Nice things that happened this weekend

I had a pretty good weekend.  It was obviously nice to have my damn license back so I could go about my business.  Highlights of the weekend included:

(1) I decided to do this 30 day ab challenge.  I’m currently on day 4, which you can see is a rest day.  I’m purposefully not looking too far ahead because I glanced at it and saw something about 100+ sit-ups toward the end?  I can totally think about that later.  Anyway, the first three days have been fine!

Ab Challenge

Ab Challenge

(2) Elena and I went to Wheeling to meet baby Audrey.  (Who I keep wanting to call Aubrey because of my friend Aubrey, so, Stacey I’m sorry if that happens, but Aubrey is awesome, so it’s a good confusion.)  Baby Audrey is cute and small and Elena really loved her and is ready to babysit.

Audrey

Audrey

(3) Ben and I went to a Penguins game last week, and Elena expressed an interest in going to a hockey game.  Based on our experiences taking Elena to our own hockey games, we anticipated that she would not enjoy the entire game, and we don’t exactly have $100+/ticket to blow on an experience for our four year old that she will almost definitely just kind of be OK with.  So I took the opportunity to take her to a Wheeling Nailers game.  We got seats three rows back from the ice (our view of the one net was obscured by the players, but we were right on top of the game generally), and one child + one adult was $27.  Seriously, $27.  There were approximately 7 fights in the first period.  I specify “in the first period” because we were right, Elena was totally ready to go after one period.  Anyway, it was fun.  I was glad to get to focus on Elena a little bit extra this weekend.  Zoe’s usually all up in my business and I don’t necessarily get to hang out with E Dubs as much as I’d like.

Nailers

Nailers

(4) She paid me back by doing my nails.  So that’s $20 saved.

Mani/Pedi

Mani/Pedi

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Pre-K Last Day

Today is Elena’s last day of Pre-K. She starts kindergarten after we get back from vacation!

Those of you who are good at math might remember that Elena will not be 5 until January. She’s going into kindergarten at Kindercare, and she will more than likely go through it again at public school next year. We weren’t initially anticipating that she would be going to kindergarten this year, but all of her little friends are going (at least the ones who will still be at Kindercare) and the teachers say she’s ready.

I think she’s excited but nervous. I vividly remember crying my eyes out on my first day of kindergarten, and also not being sure where my classroom was, and then later being nervous I was on the wrong bus home. I don’t anticipate any of those things will happen for Elena (and in fact the last two are basically impossible since we know where the classroom is and she won’t be taking the bus home; how cruel everything was in the early 80s).

Personally I feel like maybe I should be sadder about this? The whole “my little girl is growing up” thing? She and I have a little schtick going on now where she asks for help putting on her shoes, then tells me she can do it herself, and I pretend to cry because MY LITTLE GIRL IS GROWING UP. But honestly? Every time she learns something new, I’m happy about it, even if it means leaving some things behind.

Maybe this will change when she is, like, 13, and EVERYTHING IS THE WORST.

The top five most disgusting things about being a parent of young children

I’ve recently had cause to consider my rankings of the five most disgusting things about having small children.

5. How everything is sticky all the time. In fairness this may be my husband’s fault.

4. Poopsplosions. What, you liked that little onesie? You didn’t feel like doing laundry this morning? You don’t want to remember to keep size appropriate spare clothes every place your child spends time? Tough.

3. Childbirth in general. Making a surprise early showing because it’s been 8 months since I’ve been through it and biology has already wired me such that I forgot how awful it was. Childbirth? I remember being in a hospital, and there was some pain, but there were also people bringing me dessert and I didn’t have to clean anything up. Sounds ok.

2. Being thrown up on. Or someone throwing up in your car, which counts as the same thing. Your kid is sick and crying and you can’t even hug them because ew.

1. When your kid poops on the tub. MIC DROP. Worst thing ever.

Baby Food

Now that Zoe is seven months old, we are officially through the Early Babyhood phase and into a phase that I enjoy very much. Zoe can sit up, she can roll around, she does not yet crawl, she expresses her delight in me as well as several other key adults in her life so I don’t feel like a complete heel if I go out for an evening, and perhaps most enjoyably, she’s starting to eat actual food.

Because I enjoy cooking, I make most of her baby food, just as I made most of Elena’s baby food. I use this book for month-specific recipes (along with my doctor’s suggestion sheet for introducing foods). However, cooking food for a baby basically involves these steps:

(1) Steam the food, or otherwise cook it until it’s real soft and squashy
(2) Mash it up or put it in a food processor or something
(3) Either serve it soon or freeze it and serve it later

Making baby food is easier than making dinner for the rest of us, so we’re all eating frozen pizza while Zoe has homemade butternut squash.

We started with rice cereal, and I’m actually going to make myself a liar because we do use store-bought rice cereal, but I did say I make “most” of her food so I am being consistent after all. Zoe has since had sweet potato, butternut squash (also very easy, and a nice consistency for early food), zucchini (same), peas, green beans, apples, carrots, and bananas (which I believe to be her favorite thing of all time).

I’m doing a lot more mixing of foods with Zoe than I did with Elena. Whenever I introduce a new food I’ll mix it with rice or apples or something she’s familiar with. I started doing this after a fair bit of zucchini was spit out the first time she ate it.

Zoe is an “enthusiastic eater” (my parents’ words) and I definitely credit the fact that I’m able to feed her homemade food without making a “this smells disgusting” face.

Catch Up / Picture Post

I realized several days ago that I have not posted in some time. This is largely by accident but probably mostly the product of going to DC last weekend. I used to be able to hop in the car with very little planning (although let’s be real, there was never “very little planning”) and go away for a long weekend. Now there needs to be a pre- and post-vacation buffer day as well as a week’s recovery time. And there is still a mountain of laundry in the basement, but at least it’s folded?

Anyway, here are a few pictures from my trip. Some of them I’ve already put on Facebook but some are brand new.

I lived in DC from 1998-2002 and the last few years there I was in the Capitol Hill area, so it was fun to stay at a hotel near where I used to live and, like, walk by my old gym and stuff.

Old stomping grounds

Old stomping grounds

More old stomping grounds

More old stomping grounds

Sunset on Capitol Hill

Sunset on Capitol Hill

Our dinner the first evening there was at Tortilla Coast.

The famous red white and blue margarita

The famous red white and blue margarita

Race day was beautiful, and I timed my arrival at the race very well – bathroom, Washington Monument selfie, standing around for five minutes, go!

Ready to run

Ready to run

Following our run we went to Perry’s for drag brunch. I cannot recommend this activity highly enough. The waiting situation is kind of insane but it’s worth it.

Brunch at Perry's

Brunch at Perry’s

Brunch at Perry's

Brunch at Perry’s

Meanwhile, on the home front….

Zoe turned 7 months old this weekend! She’s been sleeping better-ish but it’s still not something we can count on. She’ll have two nights of phenomenal sleep followed by two weeks of getting up every three hours. Right now she’s either teething, got a cold, having a growth spurt, or some combination of the three. But doesn’t she look cute during the day?

Seven months old!

Seven months old!

Bru is going to be thirteen tomorrow! You wouldn’t believe it but he was the runt of his litter, born I think 30 minutes after his brothers and sisters. Now he’s 20-some pounds and practically an old man in cat years. “In my day, you carried around a flip phone and you were happy about it.”

Thirteen YEARS old!

Thirteen YEARS old!

Because of the trip and various baby needs, I haven’t been able to spend as much time with Elena as I’d like. Fortunately this weekend we were able to spend a LOT of time together. She started soccer on Saturday, and after soccer my parents watched Zoe so we could have some time together. We were initially going to go to a play but the timing didn’t work out (which I’d anticipated) so we went bike riding and to Target. Sunday we had a playdate at Mollie’s and went to the park, both without Daddy and Zoe. I’m so glad the weather is getting nicer, it gives us a whole world of additional options.

Winter is over! Even though it's supposed to snow tomorrow!

Winter is over! Even though it’s supposed to snow tomorrow!

Weekend Away

I’ve posted about this before here, and the time is finally upon us: on Saturday, Elizabeth and I are heading to DC for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Except that I’m Only Going to Run the 5K.

Although it seems somewhat silly to drive 250 miles to do a 5K, I’m looking forward to the trip and to the race. While a 10 mile race would have been an unpleasant hardship, a 5K is not that big of a deal for me (I’m not saying I’m going to have some phenomenal time, or even manage to run the whole race – but I can handle this distance without a problem). This allows me to focus on several other things:

(1) Road-trip-related items, such as the making of lists, the packing of clothes, the purchase of road-trip-essential Twizzlers.
(2) Printing out the various emails that tell me when and where to be.
(3) Dinner on Saturday and brunch on Sunday, obviously.

For those of you keeping track at home, this will be my first trip away from Zoe.

Do I look like I'm ready to take care of myself?

Do I look like I’m ready to take care of myself?

Elena was much older when I left her the first time. If memory serves, it was my trip to Philadelphia (also with Elizabeth – the nerve of her, always dragging me away from my children) when Elena was about 21 months. Nevertheless I’m sure everyone will be fine at home. (Partially because Elena will be spending most of the weekend with her grandma.) However, if you see Ben this weekend and he doesn’t have a child with him, you might just want to ask him if he knows where they are. You know, just to be safe.

Throwback Thursday: Elena Edition

I have a bunch of pictures of Elena’s first year on my work computer and only on my work computer. I’m certain I should do something about that before my work computer decides to die one day (after all, I spend my work days surfing for pornography, so it’s bound to happen sooner or later).

In the absence of doing something constructive involving a cloud or a zip drive, I’m going to post some of the pictures here. People like pictures.

March 2010?

March 2010?

May 2010

May 2010

May 2010

May 2010

June 2010

June 2010

August 2010

August 2010

July 2010

July 2010

January 2011

January 2011