Thursday, March 27, 2014

99 Luftballons

I was sent home from my Monday book discussion at the library with a bouquet of bright mylar balloons for the boys, leftover from an event they'd had that day. Nico latched onto them almost immediately and has been carrying a pair back and forth from my parents' house all week. Today we had to stop by the consignment shop and the grocery before we went home. The wind was kicking up, and as I was putting Elliott in his carseat after leaving the consignment shop, it sucked Nico's red heart-shaped balloon right out of the car and whipped it away, trailing the small plastic dinosaur I'd tied to the ribbon as a weight. Nico burst into tears as we watched it sail across the mall parking lot across the street and then dip out of sight. I buckled him in as he cried, asking me how we were going to get the balloon back, who was going to get it for us, would someone find it and bring it to him at Grandma's house? I kept telling him no, buddy, I'm sorry, your balloon is gone, we can't catch it. I looked after it one last time as I shut the door and saw it, briefly, low to the ground, near the video store about 100 yards away. I threw my things into the car and tore off in pursuit, hoping for an impossible bit of luck. And sure enough, in the lee of the video store, tucked away out of the wind, was Nico's bright red balloon, resting on its miniature ankylosaurus. I leapt from the car and snatched it before the wind could take it again, and brought it back to Nico with a cheer. I couldn't believe we'd actually managed to get it back.

I wound the ribbons around the gear shift until there was no chance of another escape. We drove to the grocery just down the street, chatting happily about our good fortune, but once we arrived I realized that my wallet was missing. So we scrambled back to the spot by the video store where we'd retrieved the balloon and then back to the consignment shop...where my wallet lay abandoned in the parking space where we'd been. Two awesome turns of luck within one half-hour? I'll certainly take it.

Reading:  The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

Playing:  the driving mix I made for my road trip

Sunday, March 23, 2014


My two days away from the kids were - predictably - no big deal. The kids were fine for both MB and my parents, and Nico reportedly started asking when he got to go spend the night at Grandma's as soon as he got up Thursday morning. I got to go to one of my favorite state parks and learn fun stuff and feel like I was with My People. There was an ice waterfall and a night hike and I got to read in bed, which I can't do at home since Elliott still sleeps in our room. The training kept me so busy that while I missed the kids, I didn't have much time to think about how I was missing the kids. A bunch of the people I met were my age with kids in the same age range as mine, so we got to talk about our kids and that helped, too. I got the boys really cute stuffed birds from the park (a barn owl and a turkey vulture) and pretty well enjoyed the drive. It was long (looooooooong) but I made a huge mix of songs that I enjoyed belting out shamelessly in the car. So yeah...glad I went, had a good time, all survived.

An unexpected side effect of the very short walk I took during our break on Thursday is that now I am longing to go camping. Pining, even. We have a trip already booked for the first weekend of May back at the park we loved last year, and now MB and I are flirting with the idea of taking the boys here over a weekend in April. I fear the baby will be in an awkward transitional period - not content to sit as much as he did when we camped last fall but not walking yet; no longer only subsisting on nursing and bottles, but not ready to eat actual food. Surely it'll all work out, though.

Ice waterfall, which was actually a free-standing ice pillar, not connected to the rock at the top. Well worth getting muddy feet.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I'm going away for a two-day training for work, starting tomorrow. Once it's done it'll be no big deal, but right now with my little boys asleep in their beds and me leaving in the morning long before they wake for the day, it feels big. It feels hard and sad and gloomy. A few people have said things indicating that I should enjoy a break from them and a night away and I guess I will in a way, but only a little. There are moments, of course, where the tiredness or the routine or the mess or the whining get to me and I just want a break, but going away-away? Like, not just to Target for an hour by myself but four-hours-away away? It feels a little soon. Probably I just have possibly-last-baby Feelings. Probably I'll have a really good time and only feel a tiny bit bad about it. Probably they will do just fine without me. Definitely I will miss these little faces. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

days of our lives

5:15 MB's alarm goes off. Elliott stirs. Send powerful go back to sleep brainwaves to Elliott.

5:45 MB gets up, showers, leaves for work. Elliott has gone back to sleep, is busy earning a pony.

6:30 Alarm goes off. Snooze.

6:30 - 7:15 Snooze. Snooze. OMG. Damn you, daylight savings time!

7:15 Okay, fine, I'll get up. Elliott is usually up long before now, but the time change has fully kicked his tiny butt. I wake him up and take him to his room for a diaper change and to nurse. He's so tired that he can barely keep his eyes open during his breakfast.

I'm with you, son.

7:30 Finish nursing Elliott. Tell Nico it's time to get up. Pump for E's morning bottle.

7:50 - 8:25-ish Pack up pump. Get dressed, brush teeth, splash water on face. Let Nico pick out his shirt and get him dressed. Head downstairs, put Elliott in his playpen, give Nico a yogurt cup. (Nico finally being able to eat his own yogurt cup is awesome. This saves me so much time.) Pack up pump parts & bottles and my lunch. Get the kids into their jackets, make sure Nico has his backpack and show and tell, head out the door.

8:35 Drop Nico off at preschool, take Elliott to my parents' house for the day

(I like it better when we can leave at 8:15 so I can drop Elliott off before we do preschool drop-off. On days when I have a morning school program at work, we have to do it that way.)

9:05 Get to work, check and deal with 8 voicemails and 20+ emails, finish prepping for afternoon science program

11:10 Surprise visit from Nico and my dad, who have stopped by for a walk in the woods after preschool pickup. This is awesome.

11:45 Eat lunch at my desk, finish program prep

1:00 - 3:00 Program time. Yay!

3:00 - 3:45 Worky work

3:45 - 4:15 Late pump break

4:15 - 5:00 Finish up work stuff, close up office, head home since MB picked up the kids today

5:20 - 6:00 Dinner. We're all eating something different (leftovers, more yogurt, baby cereal), but at least we're eating together.

6:00 - 7:00 Cash in a Shutterfly code and put together a photo card for the family members who are on the list for periodic kid pictures while the boys play separately but happily in the living room. MB heads to the basement at 6:30 for his weekly online game session

7:00 - 7:30 Elliott's bedtime - pjs, books, late bottle, kisses, into the crib in our bedroom. Tonight he's tired so he settles right down.

7:30 - 8:00 Nico has picked up his toys so he gets to watch kid shows on Netflix until his bedtime. I use the time to wash all my pump parts and bottles.

8:10 Nico's bedtime, only ten minutes late. Pjs, asthma meds, brush teeth, three stories, three songs

8:45 Pick up the toys in Elliott's room, put away a few outgrown pajamas, take the nursery trash downstairs for Wednesday morning pickup. Take a shower and shave my legs for Mommy & Me swimming tomorrow

9:30 Head downstairs and spend a few minutes picking up the house. I busted my ass cleaning this weekend and I'm determined to fight the inevitable entropy for a few days at least. Pack lunch items for tomorrow. MB offers to make bacon. Is there any possible answer but yes? Change out a load of laundry, which I do pretty much every night lest it pile up.

10:00 Sit down with MB to watch the last 15 minutes of Under the Gunn and an episode of Supernatural. Order Shutterfly cards. Refresh my Carters cart to see if anything has gone on sale today. Look at teacher thank you notes on Tinyprints. Write blog post.

11:30 MB goes to bed. Stay up to finish blog post, fold kitchen towels, poke around online a little.

12:00 Bedtime! Hooray!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

float on

Hey, look at that. March, already. This year is trucking along at a pace that I don't recall approving. Usually by now I'd be thinking of spring things, but the winter is just lingering on, continuing to outstay its welcome. I'm in one of those spells where I'm not doing anything terribly noteworthy but I feel like I should say something, so here are a few somethings.

1. Perhaps it's because Elliott is at an age where he'd rather play with his toys than hang out with me all the time, but for whatever reason, I've been reading up a storm lately. I'm already at 8 books for the year, nearly half of my total number from the entirety of 2013. I doubt I'll set any records, but I've been enjoying myself. I'm keeping a list of what I'm reading in the books tab, so if you're interested you can venture over from whatever feed reader you're in and check it out. I think I'd recommend everything I've read this year, especially Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen and Ask the Passengers by A.S. King.

2. My birthday is coming up and my dad asked me yesterday what I want. And I, typically, can't think of a thing other than stuff I'd like to get the kids. Any suggestions?

3. I was off work today and will be off again tomorrow in exchange for working a big event last Saturday and Sunday. Well, Sunday was kind of a bust because we ended up shutting down early for bad weather, but I'm still taking all day off tomorrow. Nico went to afternoon preschool today because the public schools had a two-hour weather delay. It threw a bit of a wrench into my previous plans for the day, but Elliott and I managed to get quite a few errands done while Nico was at school, then we had both kids' well-child visits. N is 41 pounds and 43 inches, which puts him somewhere in the 90s on the growth chart I found online; E is 23 pounds and 30 1/2 inches and is 85th percentile for both. I was strangely disappointed that E is no longer off the chart, but then realized that's pretty dumb and obviously he's healthy and fantastic. After their checkups we picked MB up and celebrated our tax return coming in by having an early dinner at Panera (Nico's favorite).

4. I've been loving all the day in the life posts people have been writing lately. I'm itching to do my own since I haven't posted one since Nico was a baby, but I want to wait and do one on a typical day, not a random day-off day.

5. I finally jumped on the Greek yogurt bandwagon after someone on facebook posted that she'd finally jumped on and loved it. I tried Chobani and was really unimpressed, but now I'm hooked on the Fage with the cherry goo. And of course our grocery doesn't carry it, so I bought eight cups while I was at Target today. The kids have also turned into yogurt fiends lately. We are going through YoBaby like there's no tomorrow...the kids each ate two cups at breakfast this morning and then Elliott had two cups for dinner. People on facebook keep saying I should just make my own yogurt but I'm skeptical. I hate sour plain yogurt and only like it sweetened, plus I'm wondering if after I buy the milk and fruit and take the time to do it if I'd really be saving much money over buying pre-made organic yogurt for the kids.

Is that enough things? I think that's enough things.

Reading:  The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

Playing:  Make Yourself by Incubus