Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Little Things

An update on the Lent promise. I'm doing much better at not taking out my frustrations on M. It has definitely helped put our reltionship back closer to where it was a long time ago. I'm able to appreciate all the little things M does for me, and hopefully do more of those little things for him. Just the other day, while I was getting ready for work, and AJ was still sleeping he ran out. I had thought he took the dog for a walk, but nope. At 6:10AM (when he doesn't need to leave until 7:20) he went to the gas station to fill up my car. Also, since AJ had a rough night, which means that I had a rough night, he made a stop on the way home at Dunkin to get me a coffee. How sweet is that?

I've noticed we're joking more with each other again. We're closer now that I'm not picking fights on nothing. As far as being nicer to others, well, I'm trying, but that seems to be harder. I still find myself getting quite irritated with certain people, so it's still a work in progress.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I got this recipe from Alton Brown at Food Network
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

I switched cashews for walnuts and chopped dried fruit mix for raisins. I actually loved it straight out of the oven without the fruit in it. It is so good.


Last week M got some news. He has high cholesterol. Since this was the second time the military test came back high, he was told to see his PCP and figure out how to get it down. I know it's on my side of the family as well, I just haven't ever been tested. So, my weekly shopping trip became a family affair. M wanted to check out Trader Joe's, since it's my new favorite and he had never been there. We bought so many new things, interesting things to try, and some of the regular favorites.

When we got home, not all of it would fit in the freezer. Hmmm. While at the Farmer's Market I wanted a big freezer. Now after grocery shopping our freezer is full. Also, our house is the go-to for all family gatherings with M's side. A chest freezer was in order.

M and I went to Home Depot. We found one that we liked, we liked the price, however, it wouldn't fit in our car. So we went back home. My mother was over watching AJ while we shopped, so we took the back seats out of her SUV and borrowed that. We went to Lowe's because "they beat everyone's prices" right? Well, I guess, but the only freezers they had were either too small or too big for what we needed. I felt like Goldilocks. We leave Lowe's and head to another Home Depot. They have the one we were looking at originally. They only have the display model. I felt like Flo "DISCOUNT!" We head to the register and since Home Depot honors the price check system, they take military discount like Lowe's. So, again "DISCOUNT!".

So, now I have a chest freezer. As soon as it was up (or down) to temperature, I ran downstairs with some popsicles. I'm now dreaming of all the soup, stock and sauce I can make and store.

Sans Kids

Three places of fun. First:
Sweet Kuppin Cakes. A bakery for cupcakes. Fancy flavors, normal flavors, and they're even normal sized cupcakes. Not those mountains that could be a birthday cake if you stick a candle in them. However the cupcake to frosting ratio is 1:1. A bit sweet. There were three of us making purchases that day, and we all got 6. Sadly there weren't any good crazy flavors that day. So we were "stuck" with Oreo, Oreo cheesecake, triple PB, red velvet, Thin Mint, Almond Joy, white chocolate raspberry, vanilla, chocolate. I don't think any of us got the Pinange (pineapple orange) or the Red Bull (each cupcake has 1 can of Red Bull). So good. Can't wait to go back.

Next stop
Indoor farmer's market at a HUGE greenhouse. AWESOME! There were so many vendors, plants, odds and ends. I would gladly drive an hour just to go back sometime. This was their last indoor version. I guess they think it will warm up sometime in the near future. There were so many people selling eggs, cuts of meat, products made with goat's milk, etc. Since I grew up on a farm, and my father still has a small version of one, I was so happy. It also made me want to have land so I could have chickens, pigs and goats. Oh well. My sister-in-law and I are going to see if we can talk my father into raising us some pigs on his land. Hmmm, not sure how his wife will feel about that. I also realized I'd have nowhere to store any meat should I buy bulk locally. After buying some iced green tea, we were off to stop 3

Home and Garden Show at the college. So many vendors. But the most exciting parts were raffles. I think I entered at least 20. I don't even know what I was entering by the end, just throwing my name in the bucket. They had a "meet the chefs" section, so we spent some time watching Mary Ann Esposito, of Ciao Italia (PBS cooking show, slightly more production value than Julia Child had). Once we realzed she was demonstrating how to use frozen puff pastry, we left. We bought some gourmet popcorn, and were headed off for lunch

Margaritas. Nothing is quite as much fun as drinking in the afternoon, when the kids aren't around.

It was so much fun to spend the day with family and not have to worry about a diaper change all day. Ahhhh, to feel like a functioning adult instead of just a mom.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pure Joy

Yesterday my mother and I took AJ to the mall. I wanted to get her new shoes for spring/summer, but we went into the Disney Store first. O.M.G (and I never use those letters like that). There was no other description for the sheer excitement she displayed. She literally screamed and shook at the sight of the figures on the ceiling. She was running around the whole store and I think she hugged and kissed each and every Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto in the place. She hugged Manny, she carried Perry and Phinneas around until she found Minnie cups and tried to feed a stuffed Donald with the cup. It was truly the most amazing thing to see. All of her morning show friends were in the place and she was in heaven. I wish there was a way to bottle that sight and feeling to keep forever.


This is mainly for my records, and to jog my memory should it happen again.

For the past two months AJ has been sick. She has been coughing, congested, and just plain cranky. Mid-February we went to her 18 month well visit. Her doctor said she probably either just had a few colds back to back or it could be allergies. He told us to try a vaporizer in her room (we were already doing this) and give her Zyrtek in case it could be allergies. In true Murphy's Law, AJ didn't cough or sniffle once until he left the room at the end of the appointment. He did say her eyes looked a little pink, so if it got worse, we should call back for Pink Eye drops, especially since I was told it is part of the daycare petri dish at that point. A day after the appointment we had to call for drops.

The cough continued. The congestion continued. The meds didn't seem to do much of anything. Some days it would be less than other, but it was always there, the congestion, the coughing, the crankiness. We had lots of theories during that time; a really bad cold, more molars, change in weather, allergies, genetic abnormalities, and just plain toddler-hood.

Daycare issued new rules to deal with the rampant illnesses in the room. No toddler was allowed in with a runny nose, cough, temperature of any sort even low grade, and all the other bad symptoms of course. We were worried. AJ's nose runs like that's its job. So Wednesday morning came and I had my cell in my pocket all day expecting a call. I figured she'd had it for so long now, she couldn't possibly still be contageous. Wednesday was fine. I picked her up and the teacher said she had a great day, wasn't cranky at all. Woot!

Thursday was another story. She was super cranky as well as everything else she still had. Around 5 her nose started draining green. Not good! I knew she'd be going to the doctors in the morning. She got a fever that night, and was just wimpering all night. She'd wake herself up coughing and just wanted to be held. Not like her. I spent the night with her on the couch, just watching her.

Friday morning I call her doctor's office when it opened. I told them the symptoms, and they moved things around to get her right in. Not a good sign for mommy.

The nurse practitioner she went to discovered the problem(s). Double ear infection, with the right side about to burst, and a sinus infection to boot. Wow, did I feel like the most horrible mother in the world.

I know hindsight is 20/20, and boy did it suck to review the past few weeks. The worst was that she was telling us. Literally telling us. She would say "ear" and point. She is learning body parts, so I just happily said "yes honey, that's an ear. Good job". She did everything her little 19 month old self could do. Then I reviewed my pictures from the week before and found this

How did I sit behind that viewfinder and not notice this most obvious sign of distress? Ugh!
So, anyway, it's been a few days on the antibiotics and AJ is doing much better. She's back to her old self for the most part. It had been so long that I had almost forgotten what normal is for her. I'm so happy she's feeling better.

Oh, and a note to self: never, ever, ever give an antibiotic without stopping with the Miralax first. YIKES!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's time

I've spent a lot of time being excited for the warmer months. Oh how I longed for the extra hours of sunshine. What I didn't anticipate was how getting to those extra hours would impact a certain little girl.

It's currently 8:30PM and she wants to play ball. WTF!?

Usually AJ is tired around 7PM and is out by 8PM. I really hope those nights come back eventually. Especially on the nights when M isn't home. Now, AJ is exhausted, cranky and clumsy, but still awake. Oh what fun.

If only these extended nights had any impact on her ability to start the day at a time even the animals think she's crazy for being awake.
How wrong would it be to put a little Benadryl in her bottle? (I kid, I think)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I love getting stuff

My Scentsy order arrived today. Remember all that stuff I ordered, that I didn't need, but got suckered into? Yeah, well even if it's not needed, it's still really fun to have boxes to open when getting home from work.

So, what did I get? This large warmer for the living room

This mid size warmer for the kitchen
And this plug in warmer for the bathroom
The living room one is a little more yellow than I had expected, but because of the glazing process, colors can't be guranteed. It actually works though, since it's close to the yellow color already in the kitchen. The one for the kitchen, the red one, I don't love. It's okay, and it works, but I don't love the style. The bathroom will need some rearranging before it can go in. I didn't realize I have a shelf right on top of the outlet. For some reason when I was ordering it, I thought the shelf was further back from the outlet. Oh well. I don't really like that shelf where it is anyway.

Oh yeah, and for booking a party in March, I got a free plug in. So now I have this one on it's way for next weekend.

I can't wait to see it, but I have no idea where to put it. Oh well, at least it's cute.

Oh, and for the scents, I'll have to report back on another day for that. I have not been able to smell anything in 4 days.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I have been having a hard time with my relationship with the family church. I still love having a relationship with Jesus, but I don't feel comfortable in the church in which M was brough up. In fact, I feel like a hypocrite while attending mass there. However, these feelings towards the church, have no impact on my feelings towards my religion. So, a Lenten sacrafice is still in order.

Here goes: I am going to be nice, especially to M. It has been pointed out to me quite frequently lately that I've become very mean, mainly towards M. I take out my issues on him, and since he doesn't like conflict and will never say anything back, I have no problem escalating my behaviors. I haven't told him what I'm doing for Lent, and he hasn't asked. I'm curious if he'll make a comment about the change. I'm also going to try to be more aware of being judgy or critical of others. This is going to be very hard, but I feel it's in order.

So, no meat on Fridays and make a concious effort to be kinder. I really hope this goes better than last year's attempt at Lent.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spring Green

I'm getting all tree hugger-hippy, as my BFF tells me. I just picked up and assembled a compost mixer. Squee!!!!

I'm super excited about this mixer. It took me close to an hour to figure out how to assemble it, and I'm still learning how to work it. It has lots of vents and I'm not sure how that all goes. I already have a bowl to put food waste into, I cleaned out the veggie drawer and have some goodies to add. I had to read what to put in and what not to put in.

Now I just need to figure out where in the yard to put it. Hmmmm

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Fighter

It's scary how fast things can change. One day you're here, and the next...

I've worked at the same job for close to 9 years. For years it was me and the three lawyer/partners. It's just me and "the guys". That's how I refer to them, "the guys are out today", "the guys are busy", "the guys are driving me nuts".

Well, two years ago, one of the guys discovered, through a very frightful event, that he had cancer. He had esophageal cancer, and during this disturbing event, the paramedics, doctors, his wife, everyone thought he wouldn't make it through. He could hear them talking about him like he was already gone, but he was determined to fight back. And fight he did. He came back from that day, and after only 5 days, he was back in the office, working full time like nothing happened. He got treatment for the cancer, and he fought that too. He was determined overcome the cancer. He did. A little over a year after the discovery of his esophageal cancer he was cleared. It was gone. They wanted to do a full body scan just to be sure. We all were so happy for him. He fought it.

That full body scan though, that was rough. It revealed that yes, he did kick the esophogeal cancer, however his liver was another story. The doctors told him to just enjoy what time he had. He didn't like that answer. He was going to fight again. He went holistic, teas, acupuncture, supplements, diet changes, and even chanting. He was going to fight it. Eventually, he went back to the hospital for clinical treatments.

In all this time, no one could tell there was anything going on with him, if he didn't say so. He would go to work every day but Wednesdays, his treatment day. The only thing that changed was that he wasn't able to run anymore. He was a marathon runner before this all happened, so that was hard for him, but he fought on.

On Friday, Feb. 7 we locked up the office like every Friday. However, it wasn't just any Friday. Over the weekend, he had a major set back. It looked like his system was giving up. His mind was still fighting, but his body just couldn't do it anymore. His doctor told him to call his daughter home from college and get things in order. He still wouldn't give up the fight. He asked the other guys to give him his laptop so he could do work still. He couldn't get out of a chair, but was determined to get back to work soon.

It never happened. On Feb. 24 he finally lost the battle. The fighter just couldn't win this one. So, I say, goodbye Neal. I'll miss you and all your stories. I'll miss hearing your laugh in the office and complaining about Boston sports. I am happy to have known you.