February 28, 2011

Weekend Fun

Aunt Andrea & Uncle Chris visit on their way to the airport and Florida
posing in my sweater Gi-Gi Furze made
maybe the dog will eat my food

finally some hair
This weekend we continued our non-nomadic ways and stayed home.  Yes, I know, it's two weekends in a row!  Friday night we checked out the HBO series Eastbound and Down on Netflix.  Episode 1 of Season 1.  I was hoping Tony's opinion would prove me wrong once again and I would end up enjoying this completely stupid and really-not-that-funny episode but that was not the case.  A waste of 50 minutes of my life.  This wasn't the case with Tony's other picks including The Wire (thank you, Ethan), Dexter and Breaking Bad.  I've gotten into The Tutors too but English history doesn't particularly interest Tony. 

Saturday we went to Tony's new work building in Danvers.  Jill ran wild down the long and carpeted hallways and played with Pierre, the fat black lab Tony's boss is dogsitting.  Pierre was trained as a service dog to bark when he indicated juvenile diabetes.  Apparently Jill is healthy.  All Pierre wanted to do was give her kisses.  We met Tony's sister and her husband (Andrea & Chris) so their car could stay parked in the lot during their 9-day trip to Florida.  Andrea and I sat in the backseat of the Mom mobile for the drive back to Quincy and Jill kept us entertained with her giggles and chatting while Tony delivered the local landmarks of Boston movies (here's Chelsea, the crap area in Gone Baby Gone; there's Boston Sand & Gravel and Bunker Hill Monument in The Town; landmarks in The Departed; Good Will Hunting...) Jill had a really fun time with Andrea and Chris at the house for a couple hours before they headed for the airport.  She enjoyed hitting the ottoman back and forth with Chris.  They developed their own game! 

At some point Saturday late morning, Jill walked into the kitchen area and got awfully quiet.  When I peaked my head around the corner, I had to cover my mouth from laughing out loud.  Apparently Jill was still hungry because she pulled the Cheerios box off the lower shelf, opened the lid and was shoving handfuls into her mouth.  It was hysterical - until that is - she held the family size box upside down and fed the floor hundreds of toasted whole grain oat goodness.  No wonder the dog is her best friend lately!

Sunday included a visit from Heidi.  Even though football season is over, we still try to hang out a decent amount.  Heidi and Houston live in Quincy now, much closer than when we lived in New Mexico or Vermont or when they lived in Nevada or Texas!  Jill loves Heidi and Heidi is great with her.  She doesn't even mind being at the house when Jill cranks out.  A good friend to have around!

February 23, 2011

Jill, 15 Months

Two more weeks and Jill will be 15 months old. Where has the time gone?

A few things we’ve noticed about Jill lately:
1. Walking is no longer a challenge. It’s more of a ‘how fast can I run before I wipe out’ mentality.

2. The dinosaur stuffed animal at day care is dangerous, according to this week’s accident report. Jill was running down the climber with said rex in hand when it attacked her cheek, adding to the marks from #1 and Sunday afternoon’s wipeout into the wall.

3. She likes to sit in chairs, anywhere: the big kids’ room at school, the doctor’s office (see below) and waiting room, home. She likes to sit in anything: large plastic bowls, Calphalon pots, the Bumbo she somehow still squeezes into.

4. Imitation: it’s a scary thing.

5. Fraggle Rock is still cool after nearly 30 years. Other favorite theme songs include Sesame Street and Thomas the Train. A big smile comes across her face and the hands start clapping just as the knees start bouncing. Poor girl has no shot at having any sort of rhythm, genetically-speaking.

6. She’s a drama queen when she’s sick. Clingy, goes to bed early and without a fight. Doesn’t want to eat. Likes to throw up on me, particularly in the morning when we're getting ready for work.  Her teachers know when she's just a little bit off because she's not her usual smiling and happy self.  See #7.

7. Our kid is the mayor. She knows everyone.  She's a social butterfly.  She carries her strong personality well and can work a crowd like no other.

8. Favorite foods include: waffles, yogurt, grilled cheese, toast with hummus, carrots, bananas and Cheerios.  She adamantly pushes food away when full and/or vigorously clears her tray.

9. Favorite games: Jill is still easily amused by peek-a-boo. She also enjoys taking items out of buckets, putting them back in then (not-so-quietly) lugging the bucket around the tiny first floor of our house.

10.  She likes to get dressed and undressed.  She helps, especially with her winter jacket and sometimes Dad's too.

February 21, 2011

President's Day Weekend

Can a peaceful hot bath change a woman? I should ask my Mom. She took baths every night she wasn't working while I was growing up. We knew she liked the bath water very hot and that we weren't allowed to disturb. This was her time. I didn't understand the sanctity of bathtime until Sunday night.

Tony and I are nomads. We've moved more times than most and the majority of weekends we're visiting family or friends. This weekend - President's Day Weekend - we stayed home. I wondered what we'd do with ourselves. Jill apparently wondered the same because she was insane on Saturday (and Sunday). I planned to go to yoga but didn't dare leave Tony. His frightened face begged for help. It was a two-person job to keep her entertained.

The weather had warmed some. It was sunny but still windy. We took a drive over to Pope John Paul II Park thinking the wind would be less fierce away from the ocean. Jill and I laughed at Tony as he and Rachael chased down a runaway plastic poop bag. Tony lunged to stop it but continued to miss. The wind picked up and I was reminded of the movie American Beauty. Anyway, that adventure didn't last long as it was miserable outside and far too windy. It was good for a little fresh air but that was it!

Sunday morning everyone helped bathe Rachael. It was quite the scene and Jill seemed amused that Rachael would get into the bathtub like she normally does. At Jill's naptime, I scrubbed the tub and shower and it turned a new shade of white. "I should take a bath tonight," I thought .... Is that possible?? It was. Tony and Jill hung out on the couch and I took a hot, quiet and relaxing bath. It was heaven. My chilled ginger ale, fresh lime juice and vodka (oh how I love Moscow mules) only added to the sweetness.

apparel by Mark and Ali
helping with bathtime
taking my dog for a walk
raspberries, and not being quiet about it
Monday lunch with the WSC girls, including Jen's daughter, Katie (Jill's new buddy)
hugs for Maggie

February 17, 2011

Moscow Mules and Maybe Dinner

To blog or not to blog has been trumped by Maslow's hierarchy of needs this week.  Before comfort and even safety, the basic needs of shelter, food and water need to be met.  In our household that means dinner.  And this week it's been happening at 8:30 or later.  Bedtime has been anything but pleasant and I've been waiting for the night that Tony comes up with some excuse to come home late.  It's been that much of a battle. 

Jill wouldn't let us out of her sight on Sunday when we returned from Puerto Rico.  She would NOT nap or go to bed.  Monday night came and more of the same.  We thought she was adjusting to her parents being home.  She's also been getting over an ear infection.  Then tonight Tony says, "You know my Mom said Jill was a pig before bedtime while we were gone and they just had to keep feeding her."  Well then, load up that tray!  Fill up the milk!  We stuffed Jill with grilled cheese and pink milk (she is almost done with the amoxicillin and we cheat and mix it with her milk to avoid the drama) and like magic she went right to sleep.  Thank you, Mom and Kim!

It's been a tough week at work.  My company (Genzyme) was bought out by the French company sanofi-aventis yesterday.  We had a second round of layoffs today.  The mood has been one of uncertainty, anxiety and sometimes excitement.  People are walking around saying "bonjour," " bonsoir," "is the cafeteria serving French fries at lunch??"  It's been an interesting experience for us to put under our belt.  A major corporate acquisition: grounds for stressy stomach pains and bad eating habits in the past.  Since meeting with the medium and relaxing our on vacation, I'm really focused on keeping my cool.  Deep breaths.  A Moscow Mule or three (this is unbelievable refreshing vodka drink I tried for the first time in PR).  Sure, work can be stressful but then you come home to your family (this includes you, Rachael).  And what's more important than that?

February 13, 2011

Two Tickets to Paradise

We're home from our trip to Puerto Rico with Ethan and Mary Ellen - had an awesome time but it's so good to be back and see Jill's smiling face again.  She hasn't let us out of her sight and she's been giggling and getting into trouble all day!  A special Thank You to my Mom and mother-in-law for watching her while we had some fun in the sun.

amazing view from our room

more of the view from our room

walking to Old San Juan

Granna and Nana super sitters!
together again but tan!

February 6, 2011

Cabin Fever

Sunshine, temps in the low 40s and a little wind? Who cares about the wind? There isn't a blizzard. Let's get outside! And so today cabin fever set in and we headed down the street to Nut Island, an area with great views of the Boston skyline and a normally decent set of paths. The wind was howling and Rachael was pulling me along the ice. The pathways weren't cleared whatsoever but we didn't mind. We were out of the house!

Later this afternoon, we took a ride to Derby Shoppes in Hingham. While Jill was snoozing in the car with Tony, I cleaned house in the bathing suit section of Kohl's.  All set now for our trip to Puerto Rico on Wednesday!  The three of us walked down to Barnes & Noble where Tony picked out some books for the trip and Jill enjoyed looking along.

40s?  Sounds like summertime, a perfect excuse to grill hamburgers.  Nice! We all hung out in the backyard while lunch cooked.  Rachael took snow baths and Jill laughed.  Later on Jill walked over to the Milk Bone box in the kitchen, opened the lid, fished out one biscuit, found Rachael in the living room and walked over and gave it to her.  I have a feeling Rachael is going to be putting on some weight!!

Hanny's run in Gap outfit from Frank & Christine

view from Nut Island


bundled up

lots of snow

Barnes & Noble Sunday stop

February 4, 2011

Bolognese and Buns in the Oven

I’ve gone out to eat more in the last month than I have in the last year combined. “What do you want to do?” …. “Go out to eat!” It’s fun, interactive, good for conversation and equates to a dish-free sink. A few Monday nights ago, a group of girls from work (one a former Genzymer) – all living in Hingham – and I met at Caffe Tosca. What a find! This place was heaven! They serve ½ size portions of delicious pasta dishes for around $10 (try the baked chicken cannelloni; it was to die for). All three of my lovely friends are expecting so we easily kept our bill reasonable with a lack of alcoholic beverages. Courtney is due first with her second: a girl. Caroline is expecting her first (the sex is a surprise!) a couple of weeks after that. And Anne Marie is due with her third (she is Mom to boy/girl twins) just after that. They’re keeping that a surprise too. Julianna delivered a beautiful baby girl, Sophia, on January 26. Elizabeth is due with her second (the sex is a surprise) in June and Amy is due (they are finding out) in late August. There must be something in the water at work. Staying clear of the water cooler…!

On the home front, my brother and his wife, Jess, are expecting a boy (“Guy Joseph” after both of their late Dads) in early May; my college roommie Jen is expecting her second daughter in early June; and my childhood friend Mel is expecting her first in August.  It’s going to be a summer of new babies!

Discussing my pregnant friends is an easy transition back to food. Not so long ago, Tony and I had a late Saturday afternoon lunch at Curley’s in Taunton. I love this place. It holds a special place in my heart. We had a few not-so-great experiences after it reopened but I kept the faith. We were not disappointed. The food was great! Mmmmm curly fries. My mouth is watering!

Last weekend, my other bestie Jess and I had lunch at the Four’s in Quincy. It was so nice to catch up and enjoy a Guinness on a cold winter day. I’m a fan of the Four’s. There are a ton of TVs to watch games and the chowder (which I forgot to get on this sad occasion) is excellent!

Miranda, Charlotte, Carrie & Samantha
Today was the day my work crew friends and I finally ventured away from the building and had lunch at Za, the more economical side of the restaurant combo EVOO/Za. An avocado salad, you ask? Sounds weird. No, it was delicious! Black beans, tomato and tortilla bits. Pizza with potato and bacon. This next door spot will definitely be visited again, and soon. Of course a significant amount of our conversation centered around the kiddos: Lucas, Denny and Jill. We dished about work/home life balance, something that’s so nice to share with girlfriends in similar situations as you are.

Late next week, Tony and I will be trying out restaurants with Ethan and Mary Ellen in the San Juan and Rincon (day trip) areas of Puerto Rico. Sunshine, 82 degree heat, warm ocean water and pina coladas! SIGN ME UP!!

February 3, 2011

Time for a Vacation!

sooooo sick of the snow!
where else can we put it?
checking out the snow after school on Thursday
if our dog was as observant, she'd realize she can escape the front yard via the snow bank
Tony and I haven't been on many tropical trips.  We started our marriage in New Mexico so vacations consisted of trips back to New England to visit friends and family.  We went on our true honeymoon 6 years late and took off for sunny Puerto Rico in the beginning of 2008.  This also happened to be the year my friend, Kristen, got married on the beach in Mexico.  So we made up for lost sunbathing time in 2008.  Our lives drastically changed in 2009 (pregnant and avoiding all materials tight, especially bathing suits) and in 2010 when Jill was a baby.  When Jill was a baby?  Listen to me!  She just seems so grown up lately... Now Jill is older and sturdier.  I think I'm ready for next week: to leave Jill home while Tony and I go back to Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning.  Could we possibly need a vacation more??