Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Today is Halloween, but not in my town. They have told us it's 'postponed' until Sunday - to be sure that everyone has their power back. I prepped the kids for it last night, but this morning decided that I would ask around and see what other towns are still on. Turns out that Cam's best buddy's town will still be doing it tonight - so we'll just get two nights instead of one! It'll be a great surprise when I tell them tonight.

Monday, October 29, 2012


We had a 'stay-at home' weekend as Cam likes to call them. The Drumlin Farm thing was fun, but maybe the kids were a bit too young, They were scared of a lot, but in the car told us that had a blast. Kids are weird. Aaron was a bit of wreck when we got home, and turned out he had a fever of 101. This is his third fever in less than a month, so the next morning I left him home to relax and took the kids to the Discovery Museum.

The Discovery Museum is really two separate museums - one for ages 2-6 and then another Science Museum is for 'all ages'. Cam is totally into going to the Big Kid museum. We went with a girlfriend who has twins 6 months younger than Maggie's - so she needed to stay at the museum for the smaller kids. But they had really publicized a Pumpkin Festival, so we got there right when the museum opened, all excited for the events. It turned out to be pretty lame. The face painting was 'paint your own face' and the only really pumpkin activity was decorating a tiny pumpkin (which Maggie loved). But Cam didn't and spent a lot of time whining that he wanted to go to the big boy museum. We finally separated from our friends and went to the Big Boy museum, at which point I get a text from Aaron telling me he has a fever of 102.6 and is on  his way to the doc. Sigh. So my threat of Daddy is going to pick you up if you whine again is gone (Yes. I use threats).

Turns out Aaron has pneumonia. Which actually is good thing - he is super bad at resting, and he is forced to rest.

Sunday we left the house, did church and then spent the day at a nice play date to give Aaron rest time. I love it that we have friends that allow us to invade for a full day. I called Aaron to check in around 4 and he said - I'm lonely! Come home. So we did.

Needless to say, I didn't do anything to 'prepare' for this storm. I have my own storm of cranky kids and a sick husband. This morning I woke up, and thankfully daycare is still open. So I had a little mini panic and filled up the tub, washed the dishes, printed out knitting patterns and charged my devices. Hoping we DON'T lose power, but man. We've got enough going on right now.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Maggie has switched from being a devil child to an angel. I really wish I could get inside her mind to see what is going on in there. Wednesday morning, she screamed and kicked and cried her way to school, and has been perfect and happy ever since I picked her up Wednesday night.
  • Tonight we go to Drumlin Farm for the Halloween Happenings. There are lots of activities, including a Hayride. The kids get to wear costumes and see hundreds of craved pumpkins. It'll be a blast.
  • In a related note, I got them flashlights to bring. I got Cam a fun lantern, and Maggie a horse one. I didn't read the description, but turns out the horse flashlight makes horse noises. To some that would be annoying, but as Maggie runs around yelling NEIGH all the time, I bet I won't even notice.
  • Looks like a huge storm is coming through for Halloween. I really hope it's just rain! Or maybe, best case, just rain in the morning... but doesn't look like it.
  • I got my new iPhone yesterday. Love it. Of course, my old one was on it's last legs (the home button was having intermittent issues and yes, total first world problem). I didn't have Siri before, so I'm having fun messing around with that.
  • And I got a cool case. You can throw your credit card and few bucks in the back. 
  • The kids birthday party is on Dec 15th this year. Their birthdays are Nov 29th and Dec 5th - so I'm trying to plan a little fun thing on the actual day. For Maggie, I'm going with friends to visit their horse (and all the other horses in the barn!) and for Cam, planning a day at the Boston Children's museum.
  • While looking for something for Maggie's birthday, I found a place that will do a little pony party for her. They have a tiny pony called Tinkerbell, and she can use finger paints and ribbons to decorate her first (which made me feel bad for the horse, but they assured me that the horse actually likes the attention), and then go for a little lesson. They couldn't do it on the actual day, so I'm having my mom bring her as Grandma's special present.
  • Have I mentioned I'm back into swimming? I'm swimming with a real masters team (they compete and everything) Monday and Weds nights. They practice from 8 - 9:30, and I thought I would hate working out that late, but it's been working out great. Fun people, hard workouts - and yes, I sleep better and feel better.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Over a year ago, I was chatting with a father at daycare. They were expecting their second child, and in the process of moving to a new house. I asked why they were moving (it was an in-town move) and he said that he wife insisted. I asked casually, 'need more space'? And he said no, that his wife said there were too many bad memories in the current house. Their first son had severe acid reflux and she said the living room reminded her of the hours they stayed up trying to comfort him and all the crying.

I was taken aback. Nora died in my living room. I did CPR on her on my bed. Her ashes are buried in our front yard. I would never, in a MILLION years, want to move away from my house. While it does have sad memories, it also has wonderful ones. I remember exactly the day I ran downstairs to tell Aaron I was pregnant with Cam. I remember the fun (and drama) of Aaron and my renovation efforts. The laughter as we figured out that the awful smell in our living room was a dead animal in the Christmas tree and not a poopy diaper. The dinners we've eaten in our dining room, and the fun parties we've thrown for friends. The weekends Aaron spent doing projects with his father. All of it. Mixed in with the sad. That's life, right?

But ever once in a while I get it. When we took down Maggie's crib and they both left the house (we brought the matching one to my mom's cabin for overnights), it was like a huge weight was lifted. Getting rid of the crib that Nora never got to sleep in. I didn't realize until it was gone that every time I looked in Maggie's room, I would think of the hours spent setting that room up for my twin girls. But, slowly, we have new things to make new associations and memories with, and the pain gets a little lighter. Still, in surprising ways, I'll get slammed with the loss. Sunday, at church, they sang a song that was sung at Nora funernal. And the minute I opened the hymnal to that page, I burst into tears. So does the pain go away? No. And maybe a fresh start somewhere new would be nice. Where I didn't see reminders at every turn of what's been lost. But I can never imagine moving away from my home. Where Aaron and I have built this little family.

I'll take it all, the happy and the sad. Because the happy makes the sad bearable.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Grand Finale

This weekend was the grand finale of a seemingly endless string of packed weekends. We went to the cabin to see how Mom has settled in Friday, Saturday went to the zoo, Saturday night was a potluck Halloween party, we ushered at church Sunday morning, and went to a really fun birthday party after church.

Thank God It's Monday. Seriously. I need a break from the fun.

One a year, Southwicks Zoo does a special in October where the kids get in free if they are wearing costumes. So that is when I bring them, as it's a pretty expensive outing otherwise. They not only have a bunch of animals, but mechanical rides (not included in the free admission) that little kids can go on and pony rides. My kids were in heaven.

Like I said on Friday, I had the kids dress up in more lightweight costumes for the zoo trip then what they are planning on wearing for Halloween. Maggie was very happy to be a fairy princess from her dress up box and I couldn't have laughed harder when Cam was dressed up as hulk. Destiny. He hammed it up all day, too.

 Here is Cam on one of the more scary rides - it went up really high and then dropped down - he wouldn't stop laughing, and I got him to raise his hands off the bar.
 Of course Maggie rode the horse ride over and over. The smile never left her face.
 The weather was so great - a perfect fall day. This zoo also has a ride called the Sky Safari, where you go on a ski lift and see the zoo from above. Cam just met the height requirement and we ended up going three times. It was a blast.

Sunday morning, we were filling is as ushers in church, and you would have thought the kids won the lotto for how excited they were about it. They ran up to everyone, said good morning, and gave a program. Cutest thing ever.

Then we went to at birthday party - we have had a birthday party every weekend since the beginning of September, and I think this was the last one for a while. It was at Teamworks - an indoor sports place. They had full run of a field, with a bounce house and an arcade. Both kids had a blast.

Anyway, I'm sitting and finding work more relaxing then my weekend!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Cam is taking a nap (thank god), so I used the random number generator to pick the winner....

Sara Skates is the Tiny Prints $50 credit winner! Congats, and enjoy ice skating! Please email me your contact info so I can pass it along to Tiny Prints!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Night leftovers

  • This week has been insane. Way too much weekday excitement. Nantucket Tuesday, big dinner last night, and this morning - I drove to the cabin for a visit with Grandma.
  • Last night, I was able to repay some of the kindness from my India trip. My friend that I visited India to see get married was here for work, and I had him over for dinner. I made a roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, home baked bread, and an apple pie. I tried to make it the most American meal I could! And I sent him back to the hotel with a loaf of banana bread. It was great to catch up with him and let him meet the kids.
  • But pulling off a dinner like that in the middle of the work week is hard work!
  • Right now, I'm sitting at the clubhouse while the kids are at the cabin with Grandma. We are visiting for the first time since she's moved up here. I'm hopeful all is going well with her and the kids, while I enjoy working with a view of the lake and the rain drumming on the roof.
  • This week, Maggie has been a complete devil. I'm really hoping she shapes up today because it's exhausting.
  • Tomorrow is the trip to the zoo. I was so fed up with everyone this morning and the weather looked so dismal, I almost didn't bring the kids costumes. But last minute, I grabbed things out of the dress up box. I'm glad I did, because all of a sudden, the weather forecast went from 50% chance of rain to 70 degrees and sunny. Gotta love New England in the fall.
  • I pulled stuff from the dress up bin (Maggie will be a fairy, and Cam The Hulk) because both kids costumes are fleece and HOT.
  • I have friends who get books sent to their Kindles free from the library. I thought this sounded like a fabulous idea. So I requested the next book club book. And then spent hours figuring out how to download the damn thing. When I finally got it downloaded, I found out I requested a audio recording and not the book. I was annoyed.
  • But on the drive to the cabin this morning, both kids were plugged into the DVD player and I blissfully listened to my book for two hours. Fortuitous mistake.'
  • One of the things I made in my last freezer cooking stint was steel cut oats in the slow cooker. Then you freeze it in the extra large muffin tins (fits a cup of oatmeal). I had it for the first time this morning, with an apple cut up in it. OMG. So good. And such an easy way to have oatmeal in the morning. Faster than the crappy instant stuff.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Holiday Season (with a giveaway!)

I'm a planner. The kids' Halloween costumes were in my house in September,  I've already gotten Maggie's birthday present, and I haven't ordered Cams' just because I'm hoping for a Black Friday sale on it. But when it comes to holiday cards, I'm always scrambling in the middle of December to get a decent picture that includes all of us, and then desperately trying to address and send all the cards so they arrive before Christmas.

Many of my friends don't do Christmas cards, and I get that. I personally love getting Christmas cards and I hope that when people get ours, it brings a smile to their face.

This year, I'm thinking about this EARLY. I'm going on the Tiny Prints site, and picking out my favorite Christmas Cards so I can get the right picture without stress. And maybe even order them in time so I don't need to pay for rush shipping! Shocking, I know!

If you are interested in getting your Christmas Cards from Tiny Prints too - go check out their special offers page . Find something you like? I have a credit to give away! The winner will get $50 off your total order (does not include shipping and cannot be combined with any other promos). Leave a comment by midnight on October 20th telling me your favorite holiday/winter activity, and I'll have Cam pick us a winner on Sunday morning!

This is a sponsored post. I received compensation from Tiny Prints to share this information with you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


We just got back from a trip to Nantucket. My mother-in-law's birthday is today, so we thought we'd make a quick mid-week visit. A special treat for her birthday, and really the best case scenario for us. Our weekends have been and will be totally booked for the next few weeks. And we've visited before and the kids do great.

Well. We arrived on Monday night at 8 PM. The kids were super excited, but tired. They sat around and had an ice cream sandwich and then happily headed up to bed. They didn't go down quietly, but after about 45 minutes, they finally fell asleep. But around 11, Maggie woke up crying. And Cam tried to tell her it was OK - and she responded by being nasty to him. So, I now have Cam crying because he is sad that Maggie was being mean to him, and Maggie crying for god knows why.

I made the snap decision before things REALLY melted down to throw Cam in bed with Aaron and for me to sleep in the room with Maggie. Seemed like such a simple solution. Well. It wasn't. Maggie stayed up until 4 AM alternating between trying to get me to play and crying. It was awful. She finally passed out and we both got maybe 5 hours of sleep.

The following day was about 25% good and 75% tired awful kids. It was brutal.

I've mentioned that Mom has moved up to the cabin full time. And our plan was to visit her on Friday, stay for an overnight and then go to the zoo (Southwick's Zoo is having their special BOO Week. Kids get in free if they wear costumes. We did this last year and it's a great way to test drive the costumes). If this is a repeat of Monday night, oh my god. I called my mom to try and cancel. But she said we have to just go for it. I see what she is saying, because it would be so easy to never travel again after Monday night. But we shall see.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Fall has arrived in MA. It's cool outside, and my house is currently 61 degrees. We resist turning on the heat as along as possible. We strive to wait until Nov 1st. I don't think that is happening this year.
  • Today I did my freezer cooking. If you haven't even looked, I INSIST you go over to Once a Month Mom and just think about it. I just cooked (with a friend) 12 dinners, 6 lunches and 8 breakfasts in 5 hours at a cost of $97. It's almost a religion to me at this point. That is $1.50 a serving. Seriously. Just do it.
  • I have a cold, and I'm actually having trouble breathing. Now I understand why kids end up on nebulizers with colds sometimes.
  • Tomorrow, I have a spa day planned (I know, didn't I just HAVE a spa day? But this one was planned months ago).
  • Tomorrow the kids have 2 separate birthday parties to attend, all in the time frame that I'm at the spa. So Aaron is braving the world of pre-school birthday parties on his own.
  • And, if he was a normal parent, I would say he would be fine - but he somewhat overprotective. So taking two kids, in a chaotic party atmosphere at an indoor playground? It will either kill him or teach him that it's OK to relax.
  • We shall see.
  • Sunday is Aaron's company outing - and they have told us there will be real life angry birds to play (with a huge slingshot) and also those big hamster wheels to run around with. Should be a blast!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy Maggie

Two posts in one day! I know. Crazy. But I really wanted to share these picture from Maggie's horse adventure.

One of my friends made a passing comment that I'm a bit obsessed with horses. I was thinking about that - am I? I think there is a lot of stuff that is making me like this, but the biggest is that Maggie liking horses is the first thing that she has liked 90% on her own.* She has always loved animals FAR more than Cam has (she once cried for 45 minutes because my mom left and didn't give her a chance to say goodbye to her dog). And once we put her on that pony this summer, it's been all horses all the time. Cam was obsessed with firetrucks early on, and we went with that (lots of firetruck toys, the whole firetruck bed). But Maggie? She would just like what Cam liked.

I'm really loving that SHE loves something on her own.

I was a bit nervous for this horse riding 'lesson' - as it is a real horse, and a REAL barn (with other horses and rules). And a person that she needed to listen to that wasn't me. But she did great.

The first part of any lesson is brushing the horse and putting on the saddle. This could have been the only thing that Maggie did and she would have been happy:

And does anyone think that is a HUGE horse!? It was the sweetest thing though. Then she had to put on her helmet and sit up on the horse. I was nervous we were going to have an issue getting her to wear the helmet. No problem whatsoever. I probably could have asked her to do ANYTHING if I let her sit on that horse. Shave her head? Give up all her toys? Sure, if she could ride that horse, lol.
They spent about 30 minutes walking down a path, walking in circles in the ring, and then going around a path in the woods. I watched from a distance, and the smile never left her face. I was worried about getting her off the horse, but she was very happy to give Spring a peppermint and brush her down again and lead her into the stall.

There were two little girls (age 5 and 6) who were at the farm for the day, and they were so sweet to Maggie. Maggie wanted to see every single horse, and there were a lot. So we walked all around, and the friendly horses came right up for some pats.
Maggie was in heaven.

* I say 90% her love of horses, because we have a family that we hang out with often, and the older daughter also loves horses. She is about a year older than Maggie, so Maggie does idolize her a lot. But usually, if she is with someone who likes dolls, for example, she will like dolls while we are hanging out with them. But when we get home, the doll thing is over. Not with the horses. Maggie sleeps every night clutching a tiny plastic horse.

Weekend leftovers

I missed posting on Friday, but have so much random stuff to share - so it's late leftovers!

  • For the past year, I've been working to get the craft table at our fall fair more upscale. And better goods. In the past, they have taken whatever people handed them, and then just laid it out on a table. Surprisingly, sales weren't great. I finally bit the bullet and took over with another enthusiastic woman. The fair was this weekend, and it was the highest earning craft table they've ever had. Huge success.
  • But it was a LOT of work. A lot. I'm so glad it paid off. We pushed and pushed and if we did all that work and had no good sales, it would have been very disappointing.
  • My nephew visited this weekend. We'll call him A. He was on spring break from college, and we just had a blast. He was fun, the kids loved him, and it was AWESOME to have someone eat my cooking and be excited about it. I'm sure Cam and Maggie will be the same as teenagers.
  • While I was at the fair all day Saturday, Aaron took the kids to the Science Museum, and they had a blast. Aaron said he kept getting compliments from the museum staff about how well behaved they were.
  • Sunday the big excitement was taking A to the McDonald's with a play place. Cam kept asking when we were going to show that to him.
  • Sunday night, after the kids were in bed, Aaron took A to Jillian's. I had a groupon that was about to expire and they had a blast.
  • Monday was Maggie's big day - she had her first riding 'lesson'. She got to brush down the horse, led her outside, and then the rest of the 'lesson' was Maggie being led around on this horse. When I first got the idea for this, the girl told me that Spring was a little horse. And damn. Horse people's definition of a small horse doesn't look small to me. But they were very careful and Maggie had a BLAST. We will definitely be doing it again.
  • Tonight is our book club meeting. We decided to meet at the local bar. My kind of book club, lol.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I'm considering getting braces. I had them as a kid, but I didn't get everything fixed. My father had a huge space between his two front teeth, and I inherited this from him.

Lucky me.

And I don't know if he thought he was being funny or clever, but he wouldn't pay for that to be fixed with braces, because it was a family trait. And my mom couldn't afford to do it on her own, so I was stuck with my big space.

Between high school graduation and college, my mom paid for my teeth to get caps on them, so instead of a big space, it just looks like I have two VERY big front teeth. I think it looks fine (and so does everyone I ask), and had been fine with it for a while. But as I've aged, the space has gotten even bigger, and you have to maintain caps. Not a huge deal, but they need to be replaced every certain number of years, blah blah blah.

So about 5 years ago, I looked into getting braces. It was right around when I was going to be starting IVF, and Aaron and I decided not to do it, as did I really want to dealing with sore teeth on top of IVF and hopefully a pregnancy? I bagged the idea. fast forward a few years and I was hanging out with my cousin, and noticed that her teeth looked AWESOME. She had done invisalign. I asked her about it, and thought that maybe that is what I would try when I finally got around to it.

Well, its getting to time for me to deal with getting my caps redone, and I thought I would look into braces again. I just found out the cost, and while not cheap, it's doable. So I'm trying to decide if I'm just being silly about my space, or if I really want to go through the pain and expense of braces.

Anyone out there do braces in their late 30s? I would do the invisalign and fix some other issues on my bottom teeth too.... so I'm not going to running around with a metal mouth (although I bet Cam would think that was cool! Mommy! You look like a robot!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A bit much

This weekend, we had a bunch of things going on. This was somewhat by design, as we were missing out on the family wedding, and I was trying to keep us busy. Saturday, both Aaron and I had one on one time with the kids. A neat new art place opened up in West Acton, and as that is totally Maggie's thing, I planned on taking her there to meet with some of her friends. Cam is not as big a fan of painting, so Aaron took him out for a Daddy day. My plan with Maggie was to grab coffee and a muffin at a coffee shop, hit Trader Joe's and then head to the art place. I bumped into a friend at the coffee shop, and we ended up going to her house. She is a mom to 4 girls, and of course, within minutes, she and Maggie were best friends.
My girlfriend needed to make cookies for a dinner she was going to that night, and Maggie was VERY excited to help.

After the cookie making detour, we made it to Colorful. Maggie was a huge fan. It was totally worth the $10 an hour to let her run free, making paintings on the wall and decorating boxes. She loved it.
Aaron and Cam called from their adventure, and Cam really wanted to show me his new Ironman toy, so Aaron stopped by the art place. I was a little annoyed, because I knew Cam wouldn't do the art stuff. And I was right. His good buddy S was there, and he spent the whole hour building a house for his new Ironman toy and S's horse.
In an excellent move, the lady in charge didn't charge me for Cam's hour. I'll totally go back there on a rainy Saturday.

Then Aaron and I split up again, and I delivered Cam to a fun afternoon with his best grownup buddy, Suzanne. She took him to the Fluff Festival, where he had loads of fun, and came home with a marshmallow shooter.
We capped off the weekend with a birthday party on Sunday. It was a wonderful party - a standard, at home party, but there must have been 18 kids there, and everyone had a great time. All the kids were so wonderful, my usual comment of  'it always ends in tears' didn't happen for this party. Love that. But, one of the mothers announced that she was pregnant with twins. That still takes the wind out of me when I hear that announcement. I'm pretty sure she did fertility treatments, and she is obviously stressing on having twins and a 4 year old. I gave her the information for the twins club and told her not to waste her pregnancy stressing. That it would all work out in the end. But it's still hard for me. Such flashbacks to all the time I wasted worrying about my situation, and then look where we are now. Anyway.

Oh, and I captured this shot of Maggie. She was eating birthday cake and I asked her if she liked it.
What do you think she said?