Archive for December, 2011
Talking quietly hurts my throat

Holden is getting creative with his excuses.  We have a lovely houseguest (R’s youngest brother) who wants to sleep in during his holiday break from college (I don’t blame him!)  We let him sleep as long as he can, through the cacophony and screaming that sometimes characterizes our mornings and early afternoons.  I do urge Holden to speak in a lower voice, however, which as you know for most 3.5 year olds is a near impossibility.  Yesterday morning after speaking quietly for about 30 minutes (because Holden narrates EVERYTHING he does, all day long), Holden comes to me and exclaims, “Talking quietly hurts my throat.”  I laughed at him, of course, because we all know how respectful behavior can sometimes result in physical pain.

I do love listening to Holden’s ongoing narrative.  He has conflicts between his toys, which usually result in one of the toys proposing a diplomatic solution (e.g. “We’ll just share this delicious meal of carrion, monster truck!!!!”)  Holden incorporates a lot of what he has learned about dinosaurs and evolution into his dialogues.  He is obsessed with documentaries about prehistoric life, and has cultivated an encyclopedic-like knowledge of different types of dinosaurs, their dietary habits, and the part of the Mesozoic era in which they lived.  He knows the difference between nocturnal and diurnal animals, herbivorous/carnivorous/omnivorous animals, and the difference between mammalian and non-mammalian species.  His latest obsession is about nursing.  He knows that mammals nurse and that we are mammals, and that I will therefore nurse his little brother.  He sometimes takes out his mother and baby brachiosaurus, and pretending that they are giraffes, has the baby nurse from the mother.  It’s very sweet.

Today:  R’s parents and H’s cousin C will be visiting for a few days.  It should be fun—-H always has such a blast with his big cousin:)

No resolutions for moi!

Last year, I had established a pretty ambitious set of New Year’s Resolutions—you can find them in all their glory, here.

And I did a DAMN good job of getting to everything on my list!  Let’s revisit them one by one, shall we?

1.  Getting tubes for Holden again.  This one ended up being a non-issue.  Holden’s ear infection turned out to be an isolated incident, and he has remained infection-free since, (except for one minor infection that cleared up sans antibiotics).  He gets one more check-up with the ENT this winter, and if he has no more problems, he doesn’t have to go back.  It would be lovely if we were out of the woods with those nasty infections for good!

2.  Giving my job talk and getting the job at my last employer.  Well, we all know that I aborted mission on that one.  And I am still very pleased with my decision.  Sometimes walking away from opportunities is a good thing.

3.  Learning how to knit/taking a knitting class.  I did finally take a knitting class this past fall.  I’ve only practiced knitting a couple of times since, but not enough to really master that skill.  But that’s OK!  I’ve taken the first step to learn something new.

4.  More exercise.  I rocked this one.  And I’m doing the pregnancy-related version of rocking it now (running 2x/week, yoga once each week).

5.  Taking a yoga class with H.  We did this last winter and it was great!!!  I don’t know if we’ll do it again this winter, since I’m already taking my own yoga classes, and that is something that is important to my mental and physical health.  But H and I sometimes do yoga together in the family room, and that is just as much fun!

6.  Swimming lessons for H.  We did this last summer, although as you may recall, H wasn’t the best student!  We’ll repeat this same class next summer, and I’m sure he’ll do better next time!

7.  A cleaner house.  I can’t bring myself to hire someone to help with the cleaning, especially now that I’m not working full-time.  But I do think we’re doing a better job with keeping things tidy.  We make our bed almost every day, we’ve gotten H into the routine of picking up his own stuff and putting it away, and we’ve gotten better about miscellaneous dusting and sweeping.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it is better than it was, and that is good enough for me!

8.  Better contact with friends/family.  I have done so-so on this.  I go through phases with friends where I speak to them a lot, and then months where we get busy and don’t talk at all.  I guess that’s the way it goes with busy schedules, although I wish it was easier to stay in touch.

9.  Replace all the windows in our house.  Done.

10.  Painting projects in the house.  This past year I have painted our foyer, dining room, kitchen, all of the kitchen cabinets, Holden’s closet door, the baby’s new room, and the baby’s bedroom door.  I would like to not pick up another paint brush for another year, even though we still have a lot of painting to finish up.  I do think it can wait!

11.  A long weekend getaway for our 10th wedding anniversary.  Well, we went to Maine and got pregnant.  Does that count?

12.  Rock-climbing date with Rob.  Check.  Did this one last April.  It was fun!

13.  Learn to cross-country ski.  I didn’t quite get to that one, but I’m hoping to make up for it this winter!

14.  Regular massages.  No problem!  I’ve been pampering myself left and right, although I’ve definitely had more of an excuse to do this since getting pregnant.  I get a massage every month.  It’s really helped me feel like I am doing something special for myself.

15.  Drink more water.  I’m doing well with this now, but late August through late November found me unable to stomach water in almost any form (e.g. herbal tea, sparkling water, ice water, etc.).  Now that my stomach is functioning normally again, I’m back to drinking adequately and that has made a huge difference in how I feel.

So—I feel really, really, really impressed that I had such a banner year with trying new things and getting to nearly everything I wanted to accomplish.  This next year is going to be about having no resolutions.  I just want to enjoy my family this next year, usher in the birth of our newest boy, and continue to find balance in my friendships, health, and work.  I don’t want to pressure myself with a list of things to do….I just want to feel whole, however that happens for me in 2012.

For sale…

Apparently, both condominiums we have owned since moving to VT are simultaneously on the market.  Our first ever home purchase (way back in 2002!), in Colchester VT, is now up for sale.  Our little unit was the lower left unit (it was like living in a basement, for real).  The kitchen has been totally re-done (it was not nearly that nice when we lived there, although that stove, and the bathroom vanity/sink was totally us!)  It also looks like they replaced the tile throughout and chose to cover up my bold paint colors in the 2nd bedroom.

Our condo in downtown Burlington (the one that we lived in before our current home) was ours from 2006-2009.    It was also the place that H came home to after he was born.  It too, is on the market (and has been for quite some time!)  Ours was the upstairs unit (remember that we had that horrible downstairs neighbor?  I hope that’s not the impetus for the move!)

It doesn’t appear that our sweet little home in central VT (that we owned from 2004-2006) is on the market, although I hear it has changed hands at least once (possibly twice) since we sold it.  That was such a great little house—it was a cape.  It was a 2-bedroom, 1 bath home, that needed lots and lots of work, even after we did lots and lots of work to it!  But boy, did we love that house!  It ended up being too far from work though, and once I transitioned back to working in Burlington, it was time to head north again and sell that little place.  Still, it wouldn’t have been the best place to have kids.  The schools in that area weren’t great, and although it was a fun little place for us in our mid-20s, the town it was in probably wasn’t the most ideal atmosphere for having little kids.  Ultimately, even though we loved that house, we’re so glad to be where we are now!

Best Christmas ever, pretty much

Ahh….still basking in the Christmas Day afterglow:)  We had a wonderful time.

H climbed into our bed around 4:40AM (that’s generally the time of day when he first starts stirring, but doesn’t fully wake up for the day until sometime between 6 and 6:30AM).  He stayed in our bed for a while, and then at 6AM, he started chattering about brachiosaurus, and the number of stomachs possessed by various animalia.  It was quite clear that H, despite talking incessantly the previous day about how it was Christmas Eve, had forgotten that it was Christmas morning completely.  Around 6:15AM, H asked for a snack.  I rolled over and asked Rob if he was ready to get up for some breakfast (e.g. Ahem, Christmas).  Rob wasn’t really ready to get up, but did so reluctantly, knowing that it was Christmas morning and that he didn’t want to miss H’s initial mindblown reaction.  So we followed H’s lead, walking down the hallway toward the living room, where H walked PAST the tree, PAST the presents, and into the dining room, without any sort of overt sign that he knew what day it was.  Once in the dining room, he sat on the floor, and waited patiently for us to join him.  He gazed out into the living room, and stared at the illuminated tree for a full 10 seconds.  We waited expectantly for H to realize what day it was; even the tree seemed to be standing there with baited breath.  H then rubbed his eyes.  And finally, realizing what day it was, he exclaimed “Christmas!!!!!!!!!!” and ran into the living room to begin his initial inspections:

H received a ton of really wonderful gifts.  I loved the leisurely pace of his unwrapping—we began around 6:15AM and didn’t finish until close to 3PM.  H would unwrap something and then play with it for an hour or so, or until he was ready to check out his next gift.  We took a break around 9:00AM for some oatmeal cinnamon pancakes, bacon, and leftover Hanukkah latkes (yes, I enjoy the delicious irony of our bacon and latke combo).  H refused to stop playing to eat, despite the fact that the entire reason he got out of bed that morning was because he was hungry!  He finally relented around 11AM and had some pancakes.

For Christmas, H had asked for one gift in particular—a very special gift that he inquired about no less than 37 times during the past month.  He wanted dry erase markers for Christmas.  And so, with unparalleled glee, H danced around the living room with his dry erase markers, elated that he got exactly what he wanted:

For dinner, I made a beef roast with yorkshire pudding and broccoli.  Dessert was chocolate cream pie (not my own concoction, I’m not *that* much of a domestic diva).  We shared plenty of stories all day long, a roaring fire, hot drinks, and lots of cuddles.

The day after Christmas was just as great.  We went to visit a friend whose house is situated on a golf course.  The golf course was covered in several inches of fresh snow, so we embarked on our first sledding excursion of the season.  It was a spectacular day with sunshine and blue skies, and lots and lots of beautiful snow:

What a spectacular day we had!  Followed by hot chocolate and leftover chocolate cream pie.  And our little fetal Friesel got to go on his first ever sled ride, in utero.   A mighty nice start to winter, indeed.

Christmas Eve Eve

Today was a great day.  Rob’s youngest brother S is staying with us for a few weeks during his winter break from college.  S and H are good buddies, and S is a wonderful house guest, so it’s a great time for us all.  We spent the day running a couple of last-minute errands.  We picked up our beef roast from the meat market, stocked up on cereal, donated some old clothes/toys to Goodwill, and visited the Champlain Chocolate factory store for some yummy chocolate treats.  After coming home, we enjoyed grilled cheese, played in the snow, listened to music, and  played with H’s train set.  I even got in a little 16-min run until H visited me on the treadmill, tears streaming down his face, begging for some Dinosaur Train.  So we negotiated:  I told him I’d set up an episode of Dinosaur Train if he agreed to clean up his play area.  I got what I wanted, and H got what he wanted.  Win-win.  This evening we had white chili for dinner (ground turkey with great northern beans) followed by delicious chocolates that my neighbor’s 8-year-old daughter brought over for us (love my neighbors!).  We invited my neighbor’s daughter in for some egg nog and train tracking building, and after she left, we settled into watching some documentaries on prehistoric life/evolution,  Now, H is begging me to come snuggle with him.  No problem, little buddy.  That’s just another win-win situation for us both:)