Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Ugh

I don't know why I loathe New Year's so much. When I think back over the years, I can't pinpoint any one thing that would make me dislike the holiday. In fact I've enjoyed celebrations, both large and boisterous and intimate and mellow, with friends and family pretty much every year, but I absolutely have never understood the hoopla surrounding New Year's.

Maybe it's post-Christmas letdown or just staring down the barrel of a bleak January (my absolute least favorite month) that I project negativity onto New Year's. Either way, it's just another day as far as I'm concerned.

That said, I do sincerely hope that 2009 brings you every happiness.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things I Don't Understand

  • People who don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Serious ick.
  • People who smoke right before heading into the gym to workout. They smell bad to begin with and smell even worse once they start sweating. And, really, what's the point of working out if you're already trying to kill yourself?
  • The guy I overheard at Target tonight who said, "I mean why should I spend $3,000.00 for one when I can buy two of these for the same price and we can make a 64" TV out of the two of them?" Uhm...really?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Twin Love

First, a note: I had a fabulous dinner out with friends from middle school last night. It was so lovely to catch up and I hope we get together again soon!


It's hard to believe that tomorrow will be a "normal" day. No big meal to cook, no presents to wrap, no last minute groceries to run out and get. It seems as though the past two weeks have been crammed full of Christmas preparations and I'm only now just starting to feel the whirwind die down. J goes back to work in the morning (but only for two days, he's taking Wednesday and Friday off again) and Mom's coming down so I can hit the gym. I don't know as though I'll know what to do with myself!

I've noticed that the kids are crazier on days when both J and I are around. I've been running around a lot lately and he's been home with the Muffins and they've been pretty damn great for him. The moment I step through the door? Near insanity. It's the same thing during the week, if J' working in the office. The kids and I have a pretty good routine going on (a loose routine, granted, but we have our usual daily things that we do), and when J gets home from work they go nuts! It doesn't seem to happen when Mom or Cait is over, just when both J and I are around.

That said, they've had some sort of developmental spurt or something recently and they are very funny and mostly cooperative. I miss my tiny babies, but I love these toddlers who are hilarious, talkative, creative little jokesters. They enjoy each other's company more and love making the other laugh. Ella's very much a little mother and is always making sure that Liam has what he needs, especially if he's upset (actually, they both tell me when the other is upset and neither of them likes to be without the other for too long). If Liam and I are out without Ella, he only lasts so long before he "want to go see Ehya." I love how much they love each other.

Today, when I came home from church, she was pushing him in the baby doll stroller that Santa brought (for her new Cabbage Patch Preemie, mind you). She was even "feeding" him from the baby bottles intended for her doll. At one point Ella even said, "Oh, Liam, will you be my baby please?"

Oh! The cuteness!

Friday, December 26, 2008


Every night before they go to sleep, I sing to the Muffins. They each get four songs, with the first always being "I love Liam/Ella" sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques."

Ella sits in bed quietly and sways gently as I sing to her.

Liam lays down, pays attention and softly sings "I love Mommy" to me as I sing to him.

I am so, so blessed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Recap

Despite some last minute stress and attempts at emotional manipulation on the part of a couple family members, we had a lovely Christmas.

The low point was attempting to attend Christmas Eve Mass at Mom's church. This year, Liam and Ella didn't even make it beyond three measures into the opening hymn. In their defense, there weren't many people at the church (so it was a great big cavernous space to explore!), I had made the mistake of showing them the basket of "quiet toys" (mostly soft books) especially for children attending Mass (of course, they kept running back and forth between our pew and the back of the church wanting to have each and every toy), and the Muffins were excited to see Nana up in the choir it was pretty much a recipe for disaster and we just averted it by packing up and heading to Mom's house.

Once the kidlets were snuggled nicely in bed last night, I wrapped some last minute gifts and then headed out to Midnight Mass at my own church while J was left to assemble the train table for the kids. Mass was lovely and the train table was set up by the time I got home.

This morning was nice and relaxed. Santa didn't come until naptime (I think this is the only year I'll be able to get away with that) and the kids napped while we ate Christmas dinner (which everyone said was good, but I think was merely alright...seemed rather bland or something to me, not quite sure).

Present opening was a long process, but the kids got it this year and it was fun. Ella, especially, was a champ at ripping off the wrapping paper and, by the end, was offering to open other people's gifts for them ("Here, Nana! A present for you. I can open it for you!"). Liam was terrified of the toy vacuum while it was in the box, but once it was out was so very excited to play with it...even hugging it and telling us how much he loved it.

Mom made me a red velvet cake (yummy!) and gave me a lovely lavender and buckwheat hull pillow that smells so wonderful. J spoiled me with my usual Ansel Adams calendar and date book, the crocks from Bennington Potters that I was coveting, seriously good chocolates, the soundtrack to Love in the Time of Cholera and a Vera Bradley bag in my pattern (which is now retired). I'm a lucky chica.

When bringing Mom's gifts out to her car, I slipped and fell on our porch steps. My ass is broken. That kind of sucked. At least it was me, though, and not Mom who discovered the ice-coated stairs...that would have been disastrous.

J's family was supposed to come in tomorrow, but their plans have changed. I'm both relieved and annoyed, but that's life. At least I'll sort of have a relaxing day. I plan to hit the gym (man, have I been bad and eating pretty much whatever I want...I need to kick my ass hardcore at the gym from now on) and then go up to visit Mom by myself. Should be nice.

Here's hoping your Christmas was everything you wanted.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry And Bright

The cleaning's nearly all done. The cookies and biscuits are all baked and look delicious...the bread pudding's next! The wrapping's almost complete (gift bags, here I come!) and the turkey is thawed. We're happy and healthy (and maybe just a little tired, but I'm not complaining!).

We're together as a family and all is right within our little world.

Wishing you all a wonderful, peaceful, happy and joy-filled Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Since Sunday Night

Bake cookies. Wrap. Laundry. Dishes. Wrapping. Good Lord, the wrapping! Hit the gym for appointment with the trainer. Get ass kicked by trainer (in a great way!). Play with kids. Take them out for obligatory daily ride. Naptime! More laundry. Finish grocery list. Order pizza. Watch in amusement as kids feed themselves and make huge messes. Bathe kids. Hit grocery store (for the fourth time in less than two weeks and still manage to not get everything!). Unload groceries. More laundry. Play Clay Aiken's Christmas album so often that J refers to this as the "Clay Christmas." Wrapwrapwrapwrap! Organize gifts (into piles...who's coming for Christmas, who's coming for the 26th). Make sleepytime tea. Go to bed. Remember the turkey! Run downstairs, fill sink, begin to thaw turkey.


Wake up! Sort more laundry. Change turkey water. Change Christmas CD. Wrap some more (at this point, seriously *almost* done). Unload dishwasher. Load dishwasher (especially since one sink in now taken up by the turkey, natch). Throw in another load of laundry. Go back to the Clay Christmas CD. Plan rest of day (to include, in no particular order, a trip to Target, a quick run into the grocery store to see if they've restocked what they were out of last night, a Diet Coke from McD's (oh how I need you, McD's Diet Coke!) and a naptime workout - J's working from home, yay!). Update blog.


Gratuitous pictures...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rolling With It

I'm not entirely sure why, but even though I've got a to-do list that's two miles long, I'm not stressed in the slightest about everything that I have to do for Christmas.

It'll all get done, at the expense of precious sleep of course. But I'm not worried. I think it'll be a nice Holiday.

Now, for a completely random bit of base humor...Little Dog is curled up next to me and just surprised the hell out of himself (and woke himself up from a deep sleep) by farting. His little head shot up and he was looking all around trying to figure out what the hell just happened.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not Such A Good Idea

I wouldn't advise going to the gym on an empty stomach. And then watching an episode of Top Chef while working out.

I'm starving!

Monday, December 15, 2008

96 Hours In Review

  • Lost power around 6:15 Friday morning. Ella freaked the hell out because her "mukic" was off (actually, the music wasn't playing at the time...but the fact that the stereo was off was sending her over the edge; now, though, their lullaby CD has to play on repeat all night long).
  • After nearly two hours, the power was restored and all was right with the Muffins' world again and much peace ensued. J worked from home on Friday and the power stayed on.
  • Saturday morning, my brother, P, who had been without power since 10 Thursday night, called and asked if we might be able to pick up some lamp oil if we were heading out. He also mentioned that he didn't have enough gas in his car to get anywhere and that all of the local gas stations weren't working. I decide to take it one step further and go in search of a gas, lamp oil and order some pizzas for my brother and his family. My sister, who is, shall we say, a very prepared person, happened to call me as we were out on our quest to find a gas can (since most of Concord wasn't hit as hard as other areas nearby, the big box stores were slammed with people looking for supplies) and told us to just go to her house to get the supplies P needed.
  • I was deemed my nephew's "favorite person ever" (at least for the time being) upon delivery of supplies. I'm sure the pizza had nothing to do with it.
  • Brother's power came back on within two hours of our expedition. Of course.
  • Yesterday started off well, but then deteriorated. I was supposed to meet some friends for dinner, but one of those friends is still without power so we postponed our plans.
  • I ended up napping while the kids took their nap and delayed my visit to the gym. All was still going well.
  • Grocery shopping was next on the agenda and let me just say that Sunday night is a fabulously quiet time to get your grocery shopping done. At least, around here it is.
  • I twisted my ankle in the meat department, while trying to get the largest turkey that I could find. That sucked.
  • THEN, just as my boatload of groceries was being rung up, I looked in my bag to see that my wallet was not there. *gasp* Thinking that I'd left it in my gym bag, I tried to use the one credit card that was in my backup wallet (which is really only good for holding my checkbook) that I was pretty sure I had cancelled, but thought I'd try it anyway.
  • Well...I wrote a check. Knowing that I didn't have my license on me, though, I anticipated this being a problem. I do, however, know my license number by heart and included that on the check. The cashier was skeptical about my confidence in recalling my license number and continually missed the first two numbers when entering it into the computer and insisted that it was invalid.
  • After calling the manager over TWICE and a huge line forming behind me, the issue was cleared up, and I resumed my silent freakout about where the hell my wallet could be.
  • I immediately call J and ask him to check my gym bag, and as I'm on the phone with him, two bags of groceries topple out of my cart and I run over a bag of chocolate chips and watch bottles of juice fly across the parking lot.
  • A very sweet girl, thinking, I'm sure, that I was about to totally lose my nut, helped me gather my groceries and I called J back (whom I had unceremoniously hung up on when the food stuffs went flying) to see if he had located my wallet.
  • He hadn't.
  • I pulled over on Main St. and searched the van, finally locating the wayward wallet on the center console. My bag had fallen on the floor as I pulled into the grocery store and, apparently, my wallet had flown out as I picked it up from the floor.
  • UGH!
  • Get home. Put kids in bed. Unload the bazillion groceries. Clean kitchen. Finish Christmas cards. Sleep.
  • Today was going swimmingly until we lost power again. Fortunately, Cait was here.
  • No nap for the kids (because no "mukic" natch).
  • No homemade spaghetti sauce made while the kids were supposed to be napping.
  • Started to light candles and spent a couple of hours keeping kidlets away from the open flames.
  • J gets home; power's still out.
  • We decide to head out to dinner and wait to see if the power comes back on. I realize the entire time that we're still so much more fortunate than a lot of people in New Hampshire, but am getting a little concerned that we may need to head to Mom's for the night which pretty much guarantees no sleep for anyone and cranky kids and Mumma tomorrow while J gets to go to work.
  • N calls to say that the power company told her that the power most likely won't be restored until morning and that we should "pack it in and head to Mom's."
  • Dinner sucked, but the kids were pretty great at the restaurant, at least.
  • We drove around and went to Sam's to kill time.
  • J was periodically calling the house to see if the answering machine kicked in, thereby indicating that the power was back.
  • It wasn't.
  • And it wasn't.
  • It was, however, very bizarre to see J so optimistic. He was convinced that the power would be back by 8 pm.
  • We drive around to kill more time.
  • More phone calls, no answering machine.
  • Just as we decided to head home and light some candles and wait it out a bit, J calls the house one last time.
  • And...the answering machine picks up!
  • Now, we're happily watching the Survivor finale, the heat is cranking, the kids are sleeping comfortably as their music plays and all is once again right with the world.
  • I can't believe how many people are still without power here and I fully recognize that our experience today was nothing in comparison to what they've been going through. My thoughts are with them certainly, but I'm ever so grateful that we're safe and warm and comfortable in our own home tonight.
  • My ankle still hurts, though.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Day In Pictures

We've had an interesting couple of days in New Hampshire. A massive ice storm moved through the state starting last night. We lost power for not quite two hours early this morning, and Ella freaked the hell out. We had a little party in the kids' room until the power came back on, and then the Muffins were tucked back into bed and slept for a few hours more.

We're among the lucky ones. More than 400,000 homes and businesses here are without power still, and the expectation is that it may still take a couple of days to get all of the power restored. Crews are coming in from as far away as Ohio, apparently.

Those trees? Completely covered in ice. And Concord isn't nearly the hardest hit part of the state.

This tree? I decorated it tonight. Isn't it pretty? Not sure if I'm going to do a tree skirt this year or not.

This ornament? My newest addition this year (it's tradition that I get an ornament for J's sister's family, J, the kids, Cait, JP, Mom and myself every year). I love it and it pretty much sums up how I feel about the season and life in general.


OK, so it's the Third Annual Virtual Cookie Exchange and I'm participating for the first time. I've been silently freaking trying to figure out what cookies to make. My usual (chocolate chip, oatmeal, craisin)? A new recipe? Something else (since Jenn said we could offer up something not necessarily cookie and I make killer bread pudding (with chocolate chips!) and coconut chocolate chip walnut bars)? I. just. didn't. know. Plus, I find it difficult to pass on recipes because I am a very spur of the moment baker and tend to eyeball a lot of what I do and find that giving someone a recipe leads to a lot of my saying, "oh I just kind of know how much vanilla" or, "use as many chocolate chips as you want!" I think this may frustrate some people.

I have very, very fond memories of butter crunch cookies from when I was a little girl and was recently reminded of my love for them so I thought BINGO! I'll find a recipe and make those! Well, I found a recipe (and the cookies look exactly like the ones I remember from childhood) and was very excited to try them. I did. And I failed. Pretty miserably. I think the general consensus is that I didn't let the toffee boil for long enough and I am definitely going to try to make the cookies again, but I will either boil the toffee for longer or try and make a different tofffee recipe altogether and just use the pieces in the cookies. Either way, I want butter crunch cookies!

Further down the butter crunch cookie recipe page, I noticed a link for 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies. And I thought "oh that's too easy...that'd be a copout, wouldn't it?!" And then it dawned on me that, in all of my 33 years, I have never made peanut butter cookies. Eaten them, certainly. But I've never actually made them. And then I thought to myself, "who couldn't use a quick recipe? Who says that I have to contribute a complex cookie?"

Without further ado...

Modified 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c. peanut butter, any kind (I used smooth)
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1/2 c. chocolate chips (optional)
1 t. vanilla

  • Mix peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until well incorporated (I used a hand mixer and wouldn't even think about trying to mix by hand).
  • If adding chocolate chips, stir in now.
  • Form dough into small balls (or use a handy, dandy small cookie scoop but I found using the scoop and then forming into balls was the best way to go) - the dough may be crumbly.
  • Place 12 balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet, evenly spaced. Use a fork to press down and make the traditional criss-cross pattern on the top of the cookies.
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned. (I found7-7 1/2 minutes to be ideal.)
  • Remove cookie sheet from oven and let cookies set for a couple of minutes. They will be very crumbly while still hot.
  • Slide parchment paper onto a cooling rack and allow cookies to cool completely.
  • Enjoy! you can see, I modified the original recipe. I did use vanilla, as one of the reviewers suggested (although she didn't say how much she used, so I opted for 1 t.). Also, I made a double batch and made half plain and added chocolate chips to the rest. I have to say that I didn't like the ones with the chocolate chips as much (J did, though). That said, the cookies are nearly all gone (Liam has been a big help in that department) and everyone, except for Ella, who despises all things peanut butter (totally weird child, I know!), has found them to be very tasty.

Final verdict: they were pretty damn tasty! I was a little skeeved out that that they didn't have "traditional" ingredients (flour, baking soda, etc.) and thought that there was no way that they could actually turn out know, like cookies. But they did! And, now I can say that I've made peanut butter cookies. I'll most likely try my hand at a more traditional peanut butter cookie recipe (anyone have one they'd like to share?), but these came together nicely and I was able to do them up while the kids napped yesterday.


p.s. - I won another cookbook (or, cookie book, really)! Woohoo...thanks, Jenn! I'll have no excuse for not doing a kickass cookie next year!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So Much Left To Do...

Again, got this from Rev. Dr. Mom.

As seen all over; things done in bold. Furthermore, I starred the stuff I want to do.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii*
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris*
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch (quilting, even if it has been forever since I've been able to touch my sewing machine)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty*
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France*
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice*
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors*
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David*
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (if giving someone the money to buy themselves a meal counts, then yes)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person*
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris*
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business*
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching* (J gets seasick, but I can't wait to do this when Liam and Ella are older)
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (I should donate more often, actually)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp* (I think this would be immensely powerful)
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter (my father tried to take me when I was very young and I freaked the hell out on him so we never took off)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (several)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar (NEVER!)
72. Pieced a quilt (and quilted them, too!)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London*
77. Broken a bone (well, it was a toe, but it was still a broken bone!)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (no, thanks)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person*
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican*
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible*
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (I'll leave the killing to someone else, thanks)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Name Meme

Got this from Rev. Dr. Mom...anyone else want to play along?

1. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names):

Lee Clement

2. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother’s dad, father’s dad):

Earl William

3. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 2 letters of your last name, first 4 letters of your first name):

Waheat (I'm using my maiden name as my "first" last name, since I'm a hyphenated girl)

4. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal):

Green Turtle

5. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you live):

Leigh Concord

6. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite alcoholic drink, optionally add “THE” to the beginning):

The Blue Strawberry Daiquiri (I don't drink alcohol, but this was my favorite drink when I did)

7. FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of first name, last 2 letters of your last name):


8. GANGSTA NAME: (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie):

Mint Chip Oatmeal

9.ROCK STAR NAME: (current pet’s name, current street name):

Jack Middlebury

10. PORN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on):

Sammy Sanborn

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Grossness And Goodness

Cait and I went downtown last night to check out Midnight Merriment (where the downtown merchants stay open later and there are all sorts of festive Holiday goings-on for those who brave the cold and crowds in support of local business).

We ended up running into my sister, N, and her children in one of the stores and they didn't really have an agenda for the evening (except for hitting the local toy store, which was insanely busy when they first tried to scope it out) so we chatted for a while before deciding to check out some stores together.

Before we headed out, my nephew noticed something on my sister's lapel. She instinctively reached out and managed to touch the spot exactly where whatever it was was. Well...wouldn't you know?! It was snot. Someone else's snot. And my sister had just rubbed it all into her coat! It was so amazingly nasty and she was freaked the hell out. She ordered her daughter to go get her some sanitizer, which I promptly pulled out of my bag. N then asked for a kleenex, but I did one better and pulled a package of wet wipes from my bag. My niece was amazed at my bag 'o tricks, but I assured her it was only because I'm the mother of small children that I am so prepared (even when out without said children) for seemingly any situation. Eventually, my sister calmed down and she and the kids recalled a man in another store sneezing in close proximity to the assumption was that it was his little gift left behind on my sister's lapel.


After all was cleaned up, we headed down Main Street and ended up in a wonderful little bistro that has only been open for a few months. Oh so good! We sampled the risotto balls (in love!), the lasagne (delicious!), and Cait tried the crab-stuffed mushrooms (she loved them...I don't do mushrooms or seafood, so I'll take her word for it). Cait and I even headed back there for a quick bit of lunch today. It's so exciting to find someplace new to grab a bite!

Now, I need to find a recipe for risotto balls...

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's The Little Things That Make Me Happy

Yesterday, as I was making a rather large dent in the guest room so that it's presentable when Cait and Jeeps sleep here for Christmas (and so I could sort through the copious Christmas gifts that seem to be multiplying of their own accord in there), I finally got around to hanging up some pieces of art that I hadn't yet found the time to find homes for (or, in some cases, hang pieces back up that had homes but Liam liked to play with them so we took them down for a while - here's hoping that phase is over).

I purchased a piece from a local New England artist back in late September and found the perfect spot for it yesterday.

Oh, how I love it! Just hanging the one small painting totally made me happy.

I'd like to take a trip down to her studio and select some other pieces at some point in the not too distant future - that'd be so fun!

Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cough, Cough

When I was meeting with the trainer last week, he said that it's good to take a week off every few months. I thought he was insane! The thought of not working out for a week just blew my mind...I couldn't not work out. I'm addicted, damnit!

And now I'm sick. I pushed it and worked out Monday night, but called it quits after only doing my weight routine (an hour workout in and of itself). And I haven't been back since.

I was going to try tonight, but I opted to try and rest instead. I went up to bed and let J take over the kids. Liam, however, spent most of the time that I was resting by sitting at the top of the stairs repeatedly saying, "I want to see Mommy." He also left the hall light on and, being the original Princess and the Pea, it bothered me to have that sliver of light coming through the door.

I did manage to rest, though, going in and out of sleep and having some funky dreams to boot.

When I emerged from my room a couple of hours later, Ella bounded up the stairs and asked me if I "waked up" and told me she was "so happy to see me." Dude, my kids rock.

I'm looking forward to returning to the gym, but I'll be smart about it and not push myself until I'm (close to) 100%.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up If I Tried

My day...

The scene: Liam's been sick for the past couple of days and has been having a particularly bad time with diarrhea. As I was changing his diaper, he was holding the Desitin for me and taunting me by telling me that he was going to eat it.

H: No, we don't eat that. If it's meant for your bum, it's most certainly not intended for your mouth.

(Really, I think that's advice we can all use.)


The scene: I'm standing in the kitchen dishing out some dinner and Liam is standing beside me.

L: You making dinner, Mommy?

H: Yes, go tell Daddy that we're having tofu casserole for dinner.

L (running off and in an adorable sing-song voice): Dad-dy! We're having tofu asshole for dinner!


The scene: I'm exhausted and worn out, sitting in the living room and listening to Liam play in the front room, wondering what's going on with the barrister bookcase.

H (to J): Can you go check on him, please?

J (walking into the kitchen and glancing at Liam): Whatcha doing? Trying to decapitate yourself?

Ella (running from my side into the front room to see what her brother's up to): Liam! You crapping yourself?


The scene: I'm holding Ella right before heading upstairs for bedtime.

H: Let Daddy wipe your face and hands before bed. You need to be all clean.

Ella: I want to be a dirty girl! I need to!

And such is my life...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Always Remember

Today is World AIDS Day.

Here's what I wrote last year about my brother, Danny, and his death.

It comes to me, now and again, all of the other memories that I could have shared in that original post...about how Danny looked so eerily similar to Tom Hanks' character in Philadelphia just before he died (and how that movie just reduces me to pretty much a sniveling ball of memories and tears), or how sometimes he would come home to visit without telling anyone and it wasn't uncommon to find him walking up the road to our house to surprise Mom. How he introduced me to chicken in peanut sauce (which I thought was just one of his quirky, fancy New York City recipes that I found utterly revolting at the time and now absolutely love) or, how I confided in my favorite teacher what was going on because I just needed someone to talk to about the insanity that was having a loved one die at home and he immediately went to "warn" the principal of the school and I had never, ever felt so betrayed or hurt before (it was 1988, people were still freaked the hell out about AIDS, but I was beyond devastated that someone I trusted could do such a thing).

Mostly, though, I remember the beauty, love and self-sacrifice that my family poured into Danny's care and, ultimately, his death.

I cannot believe that it has been over 20 years. The memories are still so sharp and his absence is still keenly felt, especially at this time of year.