Friday, December 31, 2010

In which we have another baby.

I know I don't update much anymore, but I'm finally done with my first full-time semester (3.94 GPA! In yo face!), and I just got home from the hospital with Evan.

I went in for an induction two days before Christmas. My blood pressure was creeping up just like with Nathan, and this time I really didn't want to be as sick as I was while/after having him. However, even with crazy amounts of Pitocin, my contractions really didn't do anything. So they sent me home that night.

I managed to not go into labor during the huge monstrous blizzard we had Sunday, but Monday, the day I was scheduled to go back, they called me to move me because it was so busy. I went back on Tuesday, we did the Pitocin thing again, and they said this time they'd break my water to make sure I really did give birth. So I just sat in bed and internetted until like 2:30, they broke my water, and like last time the contractions started getting WICKED ROUGH GUY right after that. Judge me if you will, but it was epidural time. So at 3ish I asked for one, and it was in by 3:30. Then I almost immediately felt I needed to poop. YOU CAN SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING. I kind of held off and was going to wait for my nurse to pop back in and my mom's like "UH NO YOU SHOULD CALL HER NOW", and then I remember at 3:45 texting Mike, who had taken Nathan to the cafeteria, saying "Come back NOW its babytime."

Thankfully, Mike was already entering the maternity ward when I texted him or he would've missed the grand finale. We had just enough time to send a cranky Nathan home with my sister, I pushed for like 4 minutes, and Evan was born. I pushed with Nathan for a grueling 2+ hours, so this time I was like "wait, that's IT? That was easy." And he was 8 lbs, 7 oz. I thought he'd be smaller than that.


So then we had a baby, and because the whole thing happened so dang fast I felt awesome and was up walking around a few hours later. He looks like Nathan did as a baby, for sure.

Now we have to move from 2-on-1 to man-to-man defense, which will be an adjustment. Nathan likes the baby, but is still too young to know the definition of "gentle, seriously, be gentle".

I kinda like him, though.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010



Today I really needed Nathan to take a nap.

Nathan does not nap anymore. Unless he's in the car and we're driving. But today, he napped, and it was awesome. Mike had surgery on his shoulder Monday, so he's almost entirely out of commission and I have to take care of Nathan and also fetch things for Mike. He banished us upstairs because he was exhausted and felt like poo, and I laid on the guest bed while Nathan played with his trains. Eventually he came up, lay next to me, threw his arm around me, and stared at me. For ten minutes. While kicking his legs against the side of the bed. Then I sort of drifted off, opened one eye, and realized that at some point he had totally passed out. We slept for an hour. HELLS YES.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do you like free things? I like free things!

My friend Christa at How Is Babby Formed is giving away a $55 gift certificate to It ends at midnight, though, so hurry up!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


So, it's been awhile. Yep.

We've recently come across the first instance of Nathan using a word in his own language to describe something, and us actually understanding it. He does not say airplane. He says MEEMEE.

Nathan: Meemee! *points to airplane in sky*
KT: Actually, that's an airplane. Plane.
Nathan: MEEMEE!
KT: Still a plane.
Nathan: MEEMEEEEEEE! *plaintive wail as airplane dissapears from sky*

He also says bapple for apple, which has gotten us into the terrible habit of calling them bapples in our regular conversations to each other in front of him. As in, "Did Nathan enjoy his bapple for lunch?". OH GOD OUR KID'S GOING TO NEED SPEECH THERAPY BECAUSE WE'RE HORRIBLE PARENTS.


Also, Nathan was a dragon for Halloween. I'll post about that later. You know, like in January or whatever.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I Made it With Love! And Cursing.

Oh hey, I haven't updated in a very long time. I am now a full-time student, taking 5 classes this semester, so I've been doing all kinds of classwork and going to bed before the 10 O'clock news. Ok, the 9 O'clock news.

But before class really started, I tackled one more thing I really wanted to get done before the winter/new baby. Nathan's been so into trucks, and trains, and basically anything that emits potent diesel fumes, that I decided to suck it up and get him a train table. Only, I didn't really dig anything I found on Craigslist or even could purchase new. People were tending to charge a lot for them, and it would've taken a lot of coordination to bring one home.

So I thought hey, I'll just make one. None of the plans I found for free really called to me, and I hate you know, doing any sort of logical planning. So I kind of made one up as I went along.


Basically, 1x4s in a box shape, with 1x6 legs and 1x3 braces across it (meaning the lip would extend 1 inch up so trains wouldn't fall off easily). This was the first attempt, but I quickly realized this wouldn't hold up to toddler climbing, and I needed to make it sturdier.


The two added crossbeams are actually from an IKEA bedframe. I cut a few inches off the ends and they were perfect 1x3s. I wish I'd known earlier, could've saved like $3 by buying fewer 1x3s! And the L-shaped legs make it super sturdy, I can't shake it at all at this point. It's one solid piece.


Closeup of the sanded edges. This took awhile, even with a power sander my brother left here awhile ago. But it came out really good!


The finished product. I'm sort of miffed that I dropped $12 on Minwax Polyshades and it wasn't nearly as dark as it was supposed to be. I wanted it as dark as his bed, chair, and bureau are, but it wasn't any darker than the light colored stain I already owned from a previous project. The sample at the store lied! Eventually I may stain it darker, but honestly I'm just happy it's done.


Nathan is glad too. He's been playing with it a lot since I showed it to him, and I've had fun making the track configurations. I hope someday he appreciates all the work and cursing and broken drill bits I put into this thing (two drill bits, but who's counting). In the end, it only cost about $75 between the wood, stain, and green spray paint for the top and it could be done in a leisurely weekend. Not that I'm telling you to try it. You might just wanna buy one off Craigslist. But I'm super happy the way it turned out.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Homemade Lobsta Roll!

Lobster is on sale at Market Basket this week for $3.99. I decided I really need to learn to make my own - I do live really close to an amazing array of seafood choices (JT Farnham's lobster roll is EXCEPTIONAL), but I'm also broke.

I kind of just winged it, I boiled the lobster, let it cool, and took out the claw meat. For the tail, I cut off the top 1/4 or so, because I didn't want the nasty green goo in my nice lobster roll (and even with a small new-shell lobster, there's still plenty of meat left). I tore up the meat by hand and added mayo, salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of Old Bay. I would've added lemon, but I didn't have any on hand. Probably would've made it taste AWESOME if I had, though. I let it sit overnight.

Of course, you can't have a lobster roll without a toasted hot dog bun.


It came out pretty decent! In the end, though, $5 worth of lobster and a hell of a lot of work and cleanup was worth it for the experiment, but I'll probably just save up longer and buy one at Farnham's for $15 - they have more meat and they've got the recipe down pat.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I named this blog because in reality, living here isn't always easy. I try to keep a positive outlook, but sometimes it's just frustrating.

Last night the guy across the street (who is apparently pretty notorious around town) and another lady got into a scream fest about whether he drives drunk and also about him throwing beer cans in her yard. I'm not sure who she is, she may live on the street behind ours. But she you know, had a point. So then the lady next door to him mentioned here started screaming at her too, telling her she wasn't anybody and it ended with the drunk guy saying he'd kill her. I wanted to call the cops but the original lady disappeared.

Then today some homeless guy knocked on our door, almost letting our dog out of our fenced yard. He kept asking to buy a bike, and eventually Mike sold him one that worked. He kept leaving to go get money and coming up short, and acting like HE was all put out because Mike wanted $60 for the bike. Like, the hell? You came up to US and begged for a bike. He then said he should get a break on the price because "he could've just stolen one from us but didn't." Thanks? For not being a total jerk? Yeah. He is friends with the people across the street (see vignette above).

This is all in the same week that there was a street fight nearby that ended in the arson of a triple-decker. Insane.

I'm glad that we have some good neighbors who have been here awhile and who are nice and don't cause trouble. It's disheartening when troublemakers move in, but that's to be expected in lower middle class neighborhoods with drug/alcohol issues. It seemed like for awhile that Gloucester could be headed in a positive direction, but the economy seems to have stalled that out. Still, this is where I live now, and that's not changing anytime soon.

Anyway, we'll most likely install a moveable gate across the end of the driveway to keep people from entering our driveway/carport at night (stuff's been stolen before), and also so Nathan can play in the driveway without fear of him running into the street.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


They're tearing up our street to re-do it, and Nathan's in heaven watching the trucks.


TRUCK! is his favorite word. By far.


We had a pavementhenge hanging out in front of our house for a little bit. It's gone now.


Fun with his car! He's still a terrible driver.

Nathan's Big Boy Bed


I remember my brother having this bed growing up. Apparently it originally hails from UMass Lowell (or at that time, Lowell State College). It's utilitarian, but it's also free and it works perfectly as a little boy's bed and matches the dresser I have for him.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Shed Loft

For the last couple of weeks I've envisioned a smallish project where I put a loft/attic over one side of our new shed, for storage on top and bike hanging underneath. I finally grabbed all the stuff from Home Depot this week and today was the day to do it.

I'd measured from side to side, and the shed was 89 inches across - meaning we could hang 7 bikes with hooks 11 inches apart. That also meant I needed to learn how to master a circular saw.

All in all, the parts were cheap. I got 2 2x4s and 4 brackets, but only ended up using one (the other will be re-used to make the same loft on the opposite side), and 2 2footx4foot 1/2inch thick plywood boards. It was about $45 for parts and $20 in gas because I drove all the way to Foxboro and back to borrow my brother's pickup truck.


The loft part came together pretty quickly! Once I mastered the circular saw, anyway. I only had to cut the 2x4 down by 7 inches, and one of the plywood boards down by 7 inches as well. The brackets were easy enough to nail in, and I only smashed my thumb once!


I hadn't bought any hooks but we had bunches lying around - we're still missing one in the middle, but oh well. Two are rated heavier than the other ones, but those work perfectly for the heavier bikes.

I'm proud of myself - I did the whole thing by myself while Mike watched Nathan - even hung the bikes myself. Not bad for 21 weeks pregnant! It came out awesome! Usually my projects end up Homer Simpsonesque.



That's the sound Nathan is making as he blows bubbles. He's actually managed to figure out the bubble wand, how to stick it into the jar, and he can blow bubbles. I mean, most of the time he's just making a mess and/or ingesting trace amounts of bubble solution, but it's so goddamn cute.

Of course, right after that he spilled the entire bottle on the coffee table and floor. Hey, at least it's just soap!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Made It Myself!

Right, so I'm broke, but I did get a new netbook on super sale at Target for $199.99. My mom's giving me the money for it since I pay for school myself, so word.

I needed a sleeve for it, since it's main duty will be going back and forth to school with me so I don't have to lug a full size laptop and bag with me. But I'm also cheap, so I decided to make one myself.

It was actually a lot easier than I thought, it only took maybe an hour and a half, and I did most of it while watching TV. I found an old pair of pajama pants and cut the bottoms of the legs off into workable pieces of fabric. I also had some thin foam that had been lying around the house used to protect glassware we sold at the yard sale.


I should have taken more pictures of the process, but alas. I didn't.

So it was two layers of very worn pajama pants material with the insides facing each other, and in the middle was a double layer of the thin foam. I sewed the whole thing up pretty easily, and it works well! I still have to sew velcro across the top, though. Ugh, I'm LAZY.


The bonus part is that it looks so ridiculous that people probably have no idea what it is, and it's less likely to be stolen when I'm looking the other way.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Big Boy Room

OK, so I have a terrible summer cold. Awful. Sinuses feel like there's tiny fire ants breeding inside them. So why when I'm super sick do I want to get redecorating done? I don't know. Probably because I'm crazy.

I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm losing my awesome lavender guest room. It's OK. Nathan's cool big-boy room will be worth it.

Here's the cloth that will be used for the curtains:

And here's the rocking chair that will be in his room:

I'm trying to find a color to replace the purple that will match well with the chair and the fabric. I'm thinking a really light blue or really light khaki - almost white. I've gone the route of having too much color on the wall and regretted it (not in our bedroom though which I STILL LOVE). His current nursery is half baarely blue, half light blue, and it looks great.

Maybe one of these colors:

Or something super super light blueish or green. Who knows. I really like the khaki color with the fabric, but I also have to find him a twin-sized comforter set that would coordinate as well, and I think the best option there is to get something near a burlap color.

I guess this is why I have four more months to figure this out!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


When Nathan hears the trash truck, he climbs onto the armchair in the living room so he can see out the window and watches it until it's gone so far past that you can barely hear it.


It's pretty cute. What a boy thing to do. Firetrucks, construction equipment, trash trucks... this kid LOVES THEM. How does this boyness get ingrained? I never taught him fire trucks were cool!

We found out yesterday we're having another boy. I'm mildly surprised, the whole time I seriously thought we were having a girl, but I guess I was wrong. Don't get me wrong I'm totally happy to have two boys. Nathan is so much fun and having two boys close in age will be really cool. I mean, until they're 16, but that's a long way off.

So it looks like we'll be putting Nathan in the guest room, my awesome lavender guest room, and putting the baby in Nathan's nursery. When they're both old enough to sleep through the night, like 2 and 4, we'll put them together in the same room again. My aim is to find some great mid-centuryish wooden bunkbeds - I'm kicking myself because I JUST SAW A SET at a yard sale up in Rowley but I didn't grab them because I didn't know what we were having. There could be a set up at my parents' cabin in NH - tucked away in their storage trailer, it belonged to the original owners. But, we don't know if all the pieces are there, and it hasn't been touched in 24 years.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In Which I Have A New Bike

The day has finally arrived when I have become One Of Them: like Mike, I now have more than one bike.


I haven't posted a lot lately, but basically Mike's been picking up bikes from yard sales and fixing them up into ridable condition and selling them. This weekend he headed out to Beverly and Salem and I just went to a few in Gloucester for the hell of it with my sister, who was staying over, and Baby Gloucesterite. One about half a mile from our house had this great vintage folding bike out front. A early 70's Sears Tote Cycle.

Sears TOTE Cycle

The price tag on it was $85. It's cute and all, but I knew that they were asking too much for Gloucester. Not a lot of hipsters or bike nerds around here. It had a lot of rust, it's obviously going to be tough to replace parts, and it's heavy. So I snapped the picture above, sent it to Mike, and I told him to drop by later if he wanted to attempt to talk them down.

A little after 1PM Mike showed up with the bike. He'd gone to the yard sale right as they were packing up and offered the lady $25 for it - she took it. Wow. Score.


I love the color.

I took one ride on it and decided it was mine. Mike liked it as well, but there's an issue with the seat post not fitting right that needs to be fixed before he can ride it. I always ride with the seat at the lowest level anyway, so it's fine for me for now.


Tote is a total misnomer, because the thing could be used as a boat anchor. And uh, it doesn't fold like the modern bikes of this style, it just breaks into two heavy and unwieldy pieces. GUESS I KNOW WHY THERE AREN'T HUNDREDS OF HIPSTERS RIDING THESE AROUND BOSTON AMIRITE?


This is a picture of the shifter. Now it's hard to tell from the picture, but it's mounted on the right side underneath the seat post. So, to shift, I have to take my hand off the handlebars and reach under my right thigh WHICH IS TOTALLY WHAT EVERYONE IS ADEPT AT DOING. I'm amazed I didn't smash into a parked car just trying to downshift. Then you have to tap the coaster brake for it to switch gears. All just so you can ride and then lock it up somewhere and hope someone doesn't randomly steal HALF YOUR BIKE. Clearly this bike is just a misunderstood work of genius. I mean, who WOULDN'T want all these amazing, well-thought-out features?

It can't take a baby seat. It can't take a baby trailer. Clown music plays whenever I ride it.
But it's awesome, and I'm so keeping it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How to Make Money While Sitting in your Driveway

Mike and I threw a yard sale over the weekend with a lot of stuff we didn't need anymore. We both enjoy going to yard sales ourselves, and figured we could make a little bit of money.

In all, we pulled in about $150 - that included one of Mike's bikes going for $80. It was tiring, but fun, and we met a lot of the neighbors we hadn't met before and some of the ones we did know came back.

The couple across the street (the one where the husband and Mike talk about bikes all the time, and their son is close to Nathan's age) came and gave us a wonderful painting they made to thank us for giving them eggs a few weeks ago. That was really, really sweet!


Now we have a bunch of leftover stuff, and next week we find out whether Unborn Gloucesterite is a he or she. Depending on the outcome, we could have another yard sale right before school starts up.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fun times!

Jaunty Zombie is Jaunty!

Today Christa and I took Nathan and Paloma to Bradley Palmer State Park's wading pool. They had a blast, and it was deep enough for adults to cool off if you sat down, but not so deep I constantly had to worry about Nathan drowning himself. And the best part is that the only charge is $5 per car to park, so we split it and hey, $2.50 for an afternoon of FUN! (and the EPIC NAP after returning home) was worth it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Most Helpful Baby

I am loving Nathan's newfound sense of altruism. We brought him to my parents' cabin in NH for a few days over the holiday weekend - he brought a box of cereal in from the car all by himself. Today he brought in a package of toilet paper as I was unloading groceries. Usually I have to leave the groceries and take him in by himself, so this saves me quite a bit of effort.

Mike has even taught him to follow basic commands. Like today, Mike pointed at the cup of ice water he'd accidentally left across the room. With a little prodding, Nathan actually picked it up and brought it to him- without even spilling any, bonus! He can also be told to clean things off the floor and place them in the trash.

This is why we had kids, right? To make them do our bidding?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunset, Fourth of July 2010, Gloucester MA

View off the back deck as I was hanging laundry.


As I was snapping these, two girls were having a loud fight in the street. Gloucester: Like Allston, but with more seafood.

Friday, July 2, 2010


So my unemployment officially ran out, which means we're down a good chunk of income every week. It's going to be pretty tough, nearly impossible, for me to swing finding a job - I'll be going to school three days a week starting in 2 months, and Mike will be working the days I'm off. Working on the weekends and leaving Nathan with my in-laws is a possibility, but I'm trying to take a full course load because that's what financially works best as far as grants and tuition waivers go, and it'd be silly to fail out of school for a minimum wage job 16 hours a week.

What is in my control is keeping the expenses to a bare minimum. For instance, the dryer is off-limits until October or whenever it gets way too cold and gross to dry things outdoors. I didn't mind drying stuff outside, but I'd throw it in the dryer to fluff it up for 15 minutes to my jeans weren't all hard and gross, but not now. I just deal with it. It builds character!

The eating out? Not anymore. We'll set a budget of say, $60 a month for eating out - that's 3 trips to the sub shop or Chinese place, which I think is more than reasonable for a month. Of course, if any of us make an emergency pit stop for fast food or something, that counts against the cap.

I don't tend to buy much as far as clothing, and I have maternity clothes leftover from when I was pregnant with Nathan - sure, it's mostly business casual, but I'll look overdressed while I clean the kitchen - no biggie! Nathan's not in need of anything, neither is Mike - we're still pretty lucky in so many respects, we don't really *need* much of anything at all. We'll survive, totally.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh Crap, I'm Nesting.

Mike's been home for a few weeks now on short-term disability since his shoulder is messed up, so I've had time to actually accomplish projects since there's two people to watch the baby.

Since Mike's been home, he's also been amassing bicycles and their assorted parts, which has made our already messy and unorganized workshop room into a total disaster area. A few months ago I started work on that room, putting our old kitchen table in as a workbench and hanging wire shelving above, with labelled plastic bins for everything. It was a start, but it was still nearly impossible to get in there and find what we needed. I decided some shallow shelves on an odd-shaped wall would help get stuff off the floor.

So in the interest of organizing, I sent Mike off to Home Depot with a list, and he came back with everything I needed for shelving, and in the time he was gone I was able to paint the area where the new shelves would go with leftover paint from Nathan's room.


The entire thing was pretty short money. I asked him to get two 1"x6"x8' boards and have them cut into 30" sections, making 6 shelves (and a tiny bit of scrap), which was $15.98 altogether. He also grabbed 12 cheap shelf brackets at $.78 each, and a pack of 100 screws with anchors for $3.98. So the whole project was roughly $30.


Yeah, I still have a long way to go. But if I need spray paint and a sledgehammer, I am IN LUCK.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tiny Copilot.

So Nathan still faces backwards in his carseat past his first birthday (My friend Christa wrote up some great reasons why).


He doesn't really mind either way, but the entertaining part is how he interacts with us. Say, if we order fast food. It doesn't happen a lot, but somehow when it does, HE KNOWS WHAT'S GOING ON. After we've been handed our chicken nuggets and fries, his tiny hand shoots up over the back of his seat, begging for handouts. He literally does the "gimme" hand gesture which I swear we have never taught him. He could've been in a deep slumber, and all of a sudden he's HEY GUYS I SMELL FOOD MIND IF I EAT HALF OF IT? It's like he's been taking notes from the dog.

Mike also says that when he's travelling with Nathan (this happens a lot when he's bike hunting, so that Nathan will nap and I can get some alone time), he'll point to the dome light and gesticulate wildly until it is turned on or off for him. Apparently dome lights are a thrill a minute, who knew.

He's taken his demotion to backwards-facing quite well, and really doesn't make too much of a peep back there. I'm glad I did it, even though he keeps eating all my dang chicken nuggets.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'll use any excuse to redecorate.

So as most of you now know, I'm 3 months pregnant with our second child. I'm due on Christmas day.

This means Nathan and Thing 2 will be just about 2 years apart. We won't know the sex for at least another month.

So I'm starting to gather stuff for Nathan's new, little-boy room. Just based on space issues alone, it seems like they'll be in separate rooms. The new baby will be taking his crib, and he'll be moving to a big-kid bed that my brother and my dad once had. Months ago, my mom bought about a dozen yards of great heavy blue fabric with vintage cowboys and covered wagons on it.Hopefully we can turn it into curtains and pillows, and find him a matching comforter.

Today on etsy I picked these up:

There are so many more items I've got favorited, and we'll be hitting up yard sales all summer.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pacific Northwest!

So last week we took a trip to Portland, OR with the baby. We had a lot of fun and the food was awesome.


Our first day, we went to the Multnomah County Fair. Nathan got into the petting zoo a little, but was a bit wary of the bigger, more horned animals


But omg, the piglets. Did he ever love the piglets.



We also went to the Portland Children's museum, which he really had a blast at.


He was a great ER receptionist, except for all those dying people he put on hold and never got to.


There was also a little spot with a house "under construction" with plexiglass "holes" in the floor. It was really hard for Mike to get this picture because Nathan would try to hide every time he saw Mike with the camera.

So basically, all we did was take pictures of Nathan on our vacation. We took a walking tour of Portland's seedy underbelly, ate some excellent food, and had a bunch of fun. That'll be it for big vacations for awhile, flying with the baby was really not much fun.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cruel to be Kind.

It's no secret that Nathan's had a terrible time sleeping for the past month or so. We struggled to get him to sleep in his crib every night, and more often than not he'd wake up between 12 and 3, and refuse to go back to sleep until he passed out on my chest hours later. We were all pretty miserable, and the lack of sleep was making us all very, very cranky. He wouldn't even nap in his crib.

We had originally tried a number of sleep methods at around 10 months old. Some older, more experienced parents all told us that even though crying it out sucked and sounded horrible, it was the only thing that truly helped their kids sleep through the night and sleep well. By the time we resorted to it, we were in dire straits - but it truly did work. It took over a week, but only the first two or three nights were awful. And he slept like a dream for months and months.

So we finally got to the point where we knew we'd have to do it again. The night before we left on vacation last week, he was so exhausted and it was 5:30 and we had to get up at 7... so we stuck him in his crib. And eventually, he did go to sleep. Last night after our flight got in, we did the same. Within 15 minutes, he was out. Naptime today, he was out in 10. Tonight, he was out before I could even unload the washing machine.

Are we out of the woods yet? No, but god, the sleep has been nice, and during the day he is a lot happier. The lack of sleep was hurting him, too. I know there's a lot of parents who think crying it out is terrible, and cruel, but a miserable kid who isn't sleeping is bad news for the kid, too. We make our choices. I have to be the parent and make the decisions for him. It's not always easy. And on that note, I'm going to sleep...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kids These Days!

I know, I know, I haven't updated in WEEKS.

It's been a long couple of weeks. Nathan was a very good sleeper, going to bed in his crib every night and infrequently waking up in the middle of the night. He was really easy to put back to sleep - until randomly, he stopped sleeping in his crib, and will cry a lot at night even if we bring him into our bed.

We've finally gotten back to a point where most of the time, he does fall asleep in his crib. But he still won't stay there if he wakes up, and I've had a lot of near-sleepless nights. It's a lot like having a newborn again.

He's also going through a phase where he's very prone to tantrums, and also biting and hitting his head into mine as hard as possible. I love the kid, he's great, but oh man, this phase is one I can't wait to pass.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tales of Gloucester: Angry Angry Shopper

I pulled into Market Basket on a Sunday afternoon at 3PM - prime shopping time. I usually try to avoid that like the plague, but we were desperately out of butter. BUTTER EMERGENCIES CAN HAPPEN AND THEY ARE NOT FUN.

So yeah, there aren't really that many spots, but I get one halfway down one of the rows. No biggie, right? Apparently, not for everyone.

This guy in a Jeep Cherokee with three small kids in back (the two biggest without booster seats when they were obviously too small for regular seats) got very, very angry that someone coming up the aisle towards him snagged a closer spot after he'd moved past another spot 10 feet further away. So he gave the little old lady the finger and sped off.

The next row, he started beeping at another lady for not pulling into her spot fast enough.

Seriously? Are you that angry with life because it took you 20 more seconds to park and another 20 to walk? So you're going to make obscene gestures at the elderly in front of your kids?

Oh, and bonus points to the squawky ladies bitching that "the city people" were up here buying our bottled water because there wasn't much left. I bet that destroyed your afternoon, didn't it? Compassion for others is such a pain in the ass.

Things No One Will Tell You About Parenting

The other day, Nathan had his first real bug. He looked fine besides being a little tired, until we decided to go to a local sub shop for lunch, where I bought him a chocolate milk because hey, chocolate milk is awesome, and doubly so if you're a small kid.

Yeah, until we got home and he was clinging to me, and then PUKED ALL OVER ME AND MY SHIRT. Pasta salad, sub roll, and chocolate milk. Stunning.

So because I'm the type of person who cannot stand the sight and smell of puke, I had to strip off my shirt while gagging, and run into the bathroom to puke in the toilet. All the while, Mike is laughing and telling me I sound like the guy from Crank Yankers. Always the helpful spouse.

It took a full 24 hours for me to get up the nerve to clean up the mess on the living room rug (plus, I had to hold the baby that entire time since he felt so very yucky). I had to clean all the blankets on the couch and all of our clothes plus some towels. Yeah, I retched while doing the laundry, too. I am a wuss.

Poor kid. He just sat listlessly on the couch for hours, and made me sit next to him. I was happy to oblige, because I know how nasty feeling sick can be.

Dear Boston Residents: Welcome to Hell

Yesterday afternoon while heading home from the Bruins game, we heard on the radio something about a boil water order east of Weston, but it was framed in the context of a joke (but this was sports radio, so lame jokes are the usual). Come to find out no, really, Boston and a bunch of surrounding cities and towns have to boil water after a large pipe burst in the aquaduct between the Quabbin reservoir and Boston.

We here in Gloucester know your pain, metro-Boston. We had a 20-day boil water order last summer, in the dead of August no less. With a 6 month old baby.

Obviously, there was a run on bottled water in Boston, and now tales of people fighting over bottles of Dasani or Cambridge residents screaming at Bostonites for taking water from their public drinking fountains are showing up on Twitter.

You can, however, survive without buying entirely bottled water. If you managed to get a gallon or so of spring water, word. But honestly? We only bought one or two gallons for the entire 20-day period. We boiled water as a daily routine, let it cool, and refrigerated it until we needed it. The real key is getting ahead of yourself and not waiting until you're out to boil more. We also kept a big stockpot of unrefrigerated boiled water for hand washing or cleaning.

If you're going to brave the stores, get bleach. Bleach will allow you to wash dishes more easily. 1/8tsp bleach to 1 gallon of water will kill the bacteria. So if you're still running the diswasher, just fill up your sink or a bucket with the treated water and let the clean dishes sit in it for 10 minutes or so, then dry. I assure you it won't hurt you, if you've ever eaten at a restaurant or gotten deli meat, you've ingested minute amounts of bleach (sanitizer solution is just bleach and water).

I remember it being an inconvenience, but it wasn't too bad - I really felt for the bars and restaurants in the area who had to close, and the people who didn't get their paychecks for three weeks. Mike just drove to work in foodservice in one of the towns affected - I'd love to hear how it is over there.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RIP Chicken!

Woke up this morning to see one of the chickens not moving. I went out to check, and she was most certainly dead. Not attacked by an animal, just dead. They're only a year old, so a little young to be dying, but apparently it happens sometimes. Heart attack, fatty liver issues, cancer - they're small and cheap for a reason. I'm pretty sad about it, but that's how life goes, I guess.

bawk x3

I miss you, whichever one you were! I think it was Marge, the one on the left - she was the whitest.

Maybe we'll replace her with either a new chicken or a pair of small bantams (3ish lbs, lay tiny itty bitty eggs).

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nice Day to Dry Diapers

Seriously! It was so pretty today! I am a cheapskate, so I cloth diaper the baby and use the dryer as little as possible. And why not, when it gets you outside in the sun?


Nathan had a blast opening and closing the screen door.



Fettuccine Alfredoface!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Because We Totally Needed More Bikes.


A few weeks ago, Mike and I took a ride to a bike shop up in Ipswich that posted on Craiglist that it was throwing out some bikes. We picked up two, and some spare accessories. This is one, a French bike from the 60's. It needed some new parts, some of which we already had lying around. Mike wants to keep it, but he already has two bikes.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo and Fresh Bread with Herbed Butter

Sorry I've been away, not like a lot of people read this anyway. The Tea Party counterprotest has been demanding a lot of my time.

Despite the time suck, I decided today that I *needed* to make homemade bread, herbed butter, and fettucini alfredo with homemade sauce.

See, I've always been the type to either buy crappy cheap jarred alfredo, or expensive still kind of crappy stuff. I never made it myself because for some reason I thought it was hard. IT WAS NOT. I ASSURE YOU IT IS THE EASIEST THING EVER.


1lb package fettuccine
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2 cloves (minced) or 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
2 1/2 cups light cream
1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese (shred it yourself from a block to save money and have tastier cheese)

1. Boil the fettucini in a big pot of water with salt. Make sure the pot is huge or they'll get stuck together and that's the opposite of fun.

2. While you're waiting on that, melt the stick of butter in a decent sized saucepan on med/lo heat. After the butter's melted, either sautee the minced garlic cloves for a minute or so, or do the easy thing like I did and throw in the granulated garlic. Then add 1 1/2 cups of the cream, stir it for 3-4 minutes until it's hot.

3. When the fettuccine is done, drain and add to the alfredo sauce. Immediately add the last cup of cream and all the parmesan cheese, a little salt and pepper to taste, and stir. It thickens up after a minute or so.



So, the bread. In all honesty, it's too lengthy to reproduce the recipe here, so go to Artisan Bread in Five. I haven't conquered it perfectly, but I made a damn decent loaf on my first attempt.

And for the herbed butter which I don't have a picture of because I'm a very subpar blogger:

1. Let a stick of butter soften at room temperature.
2. Get some fresh parsley and chop it up super small. No smaller. No smaller than that. I just eyed it, but I'd say 1/2-1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley altogether.
3. Mix butter, parsley, and another 1/4 teaspoon of granulated garlic with a mixer on super high speed.

Easy. Super easy. And my god, is it ever good.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good neighbors, bad neighbors.

On Sunday, we finally met the neighbors across the street and down a few houses. I've seen them walk by a lot, they're about our age with a little girl Nathan's age. They seem like they're Midwestern transplants from their bumper stickers. We once returned their dog to them when he'd gotten out of their yard, but they weren't home and the person who rents the other half of their house took care of it instead.

We met him because he was cycling down the street, then stopped, and backed up and asked about a bike frame we'd put out to the curb. He's apparently starting to find bikes locally in the transfer stations or at yard sales, fixing them up, and putting them on Craigslist. Nice.

Of course, the coolness of meeting someone somewhat like us was mitigated by another neighbor. This morning I looked out the window and saw something piled on top of our recycling. It was 2 fridge crisper bins and the plastic front panel of an air conditioner. While walking to the store yesterday, I saw these items in another neighbor's trash/recycling. We pay to throw trash away here, and those items are too big for regular bags, so as soon as everything's collected it will be left on the curb. I'd just go toss it back but the neighbor is quite mean and possibly insane. My current plan is just to leave it on our curb until armageddon.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More from the Backyard

One of the upsides of global warming is that we've had some wonderful early spring weather the last few years. Today it was a decent mid-60s day up here. It was even hotter in Boston, but since we're on the water it's usually about 8-10 degrees cooler up here. We sold our air conditioner years ago and never looked back.

I took advantage of the day and took some pictures outside, as well as planted two rows of spinach.


The garden presently, after I used bricks we had lying around to make a path down the middle, and enclosed it all with chicken wire. Now the garden has spinach, peas, broccoli, and radishes already down - all can withstand a late frost. I'll plant the rest in about a month.


The garden's froggy overlord.

caged chickens

Requisite intentionally out of focus arty shot of the chickens.


My helper. I dare say, he might be cute. Just a little.