Friday, December 23, 2011

Potty Training

I've been saying since I started back at school that I wanted to try to potty train Lucas during winter break. Well, winter break is upon us and it's time. A few other Moms have also expressed interest in potty training, and reached out to the masses via social media for advice. I decided this would be a good time to write down my potty training techniques.

Let me start by saying that every child is different, and no single method will be effective for every child. I'm aware of this, and I don't expect anyone to want to actually do what I suggest. I'm just putting it out there, because I've had good luck with it in the past. I'm not an expert, and do not claim to be.

I was a preschool teacher for 2 years, then a nanny, and now a mommy. I always have started by introducing the kids to the potty through observation. In the preschool we had a large open kids' bathroom, so kids could see their friends going potty and it sparked interest. When I was a nanny, I told the parents to have an "open door" policy with the bathroom for a month or two before trying to potty train. Kids need to see what they are supposed to do. In my house, we've always had an open door policy with Lucas. He's very aware of what happens in the bathroom. He even cheers us on. Open door policies, apparently, make some parents squeamish. I live by a "to each their own" philosophy. It works for me, it always has. I'm sticking with it. 

So after we had a decent "observation" period, I like to jump straight to a cold turkey method. I buy about 10 pairs of comfy easy-wash pants. I tend to go for cheap sweatpants. Then put that kid in undies, with lots of talk about how to keep them dry/clean, and then just go with it. As a preschool teacher we would make bathroom trips every 20 minutes if I had a potty training child in my class. As a nanny to twins, we started with potty trips every 6 minutes, and increased the time between trips by 1 minute every hour. I know that may seem excessive, but the twins were fully potty trained in under two weeks. The first two days are always the toughest. Expect to go through all those sweatpants for the first few days. Be ready for the onslaught of laundry. 

The most important part about potty training is your attitude. Stay positive. If you go into it dreading the amount of laundry, or stressing about accidents you'll drive yourself nuts. Not to mention, your kiddo will pick up on those bad vibes, and the whole experience will be less than pleasant. Have realistic expectations, and stay as level headed as possible. 

I'm on the fence with "rewarding" successful potty trips. At the daycare, we didn't really do much in the way of rewarding kids for using the potty. We certainly were encouraging and very congratulatory, but never gave a physical reward. The twins' mom, however, insisted that they get 1 M&M for every time they peed, and 2 M&M's for every B.M. This seemed good in the theory, except that there was no end to the rewards. When they moved, a full two years after potty training began, she was still giving rewards for potty success. 

I'm planning to start the process (again) with Lucas on the first of the year. He's very interested in the potty. He's even asked to wear underwear a few times in the past couple weeks. I have found potty training other people's children to be quite easy. I have a feeling that potty training my own child will be quite different, but I'm excited about the process. My little guy consistently surprises me with his ability to cope with change. I have the highest hopes for him!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I should be writing a paper about mortgage backed securities and financial collapse following subprime mortgage lending, but I just need to gush about my little guy for a minute.

Today we put together his "big boy bed". And by put together, I mean we took the crib out, and put a box-spring and mattress on a frame for him. Thanks to poor planning on my part, his headboard/footboard (from his convertible crib) don't fit in his tiny bedroom. You see, when we first found out we were pregnant, we designated the smaller of the two extra bedrooms as the "nursery", fully intending to move our little bundle into the larger room when the transition to bed happened. Well, the bigger room isn't ready for him. It get too cold in there, and we aren't in a position to really fix it up the right way right now. Not to mention, he really loves his bedroom. It's his and he knows it.

So, poor Lucas has a bed with no headboard and footboard. But guess what? He doesn't care! It looks just like Mommy & Daddy's - we have no headboard/footboard. It has his special Pottery Barn Kids Cat in the Hat bed set from Auntie Karla. He loves it.

We put it together about an hour before nap time today, and when nap-time rolled around I braced myself for a battle. I thought I'd have to put him back in his bed a million times. Nope. We read storied, tucked him in with the same routine we used for his crib, and walked out. He cried, like he always does, for a few minutes and then fell asleep. Never got out of bed. I had to wake him up after a 2 hour nap, to ensure he'd be tired for bedtime.

I thought for sure bedtime was going to be dreadful, but no. It was exactly the same. I even got to sneak a peak of him alseep in his bed. You see, once Lucas is down, we don't EVER open the door. I swear he hears every creak it makes. But somehow the cat got in his room tonight, and was scratching to get out, so I had to open the door. And of course I had to sneak a peak... tiptoe over to see his precious little face. My baby is not a baby any more. He's a kid. A kid who sleeps in his own full size bed.

I pushed and pushed for this big milestone, and who's having the most trouble with it? Me. Of course.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Things I learned on date night...

Saturday night was my husband's 10 year high school reunion. I spent months worrying about it, and then on Monday night he decided he didn't want to go. I was both disappointed and relieved. But most of all, I was concerned about what the hell we were going to do. We'd already booked a babysitter, my younger cousin, who we plan to ask to be a regular sitter once a month so we can go out. Cancelling was not an option. It was the first time we asked her, and I didn't want to go changing things on her.

So we decided to "wing" it. This is not a concept that I'm comfortable with, but I decided to just stop being a whiny baby. Here's what I learned:

  • I love small intimate Italian restaurants, except when a friend is having a date 3 feet away from us. Then I feel like I'm spying. 
  • I dress too conservatively for dance clubs, apparently. 
  • Clubs I used to frequent have changed quite a bit.
  • Dubstep is not for me, but I really am glad I experienced it. 
  • Jersey Shore style clubs are not my style either, but holy moly are they entertaining.
  • Researching a night out is not always the best way.
  • My husband is, and always will be, my favorite dance partner. 
  • Hanging out with people that are 5 years younger than you really makes you feel your age.
  • I saw more vaginae last night than I ever have in my life.
  • Apparently the plural for of vagina is vaginae. (pronounce vuh-ji-NEE) You're welcome. 
  • I don't need a drink in hand, or to be drunk, to dance anymore. I'm over the insecurity hump. 
  • Driving home with a bunch of drunk friends in the minivan (we had a designated driver, always!) is often more fun then the actual outing.
Tonight is all about snuggling a little boy that missed me last night. I missed him too, but I really needed a good night out dancing the night away with his Daddy. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm alive

I kind of fell out of my blogging habits this past week. I had a couple big tests, a sick toddler, 3 photo shoots, and a lot of planning to do. I'll give a quick synopsis of the going on around here.

This week, I had an accounting test. I am not doing as well in intermediate accounting as I did in the first two levels. My average is a very weak B right now, but I managed an 85% on my last test, and he's dropping the lowest test score, so I"m pretty confident that I can pull off a solid B. It will hurt my GPA, but I'm doing my best, so I need to just let it be.

We had a large family photo shoot on Sunday with John's side. It was stressful, but we got some cute photos out of the deal. One of the 3 photos of my Christmas card was taken that day. On Wednesday I had another photo shoot, this time a local Target, for my sister's two kids & Lucas to have some holiday shots done. We always give our very large family photos of the kids each holiday (which can get mighty expensive). I ended up with a great solo shot of Lucas that was totally unplanned, but I bought a bunch of copies. Then today John & I had a small shoot on our stairs, with Lucas, for our Christmas photo & for a large print to be hung in our living room. We got a few great shots. Over all, I'm very happy.

I went out last night with Heather, Kate & Nikki to go see the latest in the Twilight Saga. There were some parts that absolutely made me cringe, but overall the movie was ok. It was nice to get out, if nothing else. The wedding scenes were great. All the scenes with Charlie at the wedding had me all choked up, it reminded me of my Dad at my wedding.

Now to the fun stuff. For those that know me, you already know that I am a bargain shopper. I hate paying full price for anything, especially during the holiday season. Christmas card bargain shopping has always been a favorite sport of mine. I tend to split my order among 3-4 companies to get the best bargains. My goal is always to spend under $50 on all my Christmas cards, because postage always costs me around $45, and my overall budget is $100 on Christmas cards. This year, and last year, I have cheated. I don't buy traditional Christmas cards. I don't even buy the "cheap" flat photo cards that are ever so popular this time of year. I go even cheaper. I buy custom printed post cards. I design a template in Photoshop (which I'm not very good at), and upload it to the site and I'm all done.

Last year, I spent $33 on 100 post cards, 100 envelopes and a set of 140 return address labels, and then paid about $10 for shipping. I came in under budget. This year, I amazed myself. I got 100 postcards, 100 envelopes, 2 kinds of return address labels (140 of each design) and 140 custom gift tags for $21. Shipped. That's right. I spent less than half as much money and got more products.

I love buying products that are designed for a different function, and making them fit my needs. Like the gift tags, are actually return address labels that I rearranged, and re purposed. Sure, I spent a couple hours playing with Photoshop, and trying to make everything look OK for the Christmas cards, but I saved tons of money. If I had bought those flat photo cards, even on sale, for $.30 each, I would have spent $30 alone on the cards. Then there's the envelopes, the shipping, etc... It just gets too costly.

What are some ways you save?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Treats & Yums 11/3/11

This recipe is not my own, but man oh man is it delicious.

Rolo Cake Mix Cookies is a borrowed recipe, that I found on .

Simple cookies to make. Simpler to eat.
This is not a vegan recipe, clearly. But it would work well to adapt to a vegan recipe. Use a vegan chocolate cookie recipe (such as this one from but without chocolate chips) and put Choices Vegan Caramel Chocolates in the center.

My only advice when making this recipe is to be careful. The dough is SUPER sticky. I put mine in the refrigerator to chill for a half hour before rolling into balls, and coated my hands with Crisco so they wouldn't stick. It worked great, and didn't compromise the flavor of the cookie.

Rolo Cake Mix Cookies 

You'll need:
  • 1 box devils food cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • Rolo candies (have fun unwrapping!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
  2. Mix together the first three ingredients. Grab a small piece of dough (about half the size of a golf ball) and roll it into a ball. Smoosh a Rolo in the center, and then close the dough around the Rolo. Repeat until all of the dough is used. I left them in a ball shape, the original recipe calls for them to be flat.
  3. Bake for about 9-12 minutes. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordy Wednesday 11/2/11

This weeks favorites:
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown By: Charles M. Schultz
Do I really need to review this? Love this story, though Lucas lost interest quickly. He loves to tell me the names of the characters. He chose it every night this week!

Elmo in Dreamland By: DiCicco Studios
Honestly, I don't like this one. Lucas presses the button, the music starts and I have to sing the lyrics printed in the book. Cute songs, quick & easy. I am just not a huge fan. Lucas loves it though, and that's what bedtime stories are all about it.

Mama's book:
I'm still reading "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson. I don't think I even read 20 pages this week. It's been a busy week around her. I'm hoping to curl up with it tonight for an hour or so.

Photo Challenge Week of 11/1/11

I know that this is not a great photo, but... Halloween was cancelled in our neck of the woods. Thanks to an untimely Nor'easter, the area was full of downed power lines, power outages and other trick-or-treating hazards. We'll be heading out to trick-or-treat on Friday night, but here's a cute photo of Lucas in his Dino costume from Monday. 
PS, please don't give me any seatbelt shit. I know that the clip goes on his chest, parallel to his armpits. I adjusted it after the photo. My parenting skills have kept him alive this long. Thanks

The Paper Mama
Linking up with The Paper Mama Photo Challenge

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Treats & Yums 10/27/11

I have been searching for ways to effortlessly make roasted chicken, and I read a few recipes for slow-cookers. So today I went for it.

CrockPot "Roasted" Chicken:
You'll Need:
1 whole roasting chicken
1/2 stick butter
Minced garlic (to your liking)
Chicken Seasoning (see note below)
Crock Pot
Tin foil.

Ready for this?

  • Roll 4-5 pieces of tin foil into 3/4-1" balls & place on bottom of crock pot.
  • Throughly rinse chicken, remove innards, and pat dry.
  • Place chicken on top of foil balls
  • Melt 1/2 stick of butter in microwave, add minced garlic
  • Pour melted butter/garlic over chicken
  • Sprinkle with Chicken Seasoning
  • Turn crockpot on low
  • Wait for the popper to pop (have a meat thermometer handy too! 165° F)
  • My chicken took about 7 hours on low. I've read that you can do 1 hr on high and 3 on low. 
The chicken came out perfectly juicy, and not dry like I thought it might. My only criticism is that the skin doesn't get crispy in a slow-cooker. I used the remainder of the chicken to make (the world's simplest) chicken pot pies. Yum! 

A note about Chicken Seasoning: So, in preparation for this post I went to my trusty bottle of Chicken Seasoning to see what it actually is. I always buy the same bottle, from the same store, and have since John & I started dating. I've never checked what's in it. Here's what I found. "Ingredients: Salt, Peper, Spices (including paprika)". Ummm. Wonderful. What spices might those be?? A search of their website brought me no answers. I suppose that's what I get for buying cheap dollar-store seasoning! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordy Wednesday 10/26/11

This week has been all about the books. Lucas is in full-fledged dinosaur obsession, so we've been reading last week's books a lot still.

I've tried to weasel in a few new books. Here's the one's he's taken to so far:

Little Blue Truck by: Alice Schertle
Lucas LOVES this book... only when John reads it to him. You see, John reads it in an awful southern accent. He and his father think that you must talk in a horrible attempt at a southern accent to discuss trucks. Lucas giggles away while John reads this to him in his goofy accent. I'm just glad he likes it! It's a cute story.

Frederick by: Leo Lionni
This has always been a favorite around here. Lucas calls it "Fwed-fick" which cracks me up every time. This started as an attempt to potty train. I took out all of the "longer" story books, with actual pages rather than board books, and read to Lucas while he sat on the potty early this summer. Well, we stopped trying to potty train, he lost interest, but we weren't ready to part with Frederick. What a great story. I love it.

I figured I should mention that I also read, albeit very slowly. Right now I'm finishing up Steig Larsson's trilogy by reading: 

I loved the first two. I will say that it took me a while to get "into" The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It was slow in the beginning, but once it really grabbed me I was hooked. I flew through the second book (The Girl Who Played With Fire) in a couple days. The third one is slow going for me. I have midterms at school, and have been busy with park stuff, so I'm lucky to sneak in 10-20 minutes of reading a day. But I'm interested to see where the plot goes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Photo Challenge Week of 10/24

This week's photo challenge is "face".

If you know Lucas, you know he's obsessed with brushing his teeth. He brushes every time I use the bathroom, which if you know me, is a lot! I decided that it was high time I documented some of his hilarity. 90% of his teeth-brushing technique is sucking the water out of his toothbrush. I love this face.

Linking up with The Paper Mama's Photo Challenge
  The Paper Mama

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday Treats & Yums 10/10/12

A new weekly recipe post? Ok!

I have to honest. I don't cook as often as I should, but when I do I feel so accomplished. Lucas LOVES to help me bake. Or cook anything that requires "mixing". He yells "mix, mix, mama! I do mix mix!" It's pretty adorable.

Tonight was not one of those nights. And I forgot to take photos, but that's ok. I will put the recipe here and add photos to next week's creation.

Tonight for dinner we had:
Eggplant Parmigiana - easiest thing ever!
You will need:
9x12 pan (I use Pyrex)
Large frying pan (I use a jumbo cooker)
1 jar of tomato sauce (I use Francesco Rinaldi, cheap and delicious!)
1 medium eggplant (or whatever size will feed your family)
2-3 eggs (beaten)
Bread crumbs (Italian seasoned, or you can add seasoning to plain bread crumbs)
Oil to fry in (I use as little as I can get away with)
1 tbsp. minced garlic
Mozzarella & Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350 ° F. 
  • I usually let the garlic sauté, on low, in the oil while I cut & bread the eggplant
  • Cut eggplant into 1/2" slices. If you cut it too thick, it won't cook properly.
  • Coat in flour, dip in egg & then coat with bread crumbs.
  • Fry eggplant slices on each side until golden brown, don't let oil get too hot, it will burn!  (usually takes about 2-3 mins on each side)
  • Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of your Pyrex pan
  • Put eggplant in pan, overlapping each other.
  • Place a piece of mozzarella on each slice of eggplant
  • Top with remainder of jar of sauce
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
  • Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, until eggplant is soft when poke with a fork
I always serve this over pasta. Tonight we tried Ronzoni's Garden Delight fettuccine, and it was delicious. It made about 6 adult servings, assuming each adult eats 2 slices of eggplant. It was delicious. 

This has always been a go-to meal for me when I only have about 45 minutes to prepare something. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordy Wednesday 10-19-11

This week, as many before it, have been all about dinosaurs. Lucas is obsessed with the PBS Kids program called "Dinosaur Train" . There are a few episodes streaming on Netflix, so we usually let him watch an episode (or two) here & there. He loves it! He sings the song, and knows the names of all the dinosaurs. Do you know any 2 year olds that say "michelinoceras" on the regular? (Note: I am aware that a michelinoceras is not an actual dinosaur, but it is featured in a dinosaur train episode, and Lucas picked up the word)
The past few days we have been reading, and re-reading:

When Dinosaurs Came With Everything by Elise Broach

Elise Broach's story is so adorable. A boy is bored by his mother's errands, and is not thrilled about tagging along until he realizes that he gets a dinosaur with everything. Mom buys donuts, he gets a dinosaur. Boy gets a haircut, he gets a dinosaur. Not a toy dinosaur, an actual dinosaur. Cute story. Even cuter ending, when Mom decides to make lemons into lemonade and capitalizes on their new pets' various skills.

Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up by Robert Sabuda & Matthew Reinhart

This is the pop-up book to end all pop-up books. I was floored when I picked this up off our book shelf. It was one of many hand-me-down books we acquired when my nanny-family moved to Spain. The pop-ups in this book seriously blow my mind. Each page is breath-taking, and has bonus tiny pop-ups behind little flaps with lots of nuggets of information. This is a book that will grow with Lucas, which is something I always love. I will say, he was a little nervous about the T-Rex pop-up, which comes straight out of the book in a chomping motion. He is now over that fear, and enjoys putting his finger in T-Rex's mouth and yelling "CHOMP" as the paper jaws close and he finger is trapped in paper teeth.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Photo Challenge Week of 10/15

Photo Challenge

Another addition to my new attempt at weekly posting will be linking up with Paper Mama's Photo Challenges. I've followed them for some time, and while I'm not a professional photographer, I'd still love to share the beauty I see in my son with her readers. To anyone clicking over from her site, Hello! 

Painting fun 

The Paper MamaThe Paper Mama

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Steppin' Out Saturday: 10/15/11

Lucas & I headed to a birthday party today. The weather in good old Massachusetts is as unpredictable as ever, so I wasn't sure what to wear. So this tunic with rolled sleeves seemed to fit the wishy-washy nature of the forecast. It's also SUPER windy so my hair is a mess. Oh well. I was comfy. Do note I took the boots off about 10 minutes after we took these photos, and threw on my trusty brown boat shoes. Much more realistic for a birthday party full of two year olds! 

My outfit:
Top, Belt & Necklace>> Thrifted

Lucas's Outfit:
Polo>> Kohl's
Sweater>> Target
Jeans>> Calvin Klein
Sneakers>> Target

Friday, October 14, 2011


My definition of an "ideal" Friday night has sure evolved a lot in the past 10 years or so.

Ideal Friday night of 2001 Nicole: I was still in high school, so I would imagine that having ANY plans would have been great. Likely I would have been hanging out with a group of girls, in a basement somewhere, talking about boys, putting on face masks, and painting our nails. Or I was out with my "wilder" friend, sneaking into clubs or other such debauchery. I had my first "serious" boyfriend in 2001, so Friday night may have included a movie-watching night with him.

Ideal Friday night of 2002-2004 Nicole: I was living at Bridgewater State by that point. Again, any plans would have been nice, but in reality I was either working with my roommate on Friday nights, out drinking (underage) in Providence {or being the Designated Driver, which we always had}. I spent lots of time going to local shows during this time frame. I met some of my best friends at shows. Music has always been the common thread for all my friendships. My last option would have been hanging out with the worst "boyfriend" I ever had. He wasn't even really a boyfriend, so much as someone that I hung out with, and spent obscene amounts of time trying to impress. He was the definition of "loser" and I wasted some of my most attractive years on him. I also saw my husband for the first time at a party once during this time frame, though we were not introduced.

Ideal Friday night of 2005-2008 Nicole: John and I were dating by this point. We spent our Fridays doing anything and everything. We'd laugh into the wee hours of the morning. We'd drive aimlessly for hours. We'd go dancing. We'd eat late night food with more calories than we should consume in a day. We'd find adventure in doing nothing. We had great nights out with friends, and great nights in together. We'd go in his mom's hot tub in mid-January, and watch my hair freeze (since he didn't have any!) We had no one to answer to, and not a care in the world other than being together. We also spent a fair amount of time apart, with our own friends. I had plenty of girls nights out, and even more girls nights in. I spent more Fridays than I can remember scrapbooking, or playing with my nephew with my girlfriends.

Ideal Friday night of 2008-2009 Nicole: Pregnant Nicole wanted nothing more than to eat, and be catered to. John waited on my hand and foot, and never batted an eyelash. Friday night was really the middle of my weekend because I was working on Monday through Wednesday. We usually spent the time going over business plans, finances, or drawing ramps for the skatepark that was under development. As long as there was food involved, I was happy. I also rediscovered my love of reading while I was pregnant.

Ideal Friday night of Present Day Nicole: Quiet. I love the quiet of my house right now. John is at work, and while I miss him, and would rather he was home, I'm happy to have some alone time too. I love to sit on the couch, with a glass of wine, and my latest "project" and watch mindless TV. Sometimes I have a crochet project, sometimes an ancestry project, sometimes a homework assignment, but I always have something "busy" to do. My absolutely ideal Friday night (when I'm stuck home because John is at work) is to grab a glass of wine, fill the bathtub with hot water and bubbles, and read a book for hours. I'll refill that tub with warm water 15 times if I have to. (See also: I need a bigger, better tub. Whirlpool, are you listening?)

Tonight, I spent an extra long time rocking with my little guy, reading books. I'm writing this while my pumpkins seeds are roasting, and I'm anxiously awaiting my bath. There really is nothing better than a nice quiet Friday night in.

Though a Friday night out does have it's appeal too... Dancing & drinks? Ok!
Image via Pinterest 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Family Craft Time

We carved pumpkins as a family today. Lucas colored on his pumpkin with markers for about 15 mins and lost interest. John & I continued to work for 3 hours! Clearly someone (JOHN!) is an overachiever, and far more artistically inclined that me. That's fine. We had a ton of fun. I wish we had unlimited funds and could buy more pumpkins to carve.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordy Wednesday 10-12-11

I'm going to try to start doing a few "weekly" posts. These scheduled posts help me to take inventory of the small blessings in my life, such as bedtime stories.

This weeks' favorites are:
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (Caldecott Honor Book)
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly - by Simms Taback 
We love "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly." We've been reading it nearly every night for weeks. Yes, this book does contain the "Perhaps she'll die" line, from the folksong. Yes I read it as written. That's how it was sung to me as a little girl, and that's how I sing it to my son. He loves it. He sings along with me, and giggles away.

Counting Kisses - By: Karen Katz
"Counting Kisses" has been another go-to book for many months. I credit this book with my sons ability to count so well. I have no been a diligent "teacher" to my son. As a former preschool teacher, I'm surprised that I don't "instruct" him as much as I did when I taught, or even when I was a nanny. I find that in a mothering role, I tend to teach my showing and engaging him in everyday practices that lead to learning. I do count aloud, but I don't ever "teach" him to count. He surprised me one day at a restaurant with my parents when he took out the sugar packets and successfully counted to 8. This book counts down from 10 kisses, to the final kiss before bedtime. Lucas loves it and can tell me where each of the kisses land. For example, if I were to say to him "10 kisses on teeny tiny...?" he'll yell "TOES!". At first I thought he just remembered the order of the body parts in the book, so I would pick numbers at random one day, and say the first line from that page, and he'd finish it. He adores this book.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Busy weekend

Weekends are always busy. This weekend was especially busy!

Friday night, Lucas & I attended a suprise 30th birthday party for my best friend's sister. Turns out she got engaged that morning and announced at the party. It was great fun, though Lucas and I only lasted about an hour. 7pm is a bit late for Lucas to start partying. I made these delicious donuts for the party, but forgot them!! Sorry, Lisa!

Saturday was a whirlwind of preparations. I baked 2 batches of Rolo cake-mix cookies, and plated them with my donuts. I ran around like a crazy person to get Lucas all packed up for his overnight visit with my in-laws. After dropping him off, I made a mad dash back home and had a whopping 45 minutes to get ready for the 3rd Annual True To You Stump Trivia Night Fundraiser. I wore my FAVORITE (to date) thrifted dress. It's an adorable magenta pinstriped house dress. I love it.

Sunday we spent the day at my mother in law's house. Lucas loves it there, and after seeing the photos below, anyone can see why. It's so peaceful on the lake, and the comfort of being at a grandparents house, combined with the beautiful scenery is just irreplaceable. I love spending time there!

The view

My handsome husband

The boys heading out to go fishing

Yes, his eyes are THAT blue

I love these chubby little hands

1st fish of 5 !!! 

He had to touch all of the fish & throw them back in!

See what I caught, guys?
**Before I catch heat from the safety police. I know he should have a life vest on when near open water, this lake happens to be knee deep at the end of this dock, and there were 6 adults and two children. Also, we had Lucas wash his hands after touching the fish, I know they have bacteria and germs on them. **

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saturday Night Out

I finally got out on a Saturday night!

John and I were joined by his sister, aunt & father, to attend a breast cancer fundraiser. My parents, sister,brother-in-law and most of my Dad's side of the family was there as well.

We had a blast competing (horribly) in trivia, and trying to win (unsuccessfully) raffles. I forgot to take photos of my newly thrifted dress, until we got home. I will forewarn you, I was a little tipsy, and apparently feeling saucy because I'm mugging it up for the camera. Also, I apparently spilled something on myself before taking photos. Bummer.

Shoes>hand-me-ups from my sister
Necklace> Pearls, a gift from my GodMother

Here's a cute photo of Lucas with all his bedtime friends. Internet, meet Baby, HopHop, Monkey, Elephant Pillow, Big blankie & brown blankie. Oh and Pillow pet.

Linking up with Mandy from Harper's Happenings

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New obsession

I am obsessed with my family tree lately. I don't know why, but it is so captivating. I've spent the better part of the past week on trying to explore all direct avenues back to my family's immigration to the US. Obviously, some branches are much longer than others.

So far I've traced my mother's paternal side back to Scotland, her maternal side back to England, my father's maternal side back to Canada/Scotland and Ireland and his paternal side back to Ireland. I've researched as far back as my US membership will allow for now.

Normally I would be antsy to get an World membership to keep searching, but I think I'll be smart about it. I'm going to chat with few members of my grandparents' generation that I have left. I'm going to get as much detail as I can from them, and get as much documented as possible.

Then my plan is to locate photos for all of the family members that are still alive, or that I can locate photos for. There are over 200 people on my family tree thus far, but only 40 photos or so. Many of those are John's side of the family, which I haven't even begun to really add. I added his parents and grandparents and siblings. I will likely make an entirely different tree for that side.

I have a feeling this will take over my life if I let it (like I have this week), so I'm going to start giving myself and "allowance". An hour a day, or less, and that's it. There's no reason to rush this, and no reason to take time away from the present to learn about the past. I'm not truly honoring my ancestors by spending all my time figuring out who they are, and not continuing to live in the present.

I'll update on my progress from time to time, assuming I remember.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bandwagon? Sure, I'll hop on!

Ok, Ok. I'll bite the bullet, and follow the crowd. Maybe then I'll be asked to sit at the cool-blogger's table at lunch time.

A. Age: 27. 
B. Bed size: King, finally.
C. Chore that you hate: All of them? I'm not good at being domestic. Pet fur is the worst! 
D. Dogs: One poopie puppy, named Scooby. Actually her name is Spooky, but we call her Scooby. What?
E. Essential start to your day: Music. must have music.
F. Favourite color: Mustard, and most blues
G. Gold or Silver: Silver usually, but I'm becoming a bigger fan of gold. 
H. Height: 5' 
I. Instruments you play: Violin
J. Job title: Mom/Wife/Student/Bookkeeper/SocialMediaAddict
K. Kids: One for now, Lucas
L. Live: MA
M. Mother's name: Sue 
N. Nicknames: I dont really have any...? Boring!
O. Overnight hospital stays: Birthing a child, oh and that time I swallowed a binder clip. Don't ask. 
P. Pet peeve: Misusing words, and/or using hurtful/derogatory words. 
Q. Quote from a movie: "They were cooooooones" - Wedding Singer
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: 2, 1 sister, 1 brother but I swear they are from a different planet sometimes
T. Time you wake up: T/r - 6:30, all other days 9ish, or whenever Lucas wakes up (usually 9:30ish)
U. Underwear: Indeed. 
V. Vegetable you hate: Beets, oh I can't get down with beets.
W. What makes you run late: Everything. Usually my laziness, or procrastinating
X. X-Rays you've had: My pelvis when I was younger, my throat (damn binder clip).
Y. Yummy food that you make: I make a damn good beef stew, and roasted chicken, and lasagna. Mmm I'm hungry. 
Z. Zoo animal: Elephants, Monkeys, Polar Bears... I don't think there are any I dislike.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mentally Ill, Simply ill?

I should really rename my blog "In Response to Nerdy Apple". This is the third time.

Tonight, via twitter, Nerdy Apple (and Morgan pondered why mentally ill people need to be called "mentally ill" and not simply ill. While I agree with her sentiments about the stigma of mental illness, I think dropping the "mentally" in "mentally ill" in all cases would be a serious disservice.

My mother suffers from depression & PTSD. She is on full disability due to her mental illness. I can tell you, from personal experience, that she has to qualify her "disability" to everyone that she tells about it. For example, when she goes to the hairdresser, or runs into someone from high school, and she's asked "So what do you do for a living?", my mother responds "I can't work anymore, I'm on disability". At which point, she gets shifty looks from people. They immediately assume she is scamming the system, because there is clearly nothing physically wrong with her. She has to always respond "I have depression, I'm on mental disability" and then BAM, here comes the stigma. People don't know how to talk to her. They tend to quiet up. My mother tends to laugh off her mental illness, in the face of adversity. She doesn't know what else to do, so she laughs. It's a mostly nerves.

If all people with mental illnesses were to simply be referred to as "ill", I think they would run into the same problem. It could also pose another problem. When I hear the word "ill" I think of colds, or the flu, and I think "Oh no, are you contagious?". I know that's not true of all illnesses, but I'd be willing to bet that a social experiment would find people backing away from people who refer to themselves as ill. So, I suppose its a case of deciding which is the lesser of two evils in this case?

Most people assume anyone with a mental illness is crazy, or wildly unstable. Most people are wildly misguided about what it means to have a mental illness. Many times they are actually chemical imbalances, or lasting effects of past trauma. There is a sad stigma associate with all mental illness, depression included, but I don't feel that dropping the "mental" will save anyone from that stigma. It may force them to need to qualify their illness with an explanation, which may be harder in the long run.

What say you? Am I way off base here? Input is always welcome!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is that my face on Babble?

It is indeed my face on babble

I have been an avid follower of Monica @ for as long as I've been reading blogs, which in truth is only about 4 years. She recently started writing for Babble and put word out via Twitter and Facebook that she was writing about photos of that first moment with a new baby. I tweeted one to her, and there I am. Oddly enough this is probably about the.... 20th? photo of me and Lucas because I have photos of the entire birth. I was lucky enough to deliver Lucas right at a shift change, so the midwife that was scheduled to go home actually offered to stay and take photos for us, so that John could fully concentrate on enjoying the experience. I have photos of Lucas crowning, I even have a photo of me pulling him out & onto my chest with my last push. Needless to say, those are very private photos that have only been shared with my closest family and friends. The photo in the link above is the first "world" appropriate photo, and even still the kid is copping a feel!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Strangest night.

So... I'm feeling kind blah today. Mama's guilt after a bad bedtime routine today.

I'm sitting on my couch trying to get in touch with a dude on craigslist about an elliptical, and I feel a migraine coming on. It had started this afternoon, but I managed to soften it with some delicious fountain diet coke.

I decide around 10 pm that I should probably take an Exedrin and eat something. But in the process, I somehow forget to swallow the pills immediately, and instead I hold them in my mouth with some flat soda (don't judge). Well, that was a bad idea. Gross. I swallow the disgustingmess, and decide to take a bath and read my book.

Now, we haven't been using the bathtub upstairs lately, so I completely forgot to grab the tub stopper from downstairs (long story) until after I got undressed, and let the water warm up. Ugh.. back downstairs.

I lounge in the tub for a bit, and then I decide to stand up and let the warm water run over me from the shower before getting out. I always do this because I feel a little grungy after laying in the bath. I don't know why. But did I remember to close the shower curtain? Nooooo... so there's water all over the floor when I get out.

I had brought two towels into the bathroom, one for my hair, one for my body. I decide to use one towel to mop up the water on the floor and the other to dry myself. I dry off, throw the towel on my hair while I put on some lotion, and I hear the med-flight helicopter. I think nothing of it until I can SEE THE MAN DRIVING through my skylight. Oh wonderful. Here I am, naked, rubbing lotion on my legs, with a helicopter pilot staring at me. I forgot that the pine tree that obstructed the view had been taken down, and we live a block away from a hospital. GREAT.

Now, I'm sitting on my couch again, wearing a Daggermouth t-shirt, betty boop pj pants, and a lightening mcqueen towel on my wet hair waiting for my water to boil for tea. I always feel a little bit like a drug dealer when I have to spoon out my loose leaf tea from Tealuxe, but it really is the best. My neighbors must think I'm out of my mind.

Oh, and my head still hurts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tattoo Tirade

I know, I know another tattoo post. I JUST posted one a few weeks ago, but a little discussion with a professor today has me slightly irritated, and I just need to vent about it for a moment.

So today in my Retail Management & Teamwork class (aka, pointless 1 credit class that is mandatory to my major), we were talking about paradigms and perspective. We were assigned some reading in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,  and were asked to talk about a time when we underwent a personal paradigm shift. (See here if you're already lost). Basically, talk about a time when your assumptions and perspective got in the way of judgement-free thought. My shift, for example, was the inevitable paradigm shift of pre-baby to post-baby. Saying things like "when I have kids they will never...blah blah", and then realizing once you have kids that there is no "never".

As the class members took turns, the professor interrupted to explain her mini-paradigm shift which involved believing that people with disabilities were inherently evil. Let me explain that she thought this way as a very young child, because the only person in the neighborhood that her family wasn't close to happened to be an amputee. Her family never talked about it, so she made childish assumptions, which she now realizes are ridiculous. Then the final classmate shares her paradigm shift, which had something to do with growing up thinking that all people with tattoos were criminals or bad people. I chuckled, because that's funny. My friend piped in with "Oh Nicole, you better keep that sweatshirt on." Her statement kind of forced me into the spotlight and I felt like I had to explain given that the professor was looking at me like was crazy.

I can't remember my exact wording, but I said something to the effect that while this particular classmates perception may have changed, many people still treat people with tattoos as if they were criminals. Well this sent my professor on a tirade about tattoos, and how people who get them are craving attention, and that tattoos are a form of acting out that is the most dangerous because unlike dying your hair or dressing "weird" tattoos are permanent. I just nodded, and let her say her piece. She continued on to say that she realizes that people with tattoos can be intelligent, productive members of society, but since her generation typically is "anti" tattoo, and they are the generation that will be "doing the hiring", she doesn't understand why people would get tattoos thereby rendering themselves "unemployable". Again, I didn't say much. She went even further to tell a story about a student she had, a few semesters ago, who was covered in tattoos, and seemed to be pretty "dumb" (her words). However, upon reading the student's papers, she realized that the girl was actually extremely bright, but a little shy. Once she opened up the professor was floored by how brilliant she actually was. She's not surprised, however, to see that this girl is still working at the college, because she "probably can't get a job anywhere else".

The amount of absurdity in her entire argument made me laugh (internally). I didn't argue with her, because I know better than to argue with someone that is set in their ways, and who will be giving me a grade. But if I had been able to discuss it further, without my grade being affected, I would have posed the following questions to her.

  1. Why, in a class about being judgement-free in our interactions with other people, is it OK to judge people based on a lifestyle choice? It's wrong to judge someone based on them being disabled, or their skin color, but it's o to judge someone for intentionally having multi-colored skin?
  2. How does she know that this young lady didn't aspire to be working at a college? Who are you to judge the quality of her life, her decision of employment, or to assume that it was all dependent upon her tattoos?
  3. Do you think I'm unemployable? I can easily put on a long sleeve shirt, and fit the mold of what the older generation feels is "professional". I am more than capable of performing well in whatever career path I chose. Do my tattoos render me useless? Can I collect disability for that? (a joke, a joke)
  4. Are you forgetting that my generation will be the one to take care of your generation at some point? Don't you think it would be wise to treat us well? (Not a threat, but a serious consideration since the class is about 'reaping what you sow" and how to effectively improve relationships)
I was astounded. I mean, clearly I realize that I will be judged for being tattooed. I realize that some people may be offended, and will expect me to cover them up for work. I was smart enough to get tattoos that are easily covered up for such occasions. I just expected a professor, especially teaching this class, to be a little bit more open-minded.

I kind of wish nothing had been said about me, so that once the semester was over I could finally reveal my "rebellious" ways, and prove to her that my skin has no breaking whatsoever on my ability to learn, connect with people, interact with people, and be an effective and productive member of society, provided that people to prejudge me based solely on my skin ornamentation. 

photo courtsey of stock.xchng

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I realize that today is 9/11, and this may seem like a tasteless post. However, I took some time to reflect this morning, and I decided that the best way that I can honor those that were taken from us, and those that continue to fight for our freedom, is to keep on living in the face of adversity. I want to maintain a sense of normalcy in a world that will never be the same.

I had a "girls night", of sorts, on Friday night. Heather and I were once like sisters. We lived together for a period, worked together, and spent nearly everyday together. Due to a combination of bad feelings, and life decisions, our friendship came to an abrupt halt a little over a year ago. It was tough for me to get over, but I was being stubborn, and i think that she'll agree that she can be just as stubborn as I am. I think we both made mistakes, and we finally decided to put the past away recently and grab dinner.

Well dinner led to plans to go to the Brimfield fair. Since Heather lives in Boston, we decided it made more sense for her to come sleep over and then we'd wake up early and head to Brimfield. We were supposed to chat about accounting homework, and eat treats on Friday night, but life found a way to make us sit around and polish off a bottle of wine while chatting about boys, life and other gossipy topics. In true "girls night" fashion, we sat around for hours chatting and catching up. I even managed to squeeze an apology in there. It was time to own up to my mistakes, and my unfair treatment of a good friend.

At any rate, we woke up at 7am after having gone to bed at 2am. I can't tell you the last time I stayed up till 2 am drinking wine and chatting with a gal pal. I put my best foot forward, though. My tummy was NOT happy, but a greasy breakfast sandwich helped a little. We were SO not prepared for just how large Brimfield really is. We arrived at 8 am, and walked around for about three hours. We didn't really have a plan in mind. Neither of us was there in search of anything, but just wanted to see what it was all about.

We both agreed that next year, we need to come with a plan and some cash that we tuck away throughout the year! There were so many treasures; so many DIY projects just waiting to be taken home. The clothes... holy shit the clothes. I couldn't even bring myself to pick through them because I wanted to take them all home. There was a  powder blue sweater dress similar to the one that Pee Wee wears in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure", I definitely had to stop myself from buying it.

Next year I want to go for two days. One day focus on clothes, and the next on the other stuff. There were a few booths FULL of vintage Pyrex & Fiesta ware. There was tons of vintage shoes, hats and other accessories. My favorite booth, however, had a variety of tie-dyed dresses. Tons of vintage style dresses, with a dark tie-dye pattern. I realize how awful it sounds, but it was AMAZING. I had a tough time walking away. I wanted them all. I didn't dare peek at the price tags. The furniture was like something out of a dream, with price tags that ran the gamut.  You could find a fixer-upper Victorian style couch for $10, or a completely restored vintage hutch that would make you weak in the knees for a couple thousand dollars.

My thrifting adventures for the next few weekends will be focusing on finding myself a vintage wool cloche, maybe a good coat, and some boots for sure. Suggestions, friends?

Monday, September 5, 2011


This weekend was filled with all of my favorite things. Friday was spent riding bikes, making music, snuggling, ended with a hair appointment! I love my new hair. Short again, brunette again. All is right with the world. Show at the park on Saturday which meant that Lucas got to spend the night with his cousins. Good music, good friends, good cause. I left very happy. Yesterday we slept in extra late until Lucas came home, then we all snuggled in our bed and watched a movie for a little while. We had our weekly "breakfast" date with Nono, which is really like lunch because it's at 11:30. We followed it up with a small bike ride. Lucas fell asleep in the car as soon as we got back in, so we just drove around chatting and looking for skate spots. We got a tasty treat, and then headed home so Lucas could "nap". That didn't happen, so eventually we went out and grabbed dinner and ran some errands.

It was a weekend full of simple pleasures. We had some adult time, though we were working. We had some really good family time. It was nice to get back to basics, and remember how we got started as a couple. We genuinely enjoy each other's company, even during mundane errands. Something as simple as a bike ride can reinvigorate our relationship, and bring us closer together. A leisurely car ride through our town, peeking around industrial parks and other rarely seen places can spark conversations about everything and nothing.

I'm looking forward to our anniversary next Monday, and John's birthday the following Monday. We are right where we need to be, looking forward to a fun fall.
"Fall Drizzle" - Leonid Afremov

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Reflections on a tough week

Last night was the candlelight vigil for Matthew Denice. I assisted with the organization of the event by making a Facebook event page, sending it to the appropriate people, and coordinating the donation/purchase of candles. My step-sister-in-law, Theresa, also helped me. Together we bought 840 candles, and paper cups. We purchased a few of the candles and cups, and used donations from friends for the rest. When we set up our table, we also received 5-6 bags of tea-lights, and 4 16-count boxes of tapered candles. We used every last one.

I was amazed and touched by amount of love and support. There were well over 1,000 people in attendance. There was a bike run, that passed the vigil and went on to the accident site. I'm told that Matt's parents were at the crash site when the bikes went past. I'm not sure if that was the case. Either way, it was a beautiful gesture and sign of respect for a fallen fellow biker. There was also a group of teenagers that skateboarded, single file, to the vigil.

My husband is part of both the biker community and the skateboard community. I was extremely touched by the gestures of respect and support by both groups. I tried to fight back the tears as the bikes went by, but I wasn't strong enough. It was so emotional for me. My poor son was even upset, because Mommy was crying, and the bikes were loud, and he obviously didn't understand. He was all smiles, however, when he saw his Nono (grandfather) and Daddy on their bikes. I didn't see them, but he did. He yelled "Daddy!".

I didn't personally know Matthew Denice, and I caught a little bit of internet heat for helping to plan the vigil. Apparently some people found it inappropriate that I offered to help. Here is my thought process: I thought that by taking one thing off the list of "things to do", I would be doing my part. I felt that as a part of this community, I would do what I could to support his family. I did what I thought was right. I heard nothing but supportive words at the vigil itself.

Last night made me proud to live in Milford. I had a tough time coming here from the "townie" town that I grew up in. I didn't feel like there was a real sense of community here. My mind has been changed. I'm proud to be a member of a community that will rally around it's members, and support them in their time of need. With that being said, I'm saddened to see the level of hate and intolerance that has emerged toward immigrants in our town.

While I understand that there are fundamental flaws in our immigration system in Massachusetts, that is not a basis to treat people unfairly. The fact of the matter is that drunk driving was the direct cause of this tragedy. I realize that this particular immigrant had been in trouble before, but his immigration status was not a direct cause of this incident. I wholeheartedly believe that he should have been deported prior to this incident, but it was his decision to drink and get behind the wheel that I take the most issue with.

I live in a neighborhood that is most immigrants. I have no idea what their immigration status is, and I honestly don't care. Most of them are great people. They walk around the neighborhood, and they say hello. They smile as they pass. They are respectful of our home, and we are respectful of theirs. I can tell you with 100% certainty that they are afraid to come out of their homes after the hatred that has been thrown at them in the wake of this horrible tragedy. They fear for their lives, and that is injustice. It sickens me.

I certainly hope that the loss of this young man's life does not turn into a illegal immigrant witch hunt. My most sincere hope is that his family is able to find the peace and support that they need during this time. I hope that the community continues to support them, and to honor Matthew's memory. I will certainly be keeping him in my mind. I pass by the accident site every day, and my heart aches.

Rest in the sweetest peace, Matthew Denice. You've left a lasting impression on this town, and you will never be forgotten.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sad days in Milford

On Thursday, I was blessed to spend the day with my Mother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews and my son. I was surrounded by love, and support. Our family was doing what it does best - rallying to support each other. My mother-in-law had dental work, and my sister-in-law and I were helping to drive her car home, get her settled, and trek back with all of our kids. We were showing our children how a loving family supports one another. While we were busy teaching our kids about love, a 14 year old boy in the town we live in committed suicide. He ended his life because of bullying.

On Saturday, we spent the day as a family. We went to the beach with our son. We rushed home to get ready for "cousins night" - a revival of a family tradition from my husband's childhood. We spent the night eating, and celebrating the blessing we all have. My husband, his two sisters, three cousins, and their respective spouses and children all got together to just enjoy each other's company. While sat around a beautiful outdoor fireplace, reminiscing and making new memories, a 23-year old young man's life was taken by a drunk driver just around the corner from our home.

I sit in my living room as I type this, and my heart aches. I can not process these tragedies. You hear about these things happening, and you always think that it's somewhere else. This is happening in my backyard, and in yours. There is only one way to stop these awful things, and the answer is community. Period.

If this community had rallied, and been more aware of the bullying of a 14 year-old boy, he might still be with us. If this community had rallied and demanded that unlicensed individuals be punished at their first offense, a 23 year old man would still be with us. I'm not writing this to talk about the politics of illegal immigration. My opinion is just that, an opinion. I just feel that if this town, this state, this country, had a sense of community, tragedies like these could be averted more often.

I realize that senseless tragedies and accidents happen. I just would like to work toward a better tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Potty training Day 1

I should have titled this "Let's hope the house doesn't catch on fire..."

We bought Lucas his first package of underpants on Wednesday, and decided that since the forecast for Friday looked so rainy and yucky, we would try them then. We knew we'd be home for most, if not all, of the day. I wanted to be sure not to keep flip-flopping.

So we woke up bright and early at 8am this morning. (This is early for our house. Lucas usually sleep till 9-9:30) I decided that since I was up, I might as well face the day with some ambition. So before even having breakfast I took off his diaper, and put on his underpants. He was so excited because he had picked them out himself, and they were "Choo Choo Tom!" (aka Thomas the Tank Engine). I bought waterproof undies to go over them, but he hated them. I mean HATED them. So they lasted about 30 seconds.

I'm happy to report that Lucas had a total of 3 "accidents", but they were all just tiny dribbles. Never even left the underpants! I was so impressed. He did, however, poop in his diaper as SOON as we put it on for nap. But hey, he's only 2!

I kept him in just underpants, or an underpants/t-shirt combo all day for a few reasons. First, I wanted him to see, feel, and understand that underpants were different than diapers. Also, I wanted to be able to see if he was wet, even just a little, to try to keep on top of it. I also wanted to eliminate the million pairs of shorts I would potentially need to launder.

In the spirit of "leading by example" I also spent the day in a t-shirt/undies combo. With the curtains open. In my very cramped neighborhood. What was I thinking?!? It was a long t-shirt, but still. I do a lot of bending throughout the day. Hopefully no one was peeking! And thank goodness the house didn't catch on fire. We would have been the underpants family!

Monday, August 15, 2011

RIP Freddie Fishy

Well, as I think I mentioned, we bought Lucas his first fishy as birthday present. We bought it to help us with our nighttime routine. And it worked. Oh, except that recently the fish had been sinking to the bottom and laying there for a few minutes at a time before swimming around again.

After 4-5 days of this, I figured Freddie was on his way to a better place, and I had every intention of going out and getting a replacement so that I could swap them out without Lucas noticing. Life got in the way, and I forgot. John did a lot of the bedtime stuff for the past few days, and when I got Lucas this morning, Freddie had left us.

So today, John ran some errands with Lucas while I ran to Petco to get Freddie 2.0. My plan was to sneak home and clean the tank and replace Freddie. Well, then I remembered that I forgot to buy spring water, and I suspect that Milford's heavily chlorinated water is what did in Freddie 1.0. So I had to wait until tonight, when Lucas is here.

I feel like it's a little early in life to try to explain death to the poor kid. I mean, he will NOT get it, and he doesn't need to at this point. So I let him "help" me clean the tank, like we do every week. He sits on the toilet and watches me clean away. His "job" is to keep an eye on Freddie in his little bowl while I clean the tank. Well this time he was watching a very dead fish "sleeping" on the bottom of the bowl. I told him to wait just a minute, and I would try to wake Freddie up. I made the swap in the other room, and he was none the wiser.

I feel a little guilty about lying to him, but I know I did the right thing. Here's hoping that Freddie 2.0 lives a little longer than his predecessor.

photo via

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I've been sick since Saturday night. I woke up on Sunday feeling just plain yucky. I was supposed to go to The Garment District with Heather, and I was going to tough through it because I NEVER make plans, so I really didn't want to reschedule because of a sore throat. I was thoroughly relieved, however, when she suggested that we reschedule due to the torrential rain.
I did still go to John's show with him, which was also in Boston, but we left fairly early, and we missed most of the show after he played because I dragged him to the nearest Chinese food restaruant to get egg drop soup. John's drummer (and very close family friend) Jake was kind enough to offer to go buy us both some tea too. His girlfriend, Nicole, works at Tealuxe, and hooked me up with some delicious Mango Tea. I was in heaven. She also treated me to 4 varieties of loose tea leaves to bring home. Very generous, and quite appreciated!
We got home, and neither of us could get out of bed on Monday. Lucas was also a little under the weather, which actually made it a LITTLE easier. We all had to muster up some strength to go get new tires on the minivan, so that we could drive to my doctor's office for a strep culture. We made it, but after 3 hours out of the house, the three of us climbed into our bed and watched a movie. We all fell asleep, Lucas played on the floor for a little bit before I realized the he can't sleep with us anymore, so I put him in his crib. We all woke up around 5 pm. Yup... we slept from 1pm to 5pm, and we were miserable. I made my own homemade egg drop soup, which was delish, and I added extra ginger to help boost my recovery.
Well, John woke up and felt fairly functional today, I do not. I still am miserable. Lucas seems to be back to normal other than a runny nose and post-nasal-drip-induced cough.
Anway, in the spirit of trying to feel better, I am going to jot down a list of all the things that have improved my  mood and possibly helped!

  1. Lucas singing and dancing to Till The World Ends by Britney Spears. It's been his favorite song for quite some time, but it still cracks me up.
  2. When falling asleep watching a movie with Lucas & John, my love handle was ever-so-attractively exposed. Lucas reached over and rubbed his little hand over me, just like I do to soothe him. It was enough to nearly make me cry. Such a big boy taking care of his Mama.
  3. Egg Drop Soup - I love it. It's a recent obsession of mine. I'm so glad I looked up how to make it, because it is easy as pie. That saying should be changed, some pie isn't easy!
  4. Movie nights and late night pizza with John - John is tough to deal with when he's sick. He falls hard, and is pretty much useless, so I was glad that he bounced back quickly, and I'm very grateful that he has taken such good care of me. He even got Dominos pizza at 11 pm for me. Don't judge, we were hungry after our marathon naps! 
  5. My dog is the world's best companion. Seriously. She didn't know what to do this time, though. We've never ALL been sick at the same time, and she wasn't sure who to snuggle, so she went from person to person, sharing her snuggles with us all. She's so cute!
  6. A hot shower followed by a nicely chilled a/c'd room. It was perfect! The shower would ease my achy body, and then I would cool off in my bed. 
  7. Tea! I haven't tried the teas that Nicole gave me yet, because I couldn't bear to stand long enough to put the loose tea leaves in the bags, so it's been mostly D&D's tea, but there's nothing that feels better on a sore throat. 
What helps you feel better? Honestly, I feel like a little love makes all the difference to me.