Thursday, December 30, 2010

In With the New

Aiden plowing fresh snow.

We've been laying pretty low the past few days as we're recovering from Christmas and we had a big snow storm early Monday morning. However, the morning of the storm I realized that instead of laying around in our pajamas watching the snow fall, I would need to shovel us out before Sean got home (most of the snow fell/blew into the driveway after he left for work). So in frigid temperatures and skin lashing icy winds I went out and cleared the driveway. Oddly, it was perfectly clear at the bottom and covered in a two foot drift at the top.

The snowblower, you say? Oh no. Two years ago, with the help of an emergency call to my stepdad, I managed to figure out how to start and use the snowblower. I also realized that, due to the severe angle of the driveway and my nonexistent upper-body strength, using the snowblower involves me sliding down behind it into the road and then nearly being crushed by it as I attempt to shove it back up the drive. No use going side to side either as it still careens down into traffic.

Ever since Monday I've been tired and sore and Aiden and I pretty much just crash on the couch or play with his trains.

But now for the new! We are getting a new puppy! We wanted to hold off for awhile but one woman we've been emailing gave us the go ahead to come pick up a little male sheltie puppy. He's ten weeks old and so adorable the camera might explode tomorrow when I try and photograph him.

At first I was the one encouraging Sean to get the puppy. I figured we had a few months to prepare. Then Sean told me the news that tomorrow we'll be getting him from the breeder and now I feel like a new mom again. I was laying in bed last night running through everything I'd need to do today. Vacuum. Puppy-proof. Make space for his cage and bowls and toy and treats and food. Clear a space in the yard so he doesn't drown in snow when he goes out. Contemplate the fact that I just threw myself back into the dreaded potty training routine.

Despite the learning I've got ahead of me, I'm so excited for this little guy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Goodies

Santa. He came.

We had a pretty spectacular Christmas this year. We weren't having a baby, moving or getting married within a few weeks of the holiday so it was actually relaxing. I kept thinking about how not stressed I was, how I hadn't burst into tears or had a tension headache start while wrapping presents. We exchanged gifts, visited family all over the place and had Aiden in bed by 9pm with time for Sean and I to chat and relax. IT WAS WONDERFUL!!

The table.

Now, some parts were a little tricky, like the fact that I heard Santa was at our house assembling Aiden's big gift (a huge train table with tracks) until nearly 2am. Also, I had picked up a little bear full of hot coco for Aiden's stocking nearly a month ago. He accidentally saw it when I first bought it but I was certain he'd forget about it. Well, he pulled it out of his stocking on Christmas morning, frowned and said "No...mommy's one", and handed it back to me. Whoops.

Woody, new friend for Buzz.

Aiden amassed enough gifts for a whole village, but loved everyone single one of them. Our friends and family are always so generous with Aiden and we feel incredibly lucky. Sean and I had gotten each other a few gifts in addition to The Big Gift we usually get for one another. Ironically, they were both food related this year. Sean has a brand spanking new Weber grill (which we still have to retrieve from it's hiding place in my parent's garage) and I got a professional grade stand mixer. I think "professional grade" just means that it's twice as heavy as a regular one and all of the attachments are steel instead of plastic and incredibly lethal looking. I've thanked him for it by baking two fresh loaves of honey oatmeal bread and a buttery pie crust for a huge pot pie.

So, we'll just be over here playing with trains and gorging ourselves on baked goods.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Trust him, He's a Doctor.

Yesterday was Aiden's annual check-up. I sort of forgot about it up until a day or two before hand. I casually mentioned to Aiden that we'd be visiting the doctor's office, the one with a giant fish tank. He looked at me with steel eyed defiance and shook his head. I brushed it off, he loves the doctor. He's always the best behaved kid there.

On the drive over to the doctor's office (the the Health Mall as I like to refer to the sprawling medical complex) I waxed poetic about what a saint Dr. Wong was. "Daddy and Nai Nai know Dr. Wong! He's so nice! You'll get stickers! Yay!"

He seemed unconvinced but we went inside. He enjoyed the fish tank in the lobby immensely but that amusement came to a crashing halt when it was time to be weighed and measured. He's big enough now to stand on a regular scale but he put up such a fuss that the nurse had me hold him and she took both our weights and then subtracted my weight from that. Yeah. I got weighed and HIS appointment. I was not happy.

The lovely nurse then went into an elaborate story about how Aiden was a choo-choo and she needed to make sure the choo-choo was working right. He unwrapped himself from around me just long enough for her to get everything done.

And then Dr. Wong came in. Aiden was so frightened that he had his arms wrapped around my head and used his legs to rocket himself off the exam table, the walls or anything he could reach. I could barely keep from dropping him on the tile while the doctor looked on with this very dismayed look on his face. He then said "Yeah.....Sean was like this".

Weirdly, when Dr. Wong left and the nurses returned to give him his shots he was fine. He barely grimaced when they gave him two vaccinations. Apparently the mere sight of a physician is scarier than two injections. I don't get it.

I told the story to Sean later and he laughed for about five minutes straight, totally amused by it and began to tell me how they required a whole team of nurses to hold him down when he was a kid. Next time Sean gets to handle to yearly physical. I'll still be recovering.

Aiden so gracefully displaying his spoils of war: a big Elmo sticker, which he
definitely did NOT deserve.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Before this season started I had lots of visions about how everything would go. We would linger over the Christmas tree, carefully selecting our favorite ornaments and sipping hot cocoa. We would laugh and chat while rolling out sugar cookies. It was going to be a little Norman Rockwell, a little Currier and Ives and a dash of Martha. Obviously these dreams were not very carefully thought out because I entirely failed to factor in that three year old.

We've started making cookies and each batch requires triple the usual amount of clean up because Aiden likes to tear or roll or smash each little crumb. He has to have a hand in the mixing and rolling and cutting of each cookie. I let him help as much as he'd like, but sometimes, okay a lot of the time, it drives me nuts even though he looks so cute and has so much fun.

We decorated our tree on Monday night and it was an exercise in self control. I had pulled out all the boxes of ornaments and lo and behold, I found all of the ornaments we'd used as decorations at our wedding! Suddenly I decided that this tree was going to be a vision of jewel toned glass balls with sparkling gold accents here and there.

Aiden decided he'd like his Elmo ornament to go front and center, along with all the other Disney themed ornaments.

I decided we should all have hot cocoa. Aiden downed his in two minutes flat and spent the night nearly spilling everyone else's.

I carefully located hooks for each ornament, which Aiden would promptly lose as he shook each one to see if they did anything cool.

The whole night I kept having to remind myself that this is his show now. These are his childhood memories and they shouldn't be filled with me groaning and gnashing my teeth over the details when what he should be remembering is how sweet the cocoa tasted, how perfect his Elmo ornament was, and how amazing the tree looked all lit up in the front window.

Big Boy

Today Aiden walked upstairs and into his bathroom. He scoffed at his potty seat that was sitting over the toilet. He picked it up, put it into a corner, looked at me and said "I'm a big boy now" before peeing, STANDING UP.

I realize it seems kind of gross to have a trip to the potty incite an epiphany about how mature your child is but you know what? Parenthood is kind of gross and miraculous like that.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Very Busy Weekend

This weekend was nuts. Nuts in a good way, full of fun and more fun, but it's another weekend where I feel like I survived a tornado. I've been feeling like that a lot lately. This time last year I was in the middle of my senior year of college, planning a wedding and generally surviving with Aiden on my own and it was stressful and I was absolutely certain this year would be less insane. I'm done with school, Sean's home (when he's not at work...) so we have a little more money, a little more time together and less to get done. It should be a breeze right?!

But no, suddenly it takes ALL DAY to get a handful of errands done (I'd like to calculate how much time I spend just buckling and unbuckling Aiden in his car seat). Just trying to fit in a trip to the grocery store and time at church on the weekend becomes hectic. A lot of it is that I have higher expectations of myself now. Last year I was busy so if everything wasn't totally in order or the garbage didn't get put out or the clothes went a few more days without being washed, it just wasn't a big deal. Now I feel like it all must be done and done well and done with a smile or I'm slacking. Also, last year, I had a Laura. A best friend who would sometimes run errands with me (thus helping to juggle Aiden) or who could watch him while I finished work (although my other best bud Tierney helped a TON on Friday so I could actually buy Aiden some Christmas gifts). Also, Sean works such long days that his only real free time is on the weekend and in trying to savor that precious time together we end up being late to everything and barely squeezing in the necessary things we have to do.

I also have to remind myself that we are smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, which obviously adds to the activity. It's strange because I'm still very organized and pretty efficient and it's not like I don't enjoy having busy days, I just sort of (naively) thought that being home would make me less busy. Not the case.

I remember the first summer after Aiden was born, I was staying with my mom, and the days would stretch on endlessly. I remember feeling like I was totally stir crazy and could not figure out what to do all day with Aiden. There were even days like that last year. Now suddenly, we go go go all day and tumble into bed exhausted at night, and every day is like that. It's a new thing for me, and I'm having more fun than ever, but I don't exactly know when that switch got flipped.

Anyway, this was really supposed to be all about our weekend. On Saturday I helped my mom out with our church's Christmas fair which is a Christmas related rummage sale. Always fun as it contains lots of gorgeous second hand ornaments and decorations and a few totally wacky ones, like a plate celebrating "Christmas 1979" and an ornament engraved to "Don and Norma".

That evening Sean and I took Aiden out to dinner and then drove out to Bob's Tree's. This place sounded a little strange to me until we got there and it was a veritable Christmas wonderland complete with two gorgeous reindeer. We picked out our tree from their lot but next year we're going full throttle and plan to chop down our own. Watch our Griswolds, here come the Evanoffs.

We got back from the tree farm quite late and it was 9pm by the time Aiden was in bed. Sean and I then stayed up until 2am (worst. idea. ever.) so that I could finish Aiden's birthday cake, wrap his presents and we finished the last half of a movie. This morning I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I might be the only 23 year old in New York who can't stay up that late.

Needless to say I decided we'd be skipping church since I had the kind of pounding headache one might get after the crazy night of partying except instead of having wild fun I merely frosted a cake. Woo hoo. Still, even after being awoken at 7am by Aiden, Sean and I managed to barely make it to my mom's house in time for his party at noon. Very rough morning.

The party was wonderful, super simple with just cake and pizza and our friends and family, but perfect. It was exactly what Aiden asked for ( all week he kept saying "Pizza! With Papa! and cake!"). Everyone was very generous and Aiden received awesome gifts. There will definitely be plenty to keep him busy this week.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

There WILL Be Cheer

It's officially Christmastime, although in my world it's been going on for about a half a month already. I play the holiday tunes as early as I can find them on the radio, while Sean covers his ears and cringes, begging me to wait at least until Thanksgiving.

I'm a little bit anxious as I've been seeing a lot of photos of other people's gorgeous Christmas trees and holiday lights and we don't have a tree yet. There are only 25 or so days to revel in the holiday spirit and I make every effort to enjoy each one, so I'm making Sean take us to get one this Saturday afternoon.

Sometimes I feel a little bit like the Christmas enforcer around our house because Sean is not the type to don his gay apparel and deck the halls. He does not care that Santa Claus is coming to town. He will not be putting candles in the windows or singing carols at the spinet. (Seriously, I could make these references all day). He does oblige me though and make sure there's a roaring fire in the fireplace all weekend.

I, on the other hand, spend this time finding the most perfect Christmas cards, and cookie recipes and going totally nuts buying gifts. And coordinating wrapping paper. I just love the way the season makes everyone a little more kind and merciful. Sean likes the fact that it provides an annual boost to the economy (although I'm sure in his heart he cherishes the kindness and mercy also. Probably).

Well, this year Aiden is on my team when it comes to the festivities. I pulled out all of our boxes of decorations yesterday and we went to town turning this place into a winter wonderland. Aiden had some pretty hilarious ideas about where everything should go (stockings on the piano? Wrapping the tree skirt around the snow globe? Advent calender on the fireplace?). Overall though, he loved it. We put in enough effort that I think Sean even appreciated it when he came home and saw everything. He didn't even mind that our banister is wrapped in garland that leaves gold spangles all over the carpet every time someone goes up or down the stairs.

I think he'll appreciate it even more next week when I get started on the peppermint iced sugar cookies and the cranberry white chocolate chip cookies.