Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My little mummy.

This is the project I chose for the Fall Pinterest Challenge issued by the YHL folks and their lovely blog pals. See their posts at Young House Love, Bower Power, Ana White and House of Earnest.

This isn't going to be a detailed post, but I finished the Numa's mummy costume just in time for Halloween. Yay! I think I had about 15 hours worth of work in this outfit (after I had to completely redo the jacket because it was enormous) but it was totally worth it. I am going to paste a few pics without much explanation, but basically I used clothing he already had to make my own pattern (a la Sweet Verbena; see inspiration pin here) for the pants and jacket. The bandages were gauze I found at JoAnn Fabrics, which I washed and ripped into long strips. Then I laid the strips out over some white cotton flannel (also from JoAnn - on sale!) and individually machine appliqued each bandage, stitching along the edges and making sure to do any strips that were underneath of other strips first so that I didn't have any oddly placed lines of stitching. You can see the process in some of the pics below.


For the pants, I used my favorite easy kid's pants tutorial from Balancing Everything (see inspiration pin here) and laid the strips out on each piece so there wouldn't be side seams interrupting the clean lines. Then I hemmed the legs and was going to just fold the waist over and insert the elastic, but the gauze wasn't quite as soft as I wanted so I lined the waist with flannel.

Radar helping me work.

Pants leg before applying bandages.


Bandaging the legs.

Facing the waistband.

For the jacket, I used a sweat jacket that the Numa wears almost every day. To attach the bandages, I sewed the side seams of the fleece and then applied the bandages to avoid seams in the gauze. Unfortunately, my Achilles heel in sewing is the fear that things will be too small, so usually everything is too big because I over compensate. This jacket was no was HUGE after the first time I finished it. Wop wop. Being the perfectionist I am, I ripped out most of the stitches of the FULLY LINED jacket (that's right...I live in New England where we get a foot of snow in October...fully lined and the sleeve lining was satin so his clothes wouldn't catch) and re-made the whole thing. And had to have side seams. I won't lie...that hurt. And even now, there is too much fabric in the top of the torso. I will probably still fix it cause letting it go just doesn't sit right, but it was really cute even if it didn't fit perfectly.

Jacket pattern.

Jacket body with bandages.

Placing the zipper.

Basting in the neck band.

Inserting the lining.

The Numa did not appreciate my hours of work and did not care for the jacket. He managed to break the zipper half-way through Halloween but with the zipper open, you couldn't really tell it was too big in the top. Silver lining there. He did wear the pants all day at school, so clearly those were comfortable enough to get his seal of approval. He also really liked trick-or-treating, but didn't really understand the whole candy thing. He isn't a sweets guy (clearly not my child) and would try to trade whatever he was holding for the new candy offered at each door. He walked from door to door waving and shaking the packages and eating raisins, which one of our neighbors was kind enough to give instead of candy. We did make him say thank you for everything he got, which comes out "tink oo" and is super adorable. I think that next year will be even more fun.

Homeward bound.
After Halloween.

I am already excited about next year and can't wait to make him more costumes. I love being the mom who people can't believe made the costume. I am sure that makes me a terrible person, but there it is. My house is a wreck, I am exhausted and we ate take out the last two nights, but at least everyone thinks I have it all together. :)

Thanks to Sherry, Katie, Ana and Erin for sponsoring this challenge once again!

Be well,


P.S. In a previous post, I promised pictures (alliteration rules!) of the Numa's costume from last year. I made him scrubs and a stethoscope and he was a doctor (or veterinarian). The top of the scrubs was the hardest part, since I didn't think that pulling a woven top over the head of a baby would be a good idea and decided to place buttons. I also lined the pants with sweatshirt fleece, but didn't line the top since he was going to wear a shirt underneath. The outfit wasn't perfect (the edging still makes me cringe) but it was adorable. This picture is of the pants only but I will look for a better one. Enjoy!

Baby scrub pants!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A recipe

Yeah, I'm not even going to apologize for the lack of KCWC posts. I actually finished a pair of pinstriped pants for the Numa and have planned most of his Halloween costume, but haven't photographed anything yet so I won't be posting about that until I do. Besides, I am still the only person reading this (other than my husband, who apparently checks these posts...thanks babe!). M, if you were offended by the lack of posts, just look around the house and it will all make sense.

Instead of posting about crafts, I am going to post a recipe that is one of our favorites. I actually wrote this a while ago, with some background about the inspiration as well as the full recipe. I will make it soon and update this with a picture. Enjoy!

My mother was a stay at home mom.  It was great for me and my sister, since she was always there to help us with homework or take us to various activities.  Looking back as an adult, I realize that we definitely didn’t appreciate all of her hard work or the fact that we were (most likely) slowly driving her crazy.  Don’t get me wrong...we helped around the house.  No one had more chores than we did and they were never suspended.  If we had friends over, they either waited or helped which seemed so cruel at the time.  However, so many things that made no sense to me as a child or young adult are so clear to me now, and none more so than the fatigue and aggravation that comes of being the main cook for your family.  Our immediate and never changing answer to the question “what do you want for dinner” was “I don’t know.”  It took almost 30 years for me to understand the silent rage that those 3 words can incite but now that I am the one trying to put a nightly meal on the table, not many things irritate me more than that response.  How can anyone have no preference whatsoever about food?  We all have likes and dislikes...why can’t we voice them?  I would rather make a special trip to the store for an ingredient I am missing than to get no input at all about what I cook for my family.  Karma, you are a giant bitch.

The real tragedy of my youthful indifference was that my mother is a fabulous cook.  She can make anything and rarely uses recipes.  One of her specialties was and is something we have charmingly termed “trash soup.”  The name was no reflection on the taste...trash soup is amazing.  Mom would simply empty all the leftovers that may otherwise go bad and combine them into shockingly wonderful soup.  We continue to tease her about her soup, but it is still one of my favorite comfort foods.

One night, deep in the throes of a “woe-is-me” session about the dinner plan that just wasn’t materializing and the lack of input from my spouse, I took inspiration from trash soup and Southwest Quinoa Salad was born.  I gathered some lonely vegetables from the fridge, some leftover cooked chicken breasts and quinoa and created a dish that can stand alone or be a side.  It is versatile and quick, requiring only the time it takes to chop veggies and/or cook your chosen protein, which is a must when you have a hungry toddler.  It is easy to keep vegetarian if you so desire and can be adjusted to suit your particular tastes or available leftovers.  If it saves you even one night of dinner frustration then I have done my good deed for today. 

Be well,


Southwest Quinoa Salad

(All ingredients and amounts are adjustable according to taste.)

2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces (I sometimes substitute 2 cups of edamame for a veggie version)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 container cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2-3 medium bell peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2-3 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2-3 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin (I LOVE cumin so this may be too much for some people)
salt to taste
fresh cilantro and/or avocado (garnish, optional)

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Most of the time, you will combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water, bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.  Some quinoa requires rinsing before use, so be sure to read the instructions.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, chop chicken and veggies and rinse beans if you haven’t already.  Combine all veggies and proteins in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add cooked quinoa to bowl with veggies and proteins and top with all remaining ingredients except garnishes.  Stir until evenly mixed.
  4. Serve in bowls while warm or refrigerate and serve cold.  Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or avocado slices.

All veggies and proteins can be cut, rinsed and/or cooked in advance, making assembly much faster.  Obviously, you can add, take away or substitute almost any veggies or proteins in this dish.  I have made this dish with many variations and usually get rave reviews.  It is a great make ahead dish for pot-lucks or picnics and keeps well for several days in the fridge.  Because it is entirely veggies, lean proteins and grains, it is also good for you as long as it is consumed in moderation.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I am not technically behind on KCWC. I have spent at least one hour each day since Monday (Sunday, actually) working on kid's clothing. However, I have yet to finish anything. So far, my week has consisted of two not-so-perfect attempts at projects. My biggest challenge when making anything is my constant fear of making things too small. That means that I tend to overestimate and everything comes out waaaay too big. I frogged my first hat cast on (plus 20 rows...frown) because it became very obvious that it was going to fall off of the Numa's head, rather than keeping it warm. Similarly, I cut a pair of pants for him that are at least 2 inches too long and 2 inches too big in the waist. That was actually only partly due to a fear of creating too-small pants...part of it was due to the fact that I really wanted the pockets of the shirt I was refashioning to be on the back of the pants. Unfortunately, the pockets of an adult men's shirt are too big to really be the back pockets of the Numa's pants, so I am removing the pockets (re-removing in one case) in order to cut them down further. I am going to have to add some sort of patch, though, because of how the shirt is worn around the pockets. I may just chuck was a really old shirt, after all.

The good news here is that the pattern I made is actually good. Tomorrow I will use it more faithfully to make a lightweight pair of pj pants as a fore-runner to the Halloween pants. I feel certain that it will work out beautifully.

So, actual pics to come, including pics of the failed pants attempt.

Be well,


Saturday, October 8, 2011

And then he was 2.

Not really, but the attitude is there. I was fully prepared for the Numa to eventually go through the terrible twos. I just didn't realize that it would a) happen so early (he doesn't actually turn two until the end of the year) or b) that it would be so sudden. As in, one day, my darling son was the child who made most people say "hey, this isn't so bad. I could handle this." And the next day, he became the child who makes almost everyone think "what is wrong with this kid's parents? Haven't they ever heard of discipline?" or "maybe we should call child protective services because screams that loud are a clear indication of abuse." I can tell the next few months are going to be super fun. It is next to impossible to take him anywhere now, because all he wants to do is run loose, whether we are in a restaurant or a parking lot. And it is impossible to explain to someone this little and moody that running through a parking lot just isn't a good idea. So he screams and we look like terrible parents. Oh well. Who needs more friends, right?

On a positive note, I am getting all of my ideas and supplies ready to participate in the Fall 2011 Kids Clothes Week Challenge, issued by Elsie Marley. If you don't yet read Elsie Marley, you should, because Meg writes a wonderful blog and makes adorable things for her little people. I will be making several things for my Numa, including some new pants (using this pattern from Made), a new knitted hat (probably the Noro hat) and his Halloween costume! So fun. I will be posting each day about the progress I made the day before, so stay tuned.

Be well,



Thursday, September 22, 2011


When I was little, I vaguely remember hearing references to selling bad children to gypsies. I don't specifically recall my mother ever threatening this, but I am quite positive that she had many moments during my childhood when it may have seemed like a decent option.

I had one of those days yesterday. I should preface this by saying that I love my son more than anything and he is generally a fun and energetic almost-2-year-old. Oh, but yesterday. The Numa is teething (still...I am pretty sure he will be 21 when he gets his final baby tooth) and on Wednesday, well apparently it was just too much for him. Everything made him unhappy. He wanted me to pick him up. So I did. Then he cried because I was holding him and he wanted down. So I put him down. More tears and hugging my legs while whining "up dee" (which means "up please" in Numa speak). Anything I did and anything he did resulted in tears, whining, both or worse. It was a long, long day and I was so glad that he finally settled down long enough to read a couple of books at bedtime.

Today was much better. He is mostly back to his old self and I think that I can see the tooth that was causing all the woe. We had dinner out to celebrate a return to normalcy and are hoping that the worst is over. At least for this week.

Be well,


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


So many things. First of all, we named our new kitty! Radar is settling in just fine and he and Saoirse have made peace and are now fast friends. They are both getting over a nasty bout of conjunctivitis courtesy of the shelter but are recovering well and we feel confident that he is going to fit right in here.

We have spent most of September with various family, which has been both wonderful and exhausting. All of the Numa's grandparents have been in town, as well as his great aunt and uncle from Roanoke and his great-great aunt and uncle from Northern VA. He has had a great time and it should only take us about a month to recover. Thankfully, we have a few free weekends coming up, which should provide us with some downtime.

It is quickly becoming fall in New England and I am so excited. I love fall. I love the changing leaves, the crisp air, the apple picking and Halloween. I am still trying to decide what the Nums is going to be for Halloween this year and am leaning toward something traditional, like a mummy. It would be a much easier costume than the scrubs I made him last year (adorable, I will try to find a picture) and also conforms to my desire to avoid branded characters. I have a loose idea of how I will construct the costume and I may even have the supplies already on hand.

I am hoping to use my time this fall to post lots more stuff. I have some ideas filed away to make my own packing cubes and also have some new recipes to try and some old ones to post, so hopefully there will be much more activity on here this October and November. Until then, enjoy this picture of our newest fuzzy butt.


Be well,


Friday, August 26, 2011


After lots of shelter visits and some very lucky breaks driving in downtown Boston, we have adopted a new kitty! But let me explain...

I took part of the day off on Tuesday to visit a couple of local shelters in our ongoing search for a new kitty. We were taking our time and had some specific requirements. We needed a kitty who wasn't too young but was still young enough to settle in well with our older cat, Saoirse, and to grow up around the Numa. We wanted a short hair, due to M's allergies, but were open about gender and color and are no strangers to adopting cats with some medical conditions. We looked mainly at Buddy Dog in Sudbury and the MSPCA in Jamaica Plain. There was an adorable older kitten at Buddy Dog who we visited several times, but he and his brother were only available as a pair and we can only have two cats per our lease. Color us disappointed.

On Tuesday I gathered up my optimism and headed to the MSPCA around 2:30. I worked my way around the cat room, finally arriving at a cage with 3 small gray/cream tabbies. And oh, were they adorable. They were playing and fighting and having a wonderful time. One of them in particular, Jamie, seemed a little more outgoing and I was drawn to him, though they were all super cute. I was pretty sure M would agree, but didn't feel comfortable finalizing any paperwork without him present. Unfortunately, the MSPCA won't hold cats, so I was faced with the possibility that someone else would adopt Jamie before I could get back. So, I quickly snapped pics and hopped in my car to do the impossible...make it from JP to Lexington and back in less than 2 hours during the beginning of rush hour. I had to pick up the Numa from daycare, grab M at work and speed back to JP. We made in in an hour and a half and I have no clue how. I ran back into the adoption center leaving M to grab the Numa and before I was even halfway across the room, I could see that one of them was already gone and one other was being adopted. I was so nervous and sure enough, Jamie was already being adopted. The last kitten left from the litter was the other little boy, Jasper. Woe.

During our mad dash back to the shelter, I had told M all about the kittens but was pretty emphatic about my preference for Jamie. This really set M up for being disappointed when Jamie was gone, so we debated our options for a while before making a final decision. We were willing to keep looking if we really felt like Jasper wasn't as great a match for us, but after visiting for a while we decided we would adopt Jasper. M met the family who was adopting Jamie, a couple and their little girl who was getting her very first kitten. The staff at the MSPCA knew that we had wanted Jamie and thanked us repeatedly for being understanding about their policy. It took forever to complete the paperwork but we were finally done around 7:30 and headed to Burton's Grill to feed a very hungry Numa a very late dinner, which he would later throw up all over me.

We brought our new baby home the next day after he was fixed and he has been settling in really well. Saoirse is extremely unhappy about the whole situation, but we are confident that she will warm up in time and enjoy having a companion. For now, he is spending the time we are away from home in a large crate so that Saoirse can get used to him from a distance and so he doesn't hurt himself on all the crap that is out in our house. Enjoy a picture and expect more updates soon, including his name!


Be well,


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lesbian spank inferno.

We have a large oriental rug that used to live in our bedroom. Because we have a small child who has had frequent stomach viruses in the past year, we had to send it out for cleaning at the beginning of the summer. I repeatedly remember and then forget to call about having it returned, but I finally got my act together yesterday and managed to schedule the delivery for this morning between 8 and 9.

While waiting for the delivery guys to arrive, I was doing the dishes and watching Coupling on Hulu. It was the "Circus of the Epidurals" episode and everyone was arriving at the ante-natal class with Susan and Steve. When the guys called from downstairs, I paused the show so I could find my checkbook and answer the door. They had set down the rug and I was writing the check when a female British voice emanating from my computer very clearly said: "Lesbian spank inferno." She kept on talking but I don't remember what came next. You would have to watch at least one episode of Coupling to get it ("Inferno" from season 1 is where this joke began), but suffice it to say that a) Coupling is hilarious and if you have never seen it, you should and b) I thought that the two guys delivering the rug were going to choke.

P.S. I have now achieved at least one thing on my bucket list. Titling a blog post "Lesbian spank inferno" has always been a dream of mine.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tax free weekend giveth, and tax free weekend taketh away.

In what turned out to be a startlingly naive decision, M, the Numa and I braved IKEA on Sunday to get us some of that tax free goodness. Oh my. We waited in line to park for about 15 minutes and then spent another 3 hours in the store, which isn't all that unusual, except that about half of that time was spent waiting for furniture that we are having delivered. What's that, you say? Why on earth were you waiting for furniture that was going to be delivered to your home? I, too, was surprised, but it turns out that IKEA, that mecca of modern design, is stuck in what might as well be the age before computers when it comes to home delivery. The process works as follows (with a few extra details for your reading pleasure):

1. Enter IKEA. Marvel at the open spaces and cheap furnishings. Secure a cart capable of holding the Numa and his diaper bag, along with our blue reusable shopping bag and hit the elevator to the second floor.

2. Sit on the Karlstad couch for the umpteen thousandth time. Debate whether or not said couch is tall enough. Further debate possible sectional configurations, mostly from a distance since one of us is chasing a running, cheerfully screaming Numa as he launches himself onto every couch and into the path of many, many passers by. Apologize to said passers by while trying to listen to spouse, who is asking if we are sure about the Sivik Dark Gray fabric. Renew certainty in the fact that soon, everyone in America will own a Karlstad sectional in Sivik Dark Gray. Thank you, Young House Love!

3. Decide that yes, after months of thinking and planning, the Karlstad sectional, in the YHL configuration and fabric, is the couch for us. Continue to herd the Numa while one of us orders said couch from a helpful IKEA associate (for anyone who wants to know, you have to order the corner sofa 2+3/3+2 AND the chaise, add-on unit to create the YHL configuration). Break up slight bru-haha between the Numa and a small but determined young lady at the kid's play station. Wrestle uncooperative Numa back into cart and walk quickly towards beds.

4. Detour from couches to restrooms (you know, through the Expedit section - we spend far too much time at IKEA) due to a foul odor now emanating from the Numa. Discover that the family restroom is occupied and the changing table in the upstairs women's room is out of order ( has been out of order for 2 weeks now...will someone please fix this thing?) so M will need to deal with the pants situation. M takes the Numa into the men's room, freshens his pants and we are off again to beds.

5. Attempt to order 1/2 of a king box spring for the Numa's new twin xl mattress. We really went for it this tax free weekend, and decided that his big boy bed would be even better if he can still fit in it when he is a teen. Discover that the 1/2 king box spring only has a frame on 3 sides (wtf?) and it won't work on it's own. Breathe a sigh of relief when we learn that the 1/2 king slat frame IS framed on all 4 sides and, bonus, is also $50 cheaper. Score! Order this from another helpful associate and head towards children's IKEA.

6. Find yet another cool thing for the Numa (last time it was the slide, which he LOVES) and grab a couple of kid's foot stools for good measure. Head to the Marketplace to get curtains and drawer organizers and whatever else strikes us. I grab a splatter guard for cooking and amazingly nothing else. We chase the Numa through the rest of the (non-breakable sections of the) IKEA maze and get a furniture cart for the Karlstad footstool we will take home today and the legs for the Numa's bed support.

7. Check out and discover that, in order to have our new Karlstad and bed foundation delivered to our home, we first have to take the receipt for the furniture to the furniture receiving area. They will then fill our order and, and here is the crazy part, physically bring it out to us in the waiting area. All of it. On a pallet or whatever it takes to hold a 12' sectional and a 1/2 king bed foundation. Then, we will take all of this stuff and get into a line, with our stuff (did you get that part? Check out this link to YHL if you need to see just how much crap we are talking about here, and add in 1/2 of a king bed foundation...ridiculous) and wait to talk to the home delivery people who are, no kidding, less than 20' to the left of the furniture receiving people. They, the home delivery people, take your information and then - stay with me here - take the exact same stuff that just came out through the swinging doors to your right and they TAKE IT BACK THROUGH AN IDENTICAL SET OF DOORS TO AWAIT DELIVERY. That's right, you get to visit with your furniture for the duration of your time in line and then it goes right back into another "backstage" area at IKEA. What? Why on earth can't they just remove those things from their electronic inventory and grab them when they go to deliver stuff? Can this possibly be better for some reason? Seriously, if you know why this is better, please explain it to me, because I am baffled.

8. While M waits for the ridiculousness that is IKEA home delivery, the Numa and I go upstairs to eat dinner, because he has worked up a serious appetite while terrorizing IKEA shoppers (he really isn't that bad, but it is funnier this way, no?). After stowing our smaller purchases in the car earlier, I had wisely switched from the IKEA kid carrier to our umbrella stroller, so getting through the food line with the Numa, a tray and lots of food was difficult but didn't end with anything hitting the floor. On the plus side, dinner was the cheapest thing we bought all day (except my splatter guard). I manage to find a table and a high chair and we eat, the Numa putting away an impressive amount of food for such a small person. While he eats, he flirts mightily with the lovely woman at the table next to ours, which may or may not be why she and her equally lovely husband took pity on me and offered to put our tray in the tray receiving area. I am sure they will never read this, but it is those moments that remind me that there may yet be hope for humanity and I hope they know how much that small act of kindness meant to a very tired me.

9. Numa and I walk downstairs to find M finishing up the whole furniture delivery process, so I quickly put clean pants and pj's on the little guy for our trip home. M grabs some IKEA pizza (his verdict: meh.) and some water and we head home, tired but happy that after all that, the couch will actually be delivered later this week. Amazing, considering the complete lack of efficiency surrounding the rest of the process.

The Numa reads the whole way home and doesn't get to bed till 9, but he sleeps until almost 9 the next day, so all in all, not a bad deal. I can't wait to get the new couch as we are really tired of the old one which doesn't really suit our needs any longer. Fortunately, it has found a new home in a cozy little getaway cottage in NH, so it will retire in style.

We will never, ever again go to IKEA to buy something we are having delivered. We had to order it in store to take advantage of the tax free weekend, but it was 100% not worth it and I would have gladly paid that money to avoid the hour and a half of effort it took to complete steps 7 and 8. In the end, saving the tax on the furniture ended up canceling out the delivery cost, so we did save almost $100. It is a thin silver lining, but I guess I'll take it.

Be well,


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cheap entertainment.

Fun fact about me: I occasionally dabble in couponing. I am in no way like those ridiculous couponers now featured on TV (disclaimer: I have seen only one episode and was repulsed by the fact that someone would take home 100 candy bars simply because they were free), mostly because I don't have the time but also because a) there are not a lot of coupons for the things I typically buy and b) some jackass in my building keeps stealing my Sunday paper inserts. That's right, people, not the entire paper, just the coupon inserts. They kindly leave me the Parade magazine, but all of the coupons are nicked and it really pisses me off. To the point that I am thinking of canceling my subscription. But I digress. The other reason I don't use coupons that frequently is because I don't buy a lot of packaged food items and there just aren't that many coupons for organic produce, meats or breads, or for staple food items like sugar, flour and nuts. However, until I find the perfect cruelty-free hair care products that also won't cost me a freaking fortune, I buy Garnier shampoo in bulk whenever I can find good sales and coupons. Also, I recently started dyeing my hair at home (also to save money) and I will buy hair dye when that is on sale and also has current coupons. I know, I know...the excitement never ends at my house.

Tonight was one of those infrequent but happy mergings of store sales and coupons at CVS and I was pretty pleased with my take. Three 13.5oz bottles of Garnier Fructis shampoo, an Herbal Essences hair dye and a Garnier hair dye. Total cost after store sales, coupons and CVS ExtraCare Bucks (seriously, like free money): $11.97. Regular price for everything would have put me over $25, so I saved over $10! Also, this is tax-free weekend in MA, so I didn't even have to give money to the state. Double rainbow! (if you find that confusing, see this)

Not my best couponing moment ever, but still enough to make me happy and enough shampoo for all of us for at least 3 months. Sweet.

Be well,


A week in the

I didn't fail with my attempt at "week in the life" posts because I neglected to post. Instead, the posts were a failure because they were about a terrible week in my life, and not the first one I would want to remember. It makes me unhappy, mostly because my weeks are usually filled with a good balance of really awesome stuff (like my little guy) and ordinary, everyday stuff, with a few not-so-great moments mixed in, because we all have those moments. The week I wrote about just happened to be very stressful and my posts about it were overwhelmingly negative, but I am not a negative person and I don't want that to be the way I come across here. So, I am planning to re-attempt this challenge another week. I'm not sure when, but one day the mood will strike me and I will be off. Hopefully to chronicle a more typical week in my life.

Be well,


Monday, August 8, 2011

A week in the life: Day 7

Friday: Well, it's like this. I wrote most of my post for Friday and with the exception of the fact that my son continues to be adorable and I ate at a Hibachi place for lunch with some awesome people, it was depressing and I don't even want to remember it. I have enough work to keep me busy through the weekend and then if I am lucky, I will finish everything in time to meet my Monday deadline.

Because of this, I am not going to write anything else about today. I will write about tomorrow instead. And that is how I will selectively remember this week.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A week in the life: Day 6

Thursday: The Numa has a rough night, waking at 1am very upset and with really gross pants. We settle him and get him and his bedding all changed and he goes back down around 1:30. I try to go to sleep but he wakes up again an hour later, so I lay on the floor in his room with him until we both fall asleep. I wake up AGAIN at 4:30 with my neck killing me, because oh yeah, I am sleeping on the floor. I very carefully transfer the little guy back to his crib (which fortunately works) and he sleeps until 6:30. He is now in a great mood and clearly feeling better so we all get up and start our day. We get to daycare at 8:15 and the little man is super psyched because this morning is cereal and bananas ("nanas!") for breakfast. He waves goodbye very happily and we head to work.

So, yesterday I wrote that work sucked. I need to correct that. Yesterday, work was bad. Today, work majorly sucked and I am really struggling with how to deal with the shit storm that continues to be my project. I don't have time to do everything but I don't have anyone else I can really count on to do anything, so something always falls through the cracks and I am left holding the bag. Which bites. I am tired of having no help and equally tired of getting little to no support when I try to work out getting more help. Long story short, I end my day frustrated and angry and will spend my entire night working. Suck, suck, suck.

I am so pissed when we leave work that I cannot even go inside at daycare, as I need a few moments to collect myself. M goes in to get the little guy and seeing him smile immediately makes me feel better. We call in pizza takeout and fight surprisingly little traffic on our way (is everyone on vacation?). We have pizza and berries for dinner and then I bathe Numa while M gets ready to leave. He is going to a show tonight, so it will just be me and the Nums. I get Numa ready for bed and we read books for about 20 minutes. He is getting so good at recognizing the pictures and is really trying to name all the objects in them. His current favorite book is a collection of all kinds of animal pictures. We ask him where certain animals are and he points to them, or we point to things and ask what they are and he tries to tell us. Freaking adorable. He is really tired, due to a poor night's sleep last night and a spotty nap, so we do lights out at 7:20 and he is in his crib 15 minutes later. I hope he sleeps well.

I veg on the couch for about 30 minutes because I just can't face work yet. I have to edit some documents and also build some mock ups, which will both suck, but I procrastinate by watching WipeOut. I realize that it is stupid entertainment, but it makes me smile and I need that right now. I spend my entire night and a good part of my morning working on a document and building cardboard mock-ups, and finally get to go to bed around 2am, which sucks because I have to get back up at 5:30 to be at work by 6:30. Can't wait.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A week in the life: Day 5

Wednesday: The little man wakes us up at 6:30. He slept really well and is happy to crawl into bed with us for a few minutes before we all get up. M showers and the Numa and I feed Saoirse and make dinner in the slow cooker. I get the little guy partially dressed before M takes over while I get ready. I think I have decided that maxi dresses are my favorite article of clothing and I resolve to buy a couple more. We are out the door by 7:50 and, happily, we remember the swim diapers for today's sprinkler park visit.

When we arrive at daycare, the little guy's room is at ratio so he has to start his day in another room. This isn't usually a problem, but they send us to the one room (out of 5) that he doesn't like. We don't know why he dislikes this one room, but he never does well in it so we stay for a few minutes, hoping he can transfer back before we have to go. After about 15 minutes, he can move back so we help gather him up and take him to his room. We leave while they are doing breakfast and he is hanging out with one of his favorite teachers.

Work sucks. There is really just no other word for today. My project has been a pain the ass for the past month and I am the only full time person on it, so when anything goes wrong it is essentially my responsibility. Tons of little fire drills have put me behind in a lot of ways. To add to that, a series of miscommunications has resulted in putting out a less-than-adequate product which is leading to all sorts of awesomeness that, again, I will have to deal with. My day is a blur of emails and phone calls trying to straighten out this mess and I don't get out the door until almost 5.

We get the Nums and head home. He has his sippy cup and then "reads" almost the whole way home. I remember that we have our point and shoot with us, so M gets some video of him flipping his pages and chattering, which is adorable. We have the salsa chicken with rice for dinner and chat with Gma P while we try to get Numa to eat and not throw food. We are semi-successful but eventually realize that it is a lost cause and take him to the bath. He is clearly tired so we do a short bath and M puts him to bed while I take an early shower.

I clean the kitchen even though I really don't want to and then collapse on the couch for a while. There is literally a blank spot in my mind for about 30 minutes, so I am assuming I zoned out in front of the TV. I chat with a friend on FB for a while and pet Saoirse, who is thrilled to be laying next to me. The episode of Criminal Minds that is on in the background is super depressing so I watch an episode of Jon Stewart on Plex while eating my homemade jam on crackers before heading to bed around 12:30.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A week in the life: Day 4

Tuesday: I finally make it to bed around 1am, but am showered and will be much faster in the morning now. M gets up early and wakes me around 6:45. I drag myself into the bathroom to brush my teeth and do something to my oh-so-attractive bed hair. The little man wakes around 7:15 and M brings him in to say good morning to Mommy before they do new pants (for Numa, not M) and a cup. I apply sunscreen and put on his outfit for the day while he protests and reads books. We grab our bags and head out the door at 7:45.

Daycare is already a happening place this morning and we arrive during book reading before breakfast. The Nums is happy to be with his friends so we leave for work after just a few minutes. At work by 8:30, bagel with cream cheese and OJ for breakfast and while putting the little guy's sippy in our group fridge, I realize that yesterday I forgot to take home the 2 quarts of blueberries that the Numa's girlfriend and her fiance got for us in Maine. Doh! Must remember those today.

I have another busy day, since I will be unable to attend a field site on Friday due to a conflicting meeting. My awesome office mate is going to fill in for me, so I work on getting everything ready for her. At 12:15 we have our first parent-teacher conference at daycare! M and I talk to Numa's lead teacher for about 40 minutes about his progress and goals for the rest of the year. During the whole meeting, the Numa is sleeping a mere 10 feet away, so I spend most of my time worried about waking him which, fortunately, doesn't happen. He is doing great and other than working on throwing food we walk away with no homework but to keep on keepin' on. Sweet. 

I still haven't eaten lunch so the Mr and I run by a local cafe to grab a salad for me and then stop at Starbucks to patronize the Clover machine. Yes, we know it is overpriced and no, we don't care. Back at work around 2pm and I remember suddenly that I have an appointment scheduled for Friday that I am now going to miss due to work travel. A quick phone call reveals that my only opportunity for reschedule this week is today at 4:15, so I resolve to work faster and leave a little early. I run out the door at 3:55 after sending one last email and promptly hit tons of traffic, making me almost 15 minutes late. They are very understanding and through a series of coincidences everything works out fine, but I over tip anyway because I hate being late almost as much as I hate waiting for people who are late.

I pick M up from work just before 5 and we grab the Numa to head to our monthly meat CSA pick up near our home. M had a bad day, so we talk about work while the Nums "reads" his book in the back seat. I order Korean takeout (jap chae FTW!) and send M and Numa home with our cooler of meaty deliciousness while I walk to the restaurant. I also hit CVS for swim diapers for tomorrow's sprinkler park visit (for the Numa, obviously) and also grab some new books from the used bookstore conveniently located next to the Korean restaurant. The Numa and I eat jap chae, edamame (one of the little guy's favorites) and California rolls (M has pork katsu) while Skyping with Gma Bee. Once the food throwing progresses to utensil throwing M and I declare all done and head to the bathroom (still chatting with Bee) for a bath and teeth brushing. Numa is a giant fan of splashing so by the time he is done, it looks like a tidal wave has hit the bathroom. M gets the little man ready for bed and reads books with him for a little while before I rock him and put him in his crib around 8.

I head to the car to retrieve the CSA cooler and then spend some time planning this week's remaining meals. Tomorrow will be something in the crock pot, and I finally land on salsa chicken with rice. All the ingredients are on the counter or ready in the fridge. It is now that I remember the huge amount of Maine blueberries that our lovely friends brought us. They smell amazing but are super tiny, so we can't give them to the Numa to eat individually and I really don't want to make muffins. I have never made jam but am willing to give it a shot until I remember that I don't have any pectin. A quick Pinterest search yields this link, which takes me to an extremely simple recipe that involves just blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and salt. I can do that. I spend almost an hour picking over the berries and removing as many stems as I can find (seriously, these are tiny smaller than a pencil eraser...with even tinier stems) while watching Coraline. Incidentally, Coraline is beautifully animated but is in NO way a children's movie. My fingers turn blue but I persevere and finally have clean blueberries. I will write another post about making the jam, but suffice it to say that it is so good I consider eating it straight from the pot instead of storing it.

I make myself package up the jam and partially clean the kitchen, meaning that I move everything into or close to the sink and resolve to actually do the dishes tomorrow. Our measuring stick is "do we have enough sippy cups?" and I have exceeded the requirement, so I give myself a pass. Lazy bum. I take a quick shower after M goes to bed and it's lights out around 12:30.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A week in the life: Day 3

Monday: I start hitting snooze when the alarm goes off at 6:30am and finally get up just before 7. The Numa is still sleeping, but we have to hurry if we are going to have him to daycare for breakfast at 8:15. I shower quickly and feed Saoirse and Numa finally wakes around 7:20. M gets the Numa and they have a cup while watching the news to determine today's weather. M gets in the shower and Numa and I brush our teeth and get dressed. I do his sunscreen, which he hates less than usual, and M puts on his shoes while I yank my hair back and we run out the door.

We get to daycare just in time and convince the little guy to eat a few bites of blueberries and waffles before he goes to play. M and I head to work where I learn that the document I spent all of last week generating has caused some major confusion. I work all day to clarify it and finally send out a new version around 4:30. I am super glad that our secretary is back because she is the only other person in our group with a 12-year-old sense of humor and we have much gossip to exchange. M and I leave just before 5 to pick up the Numa.

Nums had a great day at daycare but is happy to see us and wishes everyone a loud goodbye with many waves as we head out. Unfortunately, a dire pants situation arises in the parking lot, so he and I trudge back inside to rectify the situation before starting for home. We decide to stop at Trader Joe's to get stuff for dinner and more yogurt, as we eat tons of yogurt in this house and are tragically out. Numa loves sitting in the cart and "helping" so he is pretty happy to shop for a few minutes on the way home. We walk in our door just after 6 and I make mac and cheese, leftover hot dogs and raspberries for dinner for the Nums, a hot dog and a salad for me and pizza for M. What can I's Monday. Numa eats and chats with Gma Pat until he starts to throw food, when M and I declare that he is all done and head towards the bath. He plays and I scrub his hair which is now covered in mac and cheese. He brushes his teeth and we read books in his room until 7:45, when we do lights out. I rock myself to sleep while snuggling with him and finally emerge around 8:45.

I work to finish the photo book I started yesterday, as my coupon code expires at midnight. Asking M to check it out leads to adding more photos so I don't finish it until 11. I save $30 but still spend almost $50 on the book since it is so very, very long. Choosing pictures to represent the Numa's first year has clearly been an exercise in failed restraint. Then it's off to the kitchen to do dishes and update the blog before showering and heading to bed.

A week in the life: Day 2.

Sunday: No doubt due to his late bedtime from yesterday, the Numa wakes around 3am. We get him a bottle and install clean pants and M gets him re-settled in bed while I go back to sleep. Our alarm goes off at 7 and I proceed to hit snooze until 7:30, when we decide to finally get up and feed Saoirse, who has been crying for the last hour. She really needs a new friend. We are actually returning to the same breakfast spot we went to yesterday again today, this time to meet some friends from work. I shower and M starts getting ready, as he showered last night while I was asleep. Numa wakes up just as I get out of the shower and is all smiles thanks to sleeping until 8. We all get ready (though the Nums doesn't want to brush his teeth this morning...usually he loves it but today, not so much) and head out the door early. We have a lovely breakfast with friends and then head to Target to pick up some necessaries. While in the store, we randomly run into Numa's very first daycare teacher! She was wonderful with him but we haven't seen her in a year, so we stop to chat and catch up. We re-exchange phone numbers so that the Nums and I can get together with she and her little girl sometime soon.

Home around 11 and the Numa helps me unload the dishwasher and plays with Dad until about noon, when M puts him down for a nap. I get my stuff together to go out again, this time for a lunch and pedicure date with my friend Kara. We start with lunch at the Cheesecake Factory: my mini pizza is good but the cheesecake is waaaay too sweet. I think I am losing my sweet tooth. Pedicures are awesome and I get fun sparkly toes while learning about the Thunder Vest or some such product for dogs. After our pedicures I return $275 worth of clothes to Old Navy and hit the grocery store on my way home. The little guy and M have had a good afternoon, visiting two open houses and making it to the playground. We have hot dogs, fries and raspberries for dinner while Skyping with Gma P but finish quickly, as the Numa is getting tired and needs a bath before bedtime. He giggles and plays for a few minutes in the tub but is really ready for bed so we wrap up with tooth brushing and a few books before I rock him to sleep in our big red chair.

I got an email a few days ago reminding me that a free photo book offer I scored last December (oh dear) was about to expire, so I spend most of my evening choosing and uploading photos of the Numa's first year. I manage to narrow down my photo choices to just under 160, so the upload takes FOREVER. I blog and clean the kitchen while waiting for it to finish. I work on the photo book for the rest of the night and M finally makes me go to bed around midnight.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A week in the life: Day 1.

I have to open briefly with this: I am somewhat nervous about starting this week thing, since my follow through on this blog is spotty at best. But, well begun is half done and every journey of a thousand steps, etc, so I am starting this and hoping to finish. We'll see.

Saturday: After a late night crafting and not being able to unwind, we are awakened at 5:30am by the little guy, who has a full diaper and more energy that is really necessary at that hour. After a pants change and a sippy cup, I lay down in his room and let him do his thing while I try to catch another hour or so of sleep. At 7 it is clear that he is not going to settle so we all get up. The mister and I take turns showering and watching the Nums; I load the dishwasher and feed Saoirse and Matt gets the little man ready for Saturday breakfast. We usually have Saturday breakfast at 8:30 with J and B, but they are camping for the weekend so it is just the three of us. We grab gifts for our friends A and A, who are very new parents to baby M and whom we plan to stop in to see after breakfast. We got them the Numa's favorite book, Listen Listen, and I made them a DIY ribbon-edged comfort blanket (super cute, with a quilt-square front in oranges and aquas and a chocolate brown fuzzy back). We wait a while for a table because apparently the secret is out about our hole-in-the-wall diner, but once we are seated a waitress realizes we are regulars and our order (tomato, spinach and feta scramble for me, eggs benny for the Mr. and scrambled eggs and berries for the little guy) comes out right away.

After breakfast we head to A and A's to meet M, who is oh so tiny and delicate and delicious at 10 days old. I get to hold him for a while and I remember what I loved about having such a little person to spend my days with. We don't stay long, as we don't want to interrupt their day, and the Numa falls asleep on the way home around 10:30. I take the down time to clean off my desk...finally. It has needed sorting and filing for months and for some reason, I have been really unmotivated most of this summer. In the last few days, though, I am starting to recover some of my desire to do more than pin things and read blogs. This must be a good sign.

The Numa wakes from his nap a little after 2pm (go little man!) and we have a cup and some crackers and play until the mister gets home from having his hair cut. Chipotle for lunch and then packing ensues for our trip to a cookout in Plymouth. We finally leave (with like 5 bags...seriously, some people pack less for weekend trips to Europe) and get to the middle of nowhere around 5. Tons and tons of people came out for the annual Carl and Kirsten fest, and we finally get to meet their little guy, X, who is mellow and adorable. One of the guests has brought not only bubbles for all the little kids, but also a bouncy tent (!!) which the Numa loves. He bounces and runs through the sprinkler and hits on the darling Gina who is close to his age and very sweet. We eat and chat until around 8:30, when the Numa is really done (it being an hour past his bedtime). We bundle him into clean pants and pj's and hit the road. I am in and out the entire trip (thankfully, M is driving) and we get home just after 10. We transfer the little man with no issues and I fall into bed at 10:30.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Unbelievable though it may be, I am actually going to post about the craft projects I have recently completed...AND tell you (or no one, as it were) about the two I just completed tonight! Well, it is actually 2am but let's call it tonight for simplicity's sake.

The craft projects I hinted at in a previous post were very different from each other, sharing only a use of thread of some thickness. Before a recent trip, I made a stuffed rabbit for my niece. Why I failed to take pictures is beyond me, but maybe I will ask my sister-in-law if she can snap one. The bunny was long of legs and arms and her body was made of some thin-ish, dark, stretchy denim I had in my stash. I gave her a purple organza under skirt with a floral cotton overlay that was permanently attached and a hand-embroidered face done in yellow floss, which contrasted nicely with the dark denim. I still struggle with stuffed animals, mainly because I loathe hand sewing (except embroidery, I am oddly drawn to embroidery) and if you have ever sewn plush toys, you know it can be difficult to avoid that final step. The really sad part of all of this is that hand stitching would have been faster. Sigh. Anyway, she was really darling and I hope that my equally darling niece is enjoying her. I promise to request a pic so I can post it here.

The second project I tackled was making a friendship bracelet. On another recent trip I was traveling alone, which leaves me with so much free time that I constantly worry I have forgotten something. Getting on a plane with one bag has become less freeing and more disturbing, leaving me with a vague sense of unease a-la the mother in Home Alone. Except that I knew the Numa was safe with his dad and I really was just being neurotic. What was I talking about? Oh, right, friendship bracelets. I found and pinned this tutorial from honestlywtf a while back and surmised that the knot tying involved in these cute accessories was probably like riding a bike and would come back to me as soon as I started it. Luckily, I was right and after my second row I almost didn't need to look. I started with a bracelet that proudly displayed the colors of my alma mater - Go Hokies! - and was planning to work on an ombre fade peach to natural bracelet on my way home. Instead, I fell asleep on the plane, which is also a luxury that is impossible to enjoy when traveling with little people. I will get back to my other planned bracelets at some point and will take a picture of my orange and maroon one as soon as I can find it in the wasteland of our house.

This post is getting long...but who cares? It is late and I am going to finish this dammit. (Okay, so I lied. I typed out the project description and a quick tutorial and it was way too long. So I will add a second post. This is a rare event for me and should not be considered to be indicative of a long-term change in my MO.)

Be well,


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Promises, promises.

I am starting to like this blog thing. Not because I am particularly good at it (readership = 0) but because right now, it is just about me and if I promise to write something in a day, or a week, or even a month and don't get to it, I have only myself to disappoint. How many things in life can we say that about? Not many, if you are me.

With that in mind, I am going to talk about my two craft projects and the recipes...and fail to post a single picture of either. That's right, I have no pictures to show for any of these things. I meant to take them and, at least in one case, really thought that I had. But now, the recipes turned into food which was eaten (enthusiastically, I might add) so no pics to take there. And the craft projects, well, one is here somewhere. The other was a gift to my niece and she lives halfway across the US which means that I am going to write this post and not include pictures. So there.

First, let's talk about the recipes. I made the Lemon Scented Pull Apart Coffee Cake that I pinned forever ago on Pinterest (see recipe and pictures here) and, in the same weekend, made another pinned recipe: Inside Out Carrot Cake Cupcakes (see pin here). They were both FANTASTIC and didn't last long. The coffee cake was time consuming to prepare and, as usual, I had to live through the 5 minutes where I am sure I have killed my yeast before the bread starts to rise and all is right with the world. I let it rise too long during the second rise (after the cut squares are in the loaf pan) so some of the end pieces actually cooked out of the loaf pan, but not to worry, they were just as delicious as the rest of the bread. Next time I may make more of the glaze, as it definitely added a great kick of citrus flavor.

The cupcakes were, well they just defied description. The carrot cake itself was really good, but when they were just out of the oven and the cream cheese was all melty and gooey...oh my. Really, really good and pretty easy to make. I think that I will definitely try filled cupcakes again as these were really simple and worked out fine. I can recommend them.

This post is getting super long, so I am going to do a separate post on the crafty stuff. Till then, check out the recipes and whip up something amazing.

Be well,


Thursday, July 14, 2011

New beginnings.

When last I posted, I was facing a terrible decision. Sad to say, we had to let Otis go that Friday. We agonized over the timing but by Friday morning when our vet came to the house, he had pretty much stopped grooming and was clearly telling us that he was ready. We held him and talked to him the whole time, and his last conscious act was to quickly gobble some of his favorite food. That's our boy. We had him cremated with his favorite toy, a stuffed pig he had since he was a kitten. We miss him but feel very sure that we made the right choice and are so grateful to him for that last gift.

Now we face a dilemma. We had planned to wait a while before getting another cat, but our remaining fuzzy girl is very, very lonely. She and Otis were never what you might call buddies, but their shared eye-level seemed to make them both more secure. Without him, she has started crying at night when no one is with her. The Mr is allergic to cats (yes, we knew that when we got them and no, we don't regret it) so choosing a new kitty makes him a little trepidatious. We did some research before getting our first cat and found that female cats and lighter-colored cats produce (on average) less of the allergy inducing protein found in their saliva, so we would like to play the odds on those two counts. We wanted a kitten, thinking that Saoirse would adapt better to a younger newcomer (and they to her), but with a toddler at home I just can't justify having a very young kitten. I am thinking that somewhere between 8 months and 1.5 years will be just right. I guess we'll find out...the Boston MSPCA is having a kitten adopt-a-thon this weekend (locals can see details here: Boston MSPCA Kitten Adopt-a-thon - I am IN LOVE with the little cross-eyed kitty on the page. Seriously, how adorable is that?) and we may stop by, which will no doubt lead to me falling in love with a new kitty. It usually does.

In other news, the Numa has been bitten twice this week at daycare. We completely understand that this happens from time to time and that it is typical of this age group, but twice in a week? He has little teeth marks on his hand and, for extra fun, is also fighting what appear to be allergies and has these puffy little eyes. The poor guy. He is still a happy, outgoing little man though, and seems to be emerging from the separation anxiety that has been plaguing him and us for the past two months which is really good news.

I finally got around to completing not one but TWO craft projects in the past couple of weeks AND trying out 2 new recipes! Details on the projects, recipes and how I found the time later this week.

Be well,


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My huge responsibility.

I was the teenager who loved cats. I talked about them so much that to this day, people I knew back then will ask me if I am still cat obsessed. When I was a Junior in high school, one of our cats, Scoby, was run over by a car while I watched from our front yard. It was terrible and as I sat in the road, holding his dying body and crying, I knew that I never wanted to lose another animal like that. Months later, a friend's cat had a litter of black kittens and he gave me one to cheer me up. We named him Othello and my dad promptly shortened his dignified, Shakespearian moniker to Otis. He was an adorable kitten, good natured and people loving, and everyone loved him. He had a great life and over the years he got fatter and fatter, as his lifestyle became gradually more sedentary with a move to CT and confinement indoors, away from prowling coyotes. He topped out at 25 pounds, largely due to the fact that my father fed he and his brothers people food all the dogs, corn chips, salsa: you name it and they ate it, usually from Dad's paper plate.

After my father passed away my mom got a dog. Well, not quite a dog. She got a chihuahua, a gift from my sister so that she would have a needier companion. The three cats (Otis and his brothers, Dracula and Clovis) spent most of their time outdoors, where they were free to hunt small animals and bugs and were generally very happy. Gradually Clovis and Dracula passed away, one due to unknown causes and one because of cancer, and my mom acquired a second chihuahua, which left Otis the odd man out. When we lost our first cat, Thisby, to chronic renal failure, we knew that our remaining kitty, Saoirse, would need a friend. After some deliberation, we asked my mom if we could bring Otis to MA to live with us, so that neither he nor Saoirse would be alone.

Otis came to us in June of 2009. I was three months pregnant and he weighed over 20 pounds. We started him on a diet and the weight gradually came off (of him, not me) and by the time our son was born in December, he was down to a respectable 14 pounds. Preoccupied with a new baby and confident that this was a good weight for him, we maintained the status quo and he continued to have more energy, though he never stopped begging for food.

In late 2010, it became clear to us that Otis was still losing weight, despite being fed regularly. Bloodwork confirmed our worst fears; Otis's kidneys had started to fail. I was prepared to deal with diabetes or pretty much anything else, but the awful waiting game of chronic renal failure was something we were too familiar with and loath to go through again. We started subcutaneous fluids and various meds to keep him happy and comfortable and for months he did pretty well, though he continued to lose weight and move at a slower pace.

I was on a business trip a week ago when my husband gave me the bad news: Otis had stopped eating. He would eat lunch meat in small quantities and drink water if it was seconds from the tap and had ice in it, but his appetite was almost completely gone. Our vet suggested that it may have been due to my absence, so when I got home I was eager for him to improve quickly and return to his happier self. I got back 5 days ago and he is still struggling. He has moments where he is happy to see me, but they are less and less frequent and he rarely emerges from the kitchen cabinet where he has set up camp. I can tell he is uncomfortable and he is eating less and less and now I am faced with the enormous decision of when to let him go. Every time he perks up I get excited, thinking this will be the time that he will rebound to his previous state and we can push off the decision a little longer. But then he heads back to his cabinet and sleeps and I know we have crossed a line that can no longer be uncrossed. In my head I know that this is something I need to do for him. He is a cat and has no family to care for, no responsibilities left to fulfill, and only peace waiting for him. But I am a person and as such, my heart is protesting and I am struggling with the heavy burden of deciding to end a life. Ending a life. I just can't escape the enormity of those words. I want to do what is best for him but deciding to put him down feels like giving up, like giving up on him. Like I am failing him. I know we can't make him better. But how do I know how much time I am losing with him? Does he have another 3 months? 2 weeks? I can't possibly know that, but I do know that he is in pain, and prolonging his suffering to give me peace of mind or more time with him is selfish and cowardly. I know what we need to do and I hope that he knows that if there was a way to make it better, make him better, we would find a way to do it. I love my old man and hope that our decision helps him to avoid the terrible last few days that Thisby had, or the moments that Scoby had, and that he is able to go in peace, surrounded by the family that loves him. I have to find the strength to let him go.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So many things...

I feel honor bound to at least mention my complete and utter failure to post twice weekly. The fact that my last post was in April is a little embarrassing, but that is lessened somewhat by my knowledge that no one reads this blog but me. Which means that I will forgive myself and move on, rather than asking for anyone else's understanding or forgiveness. If anyone is reading this, please accept my abject apology.

There are many reasons for not posting, but mostly this just isn't habit yet for me. Plus, unlike much of the blogging world, I'm not sure I'm doing anything that would interest anyone but me or my spouse. How boring is that?

Well, since I am on there may as well be updates. The Numa is sick again, just in time for me to be home from a work trip and for the husband to leave for the same. That means it's just me and the Nums, at home, dealing with a stomach bug. Poor little guy. Just for fun, he also got pink eye. He has been whiny and upset for two days, so not only am I not getting work done at work, I am also getting nothing done at home. And we have company coming this weekend. Of course.

I am so frustrated. I missed my little guy so much while I was gone and am super happy to be home with him. In fact, I wouldn't want anyone else to be here with him while he's sick, since I know that I will go every extra mile to help him feel better and prevent further issues, like the dreaded diaper rash of death he got with his last stomach bug. It takes forever to change him right now, but so far (fingers crossed) I have managed to keep most of his little bottom clear. All that being said, it sucks to have so much to do, both at home and at work, and not be able to accomplish any of it. And now I'm whining...apparently that part of his illness is catching.

Then there is our older cat, Otis, who is in the last stages of renal failure. I will write a longer post on that later, because I am really struggling with the decision we have made.

I guess that's all for now. Hopefully good news will follow.

Be well,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

And then we didn't.

So, actually, we didn't buy a house. As it turns out, the home inspection process is a cruel but necessary part of home buying that we always suspected was important and we were completely right. Wow. We really loved the layout and flow of the house but after the inspection revealed a severely cracked foundation, multiple cracked/failed retaining walls, an only partly visible crack in the garage floor and several settling cracks around door frames (are you detecting a theme here?) we decided to walk. Thank goodness for inspection clauses in contracts. Our home inspector was really great - very personable but thorough and professional - and we appreciated his candor and no-bs attitude. (Paul Cornell and Associates, for anyone in the MA/NH area in need of a recommendation - We are disappointed but relieved to have found all of the issues before they became OUR issues. The search for the almost-perfect home continues, albeit with a little less enthusiasm and a little more trepidation.

In other news, there is no other exciting news. This weekend is a 3-day weekend which means that we get to hang out with the Numa full time for 3 WHOLE DAYS! I am super excited to spend time with my little guy and can't wait to check out some new parks and generally enjoy the beginning of spring. I hope everyone else does the same!

Be well,


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What have we done?

We bought a house! Holy shit. I can't even begin to describe how terrified and excited we are, but what I can pretty accurately portray is how much money we will have left once we close: not much. Still, it is a good thing. The house is quirky and cute, with 5 different levels separated by varying numbers of stairs, and has a lot of space and even more potential. It is "move in ready" in that we can move in and live there without gutting anything, but it needs tons of updating. The master bathroom has that gaudy pink tile that was so popular in the 50's and 60's and the other bathroom has yellow tiles edged with blue tiles and a blue tub and sink. Oh dear. But the laundry room is HUGE and there are lovely, large windows in the family room that let in tons of light and it has the cutest little sleeping nook in the upstairs bedroom. I can't wait to get started on making it ours!

Be well,


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Life on hold.

Wow. The past 4 weeks have been a complete blur. We (my husband, my son and I) have all been sick since Valentines' Day. Basically any function that has not been immediately necessary for the well being of us or close family members has been pushed to the end of a very long to-do list. There are so many things we wanted to get done but I guess that is just life. Having a toddler in day care is a great way to bring germs into your life and keep them there on a permanent basis. My son (let's call him Numa for blogging purposes) loves his classroom...his teachers are amazing and all the little people who are in the class with him seem to be cute, fun little guys, but clearly one of them is a tiny Typhoid Mary. Seriously, this latest illness is enough to make me contemplate putting Numa in a bubble and keeping him there until college. Stomach viruses are the worst and we are on day 4 of constant diaper changes (and by constant, I mean at least every hour during the day, sometimes more often) and the occasional projectile vomit incident. Poor baby. I hope he pulls though soon, both for his sake and ours. Hopefully my next post will involve more about me and my life, my goals or my first DIY goal for the blog: a mini-book about Numa's first year. Stay tuned, but until then, please enjoy a picture of my bristle block future power concept model and the air defense system I constructed to protect this fragile resource.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

the beginning

So, I had different text here originally with my reason for starting a blog, but who really cares, right? I have no clue what this blog will become, but for now, it is enough that I am trying to make the time to write in it on at least a bi-weekly basis. We'll see.

One of my friends, Schuyler, once told me that I was nice, not funny. He was 4 at the time, but still, it stung. Here's hoping that eventually I write something humorous. Or at least mildly amusing. Fingers crossed!

Be well,