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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.

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Good Things

3 Dec

Remember how I was looking forward a couple of weeks ago?  Well, here’s how some of that turned out!

Last week, J & I hosted our first big holiday, Thanksgiving.  We had 11 people (and only 10 place settings.  Oops).  Man, hosting a holiday is a lot of work.  J did so much, and was an awesome sous chef.  Everything went extremely well.  No turkeys exploded, no one got sick, no drama.  The only downside was the beautiful confetti I decorated the table with was all over the floor by the end of the night.  My family is all adults, yet act like children.  That’s why I love them.

My beautiful table, pre-spilled wine and flinging leaves.

Fried turkey goodness.

Yesterday, J & I celebrated our 5 year anniversary.  We had a beautiful wedding, and, more importantly, a beautiful marriage.  We’ve had our share of troubles, but through it all, he never fails to make me laugh, or at least roll my eyes.  There’s no one I’d rather have by my side.

A few of my favorite pictures from that day:

Me in my cape.  My mom made it, and I loved that thing, even though it was 55 degrees and I didn’t technically need it!

J & I at the reception.

My MOH and I.

The wedding party.

Getting the party started.

The fam dancing.

Last dance.

(The last four pics were taken by our awesome, funny, talented photographers, Kjeld & Melissa Mahoney.  www.kjeldm.com)

Onward & upward!

Pound Puppies

8 Oct

So, despite this post about kids vs. dogs, we’ve been looking at dogs.  And I’ve come to the conclusion that it might be easier to adopt a kid than it is to adopt a dog.  I know this isn’t technically true, but good lord, they make it difficult.  Here’s the process as I see it (it would be really helpful to know how to create a flow chart right now, but I’m not that talented)

Step 1 – go to petfinder.com and look at all the sad dogs that need you!  They need you now – save them!  Oh, that one looks cute…

Step 2 – Click on dog for more info.

Step 3 – Realize dog is one of the following:

A – part pitbull

B – has one paw in the grave

C – hates kids

D – lives in Texas

Step 4 – Repeat steps 1-3

Step 5 – There he is!  Perfect dog, not too old, housebroken, friendly…

Step 6 – Wait, what’s that?  He’s 30 pounds overweight and needs a ramp to get up the stairs?  He has mange?  And is allergic to dust?  Oh, and his depression meds?  They’re $50/month.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Okay, so maybe it’s not so easy to find the perfect pet.  But when you do, and you’re sure he’s a winner, you get to go through the adoption process, which varies from shelter to shelter.  For example, the shelter in our city requires you to fill out a 4 page application, plus references.  They want to know where the dog will sleep, who will be his vet, what will happen when you move, what other animals you have/had, etc.   I’m pretty sure if you get through that, you have to surrender your first-born upon adoption.  Oh, and if you have kids, they might not give you a dog.  If your kid is between 6-10, you must have a fence (presumably for the dog, not the kid).

Another shelter in RI requires a $200 deposit just to request a dog.  If they deem you to be a suitable human for said dog, and you change your mind, they keep your money.  This shelter does not adopt to MA homes – apparently RI dogs are too good for us Massholes.  If you think adopting a dog from a shelter is cheap, think again.  I’ve seen fees of up to $450 for puppies.  You can usually get a discount on the old dogs though.

After spending some time on Petfinder, we found some lab/spaniel/terrier puppies that melted our hearts, and they weren’t at a shelter, so I called the woman.  She was nice enough, and told me the puppies would be ready in a few weeks, and there were 7 left.  She asked about us, and I said we owned a home with a yard, had no kids, but wanted a friendly breed that could run with me.  I also mentioned that J is gone from 4am to 4pm, and I am gone 8am to 6pm.  She told me the puppies would not be a good fit, as they need to go out every 2-3 hours.  So, only people who don’t work or can afford a pet sitter can get a puppy.  Or, people who know how to lie better than I do.  Gotcha.

So, we’re back to kind of half-ass looking for a dog.  What I really want is for someone to drop a year old, housebroken boxer on my doorstep so I can skip the red tape and just have a dog (also, wouldn’t mind a potty trained toddler while we’re dropping things on my doorstep.  And a million bucks.  Thanks.)  However, as with anything you want, you must put forth the effort to get it, so the search continues!  I’m thinking that once we get home from vacation and things calm down, we’ll take a ride to a few shelters and see what they have available.  Or we’ll be completely un-PC and buy one at a pet store (gasp!).

This Week in iPhone Photos

5 Sep

Big-ish waves, compliments of Irene

J & I waiting at the Ocean Mist to eat.  He still has his Bloody Mary, so I’m guessing this was *only* hour one of waiting

Worth the wait

(disclaimer: this isn’t even my burrito, but I didn’t realize until after I had taken a picture.  And a bite)

Hurricane Damage

Our new friends/dinner guests

J making butter at the Woodstock Fair

(it was gross)

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.

Cupcakes!

17 Feb

I had a whole blog in my head about Valentine’s Day pros and cons, but kind of forgot to finish it.  Instead, I’ll just tell you about the cupcakes I made.

We had a Valentine’s Day sweet exchange at BAC last week.  I was led to believe this was a contest and I could win a prize.  Since I won the last bake-off (two years ago), I felt like I needed to hold on to my crown, so I turned up the heat on my competition, and looked to my new favorite cupcake site for inspiration.

If you haven’t been to bake it in a cake, you should go now.  I made the cupcakes with mini pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving, and they were a big hit.  So, for Valentine’s Day, I made Red Velvet cupcakes with mini chocolate pies baked inside, topped with cream cheese buttercream.  They sound hard, look awesome, and taste great.  They’re not that hard, just time consuming.  Here is the photographic evidence:

This is my favorite kitchen appliance, the reason I got married (kidding).  J’s fryer is in the background.  It doesn’t belong there, but its been there for 2 weeks.

Here are 1/2 of the cupcakes, with the pies dropped in.  They just need to be topped with more cupcake batter and baked.  I am not a neat baker.

Here is the finished product!  I ran out of red food coloring, so they’re more like pink velvet cupcakes.

And here is J enjoying the final product.  I think he’s had at least 5 of them.

 

So, after all this work (and a batch of peanut butter bars), I had to drag 48 cupcakes into work, on the train, with a bad arm from bowling (don’t ask).  I put them in the fridge, and then lovingly placed them on the table with the other sweets, anxious for the judging and voting to begin.  Then I realized no one was voting, they were just eating.  So I read the little sign above the heart shaped entry forms and was horrified.

There was no bake-off.

There was a prize, but it was done as a simple drawing, nothing as recognition for slaving away for hours in the kitchen.  Did I mention my bowling arm?  And the fact I spent an hour at the gym with nothing to eat but toast & batter?  For nothing.  Sure, maybe my cupcake made someone’s day a little nicer, but if there was no prize, was it really worth it?

Pets: Part One

29 Dec

I feel like 90% of the questions in my life are covered by two topics:  When are you having kids, and Why don’t you get a pet?  The official short answer to these, in order, is: Mind your own business, and Because I don’t want one.

Since the first one is none of your business, I’ll elaborate on the second.  I hate cats.  Yes, I said it.  It took me a long time to say that out loud, and now it feels good.  J loves cats.  He had a cat his entire childhood and was devastated when she died.  While I admit that, as far as cats go, TJ was decent (unlike the diabolical Callie I bought my aunt & uncle for $5 from the shelter when they got married), she was still a cat.  And cats have the following issues:

1. Claws.  I know its mean to de-claw them, but do they have to use people and things as a scratching/kneading post?  Take it off my leg and to your scratching post, sister.

2. An attitude.  You’re a cat.  You’re not better than me, period.

3. The annoying habit of jumping on you when you’re trying to sleep.  I hate that, it’s a good way to give me a heart attack.  I don’t like anything touching me when I sleep (which is really a story for another day).

I do like dogs, as long as they don’t jump on you or bite (even if its “playful,” it’s still a bite, I don’t care if they’re puppy teeth).  Oh, and I don’t like dogs that weigh more than me and bark when I come near them, even if their owner insists “he’s just saying hi.”  Bull.  That dog could rip my face off, he could say hi a little more nicely.  Oh, and don’t get me started on un-leashed dogs when I’m running.

Seriously, though, I do like dogs.  We always had dogs growing up: Kipper, a lab with no tail that was given to my aunt by a boyfriend and loved by my grandfather more than anything; Zelda, beagle-y mutt that was loyal as anything; Cobi (named by yours truly after Kurt Cobain & Coby Jones), a crazy Springer Spaniel who would rip your arm off on a walk and run away for days to be returned filthy, but happy, by animal control; and the current family pet, Chloe, a puggle so ugly she’s cute, spoiled rotten, petrified of toddlers, and the family baby.  (Here she is, by the way, taking over my couch on a recent visit).

I would love a dog, one who would keep me company when J is out, who would run with me and just be a buddy.  But we’re simply not home enough.  I couldn’t leave a dog alone for 12 hours, it’s just not fair.  If my job was closer to home, or J had a more regular schedule, we’d reconsider it.  When I land my dream job as a housewife who eats bon bons and watches Oprah all day, a dog will be the first thing on my list of things to keep me company!

Next up: Kids vs. Pets: The Ultimate Showdown!