Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Try This...

...on a day when you get to the office really early and no one else is around. I guarantee the rest of your day will be a little better.

Friday, August 19, 2011

To-School Fashion

I would say "Back to School" but as Aiden has never gone, he won't be going back will he? Tricky.

Anyway, we had planned to head to our local outlet stores to get Aiden some school clothes and on Wednesday afternoon we just decided it seemed like the right time. Both Sean and I are pretty frugal people, so much so that we literally got into a debate today over whether or not I should purchase the all important September issue of vogue because in Sean's opinion $5 should get me a book not just a magazine issue. He finally relented but said that if I get Vogue then he gets a box of double chocolate Klondike Bars. It's all about compromise in our house.

Anyway, something snapped inside of us when we stepped into Osh-Kosh. Suddenly we knew that our three year old deserved the most stupendous school wardrobe the world has ever seen and no expense would be spared. We were picking up mini blue jeans and tiny little rugby shirts willy-nilly. Dress shirts with teensy blue pinstripes? Yes please. Cool looking navy and white track jackets? Don't mind if we do! Aiden, of course, had no interest in any of this and we were about to check out when he decided he wanted some striped hooded sweatshirts, so we had to get them too since it was the only thing he'd actually agreed to.

As for shoes, Aiden is now the proud owner of new Sperry's topsiders. Apparently he's going to start life as a preschooler looking like he owns a sailboat and has a summer compound in the Hamptons. Sean just has such preppy taste and it felt like we were finally bonding over clothing, one of my life's passions. It's not often his eyes light up while browsing sweaters or he wants to have a conversation about different denim rinses. When the moment happens you just have to seize it. So I did. And now our kid could be an extra in a Polo ad.

Anyway, we rounded out the trip with a stop at Coach, where Sean ever so graciously bought me a purse. I'm pretty sure it was a lingering effect from whatever overtook us in the Osh-Kosh store but nonetheless it was a very sweet gesture and I'm very grateful.

On a whim we found ourselves wandering Harry and David and it wasn't until we were walking out with a bag full of cake and cookies that we realized we were really hungry and sleepy and should probably not open our wallet again while in this state, so we got dinner and drove home.

Once we were home Aiden suddenly took an interest in these big bags of stuff we'd gotten him and he actually asked to try it all on. So we did:

I maybe slightly biased but he's gorgeous.

"Gross mom, leave me alone"

Sa-weet track jacket.

"This is my winking face!"

Cutest. Backpack. Ever.

"Mom, can I wear this to bed? PLEASE?"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Office Work

I spent this past weekend updating the office. Sean and I have a habit of discussing what needs to be done around the house and then sort of doing it all in one insane whirlwind rather than a little at a time. We needed furniture this past winter. We went to the store and came home with two couches and a massive Thanksgiving worthy dining set. Now we're redoing the office, getting two new kitchen appliances and contemplating tackling the ever-more-lumpy driveway. Maybe next spring we'll paint the exterior and re-floor the entire interior, you know, just for fun and heart attacks.

Anyway, the office is my secret shame. It is the place to pile bills and old books and kitschy toys and anything that doesn't have a home elsewhere. It wouldn't be such a problem if it wasn't one of the first things you see when you come into the house.

After one too many attacks of claustrophobia incited by the dark brown (faux!) wood paneling/dark brown carpet/ low lighting and piles of junk, I decided I'd had enough. I told Sean I'd be painting it blue. What I meant to say was that I'd be painting it blue, clearing it out, rearranging the furniture and adding some lovely paisley throw pillows for good measure. I was three steps into this plan before I realized that I was effectively ruining his man-cave. That kind of dingy, cluttered, electronic filled place where men go to be men? The man cave. And now Sean's was "river mist blue" and just waiting for it's throw pillows.

What was done was done, and Sean did his best to assure me that he didn't mind and besides, if we ever finish the basement he'll just flee down there with his piles of stock reports and his USB cables.

I really did have good intentions. This all started as an attempt for some "togetherness" and frankly, the place was a fire hazard. We both spend a lot of time on our computers. He in his man-cave and me, well, wherever I want since I've got the laptop. I thought that by rearranging things a teensy bit I could have a little workspace in there too, someplace to share with him when we're both on the internet. It's just that we have very different tastes when it comes to making a room feel comfortable. Sean and Queen Victoria would have been decorating BFF's. I prefer something more modern and colorful. He's all about wood paneling and leather bound books, I like clean lines and bold colors.

We've been pretty good at accommodating each other, at least until this weekend when I knocked down his fort and put up a doll house. I've learned my lesson now, and I appreciated the fact that he did his best to assure me that "River Mist Blue" and paisley aren't so bad.

It's hard sometimes to figure out how to compromise when you can have such disparate ideas but I've realized we both want each other to be happy and that provides the flexibility needed to find common ground.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Eyes Open

Sean, whose has finally succumb and traded in his reading glasses for contacts, has been wandering around the house all day today commenting on how clearly he can see everything. He used to wear his glasses for driving or when he was on the computer but, as his eyesight has slipped a little more in the past few years, he decided he'd better try something more consistent.

This whole summer seems to have passed in a blur of heat and sun and errands and grocery shopping. I feel like I too have been walking around, making out the shapes of everything around me but not really seeing them. I've been going from day to day and chore to chore without really focusing on anything. There have been a lot of loops and curves thrown our way in the past couple of months and it's so easy to sort of check out of it all and just focus on putting one foot in front of the other without looking at where you're going.

I was walking down the hallway and I reached out and grabbed Aiden as he was sprinting past me. We were wrapped up in one of those rib crushing hugs when it occurred to me that I hadn't done that in a while. That stop-you-in-your-tracks feeling of rediscovering something that never should have gotten away is not one I want to have again. I want to ensure that there will always be bear hugs and belly tickling and I want Aiden to know that I am always focused on him, no matter what else is going on or how crazy life gets. I've got to make sure I stop, listen and watch.

Life has been moving fast lately. Summer is slipping by and soon he'll be starting preschool. The realization that he is growing so quickly and there isn't even time to blink because you'll miss something has hit me so hard. I want to make sure I'm always looking, always watching, even when things get messy because you never know when you might see something beautiful.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


We're back from our brief Canadian jaunt! It was lots of fun although very crowded since unbeknownst to us July and August are the busiest seasons in Montreal and oh yeah, it was a holiday weekend for them. We drove up on Friday and met some serious traffic which meant we spent over an hour sitting at the border. We kept ourselves entertained with Harry Potter on CD and by watching the people who felt the need to climb out of their cars chat up everyone else stuck in the gridlock. Once we got into the city we had to drive in circles around the hotel looking for parking since it seemed their parking garage was full. It turns out that the they keep all the doors to garage closed and you sort of have to drive straight at it before it flies up at the last second and lets you in. It seemed bizarre to me but then again I don't often have to park in major metropolitan areas.

I was worried about the hotel since we were staying somewhere new as our usual hotel was completely booked. The only picture on the website was an awkward shot from the outside of the building that showed only the first couple floors and the underside the of awning. Luckily the place was gorgeous. We had a fantastic and slightly dizzying view of city from our room.

We planned on eating at this lovely little french bistro but it was overflowing with a large group of cigar smoking businessmen so we settled for the cheesy but delicious Mexican place next door. Aiden loved it and I had to laugh when our waiter brought him a complimentary virgin daiquiri.

The rest of the evening we spent in the hotel pool. My theory on this is that you could tell a small child you're going on vacation but instead take them to the closest hotel with a pool and they'd probably be just as happy.

The next day we ate breakfast at the same place we always do when we're in Montreal. The food is so delicious that Aiden happily ate a spinach omelet with Hollandaise sauce. You read that right: 3 year old + spinach = breakfast. A true miracle. Sean had fruit crepes (literally every type of fruit including grapes and watermelon stuffed into paper thin crepes) with thick English custard. There were also some banana and Nutella crepes. So delicious. I would have spent the rest of the day eating more breakfast but we had promised Aiden we'd go to the Bio-Dome so we did eventually leave the restaurant.

The Bio-Dome was smaller than I remember but still lots of fun. However, the rainforest section was particularly brutal since Aiden insisted that Sean carry him through the entire area and they were both dripping with sweat by the time we entered the next area. The penguins and the monkeys were our favorites overall. We left early and still sat in traffic for an obscenely long time. One amusing thing that happened on the drive was when we passed a cemetery and Aiden looked at all the headstones and said "Ooh! Building blocks!". Oh the innocence. Overall: wonderful trip but terrible traffic. Would like to go back very soon.

It Seems I've Lost Something...

That would be about 12 inches of hair.