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2013: The Year That Was

27 Jan

(I thought this would be fun, and I’m impressed I did it before March)

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Flew cross-country with 3 kids under 2.  Spent the night in a children’s hospital.  Raised a baby.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I guess, technically, I did keep a resolution, since my #1 resolution is always to lose weight, and I did lose some weight.  Maybe it wasn’t “enough,” but it was something.  I’ll make more, the same ones: eat less, run more.  Oh, and secure my passwords.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My BFF’s cousin had a beautiful baby boy in December, just in time for Christmas.  I haven’t met him in person yet, but I can’t wait to sniff his little head.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes.  It was a rough year for both our families.  J’s Grammy died in January, and my Nana died exactly 6 months later.  They were both very sick, but it was still a very sad year.  We’re just glad Emilia got to briefly know them.

5. What countries did you visit?

USA!  USA!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

More doing, less thinking.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 10, the day we left for vacation.  I looked forward to it all year.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Surviving January.  My first full month back at work with a newborn, a sick newborn at that, plus J’s Grammy’s death and funeral, and my own sicknesses.  I never thought it would end.  Secondly, shooting myself with blood thinner 2x a day for a month.  And lastly, NaBloPoMo.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not spending more one on one time with J.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Minor illness, relatively speaking.  But I had: what may have been pneumonia, a sinus infection, a blood clot, and pink eye.  Good times.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The Invisible Fence for Baxter.  Total lifesaver.  Best money I could have spent.

12. Where did most of your money go?

My mortgage and daycare.  Dog treats and crackers followed a close second.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Emilia walking.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? happier
– thinner or fatter? thinner
– richer or poorer? richer

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Spent more time outside.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Spent less time on my phone.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve day at John’s Grammy’s.  A pink cozy truck and lots of green frosting:

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Christmas Eve at John’s Bumpa’s.  Bad Chinese food and Little People selfies:

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Christmas morning at home.  Banana bread and too many toys:

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Christmas Day with my family.  Lots of food and a possessed Tickle Me Elmo:

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Most importantly, family:

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19. What was your favorite TV program?

The Walking Dead.  (I want to say How I Met Your Mother, but dear Lord is that awful this season).

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

How embarrassing is it that I don’t think I finished a book this year, unless you count 95 readings of the “A” book (Aligator.  Apple.  Avocado).  I tried to read The American Heiress for months and finally gave up.  (I’ve already finished Divergent and I’m halfway through Insurgent since January 1 though, so next year will be better).

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Vampire Weekend.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

Les Miserables.  (Was that this year?)

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 35.  I worked during the day, and at night Emilia slept at my parents and J & I went out to eat.  I got a “Mom” Alex and Ani bracelet from Emilia, and PJs from J.  Great day.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Leaving my job.  But, hey, done for 2014!

25. What kept you sane?

J.  He has a way of grounding me when I get out there.

27. Share a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

You can’t hold an infant too much.  One day they’ll suddenly not want to be held anymore and you’ll kick yourself for ever putting her down.

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That’s When my Love Comes Tumbling Down

13 Nov

what is your favorite hour of the day?

Between 6:30-7:30.

Since I work next to the day care, and Js truck doesn’t fit a car seat, I have drop off and pick up duty. Most of the time I don’t mind, but there are some days when I’m rushing out of work to get Emilia before they leave her on the doorstep. (If you want to know my favorite moment, it’s the minute she sees me at school and comes crawling over to me to be picked up. Hands down the best part of my day).

We get home around 6, and I hatehatehate 6-6:30. We’re all hungry, the dog needs to be walked, bags need to be unpacked, we’re tired, and the baby is looking rough after a day of playing, so she should probably get a bath. What’s for dinner again? The still frozen chicken or the leftovers no one liked the day before when they were fresh?

By 6:30, life seems to have settled a bit. Emilia is finishing up dinner, Baxter is looking for scraps, and, between J and I, the kitchen looks reasonable and our dinner is started. After a brief debate over who gets stuck with bath time, we decide the baby isn’t that dirty, and start the battle to shove her into her jammies after a quick wipe down instead.

We all usually go to the nursery to play a bit before Emilia’s 7pm bedtime. She yells at us to read her letter books to her, Baxter sits on our laps, jealous that he’s not getting enough attention. Playtime is brief, since she’s off to bed by 7. J and I both kiss her goodnight, turn on the bedtime music in her favorite toy, Violet (which she promptly changes to something else really annoying) and read her a book while she relaxes. Then we beg the dog to follow us out before she flips out, shut her door and proceed with our night.

The next half hour is grown up time for J and I. We finish cooking and eat together, no distractions aside from Beggy mc Beggerson Baxter. We chat about our days, our plans, or just sit and eat. It’s nice to have this downtime before we finish our clean up and get ready for the next day, before we veg out in front if the tv/computer and rescue stuffed animals from the jaws of Baxter.

You know I love the past, ’cause I hate suspense…

26 Sep

Emilia turned one on September 6, and OMG you guys, I can’t believe she’s not a baby anymore.  She’s like, a toddler who doesn’t actually toddle yet (she crawls like lightning, but would prefer to cruise holding on to furniture, and no, she does not want any help walking, she’ll just crawl away on her own).  She’s her own little person, with opinions, and, more often, demands (like “crackah!  crackah!”)  At the moment, it’s a toss-up between who she loves more – her Disney princess little people or her doggie, who she is constantly trying to kiss.

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words I never thought I’d say: Baxter, get your tongue out of that baby’s mouth, now.

The last year has been exhausting, overwhelming and stressful, but the happiest year of my life.  J & I formed an unbelievable team to care for our two “kids” (and the big, furry one is way more work than the tiny dictator most days).  We spent the year learning what they both needed and how to do it in the best way to keep everyone happy.  There is almost nothing J won’t do without being asked, there are very little “his/hers jobs” in our house.  We have a really easy baby, but it’s not easy managing any baby, a house, a dog, and two full-time jobs.  We survived (and truly loved) the first year, and there’s no one I’d rather have by my side to wrestle couch pillows from the jaws of the beast while sweeping the floor free of Cheerios as I hunt down those GD princesses and sign over another chunk of what was previously known as the vacation fund to the daycare.

To celebrate, we threw a party for our family and friends on Labor Day weekend.  I have a love/hate relationship with parties at my house.  I love planning, decorating, and cooking, but I hate cleaning, cleaning and cleaning.  Especially for outside parties – you have to clean outside and inside, and then pray it doesn’t rain.  Which it did, hard, all morning for our party, leaving us 30 minutes to put up tents and decorate.  But, we got it all done, the food was great (I had a lot of help) and I think everyone had a good time.

Emilia loved the attention.  From the second we brought her outside, fresh from her nap and all dressed up, she soaked it all up.  She was passed around all afternoon, played with her friends, ate lots of junk, and destroyed her cake.

IMG_2256Yes, this was inspired by Pinterest.  Yes, I know it’s the devil.  I do not care, I loved it.

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Yes, that is a tattoo on my infant.

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I made that!  With fondant!

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Yum.  Nothing organic here!

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Check out my new ride, yo!

I truly can’t believe a year has gone by so quickly.  It seems like a lifetime ago that I was in the hospital, exhausted and crying, convinced I’d never sleep again, because why does that baby cry every time I put her down?!?!  Then home, trying to figure out how to hold a newborn, let a giant dog outside, and not hurt my incision going up and down stairs.  Waking up in time for J to leave for work, but not until he left a grilled muffin and a cup of coffee on my nightstand.  Buying every swaddle and nursing accessory imaginable, hoping something would help either situation.  Crying (again, there was a lot of crying) at the pediatricians because she was losing weight instead of gaining.  Finally getting in a routine, finally getting some sleep, finally not crying every other hour.  And just settling in to life, our new life, as a family, learning to take care of each other the best we could.  And looking forward to whatever life brings us next.

Hi.

24 Jul

Wow.  Its been a long time.  Too long, I know.  Every so often, I’d think – I should write a blog post.  And then I’d think – Where would I start?  I have too much catching up to do!  How would I begin?  I’m still thinking the same thing, but figured I should give it a whirl.

So, what have I been up to since December?  How about some bulleted highlights?

  • Emilia is awesome.  Just awesome.  She’s such a good baby.  I have no idea how we got so lucky.  I mean, she has her baby moments, but she’s, you know, a baby, so that’s cool.  She goes places with us, or she stays with a sitter.  She sleeps through the night.  She gives big, wet, open-mouthed kisses.  She’s a total Daddy’s girl.  I could go on and on about her and how much I love her.  People say to J and I – You can tell how much she’s loved.  And, while its nice, I don’t even comprehend the alternative.  How can you not love this little face?  Or whatever little face you’re responsible for, that you created and wanted more than anything?  The amount we love her is just a no brainer to me.

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  • Our first “baby” is growing up as well.  Did I tell you about the time he ran around CVS on a Sunday morning?  Yeah, that was fun.  He took an obedience class with J last winter and did very well.  In June, we got him the invisible fence, and its been great.  He has freedom (and uses some of that freedom to dig up my plants, but whatever) and he can burn off some energy.  He’s really great with the baby.  He tolerates her crawling on him, eats the food that she leaves behind, and loves to lick her.

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  • J is also great.  He loves his job, and adores being a dad.  We have a good (though tiring!) routine that helps get everyone out the door in a reasonable amount of time.  He loves staying with the baby so I can go out, and he does everything I do (except cut her nails).  Its not always easy finding time to hang out together without anyone looking for our attention, but we try!

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  • Work is…work.  I don’t particularly want to stay home, but I don’t really want to work either.  This winter was very hard with illnesses.  In the past 6 months, Emilia has had: RSV, pneumonia, 2 ear infections and more colds and stomach bugs than I can count.  I have had: sinus infection, something that may or may not have been pneumonia, pink eye, and a blood clot in my leg.  J had a stomach bug that sent him to Urgent Care for IV fluids, and Baxter, not to be outdone, needed a trip to the vet when he ran through some briars (the last two happened on our romantic (ha!) VT getaway weekend).  While my boss is very understanding, not everyone else is, and I have tremendous guilt when I send my kid to school coughing and snotty just so I don’t use a sick day, in case I need it later.  Luckily, I love her day care, and fully trust them.  Its just a hard balance.
  • J & I both lost grandmas this year, and while neither were unexpected, its never easy.  We’re happy that Emilia got to know both of them, even if it was for just a short time.
  • I am constantly trying to maintain a balance with everything: Me time vs Family time.  Cleaning the house vs relaxing.  Playing with Emilia vs working out.  I’m trying to accept the fact that my house will be messy and it doesn’t matter, that working out on the weekends is good enough, that its all okay.  And I know it is, but sometimes I want to have it all.  Most of the time I just want to have a maid.  And a cook.  And maybe a live in nanny.
  • We are going on vacation soon, to San Diego.  Remember we went 6 years ago?  (I’ve been blogging for that long?!)  This time it will be much different: 5 adults, 3 kids under two.  We have an awesome townhouse rented, and lots of ideas but no real plans.  I think it will be exhausting but fun.  Regardless, there will be wine and there will not be work, so, yay!
  • Shortly after vacation is Emilia’s first birthday. We are having a big, theme party, because we like parties, and I love themes, and not because Pinterest made me do it.  Seriously, it will be like our normal fall party, but with more pink, more family, and a cake.  (PS – its not really okay to ask parents of an infant when they are having another one.  I’m astounded we are all in one piece after this year, and we have an angel baby.  No rocking the boat, people!)

I’m sure a million other things have happened since December, but I can’t think of them, so I’ll leave you with some random pictures.  Till next time (which may or may not be in 7 more months!)

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Looking Forward

17 Nov

Its been a long couple of weeks at our house.  In retrospect, we probably should have stayed in FL like J suggested.  In the spirit of optimism, I’m not going to talk about the issues here, but instead, tell you about the things we’re looking forward to!

I have tomorrow off, and I’m going to Boston to visit my old office at BAC.  More importantly, I’ll be having lunch and extra strong margaritas with Joe during the day, and J is coming up at night to join the fun.  I’m actually looking forward to the train ride!

Sunday we’ll be running the Mews Gear N Beer 5K, my first race since July.  (Wow, that’s pathetic).  I made the mistake of running with J a couple of times in the last few weeks, so I’m mentally prepared for him to beat me.  Again.  It doesn’t really matter though, since the important thing is that there is free beer at the end, and pizza and cookies later!  And turkey hats!

Because I’m obsessed with pinterest, I’m also obsessed with organizing.  My current dream day is a trip to the Container Store with no budget, to get all sorts of jars and racks and shelves.  My kitchen is giving me anxiety.

Next week, we’re hosting our first big holiday, and I’m super excited.  I have my menu planned, lots of help from my family & J, and am looking forward to having everyone over to celebrate.  I’m also hoping that the smell of turkeys frying will keep this guy (and his buddy) away!

If you’ve been in a store in the past 3 months, you know that Christmas is coming!  I love the holiday season, and I’m not afraid to admit it.  I can’t wait for a tree, and cookies, and presents, and food, and family.

Looking even further ahead, I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my BFF’s twins.  She is too, as she is on bed rest, and March can’t come soon enough!  In the meantime, I look forward to visiting with her, making her food, and planning how I’m going to spoil my future niece & nephew.  They will, obviously, each be getting something like this, along with every stupid onesie and loud toy I can find.

So, yay!  Good things!

Do You Remember?

5 Oct

Wow, I really suck at this blogging thing.  Sorry.  (You must be sick of these apology posts by now, huh?)  Stuff got in the way, I wasn’t in the mood, yaddayadda.

Anyways, here’s what I’ve been up to since my last post:

Did the Heart Walk in Boston with J’s family – it was fun, we walked very slowly (J said he thinks he gained weight during the walk), but it was for a great cause and we had a nice day.  As with all family events, we ended up drinking in a bar afterwards to recover.

Had a bachelorette party involving a sex toy party, penis shaped cupcakes, and a ton of food.  J went to the bachelor party portion of the night, and returned to my BFF’s at 3am after being awake for 24 hours straight.  He also won (and promptly lost) a bottle of Jaeger. 

September is, of course, the best month of the year because it’s my birthday month.  We celebrated by being hungover, eating Italian & Mexican (twice).   J got me boots & a watch, and I got lots of wine & cards, and even a birthday brownie from my new co-workers, so it was a good day!  I bought myself two presents.  This and an OAR CD on iTunes.

 

Speaking of pumpkin beer, I’m in that panicked “OhMyGod its October so the pumpkin beer will be gone soon, we have to get as much as we can now!” phase.  The Harpoon UFO Pumpkin pictured was not easy to find, and, frankly, I’m not sure it’s better than Shipyard Pumpkinhead (my all time fav).  The Blue Moon Pumpkin is awful, don’t waste your time.  Shocktop has a surprisingly good pumpkin.  I have Sam Pumpkin that I haven’t tried yet, but will report back. 

We had our annual End of Summer Cookout/Fry Fest, and had a keg of Brooklyn Oktoberfest, which I did not enjoy, but tolerated after a few Shipyard Pumpkinheads.  I think (and hope) everyone had fun, even though my arm hurt the next day from scooping out a million bags of leftover chowder.  We are now the proud owners of a tent we didn’t need, so let me know if you need to borrow it! 

In other alcohol related events, J & I went to a wine tasting at our favorite liquor store last week.  75 wines, free to taste.  We got there in the middle of a monsoon, and promptly tried the first 12 wines we were offered.  Needless to say, we didn’t make it very far past the first aisle.  Luckily, our dinner plans were right across the street, and we were able to sober up over calamari, and Sam Oktoberfest.  We also went to the Jonathan Edwards Harvest Festival, which was jam packed but fun.  We opted out of the hay rides this year, as I’m still recovering from last year’s experience. 

We almost bought this picture for the basement, but decided against it.  

 

We babysat Chloe last weekend.  She’s still the devil, but she’s cute.  If you ever wondered how many grown adults does it take to get a 14 pound dog into a crate,  the answer is 2.  She’s also not a good bed sharer, and I think she broke my back.  She does love her munchkins though.

  

I’m trying to branch out into some new music.  Someone loaded up my Pandora with new stations, and I’m trying them out instead of just deleting them and going back to OAR.  I’m not sure I like Mumford & Sons (though I do own one song I enjoy), but I’m giving their station a shot.  

Work is good.  I still love the commute, I’m trying to learn the running trails, and I made some new friends:

(Not really.  Still no friends)

 

More Sunday Ramblings

15 May

I was going to do a whole post about our family Vegas vacation, but I’m not really feeling it.   I’ll just give you some pictures and a quick recap instead:

Red Rocks = awesome

Weather = dry heat

Love = weird, but good.  (not recommended after pitchers of margaritas)

Lemonade with vodka & rosemary = new favorite drink

The family got along well, no tears, no fighting, so I’d say it was a successful trip.  The next vacation is scheduled for 2026.

In other news, we painted & tiled the laundry room.  I had a before and after post planned, but I lost all the before pictures, and I haven’t taken any after pictures yet.  It looks good, trust me.

We’ve also been purging & collecting junk for a yard sale in June.  Its all good junk, I just don’t want it in my house.  Please come buy it.  Today we purged the boiler room/man cave.  I bought lots of plastic bins & labels for the 40,000 allen wrenches we seem to have collected.  It makes me happy.

I’m fairly certain it’s never going to stop raining.  If it doesn’t stop raining, we can’t clean out the shed and do a body count of the dead mice, and therefore, I’ll never be able to go in the shed alone.

The Bruins are in the conference finals, and we had people over to watch the game last night.  They lost,  so that will be the last time we have people over to watch the Bruins in the playoffs.

My new rule is that I can only drink on days I work out.  So I’ll soon have a great body and be an alcoholic.  Go me.