July 2014
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One of Those Days

Sooooo you know it’s gonna be a great day when it starts at 4am. With your toddler screaming. And you go to check on her and she smells vaguely like (spoilered for the squeamish) puke .

As far as I can tell: she woke up, freaked out a little (because we messed with her schedule over the weekend and then her Dad went on a business trip), and had a little (spoilered again) stress-induced dry-heaving .

(If daycare calls, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.)

(I checked her temperature and everything.)

So now it’s 4am, my kid’s room smells all funky, but I can’t figure out where the smell is coming from. So, I did what any loving parent would have done… I picked her up and plopped her down in bed with me. And let her kick me for the next 2 hours. And tell me about her baby doll. And then kick me some more.

Basically, what I’m saying is this: I got up at 4am today.

Family emergency? Check . Husband out of town? Check. Complete and utter sleep deprivation? Check. Crazy busy at work? Check. Let’s just say that on a scale of 1 to “Best Day I Ever Had,” today didn’t really make it to 5.

But! When the going gets tough, the tough say “fuck it, let’s get a pizza and watch a movie.” Which is how Lilian and I ended up on the couch eating pineapple pizza and watching Cinderella. Our PS3 (aka our Blu-Ray player) broke a long time ago and I haven’t bothered to fix it, so I went so far as to hook up an old DVD player for that shit.

What? You don’t have spare DVD players kicking around your basement? All I can say is, you must not be AV professionals with hoarding-like tendencies.

We had Cinderella on VHS when we were kids. We must have watched it a lot , because it was like an old friend. You know, the kind you haven’t talked to in 10 years, but she friends you on Facebook, and then she’s going to be in town, so you agree to meet up for drinks. And all of a sudden you’re swapping stories about shit you would never have remembered about when you were younger.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: I remembered all of Gus-Gus’s lines. All of them . Also, I hope I didn’t just accidentally indoctrinate my daughter into the Cult of the Princess.

(That’s it! We’re playing more hockey this weekend!)

This week has been pretty trying for me. I think I’m doing a decent job of muddling through it, so I guess that’s something. After our special night of pizza and a movie, Lilian still threw an epic fit when it was time for bed. She’s having a trying week too, and she was probably just as over-tired as I am. I was proud of the fact that I managed to keep my cool with her. I find it’s easier to stay calm when I know why she’s flipping out… and she’s had plenty of reasons to flip out the past few nights. I can’t say that I always handle her fits with grace and aplomb, but I managed to stay calm enough to help her settle down. And that’s good enough for me.

Kristian gets back tonight! And I am going to sleep in the guest room in the attic for a few nights so that nothing can interrupt my sleep. I can’t wait!


Kissing Auntie’s Boo-Boos

Saturday afternoon, my sister Allison was in a bike accident.

She’s going to be fine , but it’s been a stressful couple of days around here. Any time your little sister cracks her shoulder and elbow into itty bitty pieces and then needs surgery to put them all back together… Well, let’s just say those aren’t going to be your best days and leave it at that.

(The surgery went great, btw.)

Allison has been training for the Pan Mass Challenge and she was out on a training ride when it happened. Luckily, she was wearing a helmet, so her noggin is completely ok. It’s a little scary to think about what might have been if she wasn’t wearing a helmet, so none of us is going there.

A good chunk of the family converged on the Yale hospital Sunday to look out for her.

Our contribution? Hello Kitty stickers and kisses for her boo-boos.

(I don’t care how old you are, stickers and kisses make just about any boo-boo feel better.)

Allison was tired (and in a lot of pain), but we did take her on a quick jaunt to the hospital’s healing garden. Lilian led the way, walking her ducky  and chanting “Ducky! Auntie! Walkies!” We were the world’s weirdest parade, but we got quite a few smiles (mostly from nurses and orderlies). Hospitals aren’t exactly the happiest of places, so I’m glad that we could bring my sister a little bit of cheer.

Hospitals are also teeming with germs. Which is something that I’ve always understood on an intellectual level… but which I now understand on a much more visceral level after watching my child touch everything in sight and then put her hands all over her face and into her mouth. Let’s just say I said a lot of silent prayers that she stick to the cold virus and avoid MRSA.

(I sometimes joke at work about having a touch of the OCD, but we seriously got home and attempted to sterilize everything that she came into contact with on Sunday.)

(And, no, I don’t think it was over-kill.)

(Also, hooray for toddlers who pick machine-washable dolls as their lovies.)

Oh, yeah, and then there was that time we bought her a cookie for being such a good sport and she proceeded to:

1. drop part of the cookie
2. pick up the cookie piece
3. shove the cookie piece into her mouth before Kristian could grab it

She either gave her immune system a hell of a jolt, or we’re going to have fun times trying to figure out where exactly she picked up hepatitis.

(New Haven is not exactly known for being the cleanest of places.)

Can I get a silent round of applause for my husband, BTW? Because, by my reckoning, he spent approximately 17,456 hours driving in the car on Sunday. And he never once complained. Or took me up on my offers to do some of the driving. He left for a business trip yesterday, so he had a lot of stuff to do on Sunday (like, I dunno, pack ), but he took one for the team and made the trek with me. Which meant that I didn’t have to spend 17,456 hours driving. And I had him there for emotional support.

It also meant that Allison got to have some kisses and songs from Lilian, but then Kristian could take her on a walk down the hall when it started to get over-whelming.

It also meant that he got to be the one riding the clutch in my car as we sat in traffic for over an hour while I-84 slowly tapered down from 3 lanes… to 2 lanes… to 1 lane… to the shoulder…

(No signs, btw. Freaking Nutmeg State .)

We did get to watch an amazing piece of human drama unfold as a couple of truckers worked together to box out a bunch of assholes who were trying to cut everybody off by zooming down the breakdown lane. One guy pulled hallway onto the shoulder, the other guy pulled up to the first guy’s left bumper. Between the two of them, they forced everyone who was driving 50mph in the shoulder like an asshole to slow down to a reasonable speed.

(Driving 50mph in the breakdown lane is freaking dangerous . Especially when you know there is construction up ahead and you don’t know which lane its in.)

We didn’t get home until well past 11pm. Kristian was able to transfer Lilian to bed fairly easily, but I think we got her good and sleep-deprived just in time for him to go out of town for three days. Yay?

Allison had surgery on Monday, and I’m told that it went well. I spent most of the day staring at the clock and my phone, doing mental math about how much time she had left. I was just about ready to lose the rest of my sad little mind when my brother-in-law texted to give us all the good news. And then I remembered how nice it is to breathe!

She still has a lot of  hurt and healing ahead of her, but I have no doubt that my sister is going to come through this stronger than she started. Wise-cracking the whole time. And, hey, if you have a couple bucks, I know it would cheer her up if you could help her hit her fundraising goal.  She’s not going to be riding across Massachusetts anytime soon, but it’s the principle of the thing, dammit.



My Mom was out of town yesterday, so a buddy from work and his wife were kind enough to take Lilian for the day. She had a great time playing with their two boys, and they kept me up to date all day with pictures and videos of the kids all playing together.

(Note to self: Lilian loves Spider Man.)

(And now she also loves climbing on things.)


I stopped on the way back to their place to pick up pizza for the kids and salads for us moms by way of a thank you (my buddy was working the evening shift). We had a nice little dinner together and then the kids played some more. “What a nice evening this is,” I thought.

(Famous last thoughts.)

And then…. my phone rang. It was Kristian. Calling to let me know that a transformer near our house caught fire and that a good chunk of the neighborhood was without power. I will give you exactly one guess as to wether or not that chunk included our house.

(I’ll give you a hint, my phone chose that very moment to beep at me that I was down to 10% battery life. And I stayed to top it up a bit.)

(Also, noooooooooooooooo!!!!)

Lilian and I made our way back home, only to discover that a bunch of the neighbors had congregated up the street to discuss the situation and to commiserate. We all had a good chuckle about the power company’s estimate that we’d have power back on in an hour (spoiler alert: we totally did not have power back on in an hour). Everyone was complaining about how hot their houses were without any AC on. I very proudly announced that Kristian had just installed a screen door on our 2nd floor deck, so we were going to be able to open up some windows and doors, create a cross-breeze, and it was going to be awesome.

(Famous last words.)

You know what helps with cross-breezes? Ceiling fans. You know what helps with ceiling fans? Electricity . The house wasn’t as stifling as it could have been, but it was not exactly pleasant. Or getting any more pleasanter.

Lilian was tired and cranky from being kept out so late (we stayed at our friends’ house as long as possible in order to take advantage of the fact that it didn’t feel like a swamp in there). Putting her to bed in the dark as she melted down was just all kinds of extra special fun. All I can say is…. at least her night light has a battery in it.

I sat on the sunporch crocheting until the sun went down. And then I sat on the front porch crocheting with a headlamp on. It was almost an adventure, if you forget the part where our house was getting more and more swamp-like.

Also, someone had to make sure that the last drumstick in the freezer didn’t melt, so I took one for the team:


We ended up going to bed pretty early, which didn’t really help much. Because it was too hot to sleep properly. And poor Lilian kept waking up screaming. I’m not 100% sure what was going on there, but I suspect that she is not used to the swamp life.

The power came rumbling back on around 2AM Or maybe it was 4AM? Or 5AM? I have no idea, actually. The AM wake ups all started to run together. All I know is, we all got woken up a lot last night. And it is crazy loud in our house when the power comes back.

I was unable to drag my butt out of bed at a reasonable time today. Poor Lilian had to be woken up herself. We were not a happy family this morning. Lucky for me, I had the option to work from home. Which means that I’m gonna hit post on this here entry and then take a 15 minute nap. It might take the edge off.

We ended up being pretty lucky, over-all. Nothing in the fridge or freezer went bad, probably because we didn’t touch the fridge and I only opened the freezer long enough to grab my ice cream and an ice cube tray. Our neighbor had to run his generator because the water in his sump pump was getting a little too high for comfort. Kristian checked our basement and we had about 6 inches to spare. If we’d had any more rain in the last few days, it could have been problematic. We don’t have a generator. We would have probably had to deal with some flooding at that point.

(Or maybe run an extension cord from our sump pump over to the neighbor’s generator.)

(Because he’s nice like that.)

If the power goes out and the only lasting effect is that we’re all kinda exhausted the next day? That’s a win in my book. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a cat nap to take.

A Family Weekend

You know you had a great weekend when you come out on the other side with a million photos (I just had to document all the fun we had!) or exactly zero photos (we were having so much fun, I forgot I had my phone and my camera in my purse!).

This was one of those weekends where I left all my electronic gadgets alone. I think those are probably the best weekends.

Lilian occasionally chooses to spend a Saturday morning chilling in her crib, singing songs to herself, and reading one of the many books that I strategically placed around her head the night before. Unfortunately, Lilian chose a morning (Saturday) when we had plans to grab an early breakfast with some friends.

(Let’s be honest here, it’s never unfortunate when your child decides to let you sleep past 8am).

Famous last words: “We don’t need to set an alarm, because the toddler is going to wake us up anyways.”

Luckily, our friends also have a tiny human who wakes up early on the weekends. So, they were totally cool with waiting an extra half hour or so while we all put pants on.

I know blogs about food are usually incredibly boring, but if you have a chance to eat at La Qchara , you really need to avail yourself of the opportunity. They’re kid-friendly, and the food is unbelievably tasty. The service was a little slow (you order at the counter and our friends were already finished eating by the time our good was up), but Lilian was a good sport about it and I only cried a little bit about how hungry I was.

After brunch, we headed back home, packed up the car, and headed off to Connecticut for my grandmother’s surprise 85th birthday party. My aunt graciously hosted the whole shebang in her backyard, and it was just loverly. My grandmother was well and truly surprised, and she was very much happy to see us all. She cried when she realized that her best friend was there (they don’t get to see each other very much at all). Lilian and my cousin’s almost-five-year-old daughter played together for most of the afternoon.

My contribution to the event was to hire a photographer to take a family photo of all of us together and to get some candids in as well. Hopefully, I will have some pictures to share with you later this week. He showed me one photo of Lilian and her cousin playing in the grass that made my heart melt into itty bitty tiny pieces.

We usually stay with my Grandmother when we’re in the area, but I’m pretty sure the jig would have been up had we asked to stay the night ahead of time. So, we made plans with my sister…. to leave our child at her house and go spend the night at a hotel.


If 8:15am had felt decadent the day before, sleeping in until 10am seemed practically obscene . But there were no complaints from this corner. There weren’t even any complaints from my sisters when we got back home and were informed that Lilian woke everyone up around 5:30am.

(My family is pretty ok, if’n you ask me about it.)

Us: “Hey guys…. uhhh… where’s our kid?”

Sister: “An hour ago, she crawled halfway up the stairs, put her head down, and then said ‘night-night’ so we figured it was nap time.”

Us: “Wow,  she usually doesn’t go down for a nap until like half an hour from now.”

Sister: “Well, she did wake up at 5:30, soooo….”

(Alrighty, my family is very ok.)

Lilian woke up around noon, which is around the time we were planning on heading home with her napping in the backseat. But you can’t argue with sleeping until 10am. You really can’t . So, we just kinda went with it. Instead of heading home right away, we made our way over to the Coventry Farmers Market. Which, as far as I can tell, is where every single person in Connecticut who has a tattoo brings their small children and their dogs on Sundays during the summer.

I will also tell you that there were a lot of vegetables on offer, but we pretty much availed ourselves of the food trucks, lemonade, and apple cider donuts.

Lilian fed an alpaca. Or, as she like to call it, “packa!”

(She used to say “kitty!” whenever I put her alpaca shirt on, dashing all my hopes and dreams of sending her to Harvard.)

We normally listen to podcasts on long car rides, but I tried to put one on and Lilian yelled “Nooooo! New soooooong!” from the backseat. Sorry, Terry Gross, she’s just not a fan.

You have no idea how long it takes to drive from Coventry, CT back to the Boston area until you are forced to forgo podcasts in favor of the musical tastes of a tiny tyrant.

(I’ll give you a hint: there’s enough time to listen to They Might Be Giants greatest hits with plenty of time leftover for the Frozen soundtrack. In its entirety. Twice .)

(I think we may have unintentionally bent the space/time continuum on our way back home.)

It was approximately a million degrees at our house when we got back, so we set up a slip and slide in the backyard. Lilian looooves the slip and slide. And by “slip and slide” I mean “watching mama throw herself down the slip and slide like a mad woman while yelling ‘again! again’ and clapping.” What she does not love so much? Touching the slip and slide. Going near the slip and slide. The very idea that she might participate in slip and slide related shenanigans.

(My knees will never be the same again.)

(But it was like a bazillion degrees outside and it kept us both entertained while Kristian cleaned my car out.)

(Worth it!)

As with any good weekend, I feel like I need another weekend to recover. Lucky for me, I have Thursday and Friday off. Happy birthday, America!



*Tap tap*

Is this thing on?

I was not planning on taking the summer off. In fact, I’ve been blogging since my last post showed up around Memorial Day.

( Infrequently blogging, but I was still blogging! I swear!)

It’s just that the only time I have for blogging is late at night. So, I write posts up, and then I schedule them to publish the next  day. Except, it took me all this time to realize that they weren’t actually posting.

I am…. maybe not so observant these days?

And here I thought that nobody commented because nobody was reading anymore. I suppose it’s still possible that nobody is reading anymore, but I guess I also didn’t give anybody a chance.

This post? Also scheduled. But I installed a plugin. So maybe you’ll be reading this? I sure hope so!