Category Archives: holidays

Stuff happened, and is happening, and may or may not happen

Gosh, I suck at this blogging thing lately.  This even started as a draft two weeks ago and never got finished.

Santa Claus was good to us.   Frank got Rock Band 2 for our Wii (well, really, we all did) and I got… wait for it… a fiberglass rug for in front of our woodburning stove.

To make up for it, I’ll be getting a Motorola Droid for my birthday in six four weeks.  I have a closet case of iPhone envy.  But, I refuse to abandon our Verizon Wireless service.  It works so nicely and has always been really reliable for us, and I get a hefty discount on our bill because my old company feels no need to tell Verizon that I haven’t worked there for over two years.

I might be going back to school in the fall, or at least eventually.  I had been informed by someone who should know better that I had all the education I needed to take the tests to get certified to teach high school business.  So I got that bee in my bonnet, and started thinking about getting certified, and even started registering for the certification process, and in doing so realized I didn’t really have all the right education lined up for it.  But the bee’s still in the bonnet, and the schooling wouldn’t be too intense.  I can’t really see myself going back to corporate work, and while I love doing it, I’m not sure I have the cutthroat mentality to make my photography business be my full-time gig.  (Mostly because I don’t want to lose all my weekends to it, and I feel bad charging too much money for my work, so my income there will continue to be supplemental at best.)  However — schools that offer a line of coursework towards certification as a business teacher are few and far between!  My main choices are in Westchester county (but with a very hefty tuition price tag) or a small private college in Albany, which is somewhat farther to drive but with a much more reasonable tuition charge, and a full time option.  It would be a rough nine months, commuting to Albany (or maybe even renting a room up there to avoid some commuting) but we as a family feel like it’s a really smart choice for us, even if it takes me some time to secure a full-time position — most schools around here want substitutes that are NYS certified, and they pay decently for them.  But that’s a maybe because….

We’re also not not trying to get pregnant.  If you remember, my body is acting a little screwy, and my new midwife (who I love!) wanted me to get things checked out, even though we both theorized that it was Jake’s continual (though less frequent) nursing that was making my uterus misbehave.  Blood tests all came back with normal results, so she also wanted me to get a pelvic ultrasound, which I did last Thursday.

But let me back up just a bit.  Last Wednesday (ie., the day before the ultrasound), Frank and I had intimate relations, as married couples are wont to do.  Afterwards, he asked if I could be ovulating.  I said, “Well, I suppose it’s possible, now’s the time when I would be, if I were, but I don’t think I am.  But I suppose I might have, and if I did it would be about now.”  Once he unscrambled his brains from hearing that statement, he asked what may be the funniest question ever.  “When you have the ultrasound tomorrow, will they be able to tell we had sex?”  As in, will they be able to see his little guys swimming around?  I assured him they couldn’t (it’s not done with a microscope, after all!) but even if they could, I’m certainly not the first woman to have an ultrasound the day after having sex.  🙂

So Thursday came, and I went for the ultrasound.  I wanted to ask a zillion questions of the tech as it was happening, but she assured me she was not allowed to tell me anything of a diagnostic nature.  But I was chatty and friendly with her, and told her about having sex and Frank’s funny question, and soon enough she was pretty forthcoming about the state of my ovaries.  She started looking at my right ovary, which she described as “quite plump” and full of healthy-looking follicles (where the eggs come out).

Then she moved onto the left ovary and said, “Oh, look at that.”

OHMYGODWHAT, IS THERE A MARTIAN LIVING IN MY OVARY?  I asked, or perhaps something that sounded less batshit crazy.  “Oh no,” she said, “but it looks like you very very recently ovulated, like yesterday or this morning.”  Oh!  Well, that’s unexpected but welcome news.  She continued, “Actually, I see two follicles that look like they just ruptured.”  (For those uneducated about the workings of the female reproductive system, one follicle releases one egg; two follicles means two eggs.  Which can lead to two babies, aka fraternal twins.)

I asked, “So… not only does it look like I ovulated this month, but that I may have ovulated more than one egg?” and the panic in my voice must have been a little palpable, as I imagined telling Frank we were pregnant with twins.

She said, “Well, often, both don’t take.  But this month looks like a really promising month for you, based on what I’m seeing and that you had intercourse yesterday!  Do it again tonight just to make sure!”

OK then.

Now, she’s a tech.  I understand she wasn’t supposed to tell me ANY of what she said to me, and she might be completely wrong.  But at the same time, I have to think she’s got a fair idea of what she’s looking at.

We didn’t do it again that night.  But Frank and I aren’t panicked either.  I guess neither of us really felt the need to increase our chances beyond what seemed pretty good already.  🙂

So, right now, it’s T-minus about twelve days until I could maybe register positive on a pregnancy test.

Halloween was good for something

Yes, I probably spent too much money on costumes they only wore a couple of times.

Yes, the kids walked around in a sugar-induced haze for at least a week afterwards.

Yes, I gained a couple pounds because I ate more of their candy than I care to admit.

But since Halloween, my kids’ manners have improved vastly.  As we trick-or-treated, I made sure that Lane said “Thank you!” to every person who gave her something.  It was like pulling teeth the first few houses (she really really hates talking to people she doesn’t know) but after getting a little practice and hearing me say it and faced with the alternative of “We will just go home now if you don’t say Thank you at the next house” she said it, happily, from there forward.

And, it seems, the practice has stuck.  Lane’s saying ‘thank you’ out of habit now, when she hadn’t before.  We still have to work a little harder on ‘please’, but it’s getting there.

And an even cooler, unexpected bonus is that Jake picked up on it, too!  He surprised me completely a day or two after Halloween when I put his lunch down in front of him by looking up at me, smiling a huge smile, and saying “Tank oooo!”  Oh my gosh, my heart just about melted out of my chest.

Trekkin’ around the state

It’s been a whirlwind few days!

As I mentioned previously, Lane went to Buffalo on Monday.  My dad was here visiting for one night with his fiancee from Sunday to Monday, and as they were preparing to leave, Lane started saying she REALLLLY wanted to go to Buffalo with Grandpa Jerry.  Well, he’s retired, and she wouldn’t miss anything more than a few days of preschool and a dance class.  So she went.  By all reports they had a blast.  Tuesday was an off weather day in Buffalo so they hung out at home and watched movies, and Wednesday they went to the Buffalo Zoo.  (I am happy to report no polar bears died while they were visiting.)

Then, Jake and I drove up there on Wednesday afternoon and got there about 9:00 p.m.  Thursday was general hanging-out-with-relatives, and my dad took Jake to see choo-choos (my dad used to work on the railroad).

I also had a very sweet, very frank conversation with my brother about life stuff and relationship stuff of which I will not violate his confidence by divulging the details here, but it make my heart sigh, in that good way.  He’s a good egg who just needs to sort out his priorities a little and really realize he’s more grown-up and mature than he gives himself credit for.

Then, Friday, the kids and I headed for the Albany area, where we visited with my friend Amanda and her new, perfect little baby, and where Frank rendez-vous’ed with us.  We stayed there last night, and then went to my friend Cari’s daughter’s first birthday party, where we also saw other friends we hadn’t seen in awhile, being caught up in the whole moving-into-our-house-and-getting-it-spiffied-up whirlwind, as we are.  But there are tentative plans to get together with the other friends in the next couple weeks, and for Amanda to visit at some point in November, so we’re getting caught up, socially, which feels good.

And now we are home, and I’m sitting on my own couch, and I’m relishing that we don’t have to travel anywhere until Christmas (unless we choose to do so otherwise, before then).  Not that we won’t be busy – we have a dining room that needs wallpaper stripped and a coat of the “tomato bisque” paint I bought before Thanksgiving, among a couple other rooms that need painting.  But after our last two busy weekends… bring on the paint.  🙂

Can’t you take a hint?

Kitchenaid has this lovely accessory for their stand mixers — it’s a bowl you can use with it to make ice cream.

It came out a couple years ago, and I’ve wanted one since I first discovered it.

I’ve told Frank, repeatedly, I’ve wanted one.  I’ve talked about how fun it would be to make cinnamon ice cream to serve with the apple pie I make for Thanksgiving.  I have dropped subtle yet consistent hints that this would be a total winner of a gift for me.  I want it.

Yet, somehow, the man who I married, who is in nearly every other way is A Very Smart Man, has repeatedly ignored, blocked out, forgotten or otherwise discarded these hints.  Birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries, Valentines’ Days, Arbor Days, Breast Cancer Awareness Weeks, March of Dimes Walk-a-Thons have come and gone and I still do not have this frigging ice cream bowl.

The obvious solution would be to buy it for myself.

But the MOMENT I do that, I will be scolded for “not saving anything” for him to buy for me and how will he ever come up with a gift idea NOW???

So I am stuck.  I want desperately to make my own ice cream, yet I lack the necessary tool.

I suppose I have done it unto myself.  Hints do not penetrate that cranium of his very easily, so by hinting so subtly, I have only created my own situation.

I have thus resorted to more direct approaches.

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Him:  Where are we going to spend Christmas?

Me:  I don’t care, as long as I can make my own ice cream when I get there.

********************************

Me:  What do you want for Christmas?

Him: I don’t know.

Me:  I desire the ability to create creamy frozen confections at-will.

********************************

Him:  Where’s the remote?

Me:  I want the Kitchenaid ice cream maker for Christmas.

Maybe I should use signage too.

Oh, this is even worse

Our water’s out.

And I have to poop.

And I already flushed the toilet before I realized the water was out.

Seems sort of ironic.

Home

We spent most of New Year’s Eve driving back home.  I wanted to stay in Buffalo until New Year’s Day but the weather forecast was not encouraging of that plan, so we skedaddled yesterday.

We have a Magellan GPS thingamabob for our car, which I love.  One spiffy thing it does is it tells you the estimated arrival time for your trip.  The whole trip it was in the 12:15-12:30 ballpark.  We’d make up time (because it assumes you drive the speed limit, silly Magellan) and then I’d have to pee or a child would demand sustenance, and we’d lose the 15 minutes we’d just gained.  With an hour left on the trip, we had it down to 12:04, then Jake wanted to nurse.  I was able to appease him with a ‘biter biscuit’ for a half hour, but 30 minutes from home he just had to have him some boob.  We nursed just enough to make it happily home, and got back on the road.  We ended up being only a few yards from our driveway when the clock in our car struck midnight, so hubby and I were able to give kisses in the driveway and give the kids kisses right on the stroke of twelve.   Not a huge deal if it hadn’t worked out, but it was nice that it did.

We got the car all unloaded, a feat unto itself.  Did some unpacking, let the kids wind down from being in the car, got them ready for bed, and me and the kids were finally asleep around 3:00 a.m.  Then, joyfully, I woke up at 8:00 a.m., one kid on each side of me in my bed, to discover that Lane had her first nighttime accident in two months… in our bed.  Oh what fun it is to change bedsheets in a sleep-induced stupor.  Or something like that.  But we did, and sleep returned, and we managed to sleep until noon.  Ta da.

Now, I’m going to make a very late brunch of waffles, and we’re watching the Sabres-Penguins Snow Bowl on TV.  Not a bad way to spend New Year’s Day.

2007, you were an interesting year

It seems all the rage on blogs to take a moment to reflect on the past year as it draws to a close.  Well, it’s probably more a human quality, and since humans write blogs, well, there you go.

2007 has led me down an interesting path.  At the end of 2006, I was very pregnant, I’d just finished recovering from a broken foot, I was working full time in a promising career at a Fortune 100 company, we owned a large 4 bedroom house in central NJ.

Now, I have a 10 month-old son…. he is by far the biggest thing that happened to me in 2007.  Jake is simply amazing.  He has a curiosity for the world that is already so apparent, it won’t be long before he’s taking apart our DVD player just to see what’s inside.  And he’s happy.  Nearly anything can elicit a giggle or even a hearty laugh from him and it melts my heart every time.  He already has a first word – dog – although that ‘guh’ sound at the end apparently is just too pedestrian for him to bother with.  It’s a fitting first word; we have a golden retriever and he thinks she’s just awesome.  He’s pretty laid-back too, in general, which is good given his sister’s appetite for wrestling with him.

Speaking of his sister, she’s had quite a year too, and it’s been fun (mostly) to watch.  2007 has brought Lane her 3rd birthday, successful potty-training, and the ability to sleep through the night.  Lest you think that has made our jobs as parents easier, don’t you get ahead of yourself.  😉  Lane is – how shall I say this – a complicated child.  The hip way to describe her is ‘spirited’.  She is as intense a person as I have ever met.  There is not an ambivalent bone in her body, and she feels every emotion and shares every opinion with a strength of passion I hope will serve her well in life.  She also may have a birth defect, that being that her body has mastered cold fusion.  This little girl has more energy than anyone I’ve ever seen.  She can go and go and go and go and go.  Sleep is an afterthought for her.  If there is a point where she can burn off so much energy that she will go to bed earlier, we haven’t found it yet.  Please don’t think for a second I’d change any of that.  Lane is awesome fun to have around.  Her joy and verve and exuberance are contagious, and she’s a constant reminder that life is meant to be lived, and be fun, and what use is it to sit around?!?  This year has also brought Lane an exploding vocabulary and the daily joy of having conversations with her.

Anyway, back on track here!  While I started the year as a working, career-minded (though increasingly ambivalent), homeowning mother, I’m ending it, well, I’m still a mother.  We sold our house to move closer to my husband’s parents in downstate NY.  I quit the promising career at the great company, which was at the same time exhilarating and the scariest thing I’ve ever done.  We moved to another state and are renting an apartment while we househunt for a house that, while it should still be sufficiently roomy and nice enough, will not be the house we left in New Jersey. 

2007 has turned me into a stay-at-home mom to two kids, and though I never knew it, it’s exactly what I always wanted.

2008 promises to be a great one for our family, too.  There will be another move when we buy our new house.  My husband is an actuary, and 2008 should be the year he attains his Associate of the Society of Actuaries, which anyone who is or knows an actuary can tell you, that’s a big deal.  Jake will turn a year old, and will reach a ton of milestones this year – talking, walking, maybe even doing our taxes for us.  We’re going to Aruba in April.  It should be a pretty amazing year for our family. 

And here’s wishing that your 2008 is full of discovery and wonder and joy and love.