too cute. I can see them all at the beach from where I'm sitting and it's better than TV.
  • She was talking for weeks leading up to this visit how she would take them to some event in town. I just kept saying, sure Ma. And then let her spend last night and this morning with them. She changed her mind, and now isn't leaving the area with them. Hahaha.
  • Aaron is joining us up here Saturday morning, and we are going to the drive-in for a date night. We'll go in his truck and sit on our beach chairs in the back. I can't wait.
  • Next week is the last week of my summer swim team. I'm pretty bummed, but will join them again in the fall for another 2 days a week. So glad I got back into swimming!
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Being a grownup

I was swimming yesterday, doing my thing, pretty happy to be swimming outside and feeling good. The high schoolers were waiting for their turn at the pool, and I started thinking back to when I was a teen. I really was controlled. Some of it was my mother's rules and some of it was based on available funds (which wasn't a lot). And I realized, I love being a 'grownup'. I decide what I want to do. I decide what we will spend our money on and what I do for exercise and what books I read and how much TV I watch and what I eat and how much I sleep... the list obviously goes on.

Sure, being a grown up comes with hard things, jobs and responsiblity and grief and bills. But again, YOU are in charge of that. You really can't say that your mom didn't wake you up for work or expect your dad to pay your bills (although I know that some do). But, personally, I own my choices. I own my responsibilities. And I love my life.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Water Weekend

The weather here was wonderful this weekend, and conveniently, we were invited to a pool party on Saturday! I'm sure I mentioned here before that I've always loved the water, and was on a swim team since the age of 6. Cameron has not been a fan of the water and that was distressing to me. Just recently, I had light bulb moment and realized that a lot of the issue is that he doesn't like water in his eyes (even in the tub), and he would probably love goggles. I also got him a bubble (just to make me less nervous when he is on the deck of a pool or the dock at the lake). This past weekend, I added a noodle to the mix - and now you can't get the kids out of the water!

At the party was Patrick Rogers - a great guy - but I also learned, a professional photographer. He got this picture of the kids on the raft - he captured their joy perfectly! Maggie LOVES the water.
They had a slide too. Cam wanted to go down it very badly, but I explained that his head would go underwater. The excitement about the slide overrode the fear of his head going underwater (these pictures snapped by another friend - photography is his serious hobby):
Every once in a while, Cam blows my mind. The first few times he went down the slide, we caught him. Which is pretty hard in a deep end. So I convinced him that I would hold hold the noodle right where he would land and he would grab it as he hit the water. He figured out to place the noodle at the end of the slide, and he'd catch it as he zoomed by.
We stayed in the water for almost 5 hours! By the time we got home, everyone was super tired. We got the kids to bed by 6:30, and had a quick date night to see The Dark Knight Rises (freaking awesome. Go see it). When we got home, the babysitter told us that Maggie woke up a couple times crying. I figured she was overtired and overstimulated from all the playing. But when she woke up at 11, Aaron went in to see what the deal was.... and it was a fever of 104. Which ended in her throwing up all over Aaron.

Maggie and I went into the guest room so at least Aaron could get some rest- but she was a wreck all night. No sleep for me, and maybe 2 hours for her. I called the doc in the morning, and we brought her in, hoping for an ear infection (both strep throat and hand, foot and mouth are going around right now). But it wasn't any of those things. She woke up today with a slight fever - 100.3 - so I'm working from home with her and praying its just a 24 hour virus.

In an effort to keep Cam healthy, Aaron stayed home with Maggie and we spent the whole day Sunday at the beach.

We had a blast. It's rare that I only have one kid with me - and it's fun.

Today at school it's Beach Day, the kids are going to wear bathing suits and play in a sprinkler. Cam was SUPER excited when I mentioned beach day.... I'm thinking he is going to be a little disappointed after the weekend we had!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Night leftovers

  • Maggie is super excited about being a big girl in underpants. I guess there is no going back now! She had no accidents yesterday - which doesn't surprise me. Once this girl decides to do something, it's done.
  • I decided to look back and see when it was that I sent Cam to school in underpants for the first time. It was July 20th. Yesterday was July 19th. That cracks me up.
  • I'm picking up a 2-wheeler (purple, princesses with training wheels) for Maggie tonight. She knows how to pedal a bike, but also knows that the Kettler tricycle we have can be pushed by a grownup. So we are bagging that and getting her a 'real' bike. I'm sick of her sitting in the driveway and saying 'Push! PUSH!!'. I say Pedal! PEDAL!
  • I am going to a groupon funded spa afternoon today. I'm getting a mani/pedi at one place, and then a massage. Happy sigh.
  • This morning I made the MOST DELICIOUS muffins. It's zucchini season at the CSA, so I have started finding interesting ways to use zucchinis (besides your normal cook them and eat them as a veggie). Make these muffins now. They are amazing. This assumes you like blueberries. Which I couldn't understand why you wouldn't.
  • My shoulders have been sore for about a week. Which I couldn't figure out - because I wasn't sore from swimming when I first started.... so I blamed it on holding a little six day old baby last weekend (side note - babies are now a risk. I'm far enough away from having a newborn that have forgotten the whole birthing process and the crying and lack of sleep and I think that they are cute and sweet and I want one. Then I remember the whole 'chance of a dead baby thing' and I remember that I'd end up in a loony bin if I did, in fact, get pregnant.) I saw that sweet baby, picked her up, and held her for three hours. If my shoulders were sore from that, it was worth it. She was delicious.
  • But then, last night, we took the kids to the lake. This is the first time that Aaron has come since they both got into jumping off the dock. And Aaron mentioned that HIS arms were sore when we went to bed - and said - Man! Is it lame that I'm sore from catching the kids when they jumped off the dock? HA! Mystery solved!
  • I'm loving it that the kids are loving the beach. We have a blast when we go.
  • No big plans for this weekend, except a pool party tomorrow for a friends birthday.
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Poopie and underpants.

Potty mouth is at our house hard core. I tried to ignore it at first. Cam would do silly things like go down the slide and yell POOP! When we were on vacation, we were at the playground and my friend heard Cam yell POOP and she said - 'Cam you shouldn't use potty words'. Well, Maggie, being the charming little girl that she is, heard her say that and then proceeded to say pooppooppooppoop like a freaking mantra.

That was two weeks ago. We continued to try and ignore it. Everyone once in a while, I would say  that potty words were just for when we were in the potty, and try to leave it at that. Well, Maggie then took it to the next level, and basically sits and plays with her toys saying "What?! Poop!?" (whatever the heck that is about) And then Cam comes and reports to me that Maggie is using potty words.... and we finally snapped. I heard Aaron roar from the tub last night MAGGIE! NO MORE POTTY WORDS! And took her out of the bubble bath (which is a treat in our house). Many tears ensued.

This morning, I promised donuts to the kids if we all got dressed quickly. Everyone was super excited about it. We all were getting dressed in my room. And I put on some hot pink underpants. Which Maggie noticed. And then a huge conversation about underpants began (very exciting that Mommy has hot pink ones, Cam showed her his that have super heroes on them), and the final result is that Maggie insisted on wearing underpants to school today. Which is my idea of potty training - wait until the kid asks. I don't do many rewards or sticker charts or whatever... I just give a big high five when they use the potty, maybe a sticker or a tattoo for using the potty. But it's their project, not mine. When I pulled out underpants for her, she was VERY excited to put them on (princess ones, of course). So, this should be interesting.

Anyway, after she got dressed, she was sitting brushing her hair, and I tuned into what she was singing. Poopypoopypoopy... so I said Maggie! One more time with the potty words, and NO DONUT. She looked me square in the eyes and slowly said Poop. Ie.

Son. Of. A. Bitch. I told her no donuts, and she burst into tears. When we pulled into the donut store, before I could say a word, she said "I stay here. I used potty words." The force is strong with this one.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I started working with this company 11 years ago, I used to have to be in the office everyday. Not only did we have a big team, but it wasn't as easy to work from home. It was fun to come in, work face to face with people, catch up on office gossip.

Slowly, the contractors we had working in this office cycled off my projects and went back to India or onto other projects. Full time employees quit or moved. As we've gotten new people, they have all opted to be based out of New Jersey or Chicago (surprisingly, a small city 40 miles outside of Boston is not attractive to 20-something new hires). So, it's to the point that I'm the only one in my division that works in this office. Which is fine, because I have plenty of people I'm friendly with that I don't work with. But, it does make it so it really doesn't matter if I work here or from home, so I work from home three days a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I'm a pretty social person, so I find that I like to come in and be with people during the workday - so I've worked out a system where I'm here on Tuesday/Thursday, and home the rest of the time. On the days that I drive in, that is when I get groceries on the way home, or go out for lunch with local friends. It's a nice balance.

But when I work from home, especially on Monday's - it's all about recovery. Our weekends are booked pretty solid, and in all honesty, both Aaron and I were looking forward to going back to work on Monday to take a nice, deep breath. I treasure my Monday mornings. I know it sounds crazy, but my Monday mornings are awesome this summer. I get up at 6:30, drive to swimming, work out with a nice group of ladies in an outdoor pool, and by the time I get home, Aaron has taken the kids to school. I usually makes some waffles from the leftover waffle mix (Aaron makes waffles with the kids on the weekends) and I get to work. In a silent house. It's awesome.

When I get annoyed with workplace politics or a stretch of long hours, I think of how rare my work situation is, and I take a deep breath and just deal with it. Although as telecommuting is becoming easier and more common, my set up isn't as rare - but I know how lucky I am!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday night leftovers

This week has flown by! Catching up on real life after vacation will do that, I guess.
  • Today I'm catching up on my freezer cooking. I had let it slide because my cooking partner was out of town for a large part of last month. I had tried cooking 'normal' (prepping and cooking each day for just one meal) and it sucks. I'm used to standing in the kitchen once or twice a month and preparing 12 meals in a few hours. Then, I stick my hand in the freezer each morning, choose a side dish, and BAM. Dinner is ready. Zero thought process. I'm so used to this that figuring out food each day (even with a loose mealplan in my head) SUCKED. I'm very glad to be filling up my freezer again.
  • Added benefit - it's loads cheaper to cook this way too. I think I spent about $50 total (this isn't counting normal pantry items) for 12 meals for Aaron and I.
  • I did learn today that putting pre-made kebabs in a marinade into Ziploc bags for storage is DUMB. There are little holes in the bags that have leaked all over my freezer.
  • Tomorrow we are going to a birthday party for Cameron's very best friend. It's at a splash park. I'm just as excited as they are, I think.
  • This is a child that has everything, so I was really struggling to pick out a birthday present. I finally decided on matching freezer paper tee-shirts. W is obsessed with matchbox cars, so I'm going to do a matchbox car shirt for Cam and him, same car, but in their favorite colors. I think it'll be a hit.
  • I took a Zentangle class last night. Loved it. I recommend it to everyone.
  • Sunday one of my college roommates is coming to brunch. I haven't seen her since my wedding - I'm excited to meet her daughter!
  • I've also gotten back into knitting. It's mostly thanks to this pattern. It's all over the knitting world - everyone is obsessed with it - and I can see why. It's a fun knit. I picked colors that I normally wouldn't, and I thinking that's upping the fun for me.
I think that's it for this week. TGIF!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Take Away

So the one thing I didn't mention in yesterday's post was the fact that Aaron headed back home on the 4th of July. He needed to get back to work. When he got into the office, he found out that a work colleague lost his son in a tragic accident. His son was 25 year old. Can I just say - Aaron works for a company of 40 people. What are the odds that two families in the same company lose a child in less than 3 years? Low, I'm sure.

The memorial service was Monday, and we went. We have learned just how much it means to show up when something tragic happens. All we had to offer was a big hug, and yes, there was a huge turn out. Maybe he wouldn't have noticed that we were there. And it's easy to say 'I should have gone' but to not actually go. Because the sadness is overwhelming. Thinking of losing a 25 year old child - it it just devastating. And for us it hits way to close to home. The whole day was emotionally exhausting.

I'm glad we went.

If you learn anything from reading my blog, I hope its that people need support. Be there when something bad happens. Give a hug. Bring a fruit salad. Walk their dog. Sure, it may be awkward. You may feel uncomfortable. But never underestimate the help that you are giving.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm Back!

We had such a wonderful vacation. I had the treat of staying with a friend who is usually so busy (she runs her owns business which keeps her traveling almost weekly) that I never get to talk to her on the phone, forget spending time with her in person! She has a cottage in a wonderful community called Bayside in Northport, Maine. It is truly a magical place. It's very kid-centric, which made it even MORE fun for my gang. She had two boys, 12 and 14, that my 2 worship. They played together with the big kids - and then even the big kid's friends... everyone was so wonderful and welcoming. In our short stay we saw:
  • The Tall Ships in Boston before we left!
  • Went for a boat ride on the kids dingy (it could have been a yacht for the level of excitement my kids had for riding on it)
  • On the 4th of July, there was a bagpipe and drum crops playing in the village green
  • My kids got to have a big water gun fight with the big kids
  • Went to the Rockland Children's Museum on the one rainy morning we had
  • I got to jump off the dock (it's a high one!) several times (which helped my 'cool' factor with the big kids)
  • Went out for lobsters at the best lobster pound! A freak thunderstorm came passing through - it was crazy to be in the tin roofed structure watching (and listening) to it go by. It ended in a beautiful rainbow.
  • Kite flying
  • Cam spun around and around and around on a tire swing until he threw up (Mom of the year award for this one - Mama! I have pins and needles in my mouth! Sigh.)
  • Went to an alpaca farm and bought some gorgeous yarn.
  • Actually spent time knitting!
  • Attended Game Day
  • Game day included a 100 foot long slip and slide powered by dish washing soap and a pumper truck from the local fire department. By then, Cam was so comfortable with the Big Kids he went right into line with them, and went down by himself 4 times! I even went once (I went down a hell of a lot faster than those little kids and ending up eating grass at the bottom)
  • And finally, on the way home on Saturday, we saw, from a distance, the LLBean 100th anniversary fireworks.
We arrived home tired, a little sunburned, and happy to be back to 'normal'. But the week was wonderful, and I so glad we were able to go.