Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Mommy

2010 is about to come to an end. I have been following several bloggers who have been participating in a series of prompts through the month of December encouraging discussion on such things like what you might have learned during the year, what picture of you taken during the year most defines you, how you have grown over the course of the year, how you hope to grow in the new year, etc.

I am glad I didn't participate. Not only do I not have the time, I can never answer questions like those. Too much pressure, I guess. I can't even decide what the name of my first pet was for a security question. Was it the pet I had when I was a baby but don't remember? The first pet I do remember that we got when I was two? The first pet I had as an adult? And if the latter, should it be when I was in college or married? See. I'm a mess.

But I did want to look back a little bit and think about who I was and where I was at the beginning of the year.

Truth is, I was struggling. My dad had just died and I had just come home from being with my mom and sister for a month. I was home with Little G by myself for the first time in a while and I was truly struggling. Interestingly, I don't remember exactly HOW I was struggling...I just remember I was.

As I look back over the year, I can not pin point a moment where things changed or when I thought things were going to be ok...but somehow I have arrived here...almost a year later...and things are going to be ok.

One of my greatest fears of having another child is not that I won't be able to handle the logistics of it or that I won't have enough love for it - but I am scared of the emotional aftermath. I never wrote down the things I was feeling about Little G when I was feeling them because I was afraid that if, God forbid, anything were to ever happen to him, someone would look up whatever I had said in desperation one day on my blog and take it out of context and who knows what might happen. Maybe someone would toss me in a looney bin...maybe someone would take away Little G.

But on the other side of the abyss I am realizing that perhaps it is important to write those things down so that should I ever feel that way again, I can recognise it and seek out help.

I read on a friend's blog that she didn't believe that motherhood was the hardest job in the world. I beg to differ. I know I'm not fighting wars. I know I'm not in charge of a whole country. I know I'm not doing excruciatingly heavy lifting. I know I have it pretty cushy. But I totally believe that having a child is like taking a piece of your heart out of your body and watching it walk around and grow and become its own person. To me THAT IS the hardest job in the world. There is no boss to give me guidance or feedback. There is no win at the end - once a mother, there is no age that you stop wanting the best for your kids. Sometimes it feels like I am on my own.

But just as it is the hardest job in the world, I also think it is the most rewarding. In no other job can we directly influence a person in the hope of that person growing up someday and hopefully changing the world for the better. With all of the pressure that comes with that statement comes the grace of hope.

I look back on the year 2010 and I see that I am imperfect and that it is ok. That I hold myself up to a higher standard than I would EVER hold up any of my friends and family to and it is ok to to lower the bar a little bit. Heck, it's ok to fail miserably.

I look back on the year 2010 and I know that while it is not the year I became a mother, it is the year I learned, and believed, I am a good mother.

What have you learned this year?

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I don't have much to I'm not exactly sure why I'm here at the moment. Probably because for the first time in forever I actually have quiet time to myself to sit and write so I figure I should take advantage of it.

The month has been a good one but not without challenges. I took a stumble on our stairs in our home and sprained my ankle so badly that the tendons chipped a piece of bone off. The first three days after the ensuing hospital visit had me on crutches with explicit instructions to not put ANY WEIGHT on my foot at all. Perfectly feasible you know...with a 17 month old chomping at the bit to walk around as much as possible. So Little G went off to daycare for the whole week and had a blast. Mid week I had an appointment with the orthopedist and got a walking cast, so that made life easier...but I still can't drive. We are incredibly fortunate that my husband was able to work out a schedule where he could take Little G to daycare in the morning and pick him up in the evenings, so in the end I actually ended up with a lot of time to myself at the house...which was nice for Christmas wrapping and house cleaning and such. But BOY did that time go fast!!

That week also marked a year since my dad passed away. I was surprised at how sad I was with December approaching. I'm not one to glorify anniversary dates of things*, so I was frustrated that I was so emotional about it...until my sister pointed out that last year there was so much going on we didn't really have time to grieve whereas this year there was time to reflect. Either way, it was an emotionally difficult 10 days for me. He died on the 15th, his birthday is on Christmas Eve and then spending Christmas without him being around to spill on his shirt or drink too much champagne (that he RARELY drank) at my inlaws, or just repeat things that had been funny until he kept repeating them ad nauseum, was sad.

But we have been having a lot of fun including my dad in mom and sister and nephew had celebratory cupcakes that they scarfed down in between Christmas Eve services in honor of his birthday. And last night at my inlaw's we put out an extra glass of champagne for him. Still...I have the hardest time thinking about how much my son has grown and changed in the past year and how much he will continue to grow and change in the coming years and my dad isn't here to see it. I also am disappointed that my son will never have any memories of his Zayde. He will be able to rely on the stories...the many, many stories...but he will never have known the joy of playing with the pens in his shirt pocket...or racing with his wheelchair...

Ok...well sorry to cut this short, but as it is Little G is up from his nap and crying so I won't be able to wrap this up...or even try to transition this from mopey to reverent.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and safe and happy New Year's!!

-- Coasting anon --

* Ok...who are we kidding here...I'm TOTALLY a card-carrying sentimentalist, so it isn't necessarily that I was surprised that I was emotional about the anniversary...I just thought I wasn't supposed to feel so emotional and that if I told anyone they would make fun of me...turns out everyone was feeling blue so it wasn't just me being typical, overly-dramatic, wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve, emotional wreck me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Indie Owned

As you know, I am a small business owner. I design and produce custom invitations and announcements over at LimoncelloSTYLE. Anyway, I shared this over there, but wanted to share it with you all as well...

I recently participated in a publication called Indie Owned. The premise is to highlight independently owned businesses in and around Boston.

The publication was distributed to every home here in Roslindale, MA. Unfortunately, they weren't put in mailboxes like I originally thought they would be, but still it was great to get the exposure. Many of my clients are not local, so it is great to dip my toes in the local market a little bit more.

Here's the profile I created for the can see it up close here.

The last paragraph reads a little like a Miss America bio...guess I should change that.

Anyway, I'm very thankful to Indie Owned for the opportunity and am hoping that this will be a successful stepping point for growing my local presence.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do what I say...not what I do...

Last year, my hard drive burnt out on my laptop and I lost everything that wasn't on my external hard drive. I wrote the post you will see below but did I follow ANY of my own advice about backing things up? NO! FAIL FAIL FAIL!!

So when my lappy's hard drive failed again last month I was right back at the beginning...except with no recourse or fun IT department to retrieve it all for me.

Honestly, it isn't THAT hard to back stuff up...I just never remember to do it...or if I remember to do it, I'm in the middle of something that I don't want to interrupt.

I know, excuses, excuses.

How do you remember to back up your stuff? What's your go-to solution?


this past week my hard-drive failed. as you know, my laptop is not that old, so it was very discouraging to have this happen.

i have an external hard drive where i keep all of my files, so i was in a good position. but the hard drive can be a pain to lug around when i am working in different rooms in the house, so i also have an 'in limbo' file on my desktop where i keep things organised until i can get them onto the hard drive.

well, as is want to happen, i was procrastinating setting up the external hard drive so i hadn't backed up my 'in limbo' file for at least a month.

sadly, that meant that i lost almost everything that was near and dear to me that had been in that file.

thankfully, i am friends with some extraordinarily smart computer type people and with the help of two back-up hard drives, an iPod and a new hard drive, they were able to extract all of the information from my broken hard drive...including the 'in limbo' file, all of my emails, my internet favorites (which i use to keep track of ideas, inspiration and sources), and my financial files.

i was only off line for about a week, which is great considering what the alternative was!

this experience got me thinking about how sad it would be if this happened and the original hard drive was too damaged to retrieve anything off of. now THAT would have reallllly made me cry.

so lesson learned...i plan to back up my 'in limbo' file every night; i also discovered this will help you upload all of your 'favorites' to their system which will keep track of them on their server so should you ever be at another computer (or experience a hard drive failure) you can just access them from someplace else.

ok...i'm off my soapbox.

Apparently I wasn't off my soapbox...whoops.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Amazing day.

Today was an amazing day.

It's late and I should go to bed, but I just want to hold on to today for a little bit longer.

Little G and I have a habit of going to the Boston Children's Museum on Wednesdays. Usually, we hang out in the toddler area. There is a fun car to sit in with buttons that play music and a steering wheel...oh what I would do to have a steering wheel installed on one of our walls. I'm sure it would entertain Little G for months...and a huge train table that you can crawl into and under and a tree house to climb around.

Anyway, we haven't been to the museum since the week prior to it's been three weeks since we were there. Little did I realize how much three weeks (one of which spent playing with his almost-6-year-old cousin, W) would make a difference in the amount of fun Little G would have at the museum.

Little G walked. EVERYWHERE.


And when he fell down, he would crawl over to a bench, or a bar, or me (last choice...he's still an independent little sucker) to get back up (we're still working on the getting up from the floor without pulling up on something bit). And when you walk everywhere at the Children's Museum...there is so much to see!!

We walked into a music and movement class...played with a parachute...walked down the hall...found some exhibits to ourselves lunch...walked on and off the elevator...pressed the buttons (side note: why is it 2010 and the bottom [and thus, easiest] button to press on the elevator is the call for help button? I know the world can't cater to toddlers...but you would think at the Children's Museum they would be sick and tired of the call button getting continually pressed)...climbed stairs...went down slides...discovered new areas...walked on a floor that lit up...found a huge basket ball...washed our own hands at the kid-sized-sink...played with play-dough...trains...other kids... was amazing.

And then I took a very tired little boy through the financial district, down into the subway, onto a bus and back home to his crib where he napped for three hours.

Yup. An amazing day.

What an amazing kid.

Friday, December 03, 2010

I've Been Everywhere, Man!'s been a while, eh?

As with every blogging lag, there's been a LOT of action here in our little household.

So, we had a baby...

Oh wait...maybe it hasn't been THAT long.

Well, that baby started walking...I know THAT's news!! As you know, Little G scooted on his bum for the longest time. He didn't crawl until one day at the end of August in the Children's Museum. We were hanging out with a friend who was born a couple of days after him and SHE was taking her first STEPS there and her mommy was so proud of her and I was excited for them too and then to show his excitement Little G crawled over to us! Which was awesome...because the plateau in development from sitting-up-from-a-lying-down-position way back in July all the way to the end of August when he took those first crawling motions was loooooooooong and though I KNEW not to get worried...I still got to a point where I was wondering at what point I was SUPPOSED to worry.

Anyway, over the next three weeks, Little G figured out how to crawl REALLY well, how to pull up on things, how to cruise, how to climb up our stairs and how to let go from a cruising position and just stand there. As the pediatrician put it, he did three months of development in three weeks. Which isn't surprising...this is a kid who did days worth of labor in 5 hours once we reminded him it was time to come out. And this is also the kid who teethed his four top teeth all at the same time and then turned around and teethed all four first year molars and two bottom teeth all at the same time. Apparently it is in his nature to be all or nothing!

So let's see...where were we? Crawling...and pulling up...and cruising. At his 15 month pediatrician appointment, the nurse practitioner asked us to let her know if he was walking or not in five weeks.

Two and a half weeks later on Halloween night at a party, Little G took his very first steps. (Note - the picture below is of us at Halloween...we were various Lawn Ornaments...but what you need to notice is in the bottom right of the picture is a coffee table...during the party, Little G was standing at that table, turned, looked at me and walked right over to me. Granted...I was only three little steps away from him...but was. awesome. Also, I'm fascinated that the perspective of this picture makes Little G truly look the size of a garden gnome. I promise you that no children were exploited or shrunken in the making of this Halloween Ensemble Costume)

The week after Halloween, Little G was in our kitchen and just let go of the cabinet and took some steps towards me. And then the next week, he was really letting go of things and walking places.

Fast forward to our trip to PA to visit my family for Thanksgiving and he was toddling all over the house traipsing along trying to keep up with my 6 year old nephew, two large dogs and a bunch of kitties.

So that's what's been going on around here.

My business has picked up too. If you've been over to my business blog for LimoncelloSTYLE than you've seen that I became a licensed dealer for Envelopments. This means that I no longer have to waste time sourcing paper because they HAVE almost everything I need in the level of quality that I strive to provide for my clients. However, this has meant I have been busy, busy, busy!! Plus, I'll be honest, writing my posts for FLOR sometimes takes everything out of me. I totally love doing it...but I definitely earn my keep there.

Alright...speaking of...I need to go write a couple of things for them before the day is over so I guess I'll go head over there.

Thanks for stopping in even though I been a blog stranger for almost a month!! Hope you all are doing well.

Coasting anon

PS - here are some more pics of our Cutey-McCute garden gnome from Halloween. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Turkey lurkey

We're headed to the land of the Amish to celebrate the priciseness of dance-kicklines and the expanding of waistlines.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Day the Show Went to Potts

So I used to have a blog before this may have read about it here...and I sometimes wrote stories about the dumb, embarassing things I was prone to do. Some of them are pretty I am going to repost them here every once in a while.

This one I am reposting specifically in response to "She Likes Ruffles..." request for stories of being traumatized at theme parks.



Working in Entertainment at Disney is perhaps one of the most bizarre things a person can do in their life time. The general atmosphere of the performers is that of "G" level celebrities. If you were to spread them around the world, all the performers at Disney would fade into the background with their spandex tights and overdone make-up and no one would ever notice them; but put 2,000 or so G-list 'celebs' in close enough space that their egos all start to collide, and you have one VERY dramatic work environment. Although I do plan on writing more about this entire experience some day, I thought I would tide you all over with this fun story...

I am 5 feet, 11 inches tall. In Disney terms, that means I am Tigger height. I used to be 5 feet, 11 ½ inches tall. But due to one too many times in the hip bone crushing "great wall of China" (above left) and spine melting, 55 lb, spinning/dancing/basically-ignored-by-everyone-viewing-the-parade pagoda (above right), I lost ½ an inch. This may not seem like a big deal, but at Disney, it meant the world. There is a ½ inch grace on all of the height ranges. The tallest height range is 6’ and above. That height range encompasses Goofy, Woody, Baloo, Captain Hook, Queen of Hearts and others. Tigger height range is 5’ 9” to 5’ 11”. The only thing in Tigger’s height range is Tigger.

Ok…so I know that is pointless drivel...but I find it important to the story. Anyway, there are two more things that I think you should know as background before I can start the story. 1) The height range for Sweetums (the monster at MuppetVision 3D who tosses the ‘water’ out at the audience) is 6’ and above (Goofy height). I was trained as a Sweetums** before being demoted to Tigger height and was ‘grandfathered’ and allowed to continue doing the show, even though I was an inch out of the height range. 2) The height range for Beast in the Beauty and the Beast (B&B) show is 6’1” and above...the height range for Mrs. Potts is 5’ 8” to 5’ 10”. There are lots of Beast/Sweetums trained people. I became the first, and probably only, Sweetums/Potts trained person in the history of Disney...and this is why:

Through a series of very surprising events, I had recently been selected to learn the Mrs. Potts track at B&B. After going through the rehearsals and being ‘approved’ in the role, I was scheduled for my first day of shows a few days after I finished training. I was very eager to show all the people who were whispering about my being a Potts/Sweetums that I was up to the task.

The Mrs. Potts costume is basically a backpack that you climb into and snap on. The actor’s head is inside the pink ball at the top of ‘her’ pot. (see picture to the right)At her base, there is a plastic oilcloth that protects the underneath of the costume from getting dirty if it hits the ground while you are performing.

Like I said, I was really excited to do my first show; so when it came time for me to make my grand entrance, I revved up all my energy and burst out onto the stage. I had taken no more than 10 steps when my foot started to catch on the oilcloth under the skirting and I lost complete control of my footing and fell over. There was an audible gasp from the packed audience as I rolled a few feet and landed on my side, suspended by the backpack in the middle of the costume with my legs kicking out the end. The gasps turned to giggles and then to full-out laughter as I desperately tried to get up from my suspended position within the costume.

The B&B show is on a track so the rest of the scene was still going on while I writhed around on the floor. Eventually, a few stage hands came over and tipped me upright so that I could stand up. But here is where it got really difficult. You see, I was laughing so hard I could barely contain myself and my legs were like jello. When the stage hands propped me up, my legs were now in a crouched position beneath me and try as I might, I could not stand up. The weight of the costume, combined with the suction-cup effect of the plastic sheeting against the stage, plus my inability to stop laughing along with all 1,200 of the audience members was making the simple task of standing next-to impossible. I finally, in the nick-of-time, with seconds to spare before they shut down the whole show, got it together enough to rock myself forward, stand up and scamper off the stage to rousing applause.

After I finished the show, I got out of costume and was immediately handed the phone. It was scheduling telling me to go report to MuppetVision 3D, they needed a Sweetums.

Not surprisingly, I was never, ever scheduled for B&B again, and that outstanding performance as Mrs. Potts ended up being my only one.

** I stole this picture of Sweetums at the MuppetVision3D show from this web site.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Lately I have been thinking about home, and what that means to me. I grew up in a beautiful, coastal town in New Jersey (no, that is not an oxymoron). My mom and her brothers grew up in the town over from us. When I was a kid, my entire extended family on my mother's side lived within 10 miles of my home. Which meant that for birthday parties and holidays, we were always surrounded by family.

My grandparents have since passed.

My parents 'retired' to Florida and then unretired and moved to Pennsylvania where my sister is.

Two of my cousins are in North Carolina and New York, respectively. Their parents defected to North Carolina a few years ago.

And now, only my Aunt and Uncle and their son live in NJ.

My husband and I are in Boston and we have every intention of staying here for a long time.

There is no 'home' to move back to.

My husband actually has a similar story in that he grew up in Northwest Connecticut and his parents moved to Ohio when he was in college and now live in Pittsburgh. His Aunts and Uncles and Cousins and grandparents are spread out throughout the he has no place to go 'home' to either.

Having a child has really driven home to me the fact that I don't have a traditional 'home town'. So much advice for new parents centers around having a support system of family and friends nearby to rely on. But we don't have family here. And while we have healthy friendship relationships here, there is no guarantee that any of them are planning on staying in our area for the long see, they all have their own places back 'home' to eventually return to.

When I was young, I totally took advantage of the fact that we celebrated Christmas morning at home with my parents and then headed two towns over to meet up with all the rest of my relatives at my grandparents' house for the big family holiday meal. Looking back, I wish I realized how lucky I was to be able to experience an intimate celebration with my mom and dad and sister on Christmas morning and then also get a rousing, heart-warming full family experience in the evening.

Here in Boston, we don't have that option. We will have to decide if we want to be in our own home for Christmas or visiting someone else's home in another state...but we can't have both. I wonder what Little G will grow up thinking is traditional...spending Christmas away from home? Spending Christmas quietly at home with just his mom and dad? Will he ever get to experience what life is like when you grow up where your entire family lives?

Perhaps the answer lies in challenging our definition of family. We are not the only ones of our friends here in the Boston area who are living far away from family. And slowly, our circle of friends is joining us in the great adventure of parenthood. Perhaps in the absence of relatives in the area, what we need to do is embrace our friendships and create a new type of family. Instead of having a quiet Christmas at home and then meeting all the Aunts and Uncles and Cousins and Grandparents later we can congregate with friends and neighbors and their children.

It's a good idea, in theory. The problem is, as time marches forward, our friends and neighbors keep moving back home.

Do you have a 'home' to go back to?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Say goodbye to yesterday...

My in-laws were coming later that night. I had a short list of things that needed to get done before leaving to pick up Little G from day care and heading on the the airport to pick up his grammy and grampy. I needed to clear off the guest bed, clean the bathrooms to a respectable level of grime, and start dinner. Sweeping up the downstairs would have been the icing on the cake. But first, I needed to drop off Little G at day care, go to my weekly mom group at my church and stop by my doctor's office quickly for a prescription.

The morning started out fairly easily. I successfully dropped off Little G and headed back to my house to pick up the snacks I had made for mommy group. (We take turns and before I knew my in-laws were coming, I had signed up to bring snacks for this particular Friday which is why I hadn't cleared off their bed or cleaned the bathrooms the night prior to their arrival since I was busy making granola, cutting fruit and baking a coffee cake.) I drove off to church and thoroughly enjoyed meeting with the wonderful group of women. But I would be lying if I didn't say that my mind was focused on the rest of the tasks that I needed to get done before heading to the airport. When we were finished meeting, instead of heading right off, I stayed to clean up (part of the duties of the people assigned to bring snack each week) so I found myself trying to quickly finish up so I could get on my way.

In the midst of all of this, I had read a post from a woman I know who fosters children that they had a baby for the weekend and they were trying to find the slowest flowing nipple they could since the baby had some pretty severe gastrointestinal problems. I had recommended the ones we used for Little G and suggested that I could pick one up for her while I was was on the way to the Doctors' office...what harm could that be?

When I got to the store to pick up the bottle, the didn't have any in stock. So I quickly headed back out to the car to continue on my way to the Doctor's. Except when I got there, my keys were dangling out of the steering wheel and my doors were locked.


Time to rethink.

Ok...I'll pump the meter with quarters...since I'm behind this movie theater, I think it takes up to three hours. Then I'll just grab the T and ride a few stops down to my doctor appointment. Then, I'll continue downtown and meet my husband and get his key to my car and take the T back to my car and then I'll go home. I'll probably only have two hours instead of five to get my chores done, but all is not lost.

So out to the T I headed. I quickly realized I had no money on me (since I just pumped my last quarter, nickle and dime into the meter for my car) and dashed into a bank to use the ATM...I caught the T just as it was leaving the station and was promptly told I needed a Charlie Card or something smaller than a $20. Oops. Thankfully, the conductor let it slide and a few stops down I got out and headed to the Doctor...confident that I could get smaller change from them and continue on my way.

There was one problem. I was seeing a new doctor...which meant I needed to fill out a bunch of forms. So after spending the time filling those out and then waiting for an eternity and then having to go through the indignity of having my weight taken and then waiting in the actual examination room for ANOTHER eternity, my quick Doctor trip turned into an hour and fifteen minute time suck. Fortunately, I was able to get some small bills from them as well as a promise that they would call in my prescription on my way out, so I jetted off to catch the T to get downtown to meet my husband.

The ride on the T was pretty non-eventful until we got a little closer into the city and it started to really smell like smoke. As we pulled into Arlington Station, there were firemen in uniform traipsing down the stairwell one after another after another. This couldn't be good.

Fortunately, I got off a few stops later and successfully met my husband and got his key and turned right around and got back on the T and then BAM.

I'm sorry, folks. There seems to be a signal issue up ahead at Arlington. The fire department is asking us to suspend service. They're telling us it will be at least 15 minutes.

I nervously looked at my was 3:20. I had about 50 minutes to get back to my car before getting a ticket (and yes, I would have gotten one...those meter maids in that part of non-Boston are greedy-greedy-greedy). But what was I going to do...I was stuck on a subway car in an aging transportation system just waiting for someone to give someone else the go-ahead to head into the fire! It dawned on me that when I DID finally get to my car, I wasn't going to have nearly as much time as I had originally thought to get my chores at home done and something was going to have to give...especially since now I was going to have to add in 'pick up prescription' to the mix.

Finally, after an eternity (really, only 25 minutes) the T started moving. People were so glad, they applauded! I just stayed focused on my goal...determining just what was more important to my mother in law...cleaned off bed, clean bathrooms or dinner.

The train finally pulled into the area where I was parked and I ran to my car. With 15 minutes left on the meter, I felt good about getting to the pharmacy, getting home, getting at least one of my chores done and heading to go get Little G and then off to the airport. But it was Friday afternoon...and Friday afternoon traffic isn't anyone's friend. My mental list of what chore I should get done before leaving the house was getting smaller and smaller. Perhaps if I just cleaned the toilets and the sinks my mother-in-law wouldn't notice? Maybe I would just make the scalloped potatoes and worry about the main course when we all got home?

I finally made my way to the pharmacy, beat out an old-lady in a walker to get to the counter in the back of the store and breathlessly told them my name. No prescription. It wasn't ready yet.


Phew. I didn't actually yell, but I think the woman was clearly afraid for me. Which worked...because no sooner had I sat down and the elderly lady with a walker gotten to the counter, when they called my name to let me know my prescription was ready....once the old lady with a walker was done with her business at the counter.

Ten minutes later, I ran out of the pharmacy with my prescription in hand and flew the 1/2 mile back to my house where I hurled the items from the guest bed into our room, swiped the toilets with some old wipes and remembered to check the milk box for the delivery that I had set up the night before.

No milk. No OJ. No eggs. No cider. No English Muffins. No nothing.


Turns out I ordered all of those things to be delivered NEXT Friday. But I didn't have time to let that get to me because now I was REALLY late to pick up Little G.

I would LOVE to tell you that my day got better once I had finally gotten home...but the truth of the matter is that after picking up Little G, I waited in ridiculous traffic to get to the airport and when I finally got there, the entire lower level road for Terminal B was closed. CLOSED!!! WHO CLOSES A ROAD AT AN AIRPORT ON A FRIDAY NIGHT!!!

It was 6:00 when I finally found my in laws who had gotten in 45 minutes prior. 7:00 by the time we got home. 8:00 by the time Little G went to bed and we got dinner. 9:00 by the time I got to the supermarket to pick up all of those items that I had conveniently set up to be delivered to week.

Sometimes, the day really has it out for you. I was proud of myself. I kept my perspective. I realized how lucky I was to have not had Little G with me for the whole adventure; how fortunate I was to not get a ticket; how I actually did get everything done but what needed to get done at home. But I was so glad to finally climb into bed, close my eyes and say goodbye to yesterday.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

'Cause my friends are your friends...

Little G and I attend a class for kids his age at the center where I took all of my birthing classes and all of our new mommy classes. It is not uncommon at any time when visiting the center to see a group of women, usually with napping babies in car seats atop snap-n-go strollers, gathered either on their way into or out of a new mommy class.

When I look at them I feel like I am on the outside looking in.

I remember being so new to being a mom that I CLUNG to my new mommy-group friends like they were life rafts in the vast sea of diapers and gas and spit up and non-napping. I never would have noticed someone just on the fringe of our group who had an older baby with her...heck...even if I HAD noticed that person, I would have thought they probably didn't have anything in common with me who was dealing with a boneless blob capable only of eating, sleeping and then being alert; rinse and repeat.

It is part of why motherhood, especially in these early years, is so freaking isolating. The reality is that I DON'T have a lot in common with a brand new mommy. Anything I could even remotely conjure up to say to her would carry the risk of being totally patronizing and/or scaring the pants off of her. Which is so weired, because in the grand scheme of things, our kids are only a year apart. In fact, depending on school systems and our kids, they may even be in the same grade someday.

Yet, for now, we are as separate from each other as those mothers I saw along my fringes the other day as they were all moving their kids into their freshman dorms at the local colleges -- we too have little in common and little time in our lives to try and create something. But I can't help but wonder what those moms would tell me if we were friends. Probably the same thing I would tell a new mom if we were friends:

Hold on tight.

The ride is fast.

You're doing a great job.

It gets easier.

You're going to get hurt.

Your heart is going to explode with awe...

...and one day you are going to blink, and they'll be all grown up.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Slack in the Ribbon

I didn't want a toddler. Toddlers scared me.

I wanted a baby. But when I got the baby, it was NO WHERE CLOSE to what I thought it would be like. So I adapted and got used to having a baby. But just when I got used to having a baby...just when I finally felt like I knew what I was doing and I could sit back and relax a little bit...Little G became a toddler.

I didn't want a toddler.

-- --

When I first worked at Disney right out of college, I was placed at the front desk of the Contemporary resort. I totally thought before starting the gig that I was going to just sit at a desk in the middle of the 4th floor concourse with the monorail whizzing past every few minutes and maybe answer a question every once in a while or direct someone to the nearest bathroom. I couldn't have been more wrong.

It turned out that the front desk position was not only the gateway for guests to check in and out of their hotel rooms, but we also acted as a separate function of guest relations. We sold park tickets, ticket and room packages, set up dining plans, food and fun plans, money plans, show tickets, etc., etc., etc. It was a LOT to learn...and I should wasn't even on the 4th floor.

For the first thirty days of our employment, we wore a separate ribbon on our name badges that said, "Earning my Ears". Like good training wheels, it was a way to indicate that we were new and might need some additional support or back-up and to be extra patient with us. Even though I eventually knew what I was doing so well that I became a trainer for new hires, I will admit, I wore that "Earning my Ears" ribbon for at least two weeks longer than I was supposed to just so people would cut me some slack.

In a way, I feel like having a small baby, is like getting to wear an "Earning my Ears" ribbon. People see you out and about with a small baby and they all know you are new and they all know you are probaby overwhelmed and emotional and distracted and they do wonderful things for you. They are nice to you. They help you. They are patient with you. They cut you some slack. Fast forward a year and even though you might be new to toddlerhood, the general public sees you with an older baby and just assumes that everything is alright. I know I used to.

But (for me) the truth is that everything isn't always alright. Sometimes, I am really struggling. There isn't necessarily less of a learning curve with a small toddler than there was with a newborn; it's just different. The challenges of a parenting a young toddler can be overwhelming at times and yet I'm expected, if not by myself, than definitely by society, to know what I'm doing and to be handling everything with grace and ease.

It makes me wish I could wear my "Earning my Ears" ribbon a little bit longer...or at least cut some slack in it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chasing the Mountain

I go to a mommy group at my church on Fridays. Last season I attended with Little G because there is childcare. This year, Little G is in daycare on Mondays and Fridays, so I go all by myself.

And weirdly, I am totally jealous of those mommies who are there with their little ones. Mostly because I have apparently completely lost any memory of how freaking hard the first year of Little G's life was.

Seriously. I mean, I can remember specific incidents, but as far as the day to day grime of it all...I seem to forget it the second I look at all those mommies with their cherubic little babies and my ovaries start kicking me.

Weirdly, I am proclaiming this love for the babies in my mommy group when I just today shared with them how scared I am to have another baby. I liken it to standing at the top of a double-black diamond. I know how to ski...but I am no expert. The first time I went down the double black-diamond I fell. A lot. And I eventually got to the bottom. And I had a blast doing it. But it all seemed to whiz by.

And now I'm standing at the top again...KNOWING how much it hurts to fall down and how awesome it will be when I get to the bottom and I am realizing that I am WAY more scared than I was the first time. Do I just jump forward and know that eventually I will make my way down the mountain, or should I try to make my way back to the chair lift?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Took me long enough...

...but remember that post from a while back about my kitchen conundrum where I was about to go all Ikea-hacking-lunatic on a shoe cabinet in the name of a space-saving kitchen laundry collecting area?

Well, I finally figured out what to do and posted all about it over at Flor today.

Go check it out and be sure to leave a comment :)


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Come One, Come All!!

This past Sunday, on 10-10-10, my good friend got married at the Franklin Park Zoo here in Boston. She's known for throwing a pretty awesome theme party just for an everyday we knew to expect some awesomeness for her circus/carnival themed wedding!

The location of the wedding within the park was next to a playground with a super-duper, crazy-go-nuts fast slide that Little G LOVED!!

The ceremony was held on a lawn just outside a tent with picnic tables. The guests were seated at the picnic tables in the tent and there were chairs in rows for family members closer to the ceremony area. All of the picnic tables were covered in white paper and there were cans of crayons and sheets of coloring book excerpts from Circus books all over the place. There were also really fun, colorful candy centerpieces on the picnic tables as well.

Sarah had made super huge bunting to decorate the inside of the tent and keep things festive:

Each table had a carnival game on it and if you won you got a number and could go up to the prize table and collect your prize:

They also had candy apples for everyone:

Here's Little G and my husband coloring and NOT eating the crayons!

The bride was sequestered on the opposite side of where she needed to be to walk down the her bridesmaids camouflaged her with their pashminas while they walked her to the correct place:

The bridesmaids all wore black dresses and had underskirts in different colors. They carried paper flowers that matched their underskirts:

They set up a fun backdrop to anchor the ceremony:

After the ceremony, instead of cutting cake, the bride and groom bit into whoopie pies!!

Sadly, this is the only shot I have of her AWESOME shoes!!

After the ceremony, the backdrop was used for a faux-to booth with clown costumes, paper mustaches, old fashioned cameras and a strong man ensemble:

The wedding guests were given tickets to ride the zoo's carosel:

This wedding was so much fun and it was really great to see two good friends who are so loving to each other, their families and their friends have such a joyous event!!

Did you go to a wedding on 10-10-10?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Pumpkin Fried Rice

A couple of weeks ago we were in Seattle visiting Little G's Great Grammy. While there, I caught up with a couple of friends from the 'ole Bee and we had dinner at Ginza, a Japanese restaurant in Bellevue. The food was fantastic, but the best part of the evening was the pumpkin fried rice.

The server was kind enough to explain how they make it...first they steam a whole bunch of pumpkins whole. Then they make the fried rice with onions, egg, soy sauce, etc..and then they add in really finely chopped bacon (YUM!). Finally, they add in the steamed pumpkin and serve it in the scooped out shell.

It was sooooooo yummy I decided to try and make it at home myself.

First step: set up a distraction area for the munchkin so that he 'thinks' he is cooking just like mommy...

I didn't have a pumpkin, but I did have these gords that I got from our CSA, so I used those instead.
I decided that I prefer roasting my winter squashes instead of steaming them...the caramalized flavor you get out of them is FANTASTIC. The most annoying part was peeling them since they are so small and knubby. In the future, I might just cut them in half and roast them cut side down in a pan instead of cubing them up like I did...

After they were cubed, I drizzled them with olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted them for 35 minutes at 400 degrees...

While they were roasting, I made up some bacon...
...of course I TOTALLY forgot that at the moment I only have one baking sheet with sides on it which was in use for the I couldn't bake my bacon in the oven like I usually do. What's a girl to do? Fire up the ole' microwave!

I put the bacon slices on a paper towel on a plate and then covered them with another paper towel and cooked them on high until they were crisp...about 2 minutes.

After a quick mince, the bacon was ready to go:

Next, I chopped up an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic:

I sauteed them until they were softened...

...and added in a pile of left over rice from a few days prior.

And stirred it around with some soy sauce until it was heated through:

Then I made three 'nests' and added in an egg to each nest. I scrambled each egg in the nest and once they were cooked I mixed it all into the rice:

Finally the squash was done and it smelled heavenly!

I added in the squash and the bacon and mixed it all together:

Finally, I served it up with pan seared pork chops and sauteed green beans.

The rice was so yummy but no where near as awesome as what we got from Ginza. Perhaps it was the atmosphere or the fact that I didn't have to make it, but whereas I came away talking about the Pumkin Fried Rice from my experience at Ginza...I don't think anyone at my dinner table wrote home to their mothers about my recipe.

Oh least it was super yummy :)

Next up in my foray into food blogging...turning a bunch of CSA greens into a yummy chicken dinner that even my toddler ate!