Thanksgiving Roundup

1. I did not lose 5 pounds by Thanksgiving. However, I’m fairly certain I gained 5 pounds in turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie alone.

2. The trip to my parents house went fairly well. We borrowed my mother-in-law’s Subaru Forrester in an attempt to gain ourselves some cargo space and passenger room only to find out that we probably could have done as well in our Honda Accord. It was a rather cozy 6 hours each way in the car with four people (two in carseats) and a dog. It was the one and only time I’ve wished that I had a minivan.

It was nice to visit with the my parents and they enjoyed seeing the kids. Maggie got some vet work done by my Dad and is now the proud owner of two gaps in her teeth (she had to have two teeth removed) and a row of stitches on her right hip/flank area (she had a cyst removed). She’s a happier dog, though, so I can only assume that her mouth was bothering her even though we had no idea the two teeth needed removal.

I was sick for the first portion of the visit with a nasty cold that left me hacking, nearly voiceless, and choking on my own snot (yeah, you needed that image, eh?). Just about the time that I started feeling better Scot came down with a NASTY migraine and the following day started showing symptoms of my cold. Dude, he cannot catch a break.

Jamie did about as well as I expected him to do with the interruption of his schedule and the necessity of sleeping in the same room as me. Which is to say, not great, not horrendous, but definitely not what I see at home. I’m glad to be home but I know I’m going to spend the next week re-training him to sleep at night.

Liam spent most of his time hanging with Puppa and running himself ragged with the Maggie and Archie (the dogs – Archie is my parents’ Cavalier King Charles spaniel). I think he wanted to take Archie home with us – or better yet, just stay there and never come home again. 😛

3. I attended my 15 year high school reunion while I was in Michigan. I, unfortunately, only got to stay for about an hour because Jamie had a complete meltdown at home which neither my mother nor my husband could calm so I was called home to deal with him. But, it was nice to see people, they were all really nice to me – even going so far as to offer me hugs in greeting – and it was obvious that my nerves over the event weren’t justified. I know that I’ve changed since high school and it’s obvious that most of them have as well. So, the rotten treatment I received at the hands of some of these people is just not important anymore. Now that it’s over, I’m kind of bummed that I couldn’t stay longer and that even if I could have, I would not have been able to stay out until the wee hours since I have a baby who is still nursing and needed to drive 6 hours the next day. I’m hoping I’ll be able to make the 20th reunion when the kids will be a bit older and I’ll have a longer leash. 🙂

4. It is so good to be home. I’m reveling in the quiet of two kids in bed, the husband headed there himself because of his cold, the dog sleeping on her cushion, and the rain on the roof.

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Thursday Thirteen: The Thankful Edition

(I know it’s a few hours early but you’re getting it anyway)

1. I am thankful for my husband, without whom I would not have survived the last year. Between pregnancy and then a newborn, I was ready to give up on more than one occasion. Scot picked me back up again.

2. I am thankful for Liam, who makes me laugh, gives the best hugs around, and FINALLY sleeps through the night.

3. I am thankful for Jamie’s safe arrival and for his presence in our lives. He completes our family and is one giant ball of cute.

4. I am thankful for our medical professionals. They have seen us through wrist surgery, physical therapy, pregnancy, childbirth, infant reflux, headaches, and lots of other stuff. We’d be lost without them.

5. I am thankful for Scot’s job which allows me to stay home with our kids while they’re little. I know I complain about my lot in life sometimes but I wouldn’t trade it – these years are few and short but what they get from me being home lasts far longer.

6. I am thankful for our extended family who have supported us immeasurably over the last year in more ways than I can name.

7. I am thankful our friends. Living in a toddler-driven world, they are my life line even if it is just over the internet.

8. I am thankful for Liam’s pre-school teacher, Miss Christa. She’s been his teacher for two years now and she does a great job nurturing his thirst to learn. Because of her, Liam will be more than ready for Kindergarten next fall.

9. I am thankful for jewelry insurance. It’s a little thing but without it I would never have been able to replace my wedding rings when I foolishly lost them earlier this year.

10. I am thankful for the internet. It may sound stupid but without the wonders of technology I would not be able to keep in touch with almost anyone. I’m isolated enough as it is, the internet keeps complete obscurity at bay.

11. I am thankful for Mucinex, Sudafed PE, and, Advil. I have a rotten cold for Thanksgiving this year and they’re making it slightly more bearable.

12. I am thankful to be spending the holiday surrounded by people I love and who love me in return. I can think of at least two families going through their first holiday after the loss of a child and I am grateful beyond measure that I am not in their shoes. I also wish them strength this season.

13. I am thankful.

It’s A Thanksgiving Miracle

Let me be frank. (Hi, Frank!)

People think that stay-at-home-parents have all the time in the world to take care of stuff because they don’t work outside the home. Well, I beg to differ. I’ve lived the single, no children/married, no children lifestyle, too. Trust me, it was easier. It is beyond hard to keep a house clean and neat whilst having small children. Admittedly it is easier for some people because they are, by nature, better at keeping a clean house. I know that I am not one of those people and that the war against squalor is an uphill battle for me.

There are any number of reasons I find it hard. The principal ones go by the names of Liam and Jamie. They generally go behind me and undo everything I’ve done in about 3.2 nanoseconds. Jamie is also reaching the stage wherein I must watch him with eagle eyes every second that he is awake lest he try to swallow a Lego. So, accomplishing even small tasks can be quite difficult for me because I’m still working my way into multi-tasking with two kids. I have this sneaking suspicion that I’m as competent at it as I will ever become because it just doesn’t get better than this no matter who you are.*

I say all this so that you can appreciate what an accomplishment it is for me that I completed ALL my weekly chores last week. I still didn’t get them done in the Mon-Fri window I had them scheduled for and had to spend a large part of the day yesterday doing things I hadn’t gotten around to. But, even so this is no small feat for me.

Don’t get me wrong, the house is by no means spotless. And I still can’t find the remote to the TV. (ARGH!) But the bathrooms are clean, the carpets are vacuumed, the kitchen is clean, the surfaces are dusted, we have groceries, and the laundry is done. I managed to cook dinner almost every night, too. (Also, a HUGE accomplishment.)

I still have a long way to go to become a Domestic Diva and I’m still working on all these things becoming habits so that it seems like less of a chore all the time. But when I look at the list of all the things I do around here OTHER than childcare, I feel like Superwoman.

I honestly don’t know how women who work get it all done. They are the true Superwomen.

———————

*unless you have live in help.

You Be The Judge

If you haven’t picked up on it already, we’re nerds/geeks/dweebs in this house and we love Star Wars. There is a certain little person by the name of Liam who is obsessed. We even dressed our kids up as Star Wars characters for Halloween, going so far as to make the baby Darth Vader.

So imagine our glee when we received a flier in the mail from a certain store that allows you make and dress your own stuffed animal and that flier told us that they were carrying Star Wars bears this holiday season. Yes, indeed. Darth Vader. Storm Trooper. Jedi Knight. Anakin Skywalker. All as bears. The juxtaposition is hilarious.

Well, we took one look at this flier and decided that Santa was bringing bears this year.

So, one day this week we trotted off to the store, bought the bears, got the outfits needed (which is a story in and of itself) and came home to hide our booty. This afternoon while Liam was at his grandparents’ house and Jamie was napping I dug them out in order to put their outfits on them.

We bought the Jedi Knight for Liam. It’s like a little Obi-Wan complete with light saber. The damn thing is ridiculously cute and the hood of the outer robe even has slits in it for the bear’s ears. We put Liam in his Halloween costume and hand him this bear and it will be a Kodak moment for the ages.

And, of course, we purchased Darth Vader for Jamie since that’s what he was for Halloween. I pulled out the bear and started dressing him in the Vader outfit and I kept thinking to myself “this is getting kinkier than I would like.” The material the outfit is made out of has a slightly vinyl like exterior to it and it fits the bear VERY snugly. To the point of it being difficult to dress the bear. When it came time to put the “helmet” portion on the bear it became too much for me. All this bear needs is a ball gag and we’re in the BDSM business.

I give you the bear:

So, you tell me. Darth Vader or BDSM?

It All Gets Better, Right?

Jamie is killing me.

His sleep is deteriorating rapidly and as usual in such cases I can’t determine the cause. At least not easily. It could be reflux. It could be teething. It could be developmental. It could be all three. It could be none of these. I’ve switched his medication schedule around, added in some extra Mylanta for the reflux and painkillers for the teeth. He’s still a crankpot.

For most of the day today he was shrieking. If he wasn’t asleep, he would shriek. Not cry. Not wail. Not shed a single tear. Just shriek at the top of his lungs to make sure I fully understood his displeasure.

I understood. Deeply.

I know this is all temporary and that it will get better with time. I know that it won’t kill me or anyone else. I know that it’s just an unpleasant fact of life in regards to having an infant in the house. Some days it’s hard to take the long view, though.

At this rate the trip to Michigan for Thanksgiving is going to be exercise in torture and that solitary confinement cell at Gitmo is starting to look like the Ritz.

Roundup

1. Thanksgiving this year is going to involve a road trip. We’re headed north to my parents’ place. We haven’t seen them for Thanksgiving (or any other holiday, really) since I was pregnant with Liam so this should be a good trip. I’m just hoping that Jamie gets his sleep under control between now and then. Otherwise, this trip is going to suck donkey nuggets. I wonder if they’ve got any spaces open at Gitmo – it couldn’t possibly be worse than what Jamie’s been putting me through lately.

2. In conjunction with Thanksgiving, I also have my 15 year high school reunion. Let me pause a moment here while I breathe into a paper bag. *hyperventilate* Ok, all done now. Anyway, I don’t know how many people will be there and I don’t think I’ve seen a single one of them since graduation day. I’ve reconnected with one or two via Facebook but to say the least I’m a little nervous. I keep flashing back to the scene in “Grosse Pointe Blank” when John and Joan Cusack are discussing reunions.

Martin Blank: Did you go to your reunion.?
Marcella: Yes. It was just as if everyone had swelled.

Yeah. I’ve swelled. Damn baby weight.

3. Jamie, little Nero that he is, has suddenly decided that baby food from a jar? Sucks. He’s become increasingly difficult to feed even his favorite foods. Today I threw up my hands in frustration and started feeding him table foods. I watched him cover himself in avocado at lunch today. But the interesting thing is that if he has something to self-feed, he’ll eat muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch better off the spoon. Sneaky little man.

4. My mother-in-law introduced me to a new and evil cookie recipe this weekend. It’s not only dead simple it’s also sinfully good.

Cake Mix Cookies

1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup oil
2 eggs
12 oz chocolate chips

Blend cake mix, flour, oil, and eggs. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop from teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 9-11 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool on sheet for 2 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.

Voila! Scrumptiousness.

I keep looking at this recipe and finding yummy ways to vary it. Mint Chocolate Chips! Sin in a cookie, I’m telling you. Peanut Butter chips! Mmm, mmm, Good. How about a vanilla cake mix with cinnamon chips? Orgasmic!

I foresee this becoming a staple in our house. And I wonder why I swell.