April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Don't make fun of my royal geek friends
Jenna & Laurel.
Their team brought scones into work!
Jill and I were two of the 2 billion people who tuned into the royal wedding this morning.  No, we weren't up when coverage began at 4 a.m. EDT, but we were plopped in front of the TV by 5:15 or so.  The gorgeous Kate Middleton smiled as she waved at the crowds through the streets of London.  Jill waved at Kate.  It was funny to watch.  Jill didn't know it, but she was watching history in the making. 

In July of 1981, I was Jill's age and it was the last time a royal wedding took place: Prince Charles and Princess Diana.  This may be a once in a lifetime event for Jill.  She won't remember but I'll tell her about it.  OK, off to have a cup of tea!

April 27, 2011

New Shades

Tyson vs. Holyfield

Jill made out better than Evander Holyfield.  She came home today with both ears fully intact but with bite marks on her face!  Thankfully Tyson did not break skin, but the fiesty toddler left red marks on my baby's nose.  I'll find out the full scoop tomorrow and advise Jill to trip the culprit (kidding).  Apparently she was going in for a hug.  Poor kid! 

April 26, 2011

A Salute to 'Single' Parents

I got to work on time this morning AND I brushed my teeth. My kid even brushed her teeth and had breakfast and lunch packed. How awesome am I? Not that awesome; I showered last night.

Tony left in the very early hours (3:30? 3:45? I wasn’t really conscious) to drive to New Jersey for work. He laid his clothes out last night and didn’t make much noise. I drifted in and out but could vaguely hear him getting ready in the background. I thought about getting up to jump on the elliptical and shower but the motivation wasn’t there. Only crazy people get up this early. Or Tony. Or my friend Sarah who works in her family's bakery. Or morning news anchors. So I fell back into a deep sleep and woke up only a few minutes before the alarm was set to go off. Jump in the shower? What if Jill wakes up? I opted to wash my face and reapply deodorant. A good excuse to run at lunch then shower (5 miles - the longest yet!).

And so the morning of single parenthood began. We cuddled on the couch with her bottle of milk. We brushed our teeth together. Jill pretended to apply blush. I pointed out the different color clothes hangers while she played on the bed and I dressed. She smothered poor Rachael on her dog bed while I threw on my socks and shoes. We did everything together.

Sole responsibility was fun but not easy! How do single parents do it? When do they shower? Do they eat home-cooked meals or just make extra finger foods of whatever their son of daughter is having? What about families with multiple children? I’m so impressed by these do-it-all Moms and Dads! Of course it's not just "single" parents. Moms and Dads who juggle their significant others' work travel, demanding work or school schedule or military service (especially exercises and deployments) never cease to amaze me. Stay-at-home Moms/Dads is for another post. That's a whole other level of amazement!

April 20, 2011

So in Love

This picture was taken after my Mom and Uncle Stephen were born.  So in love, so happy and after two of three children.  Now that's impressive.  I love this photo.  It's so candid and so magical.  My Gram Furze and my late Gramp.  They were such a compatible couple.  They never argued, except maybe jokingly over Wheel of Fortune or final Jeopardy.  This photo is a reminder to not only love and appreciate your family members and friends, but also to have a little fun!  
What song do you think was playing in the background?

April 17, 2011

Nana Visits

Nana is in town!  She is spending Monday - Patriot's Day - with Jill while Tony and I go to work (boo!).  State employees have the day off as well as teachers, students and many parents enjoying the start of their April vacation week.  The thought of calling it a vacation day and heading in to see the Boston Marathon madness crossed my mind, several times in fact.  The only reason I didn't was because we're taking Friday off to head to Vermont early for the Easter holiday.  Nana two weekends in a row - what a treat!!

Cleaning House

Our Saturday morning was full of ... disinfectant.  Tony checked on Jill around 1 a.m.  She was fussing and her room smelt like warm parmesan cheese.  She was complaining with good reason.  She - and her bed - were covered in vomit.  Off goes the bedsheet, mattress pad, pajamas.  Oh it's in her hair too.  To the tub you go.  At 1 o'clock in the morning.  Heidi and Houston were visiting until close to 11.  We had pizza, beer, wine, wings and more pizza.  Jill had pizza.  She HAD pizza.  She threw that up too, poor thing.  Hence the cheese smell permeating from her room.  Two more rounds and one to follow in the morning.  Saturday Jill clung to one or both of us the entire day.  We stuck to dry toast, applesauce, water and a few other bland foods.  We rested on the couch, looked through books and watched Thomas the Train.  She crashed early.  We watched The Fighter.

We knew it was a 24 hour bug when Jill woke up ready to go Sunday morning.  Her energy and appetite were back to normal.  We had our crazy toddler back!

April 16, 2011


Brown eyes.  Light brown hair.  Tall thin build.  All traits passed on from Dad.  What did Jill inherit from her Mom?  She is a clutz.

While making a nest at school on Wednesday (really this looked like a pile of sticks and grass on a paper plate), Jill somehow managed to poke herself in the cheek.  Another incident report to sign at pick-up.  Incident reports are better than accident reports, Miss Sandra reminded me the following morning.  Accident reports involve other children.  Jill's last accident report detailed a bite on her finger.  That's what happens when you stick your finger in your buddy's mouth.  Looks just like a French fry, Miss Cindy joked.  School was full of fun activities this week to celebrate the Week of the Young Child.  Jill tried ice cream for the first time at a sundae party on Thursday.  She used her spoon very well, Miss Michelle said, and enjoyed her sundae.  That must be genetic too, passed on from Mom.

If you've spent any amount of time around me, my Mom (or worse) both of us, you know that we have a "problem" fully closing things like drawers, cabinets and fridges.  We also tend to place caps and lids on food items like salad dressing and OJ rather than securing it or screwing on the cap.  We are notorious for this.  It drives Tony insane.  Jill is the opposite.  She's almost obsessive about shutting the fridge, kitchen cabinets and back door.  We laugh every time she does it and say .... we know who she didn't get that from!

April 15, 2011

You'd Think We Won the Lottery

You could hear clapping, cheering and laughing coming from the bathroom at 5:30 this morning.  Jill's diaper was dry at wake-up for the second day in a row.  We followed Tony's co-worker Jenn's advice and sat her on the potty.  Today we brought one of her favorite blankets and called Rachael in for added support.  A few seconds passed.  Then the music played!  (Yes, we have one of those potties.)  Jill had peed on the potty!  It was a very exciting start to the day!!

April 12, 2011

When Pigs Fly

Hell froze over.  However you want to say it, something very unusual happened early this morning: Tony went for a run.

As he was lacing up his sneakers, he joked that his hips already hurt.  Did Tony get a "runner's high" afterward?  No, he said he felt like he was going to die.  Rachael didn't help either.  She wanted to trot along, pee and chase squirrels.  I guess they'll both have to get used to the new morning routine. 

Tony and I are getting ready for a few upcoming races.  We're signed up for the Nantasket Beach Relay 5K on May 7; the Warrior Dash on June 25 (nice and relaxing wedding anniversary weekend [insert sarcasm]); and the Dighton Run for Heroes on September 10 (just me so far).  Tony's only motivation for training?  He doesn't want to embarrass himself at the Warrior Dash.  The course is like boot camp - it looks painful! 

Today is Andrea's birthday.  Happy Birthday, Aunt Andrea!!  We hope you have a great day :)

April 11, 2011

New Game

Jill and Granna have a new game.  It started today while we were at work. 

Picture this: Jill standing at the fridge; my Mom at the dishwasher.  These appliances are across the kitchen from each other, probably 14 or so feet.  Jill runs to the dishwasher.  Granna runs to the fridge.  Wow!  That was fun!  Jill giggles and pats her belly.  My Mom laughs. 

Repeat 35 times.

This Weekend in Photos

ready for Red Sox Opening Day festivities at school
See ya, Mom & Dad! I'm at school now. I'll take it from here!
Friday lunchtime visit with Michelle to see Julianna, Carl & Baby Sophia
Sophia Lucia - she is beautiful!
well that didn't work very well ... Jill with her new teacher, Miss Michelle, at Friday's pick-up
amazing seats for the Celtics game Friday night with Sarah, Mia & Vinny
enjoying a few beverages
exploring Scott & Jess's backyard
checking out Baby Guy's gear - he will be here soon!
running around the front yard
helping Dad with the sailboat - it's almost that time!
stealing my Gi-Gi Furze's hummingbird feeder
sporting a new tshirt from Nana
there's the teeth!
I love my Dad .... and then I slapped him in the face.

Sports and Home Improvement

Baseball, basketball, babies and baby registries. Oh and home improvement projects. That about sums up our weekend.
Jill wore her Green Monsta tshirt from Cadence on Friday for Red Sox Opening Day festivities at school (it also worked for St. Patty’s Day). We threw on my Sox winter hat for some funny pictures before heading out the door. I brought my camera inside, hoping for some shots of Jill with her buddies dressed in their best Sox gear. Nothing. Sad. Lug camera to work, home on the T, back to day care. Get a shot of Jill screaming in Miss Michelle's ear. Sad. Jill really likes her but wanted her Mom more at that moment.

Earlier in the day, I visited my colleague on maternity leave. Michelle and I drove to Julianna’s house and had lunch with her, Carl and their beautiful daughter, Sophia. She is precious, and was stylin’ in an outfit from Jill. I held her and honestly couldn’t remember when Jill was that little, and Sophia was born 2 lbs. heavier. She was so small and delicate. I took in the new baby smell. It almost made me want another, almost. Sophia started to fuss and I saw Julianna putting her fork down. Luckily for her I had inhaled my salad (I always eat fast) and was reaching for Sophia so that Julianna could chew her tortellini and actually taste it. Like I said, almost.

Back to the office. The sun was shining and the temps were warming. People were playing hooky and watching the Red Sox/Yankees game at bars across the city. My co-workers left early and went across the street to drink beer and watch baseball on a nice Friday afternoon. I sat at my desk and designed a PowerPoint-turned-PDF due that afternoon. The closest I got to Opening Day was the sound of the jets flying over on their way to Fenway Park. That was pretty cool; I’m not going to lie. Besides, I had a ticket to the Celtics game in a few hours.

I met Sarah and friends inside the Heineken luxury box. Was it sacrilegious to order a Bud Light? Oh well, I did, a few of them actually. I steered clear of the carving station, pizza, seafood paella and chicken wings. Sarah had mentioned dessert was coming out at 830 so I saved myself. Nothing like Bud Light, chocolate cake and some Rajon Rondo. Like the Sox, the Celtics won and we had a great time!

Saturday morning we headed south to Dighton. Tony worked on the sailboat – currently wrapped in my brother’s sideyard – while Jill and I toured Fall River. A detour sign messed me up on our way to meet Mel at the Burlington Coat Factory. We arrived 30 minutes late. Nothing like being lost in the Tacoma and singing the alphabet to entertain your antsy 16-month-old. That should have been a warning, a sign to things to come. Enter Burlington Coat Factory Baby Depot. I didn’t even know this place existed. Mel and Brian are expecting a baby boy in August. She’s registering at BCF and Target, no Babies’ R Us. I love it! The store near Mel has a very limited selection and she was so overwhelmed when she went to register that she walked out and didn’t go back. That Mel - she cracks me up. We picked out some of the major purchases: the car seat, stroller, Pack ‘n’ Play.

Jill lasted about 5 minutes before she wanted OUT of the carriage. I tried to hold her hand as she jetted away from Mel and toward the plus size women’s section. My kid then turned to the full length mirror and kissed herself. Like, “what’s up, ladies? I’m tall and thin. Eat your heart out!” Oh dear God. Please come back to Mel with me, Jill. Or lay on the floor and shake your head no. Far too much time in the car seat and not enough time running around. Jill darts to the toy section. She finds a Barbie lounge chair, unfolds it and lays down, hands behind her head. Is this really my kid? She’s a riot. I try not to laugh. We’re supposed to be helping Mel pick out which Diaper Genie she wants. Jill grabs an oversized bright yellow rake and runs down the aisle, narrowing missing an older man in a wheelchair. Wonderful, I thought. Shit, Mel likely thought. This is what I signed up for??

Luckily for both of us, we followed Mel to the highway, didn't get lost and made it home in no time. Jill ran around the yard like a lunatic while Tony finished up with the sailboat. While inside, Jill approached the baby gear with curiosity. (My brother and his wife, Jess, are expecting a baby boy – already named Guy Joseph after their Dads – in less than a month.) Jill somehow squeezed her way into the infant swing. I wonder what she will think of Baby Guy. We’ll see soon!

We stopped at Gram Furze’s for a quick visit before heading to my Mom’s. Jill sat on the couch with Tony and drank milk from a cup and devoured her Nutri Grain bar. She tried to steal the hummingbird feeder. Sophie the not-so-friendly cat let Jill pet her. Of course Jill was thrilled!

Pitstop at Curley’s Pub for a late lunch pick-up; dine-in was not an option with the crazy kid in the backseat. Bacon cheeseburger for Tony and kale soup for me – yum! A couple hours later Jess stopped by for a visit. She was amazed by how much Jill has grown and changed. “She’s like a little person now,” she said. I know what she means. Tony and I were planning to meet Mandy out at Home Plate but decided to stay home.  His clean clothes were neatly folded and waiting on the table by the door, at home, in Quincy. He didn’t want to go out with baby spit up jeans and a paint-stained bright yellow Corona t-shirt. I don’t blame him.

Sunday morning everyone slept until almost 7. It was amazing! It felt like we slept in until 10! We did the grocery shopping at Market Basket then headed home. Tony painted the front porch walls and flooring. It really made a huge difference. While Jill napped, I baked sweet potatoes and butternut and acorn squash and chopped cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew melon for the week. We took the stroller out for a jog (the first this Spring!) then went to the playground to play on the slides. Jill was go, go, go all day long. She ran around the house and backyard. She said nevermind the stroller to get to the playground, Mom! We’re walking! Such a confident toddler. Sometimes I wonder how we’ll ever keep up!

April 7, 2011

Jill, 16 Months

2' 8.25" tall (it's not long when they walk, right?), 88% - a baller!
nugget size 46.5cm, 62%

happy morning - before the shots
A month late but Jill went to her 15 month check-up today (she was 16 months old yesterday).  She had a blast walking down the hallway, checking out the fish tank by the pharmacy and stepping onto the scale.  She weighed almost 24 lbs., which sets her in the 58th percentile. 

Dr. Oh said to do away with the bottle all together (she has two a day now) within the next two months.  We'll see what Granna has to say about that!  My Mom has been fighting me on this one.  Jill was very well-behaved while Dr. Oh examined her.  Shot time was a different story.  Two shots to the upper thigh later and Jill was screaming.  Poor baby.  Real tears.  Oh God.  But she gave me a big hug, glared at the nurse with the needle and flashed me a smile and everything was ok again.  Everything was ok until around 3:30 when Miss Cindy called me at work to say that Jill had a reaction.  Her leg was very visibily swollen and hot to the touch and she didn't want to put any pressure on it.  Call into the doctor.  Tony ended up speaking to the nurse.  She recommended Mortin and a warm cloth compress.  Meanwhile, we hang out on the couch, cuddled and looked through books.  It was just what the doctor ordered!

This Week in Pictures

Granna & Jill hanging on the porch
ready for my check-up on Thursday morning
Rachael likes Jill more and more as Jill feeds her MORE and MORE

April 2, 2011

Saturday in the Park

I stole my Mom's shirt from the clean laundry pile!

LOVE this book from my Nana and Popa

I'm smiling because my Mom and I survived Friday morning without my Dad.

The weather was awful so my Dad left early for work. My Mom and I somehow made it to school on time, even early!

Saturday morning: browsing my Peekaboo book from Gi Gi Smith

helping my Dad with the front porch

Saturday in the park

having a blast at the playground!