Sunday, November 30, 2008


Ella wants a flashlight for Christmas and I told her Santa would bring one. Now, why is it so difficult to find a decent flashlight for a kid?

Ending NaBloPoMo With More Bullet Points

  • Had a wonderful, wonderful time meeting my former boss for lunch/dinner. Her mother's recently been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, on top already having other various ailments, and she desperately needed the time away. She's such a lovely person and I'm very glad that, even though we can go months without being in touch, we have such a good friendship. It was important for both of us to be able to catch up and for her to have a chance to vent about her situation. We definitely need to make time to catch up more frequently than once every 6 months.
  • Someone at Thanksgiving must've been sick. My poor little guy came down with a fever last night and we had our first middle-of-the-night toddler throwing up experience around 1 AM. Now, he seems to be almost back to normal but I'm coming down with something and feel rather cruddy. Ah, well. Such is life.
  • I'll be participating (for the first time) in the Third Annual Cookie Exchange, hosted by Jenn. I'm looking forward to it and now I just need to think of which recipe I want to share. Anyone else want to join? (Lorraine, I'm looking at you...)
  • We had snow today! The first storm of the season always sees people driving like assholes. On my way to meet Annie, the traffic was pretty steady and the snow/freezing rain mix was really picking up and there were some yahoos in SUVs acting as though the driving conditions were ideal. They'll smarten up...hopefully soon. I actually saw a pretty smashed up SUV on my way home.
  • And, now, a new week begins...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Bits

The other day, I took a break from baking and J and I were standing up and snuggling with each other in the front room. Ella came up to us and wrapped her arms around our legs and looked up at us with this glorious little smile and said, "best friends."


Twilight was fun. The movie itself was entertaining enough, but the company was great. My nephew ended up coming along, too, (more to get out of the house than anything else, I suspect), but we had a nice time. The obnoxious part about teen movies would be the teen audience. And we had the great misfortune to sit in front of a row of kids who had already seen the film so they had no compunctions about talking through most of it. Ah well, at least I've seen it now and, oh holy hell yes, Robert Pattinson is damn hot.


I'm watching White Christmas and it just makes me so happy.


I'm meeting my former boss for lunch tomorrow and am really looking forward to it. It's been months since we've gotten together and she's a dear friend. We very much need to catch up.


I have tentative plans to meet up with two friends from middle school (oh that was sooo long ago!) for dinner in a few weeks. It should be a fun girls' night out. God knows I need one.


There's still one more day left to the weekend!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Another Good Day

Hit the gym this AM, played with the kids and took them for their requisite ride to see the airplanes and helicopter (and, to get pumpkin pies). Today's a "Daddy Day" as I'm now up visiting at Mom's again and J's having some quality time with the kids.

Tonight, Cait, Nurse and Nurse's younger sister and I are going to see Twilight. Very much looking forward to it.

Fuller posts tomorrow, once family has gone back home and life is *sigh* back to routine.

Hope you're enjoying time with your friends and loved ones.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

We're Pretty Awesome, If I Do Say So Myself

Hope you had a happy day!

Be Ever Thankful

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough.
~Meister Eckhart

I am thankful for my loves, my family, my faith, my friends and my health.

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Continued Success

Mood is much, much better today.

Met with Phil, the trainer, this morning and I'm down 6 pounds (which I knew not to freak about because I had a feeling the measurements would be worth it) and 11 inches. 5 from my abs alone!


We switched up my workout and I love the new stuff. Doing more free weights and stability ball work.

I got to sleep in a little this morning and now the kids are napping, I'm starting in on the bread pudding and sweet potato casserole that I'm responsible for for tomorrow and I'm looking forward to visiting with family tonight.

I'm a happy girl.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Some days, I feel as though all I'm ever doing is laundry and dishes and sternly saying, "no...get're scaring Mumma...don't touch..."

I'm hoping to go up to Mom's tomorrow night to visit with some family that are coming in ahead of Thanksgiving.

Maybe that'll be the recharge that I need.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Random Bits (Really, I Should Rename The Blog A Random Flea)

  • I really want to do yoga, but I feel very much at a loss about where to begin. For some reason, I'm kind of black and white about it. I feel as though there are two camps of people when it comes to yoga: those that already know how to do it, and those that don't. It's silly, I know, but I kind of have this mental stumbling block when it comes to finding a way to start practicing yoga. Add in the fact that I don't know where I'd ever find the time to take a class or try to teach myself and I think this may be something that I have to hold off on implementing in my life. One day.
  • I had to bring the turkeys up to Mom's today, so she could begin defrosting them and as I was getting ready to leave (warming up the van for the kids, etc.), I came back into the house and Ella was yelling that Liam had turned the "vacuum" on. I was confused, because I know the central vac scares him and he stays away from it (we never use the central vac, it's terribly unpowerful). I could hear a load whirring noise and became even more confused. When I got into the kitchen, I realized that the monkeyboy had climbed up onto the kitchen counter and turned on my KitchenAid mixer on full speed. He was simultaneously pleased with himself and scared because he'd never done that before. Did it stop him from trying to do it later, though? Oh no...he did again tonight while I was out grocery shopping. Apparently, the Muffins gave their father quite the run for his money tonight.
  • My hands are already all dry and starting to crack and it's only the end of November! It's going to be a long winter. I don't really recall it being this cold this early in the winter in a long time. There's already a thin layer of ice on the pond at Mom's and there's little icy patches in parking lots and on the street. Welcome, winter!
  • The Thanksgiving count has increased. We're up to 35 now. My sister, N, was supposed to be going to Pennslyvania to celebrate with her husband's family, but has decided to cancel their trip since the weather is supposed to be bad. Liam and Ella are going to have a blast getting loved up by the entire family.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Slow Burn

Eldest Sister and A have decided that, considering all of the pre-Thanksgiving work I've been doing up at Mom's and the fact that I'm bringing loads of food, that I'm off the hook for the third turkey. Believe it or not I actually put up a damn fight about it, but finally relented.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed lately because there's so much that I want to do, not to mention all of the stuff that I have to do, and I just feel as though I'm treading water. J's only working two days this week, so I'm hoping that, even given all of the baking I need to do for Thursday and the whirlwind that will be Thanksgiving with my family, that I'll get a chance to recharge on some level.

Here's hoping.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Hair

I'm pleased with the new stylist; I had been very anxious prior to the appointment. I'll definitely be going back, most likely in January for a trim and some color and a brow wax (but we won't look at how huge they are, mmmmkay?). She flat ironed it, which I don't have the time to do (or, you know, even think of doing), but I like the length and the bangs are far more manageable. And, it's still long enough so I can pull it back when heading to the gym.

The Before

The After

Friday, November 21, 2008

Too Nice

My sister, K - a very unhappy sort of person (oh! How Winnie The Pooh!) - and her family have decided to grace us with their presence for Thanksgiving. So now, I've been asked to make a turkey. ("If it's not too much trouble.") A third turkey.

A turkey, stuffed and carved and with homemade gravy even, to go along with the pie and the bread pudding and the sweet potato casserole and, you know, taking care of my children and trying to keep my house relatively tidy and just everyday living.

Of course, I said yes.

Because I'm crazy like that.


I think this is one of the best, most beautiful songs. EVER. If I had to choose, I'd say it was my all time favorite. This is an abbreviated performance, but it's great in its simplicity.

Bennington Potters, You Had Me Hello

I'm a little bit in love.

I Like The Description, At Least

You Are Checkers

You are very logical and rational. You are able to understand what is and isn't a factor.

You're able to compartmentalize and focus on the essentials.

You appreciate simplicity. You can see the layers of complexity and beauty in anything.

You are also playful and good natured. You don't take life too seriously!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanks Again, Lorriane

Welcome to the Christmas Edition of Getting To Know Your Family and Friends!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both.
2. Real tree or Artificial? We caved and got an artificial tree a couple of years ago and I love it. It's beautiful and pre-lit and makes life so much easier. I can put it up and not have to stress about decorating it, but still enjoy it since it's already lit. (And, yes, I'm the only one who can decorate the tree...I'm a perfectionist. When Liam and Ella are older, I plan on getting them a little tree to decorate themselves.)
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the first weekend in December.
4. When do you take the tree down? Whenever. Usually by the end of January. It always kind of depresses me to take it down.
5. Do you like eggnog? D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Oh man, I was spoiled as a kid (but I didn't realize it at the time)...I don't know if I have a favorite, but I think my kitchen set was the most memorable. It was huge and took up half of the living room and had individual appliances. I loved that thing (and it was all metal with sharp corners and everything - imagine that for kids today!)
7. Hardest person to buy for? J, because he never wants anything.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Caitlin, Liam and Ella.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, a few of them.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Always.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A CD of Irish Drinking Songs. Apparently, the logic was that, since I liked Celtic music, the CD should be right up my alley. I've never listened to it to this day.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? All throughout the year.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Pretty much everything. But, I make really yummy fudge around the Holidays.
16. Lights on the tree? Only white.
17. Favorite Christmas song? I'll Be Home for Christmas and O, Holy Night. I think George Winston's December is the most beautiful album ever.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Christmas Eve up at Mom's, celebrating Mass at her church and then dinner at her house. Christmas day at my home, where I make dinner and then we open gifts.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Most certainly. Would you like me to?
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Nothing, actually. The tree goes pretty much right to the ceiling and I like it that way. I do have a rustic star, but haven't used it in a while.
21. Presents on Christmas Eve or morning? I grew up with the tradition of one gift on Christmas Eve and may reinstate that, but otherwise we do them late Christmas afternoon, after dinner (we wait for my Mom to come down, and she always needs to rest after playing the Christmas Masses). It makes the day more relaxing, I feel.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? I don't know. I love this time of year and really practice the "good will towards men" thing. I find that I have more patience during this time of year, so nothing really gets to me.
23. Favorite Ornament theme or color? My tree is covered in special ornaments. I don't decorate with a theme. I buy J and the Muffins, among others, an ornament each year and I love looking through the ornaments and remembering Christmases past. I'm a huge sentimentalist.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? It's pretty much a repeat of Thanksgiving dinner for me. I get upset if someone wants to do something other than turkey and all of the trimmings.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Nothing really. But, I do keep dropping hints about an automatic car starter.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let's Talk About Food

I've had a little more time lately to cook (or I'm just a little better organized than I was before) and I've been enjoying my time in the kitchen (especially now that it's clean and set up in a much more logical way).

On Sunday, I made a new mac and cheese recipe. It went over very well with most of the family. J and Liam ate a ton of it, but Ella hardly touched it (not a huge surprise...she's a picky eater). Mine didn't come out as cheesey looking as Jenn's, but J swears it's his new favorite mac and cheese (for some reason, I'm always trying a new mac and cheese out) so it's a keeper.

I already told you about the tomato soup from the other night...which is awesome with blue chips, by the way.

So, onto tonight. I threw a cranberry pork roast into the crock pot before the kids woke up (I do believe that it is the easiest recipe I have - it just takes a minute, I swear) and then, while they were napping, tried out this mashed potato recipe. Now, mashed potatoes are the bane of my existence. I don't know why, but I just never seem to get them right. Sweet potatoes I don't have a problem with at all...but regular mashed potatoes I seem to massacre. Tonight's turned out alright. Overall, the potatoes were a bit runny, but were a huge hit with the kids, which was a bit of a surprise. The flavor was good, though, so I may try them again. Peeling potatoes is one of my all time least favorite things to do, I must say.

Friday will be tried and true tofu casserole, one of Liam and Ella's absolute favorites.

What about you? What are some of your favorites or what have you tried lately?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tidbits Of The Day

I finally called a new salon in town to make an appointment to do something about my hair. I'm a little nervous...but let's hope that it all works out and I end up loving my new haircut!


I HATE people who hog machines at the gym. Now, I absolutely understand and respect someone's routine, but to sit on a machine for more than 25 minutes and really only use it for ~ 10 mins (if that!) and just take reallllllllly long breaks in between sets? That's just rude. Furthermore, don't have a longass conversation with a fellow gym-goer and take up not one, but two damn machines for more than half an hour (and, I know you weren't oblivious to the fact that other people wanted to use those machines).


I should know better than to try and rest while the kids are napping. If I actually manage to fall asleep, I can never shake off the grogginess once I wake up and I end up being kind of crabby (but, no, it did not contribute at all to my gripe about machine hogs at the gym). I'm very tired lately, though. A nap seemed like a good idea at the time.

Possibly The Best. Line. Ever.

While running errands with the Muffins this morning, I stopped at McDonald's to get a Diet Coke (large, no ice, of course).

When I pulled up to the window to pay, the woman was taking another customer's order and all of a sudden she says, "we can do whatever you want as long as you're giving me money."


Monday, November 17, 2008


Today was a very blah day. I was in a rather rotten mood for most of the day and was unable to either shake it off or determine the cause of the bad mood. I managed to be pretty productive, despite my mood, throwing together tomato soup before the kids woke up (this might be my new favorite recipe!) and even made cookies while they napped.

I hit the gym tonight, even though I had been planning on it being my night off (I go 6 days a week). I cheated last night and only did my weight routine, skipping out on the cardio, so I went tonight to do my penance. I think it helped to lift my mood a bit. sleep! Let's hope tomorrow's a better day, eh?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's Getting To Be That Time Of Year

For Christmas 2006, I - insane woman that I am - hand stamped over 60 cards. I was bound and determined to send out just the right picture of the Muffins to commemorate their first Christmas. Now, I'm not overly creative when it comes to the whole cardmaking/stamping thing, so I stamped "love" "joy" "peace" and "hope" around the perimeter of the outside of the card and then simply stamped "believe" on the inside. This may not sound like a lot...but I also did it in alternating red/green colors and would you believe how many times you have to use the letter "e" to do those words? (Yep, that's right...7, if I count correctly.) Add in the fact that I write personal messages in each card and it was a lot of work, but when we finally captured the most perfect photo of the kids and the cards turned out beautifully. I'd do it all over again (of course, that's when the kids were pretty much immobile, so I actually could do something like that).

Last year, it was a bit more difficult to get a good shot of the kids actually even remotely near one another and both looking at the camera at the same time so, after much internal debate, I opted for this. I'm generally not a fan of thattype of photo card, but the kids pretty much left me with no option (and look at how little hair Ella had! I thought she was going to be bald on top forever!). I had the photo cards printed up, but I still inserted them into a traditional Christmas card and wrote personal messages.

This year, I'm fairly confident that I've already got the perfect Christmas card photo. Now...the question is do I try to hand stamp another 60+ cards (with a saying more complex than '06's) or merely print the pictures and put them into the cards I'd already purchased (which can always be held for next year)?

Decisions, decisions.

This Is My 200th Post, Apparently

I'm making up my grocery list and scouring some of my favorite blogs for recipe ideas for the coming week.

Can I just say how much I wish we had a Trader Joe's or a Whole Foods nearby? (Although, I'd prefer TJ's over WF...the closest TJ's is right over the MA border, near Nashua, not a killer trip, but not entirely convenient, either.)

Le sigh.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What's In A Name?

Growing up, my mother always expected our friends to call her "Mrs. Ourlastname." I never really thought much about it and always called my friends' parents "Mr. and Mrs. Theirlastname." ( The only exception being my former best friend's parents, whom I called "Mom" and "Dad," and she in turn called my mother "Mom.")

It took nearly a year of my going out with one boyfriend before I was comfortable calling his parents by their first names, which they pretty much had to insist that I do. Even my in-laws...whose own son calls them by their first names (which I'm still rather incredulous about)...after more than 12 years I still bristle at the familiarity of using their first names (although, I would feel even more uncomfortable calling them "Mom" or "Dad"...I've always felt that the people who married into my family got off lucky, because my mother's name is Nancy and she is Nana to all of the the in-laws just get to call her "Nan" and it has a way of not seeming too familiar, but very familial - if that makes any sense).

Essentially, I was raised to be polite, but to also expect politeness in return.

Last week, J and I were watching an episode of Doctor Who and the crux of it was that a group of witches (who had been unwittingly summoned by Shakespeare in his grief over the death of his son) could only be banished if, initially, they were named and, ultimately, as Shakespeare found the right words to send them back into exile. It made me think about the power of names and how I absolutely hatehatehate it when someone I don't know uses my first name. It's so uncomfortable.

When I used to work in retail, and later in a bank, they encouraged us to use the customer's first name as often as possible. I had a hard time with it, I'll admit. At the bank, it was a little easier because we did have regulars who came in, sometimes on a daily basis, so it seemed more logical to be more familiar with them. In retail though? I just couldn't do it. Nothing like taking someone's check or credit card and awkwardly glancing at the person's name and trying to work it into "you have a nice day, enterfirstnamehere" without it seeming forced. Once, at Sam's Club, they had a little plastic sign hanging beneath the cash register that said something along the lines of "This dollar is yours if I fail to call you by your name!" I told the cashier that I would give him a dollar to not call me by my first name. He didn't quite know what to make of that, but he didn't use my name.

Call me "miss," call me "ma'am," hell, you can even call me crazy; but, unless you know me, please don't call me Heather.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Filled Up For Less Than $30!

$1.99 for gas tonight!



I got quite a bit done today during my assault on the kitchen. I have a lot more that I'd like to do, but am pleased with the result.

The kids had a blast up at Mom's and were even good enough that she was game when I asked if J and I could grab dinner before we picked the kids up. Needless to say, Mom will sleep very well tonight, but it's very important to me that she has as much time as possible so I was glad that she was able to watch them for so long. Now...if I can swing this once a month, wow would I be able to get a ton done!


The kids are completely obsessed with Animusic 2 and often request to watch their "music robots." As we were driving up to Mom's this morning, the kids were watching the DVD and asked if they could watch it at Nana's. Now, my mother gets totally skeeved out by the DVD and has told me she thinks it's "creepy." I explained to the kids that Nana didn't like the music robots and that she was actually a little scared of them and that it was better not to watch the music robots at Nana's house.

Cut to tonight: the kids were excited when J and I went to get them and, while I was trying to cajole them into the car, I told them that their music robots were already playing in the van. Liam became very excited, but Ella walked up to my mother and said, "Oh, Nana. You can't watch music robots. It scare you. You very fragile."

My little Miss Smartypants took a concept I taught her about physical strength (actually, it was more like "don't hit Mommy in the head with that, heads are fragile" - I'm slightly more sensitive to the head thing since my bout with labyrinthitis), and extrapolated it to emotional strength. She understood that Mom didn't like the music robots on an emotional level and proceeded to tell Mom that it was alright.

I am in constant awe of my children.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Internal Conflict

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a mother. It would be untruthful to suggest that I never thought of a career, but motherhood was always my chief priority in life.

For a very long stretch, I wanted to be a lawyer, but eventually that plan kind of fizzled. Within a year after J and I were married, we moved to Minnesota and I just did...well, nothing for a year. Once we moved home, I did more nothing until I became fed up with the nothing that was doing nothing. So, I returned to school and, having previously worked in a college library, decided to see if there was any work in the library at the school. And...there was. So, for nearly 8 years, I climbed the library ladder and was damn good at what I did (doing everything someone with a Master's in Library Science would). But, my heart wasn't really in it. I enjoyed what I did for the most part, and I loved being in academia. I also tutored English for the Learning Center and helped teach ESOL for a summer program run by the school. I was a damn good tutor, too, and, as much as I flirted with the idea of getting my MLS, I was much more tempted to go for a PhD in English and try to become a professor. But, in all honestly, I was just biding my time until my dream of motherhood could come true.

And it did. I am a very hands-on mother and I love it. I can't imagine my life being any different. I am so very, very blessed with Liam and Ella that sometimes I feel as though my heart is going to explode with gratitude and awe. But sometimes, just sometimes, I have an occasional twinge of thinking about returning to school when the kids are older. And then I feel guilty for feeling as though I'm somehow betraying my dream of motherhood by potentially not being here all of the time. I worry that, if I get a graduate degree and start a new career, that I'm shortchanging my family. I also worry that Liam and Ella might one day be disappointed that I didn't have a career and maybe feel as though I squandered my potential or something.


Obviously, I'll be working this one out for quite a while.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Random Bullet Points

  • I'm psyched that Top Chef is back. I would never make most of the stuff that is done on the show (mostly because I'm a pretty picky eater), but it's so entertaining to watch the competition.
  • The Muffins will get a day at Nana's on Friday so that I can attack the kitchen and maybe rearrange the front room again. I need to make the kitchen more user-friendly as the Holidays are approaching and more kid-safe as the kidlets, Liam in particular, are getting better and better at reaching things. And..who knew a stove would be such a fun thing to climb?! On some level, my kids have got to be overachievers when it comes to troublemaking.
  • I am in desperate need of a haircut. Have I already mentioned this? This always happens. I start getting the urge for a cut and then ignore it. I end up liking what my hair is doing for a while and then it just all of a sudden becomes too much and too heavy and I hate how it looks. I've been seeing the same stylist for nearly 1o years, but I think it's time for a change. I'd like to find someone closer to home, but don't really know how to go about finding someone new.
  • Damn you, Chris Martin. I hate myself for loving the new coldplay. I cannot get enough of Viva La Vida (YouTube). I think it may be some kind of sickness or something.
  • Now, I must go load the dishwasher.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Manners And Quirks

Teaching children manners is an ongoing effort, but the Muffins are well on their way to being polite little people, if I have any say in the matter. We're good with "thank you" and "you're welcome" and we're working on "excuse me." I'm also trying to inculcate "passed gas" instead of the baser term.

The other night I was mindlessly playing with one of the little chairs that goes with the Muffins' tea party table set and my bare foot made a crude sound against the plastic of the chair. Ella's head shot up immediately and said, "You passed gas, Mommy!" I tried to explain to her that I had not, that it was my foot sliding at an awkward angle on the chair. She persisted, "No, Mama, you say 'excuse me' right now!"

OK, so that's a good sign, right? (We'll just pretend she didn't order me to do something, mmmkay?)

My son, on the other hand, is obsessed with vacuums. And, honestly, that's putting it mildly. Whenever we're out shopping, the boy must always be brought down the vacuum aisle of whatever store we happen to be in, usually more than once. He's forever doing things around the house in order to try and get me to have to use the vacuum (a behavior his sister is none too pleased with). Over the past week alone, he has managed to get the salt shaker (at least three times!), which actually has resulted in my needing to pull out the little vacuum (which is really more like an electric broom and doesn't freak Ella out as much as the Dyson does), the pepper mill (which, sadly for Liam, has not ended with my pulling out the vacuum because he has yet to figure out how to ) and he's pulled my empty soda cups and cans down from the counter in the hopes that I "need vacuum" (again, sadly not resulting in my making a trip to the closet).

Maybe he'll be a clean freak one day?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thanks For The Post Idea, Lorraine

10 YEARS AGO I . . .

1.) Turned 23 (since it's my birthday, natch)
2.) Had recently moved back from living in Minnesota (no offense to the Midwest, but that was pretty much the worst year of my life)
3.) Had already been married for 2 years (we were babies when we got together, I tell you!)
4.) Had just returned to school and gotten my job at the UNHM Library
5.) Would never have entertained the thought of joining a gym

5 THINGS ON TODAY'S TO-DO LIST (this is grossly unrepresentative of a typical day since I took it easy for my birthday)

1.) Go out to breakfast (which was delicious and the kids were great!)
2.) Play with the Muffins
3.) Take a nap
4.) Read
5.) Pick up a table at Target for Thanksgiving at Mom's


1.) Pay off my, my mother's and J's parents' mortgages
2.) Sock away a ton for the kids' college funds
3.) Buy a vacation home up North
4.) Go on a trip to England, Scotland and Ireland (and maybe never come back!)
5.) Set up a kickass quilt studio


1.) Tilton, NH
2.) Colchester, VT
3.) Rochester, MN
4.) Manchester, NH
5.) Concord, NH


1.) Tilton School: Waitress for the Gordon Summer Research Conferences
2.) Tilt'n Diner: Hostess and Soda Jerk (I make killer frappes!)
3.) NHCTC-Laconia: Library Assistant
4.) UNH Manchester: Library Assistant, Head of Interlibrary Lending and all-around Amazing Employee ;)
5.) Mom

A Thought On Aging

I love Post Secret and I thought this was the best, most optimistic secret ever.

I want the same thing.

What I Do When I Should Be Sleeping

I told you my day was not yet done...

In order for you to fully appreciate this photo, I should have taken a "before" shot but then you'd get to see just how cluttered I can allow life to get and then you'd think less of me, dear Internets. Suffice it to say that this is a huge improvement over what the dining area looked like just a mere 2 hours before I attacked it (if you're assuming that perhaps we must not always eat at the table in order for it to become cluttered, you'd be correct). If Caitlin ever catches up on her blog reading, she'd attest to the vast change.

Yes, there is a little pile of "to-do" things next to my computer, and there always will be (unless, you know, we're actually eating at the table...then the computer's not there), but it's much improved from what was there. That basket on the floor to the left? Was filled to overflowing with years worth of parenting magazines. Yes, there are still plenty of things within the kids' reach, but they're learning pretty quickly that this is "Mommy area" and to leave things be.

Anyway, now I'm really off to bed.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Day In Review

We all enjoyed a little sleep-in, as it appears the effects of the end of Daylight Savings Time have run their course with the Muffins. I got up shortly before the kids and got them ready for the day once they were awake. I ended up missing the 8:30 Mass, but decided to check out the 11 service and think I may prefer it to the earlier service. The music was different, but the entire congregation sings and it's not quite as crowded. The thing that sucks about going to church by yourself (I was scoping out the service to see if it would work for the whole family next week) is Peace. You have to wait for all of the people around you to shake hands with/hug/kiss the people that they're with before they move onto those around them. Either way, though, it was a good experience and I may start going to that service on a regular basis.

After Mass, I popped into the (very crowded) Holiday Fair that the church was holding. I ended up running into friends of the family and had a quick catch-up with them. Now, I'm not a fan of real maple syrup (I know, blasphemy if you're from New England), but I felt compelled to purchase some of their products and the maple kettle corn was really good. The Muffins liked it, too.

When I came home, I was immediately informed by Ella that "Liam was taking a nap." I was a bit surprised, but he was obviously zonked and needed the rest. He ended up sleeping for a little over 3 hours. Ella, being the relatively self-entertaining child that she is, made it possible to just kind of hang out, periodically snuggle with the Muffin and relax for a good part of the early afternoon. I ended up watching The Tenth Circle on demand, but was disappointed for the most part. I know it had to be adapted for television, but they left out major parts of the book and it felt simultaneously rushed and dragged out, if that makes any sense.

Mom came down around 3:30 and as much as I asked her to not bring balloons (I am so not a balloon person, but she is), she brought a couple of balloons. I knew the kids would have a blast with them at least. She made me a delicious cake, with the best chocolate frosting that I've ever had. I'll definitely have to get the recipe from her, but it involved melting Hershey bars and, for some reason, this really tweaked J out. He was "psychologically thrown off" by that little tidbit and now can't eat the cake. Weirdo.

We did go to the Comman Man for dinner and it was a rather comical event. I didn't realize that J had taken a Tylenol PM last night. This may seem like an insignificant fact, but he's a bit of an alien. The dude can drink an entire pot of regular coffee and then go to sleep. So...1 measly Tylenol PM, while it makes me sleep well and feel completely refreshed in the morning, pretty much makes J an idiot for a few days. They have kerosene lamps on the tables and they don't light them until someone is seated (dinner begins at 4 on Sundays and we were there shortly thereafter, so we were the first to sit at our table). After we were seated, J tried to move the glass of the lamp and nearly broke the thing. Then he was a bit of a zombie when it came to ordering and having some bread. The highlight of dinner, though? As we were sharing a ginormous hot fudge sundae for dessert, the man decided he just had to have a napkin and ended up depositing his spoon into my Diet Coke. The movement was so deft and natural that it threw me off and I didn't even realize that it was my drink that the spoon was in. I laughed for a very long time after that and, yes, I did still drink the soda.

After dinner, we came home, said goodbye to Mom and I hit the gym where I banged out a great workout (today was a cardio-only day so 60 mins on the total body arc trainer). Came home, bathed the kids, played for a bit and then put the Muffins down. I did some vacuuming since the kids are getting into everything (and then some) lately and Liam actually brought me a little handful of dust earlier today.

Now, I'm showered and relaxed but the day is far from over. I still need to tidy the kitchen and do some other cleaning/organizing in the hopes that the kids will get into less tomorrow (fingers crossed!).

How was your day?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Couple Of Days Early

Even though it's not until Monday, it looks as though we'll be celebrating my birthday tomorrow. Mom's insisting on making me a cake, claiming that I simply cannot make my own birthday cake. Mom'll come down and watch the kids while J and I enjoy dinner at my favorite restaurant.

It's funny, I used to be all about birthdays. But now a quiet observation is all I want. On the actual day, I'd like to try and go out to breakfast if the Muffins cooperate and then hit the gym. Laying low and taking a moment to realize the many blessings in my life is the best way to mark the passage of time for me.

33, here I come!

Question Of The Morning

Is it right that it is November in New Hampshire and I actually opened a couple of windows this morning?

The heat's been off for quite a few days now, but the new windows are so efficient and it's been so mild that it feels as though the heat's cranked to 70 in here.

Bring on the cold, Mother Nature!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Kitchen Dreams

First of all, I forgot to mention that I received my cookbook! Woohoo! The mailman actually delivered it on Election Day, but I've been too scatterbrained to blog about it. The recipes look amazing, and I can't wait until the kidlets give me more space in the kitchen so that I can cook more (I do a fair amount of crockpot cooking b/c I can usually get it put together before the kids wake up*). My sister, A, loves Ina Garten and I know that this cookbook is a great addition to my kitchen. Thanks again, Jenn!

Speaking of my that the siding is done and the windows have been replaced and the roof is new and we finally have a deck, my kitchen is really the only thing I'd like to change about the house. (Well, we won't talk about project: basement...that will happen one day!)

My kitchen is very small. It's pretty much a galley-style and there isn't much room for more than two people to comfortably work in (and even that's cutting it close, depending on what is going on). I have quaint visions of cooking and baking with the kids when they're a little bit older, but the smallness of my kitchen will make for cramped quarters. I know they'd love to help out in the kitchen, but I don't quite see how it could work with the setup I currently have. Aside from the basement (which is only a monumental task in that it will require clearing out/sorting through a ton and a half of stuff), the kitchen is the last major area of the house that I'd like to re-do. What I envision, though, would take time and lots of money and would be messy in the short run so it's not happening for quite a while...But I'll keep dreaming about it!

What would you change about your place if you could?

Thursday, November 6, 2008


  • While flipping through my most recent Everyday Food, I saw a recipe for a cheddar-crusted apple pie. Although I know that people combine cheese and apple pie, I have never tried it in my life. It just doesn't seem like a logical food combination to me (so says the chick who has been known to combine french fries and hot fudge sundaes and sour cream and onion potato chips and tomato soup). The recipe seems tempting, though, and I may just try it this year for Thanksgiving. Tell me, though, have you done the cheddar and apple pie thing? Is it really as good as everyone says?
  • The other day, while out for a drive, a large truck cut across 3 lanes of traffic and I was taken aback. I exclaimed, to no one in particular, "Dude, what up?" From the back seat I then heard, "Dude, what up little man?" Take a guess which kidlet it was (hint: she's quite the talker, just like her Mama).
  • Hey did you see this?
  • I honestly think that Sarah Palin is toast (certainly, the finger pointing is pretty much all aimed towards Alaska). Yes, she fired up the 'pub base and she is a solid conservative, but I don't think she's got much of a future beyond this point. I'd be shocked if she is reelected as governor of Alaska when the time comes. We'll see, I guess.
  • I'm jonesing for chinese food. Maybe Saturday night...
  • I'm a rather snarky people-watcher at the gym. If I see someone coming into the gym, say, when I'm getting on a machine for a 60-minute workout and then I see that same person leave before I'm through with my workout? I invariably think to myself, "why even bother coming in?" Bitchy, I know. I should put the spin on it that at least that person is coming in and moving at all and any exercise beats no exercise, right?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Seeing The Blessing Through The Frustrations

The kids were INSANE yesterday and for most of the day today. Ella caught me under the chin twice today, headbutting me and causing me to bite my tongue both times. Liam has figured out how to silently move one of the dining chairs so that he can climb up and play with everything that he shouldn't. I'm rapidly running out of high surfaces to put things on. I went grocery shopping tonight (alone, bonus!), only to basically have to race to put the groceries away because I was essentially under attack by both kids and they were into everything - I mean everything. Ella decided to spit up some of her dinner and then proceeded to wipe it all over her face, hands and her brother's hair. If I were being honest on facebook, my status might read something like this: Heather sometimes feels like she's getting her ass kicked by motherhood.

But in the end, all of the frustrations instantly wash away when the Amazing Muffins grab each other's hands and dance around the living room or when they wrap their tiny arms around me and say, "I love you, Mama."

So, I'll amend it to say: Heather sometimes feels like she's getting her ass kicked by motherhood. But she wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Own Little Piece Of History

I don't know exactly where my fervor for voting comes from, but I distinctly remember my mother taking me along with her to vote. In fact, sitting in a polling place on a bright November morning as my mother disappeared behind a red, white and blue striped curtain for a few moments may be one of my earliest memories. So, I attribute my firm belief that voting is vital and that if you don't vote, I will refuse to listen to you complain about our governing officials to these early memories of participating in our political process.

Despite one of my sisters exhorting everyone she came in to even distant contact with to "bring water, bring lawn chairs, and dress in layers" when heading to the polls today (and my reminding her that, hey, we live in NEW HAMPSHIRE where uhm I can't honestly foresee any major voting issues arising), we had no issues at our polling location today (and neither did anyone I spoke with). In fact, we waited in line longer when voting in the primary in January (when it was pretty damn cold). She was adamant, too, that we not bring the kids with us because it would just be too much for them to take. Needless to say, she was wrong...sort of. But, even though they may not remember it, I was determined to have our children with us as we cast our votes for Barack Obama.

As we waited for all of two minutes in line to announce ourselves, Ella suddenly became possessed by evil Republican spirits or something and became nearly uncontrollable. I switched kids with J and he was strapped with wrangling the inexplicably insane one. Liam was pretty well behaved until he decided that he just had to touch the boot of the man in the booth next to me because he was convinced that it was Daddy's boot. I told him repeatedly that it wasn't in fact the foot of his father at all and hastily filled out the rest of my ballot (while also listening to Ella freak the hell out two booths over). Despite a complete stranger offering to hold Ella while J voted (hello? who would ever do that? offer and/or accept the offer?), we both placed our ballots into the machine and left the polling place, happy to have played our tiny roles in history.

Yes, we did.

Get It?

See how much I love you, my Internets? I'm willing to post of picture of me first thing in the morning in order to encourage you to get out there and vote! Not that my fatigued visage should be the's the message on the shirt. Now, get out there and vote (even if it's for the other guy, damnit!). DO IT!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yes, We Can

Life 'Round Here

I was kind of only half serious when I said that I didn't see the early rising streak coming to an end...but today the kids got up at 7:20! Eeeek!

I was in the middle or sorting their laundry in the hopes that I could at least get one load in before they woke up. I did, but not before they were pretty unhappy that I hadn't gotten them sooner. As it happened, I did manage to get all of their laundry done over the course of the day, and I even made dinner (spinach, cheese and bacon quiche which the Muffins love). That's a pretty productive day around here.

The kids are going through a phase (at least, I hope it's a phase) where they pretty much don't want me to do oh, well, anything without them, which makes meal preparation especially challenging. Liam, in particular, is very vocal about his desire for me to hold him and to "not make dinna!" I'm starting to think that I'm going to have to get up at 5 am in order to get anything done around here.

I'm pooped.

ETA: This is the first year where daylight savings time, or its end, has kicked our asses. We've been lucky enough to escape its havoc-wreaking effects thus far in the Muffins' lives. It looks as though our luck has run out.


Get out there and vote! If you don't vote, you can't complain.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Prior to this morning, the Muffins have only been to church 3 1/2 times in their life: on my first Mother's Day, when they were 5 weeks old; in November of 2006 (when they were 7 months old), the kidlets were baptized in the church I grew up in and then we took them to church for their first Christmas. At each of those Masses, the kids were great. Perfect little angels, even. Last year, we attempted to bring them to Christmas Eve Mass at Mom's church, but had to leave early into the service because the kids were crazy nuts.

Cut to today...the kids woke up an hour early (courtesy of the end of daylight savings time) and I'd been floating the trial balloon of taking the kids to church with me for the past couple of months. J thinks I'm crazy. And I am, but that doesn't stop me from doing much. J decided to play along and we got ready and went to church, my anxiety about the kids' behavior quietly masked the entire way there.

A bit of backstory: I began feeling the pull to go back to church last year and decided to act on it. I was raised Catholic and J is an atheist (though he was raised marginally Protestant) which makes for interesting discussions around here...but, he supports my faith tendencies and was on board with having the kids baptized Catholic (after we sort of halfheartedly looked into alternative religions, none of which felt OK with me). There are four different Catholic churches in town, but there was one that I was particularly drawn to. The priest is wonderful and I really enjoyed the services. Except for the music. Being the daughter of a church organist, music is very important to me. The choir at the first church I attended...well, they flat out sucked. The music was never quite liturgically correct and they were always trying out different principal parts of the Mass, which drove me INSANE. Finally, I decided that I couldn't attend that church any longer because it was no longer a spiritually fulfilling experience for me.

I began attending another church, one a little closer to home. It's the largest Catholic church in Concord and is a very active parish community...and, most importantly, the priests are both great and the music is just beautiful. I've been attending Mass off and on for the past couple of months, but have been in a bit of a slump lately and feeling very lonely when it comes to going to church. I miss the sense of community that I grew up with and want very much for Liam and Ella to have that.

As much as I'm tired of going to Mass by myself, and trust me it was getting a little depressing, I was afraid of how the kids would behave if we attempted to take them. And J, I'm sure, was afraid of dual-toddler wrangling while I tried to pay attention to the service. we walked, escape plan ready (J knew where the keys were, we both had our cell phones on us in case he had to pick me up after church), and apprehension firmly planted in my chest, and aside from some serious scowling on Ella's part for the first 1/3 of the service, the kids were pretty damn great. That isn't to say that it was easy - because it wasn't - and perhaps, just maybe, some chocolate bribery was involved, but their behavior far exceeded expecations!

Ella will now tell you, if asked, that she "went to church and heard music and behaved and read books." Liam was very soothed by the music and I think that maybe, just maybe, we may try again next week. (Unfortunately, I don't see this early rising streak coming to an end anytime soon!)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I almost forgot...Cloris is finally gone! FINALLY.

Massive belated cheering!

I'm A Winner!

Jenn from Jenn's Journal and No Lemon Juice recently breathed new life into No Lemon Juice and held a giveaway to celebrate the relaunch of her site. And...I won a cookbook! Just for leaving a comment! Awesome!

I've been drooling over some of the new recipes that Jenn's been posting and am dreaming of the day when I have the time to try some myself. Also, I won the Barefoot Contessa At Home and I'm psyched b/c I don't own any Ina yet and am looking forward to it.

Woohoo for me!


We had a quiet day around here, but it seems to have flown by. The kids wanted to go for a walk this morning, so we gave in, even though it always turns into a battle of wills with Liam. If allowed to, the boy would run wild forever. Finally, he agreed to head towards home when we offered to go out to eat. Restaurants are a big hit with the kids. Restaurants = crayons. In Liam's case, restaurants = french fries. It was still early when we went for our ride (oh yes, every morning includes a ride by the local airport and National Guard unit to check out the airplanes and helicopters), so we ended up in Tilton, just in time to hit someplace as it was opening. We opted for the 99, which is decent enough, but is a Pepsi place, so I'm never too jazzed to go there. Diet Pepsi sucks.

After lunch, we surprised Mom with a visit and she was thrilled, as were the kids. Before we even get off the highway at her exit, Liam knows it's the way to Nana's house and he gets sooooo excited. Her house wasn't kid-proofed, but the Muffins managed to not make too much of a mess and Mom managed to press J and me into some hard labor, having us move some seriously heavy storage totes from an upstairs bedroom to the room farthest away from it in the house. I guess that was my pre-gym workout.

All in all, a quiet and good day.

Hey, did you hear about Sarah Palin being pranked? Brilliant!