Monday, December 8, 2014

The first of the holiday party weekends

So you are FULLY warned, 
this recap is both LONGGGG 
and includes a handful of non-related tangents. 
 So if you want a sweet, concise storyline... this is not it. 

This weekend my company hosted their annual children's party. 
In a world of corporate cutbacks, I'm SUPER proud of my company that they still shell out thousands upon thousands for a Christmas party that includes free pictures with Santa, a personalized present for each child, full hot breakfast, crafts, cookie decorating, and professional balloon artists. 

 A part of me hoped I'd have the classic screaming kid photo, 
but instead I got the 
"WHAT THE F**K?" face 

We then stuffed our face with bacon, tater tots, and greasy sausage. 
Or rather, I TRIED to eat sausage, 
while Aaron flipped out on me because it was HIS sausage. 

And this brings up my first tangent. 
Last year, there was this dad, 
never saw him before so probably a different department in a different division, 
and his sons were maybe... 6 and 8? 
As he sits down with his kids at the end of the table, 
he looks at his son with disapproval: 
"You got sausage and bacon?  
Did you not think what the grease is going to do to your sweater?" 
I nearly died. 
Aside from eating spaghetti with a white blouse, 
it would never occur to me that the food on my plate would have a negative affect on my apparel. 
Forget an 8 year old boy! 

First tangent complete. 

Second tangent up! 
My company gives each child a gift appropriate for their age. 

And these aren't cheap dollar-store gifts either. 
This year was a Melissa & Doug Stacker. 

Or as I call it... 
Let me explain. 
Let's take a second and count the pieces in this set. 
There are 25 pieces in this stacking set. 
Unlike Little People, can that I can just toss into a basket, 
puzzles and stackers present an entire new dimension of anxiety. 
I can deal with spilled red wine on a white carpet. 
But I can't deal with a missing puzzle piece. 
And now you're asking me to keep track of TWENTY-FIVE pieces that must be stacked each night to ensure they are all safe and accounted for? 
Second tangent over. 

Saturday night was a bit of a disappointment. 
Aaron was supposed to have his first sleepover at our friend's house, 
whose son William is just 4 months younger than Aaron. 
William slept over at our house before and the boys LOVED it. 
Granted, I was a wee bit anxious at having Aaron sleep over at a non-grandparent house, 
but I was still really excited. 

Welp, it didn't happen. 
Aaron barely took an afternoon nap because he was coughing SO much. 
And then woke up so emotional and drained. 
Adam and I debated back and forth, 
and finally agreed that it was best not to do the sleepover. 
If Aaron was sick, we didn't want William to get sick, 
plus we were worried about Aaron being up all night upset. 

We had a party that night, so my sister Melissa offered to come over and babysit. 
She recently completed a rotation in pediatrics on her way to becoming a Physican Assistant, so she's pretty useful in diagnosing children. 
After their night, she determined that it was just congestion and that a few squirts of nasal spray (which she administers SO much better than I do) and a humidifier would be all he needs. 

Damn, so we could have done the sleepover!  

On the fun side, Adam and I went to the first of our holiday friends parties. 
We had a fantastic time catching up with good friends that we barely see
 (we are the first of that group of friends to have kids).
I also drank THREE Victory Golden Monkey. 
Victory is a local brewery only in the Philadelphia area, 
and Golden Monkey is one of their signatures. 
Golden Monkey is 12% ABV but has the "drinkability" of light beer. 
And it's SOOOOO good. 
3 Golden Monkeys + little dinner = WASTED Emily. 
 And I'm a SUPER CHATTY drunk, so look out! 

This morning was... rough. 

Another reason that the sleepover would be have been clutch. 
But Adam is awesome and took care of Aaron while I slept off my hangover. 
Aaron, of course, was NOT PLEASED that he couldn't see "mama" 
and threw a 10 minute hysteria fit for Adam. 
If I was Adam, I would have totally given in. 
But Adam held strong. 
Yet another reason Adam should be knighted to for Sainthood. 

Finally, around 9:30, I texted Adam that Aaron could come up 
and this smiling happy little man came bounding into my bed. 

I mustered up the strength to go downstairs and we spent the morning doing a lot of this: 

Me lying on the couch wrapped in a blanket while Aaron plays around me. 

At naptime, I rallied myself: showed, shaved, and got dressed. 
It's a beautiful day out - PERFECT for running - but I knew there was no way my body could do the 3.5 mile loop after last night. 
So I made a deal with myself. 
No running, but I will be productive elsewhere. 

Enter: under our kitchen sink. 
Check out that hideous cornflower blue shelf liner from ... the 80s? 

The coffee canister is to hold leftover grease, fyi.

I scrubbed the pipes with lime-a-way, ripped up the paper, and relined. 

CLEARLY, I should leave my job in Finance and go into remodeling. 
My patchwork shelf liner job will be a selling point of the house in the future. 
But once I put it all back (and threw out all the extra crap), it's not too bad. 

Feeling smug and satisifed, I decided to tackle the playroom. 
We have a bunch of toys that Aaron has outgrown, 
so my hope was to get them all stored away in time for Christmas. 
But as you can see from this embarrassment here
we don't have any storage space left. 
So any toy storage first requires digging through the heaps of crap. 
Not happening today. 

Before the Eagles game, we had a midday lunch of Crockpot Cheesy Chicken & Rice suggested by Amanda.  Mine was a little more soup-y because my chicken was still partially frozen, but it was VERY good and got a thumbs up from all parties. 
I particularly liked it because its a chicken recipe that's not just chicken. 

Many recipes are like "serve chicken over rice," and I can guarantee you that 95% of the time, I forget to make the rice, and we eat plain chicken.  But this has the rice and cheese all mixed in for some creamy goodness that doesn't need extra stuff! 

The key will be how it warms up, but all recipes are judged by their ability to reheat for days! 

And the final cap on our weekend... 

 The game sucked.
BUT... we did have one win. 
We taught Aaron: 


  1. Ugh, bummer about the sleepover, but sounds like the weekend redeemed itself! And yes, the chicken thing can be a little soupy side depending on the ingredients. Hope it meets the reheating qualifications!

    Happy Monday- here's to no sick kiddos!

  2. That Melissa and Doug toy is great for developing an array of early concepts, but it is SUCH A PAIN!!! We have about six different versions of that throughout our building and the pieces are always making it into the wrong room. The stack on the left with the cuts in it is the worst of all (of course it's also one of the best ones for development - spatial awareness/problem solving/orientation of objects) because when you're trying to throw it together fast, you can't figure out the puzzle yourself!! As kids finish snack and lunch, we let them pick a "table toy" off of the shelf or a book to read. The shelf has all types of stacking cups, manipulatives, puzzles etc. Worst thing in the world is watching a little kid try to carry a heavy Melissa and Doug puzzle that they've carefully put together, and then flip the whole thing over right before they get to back to the shelf. It's like watching a car crash in slow motion. Of course then there's the $#&!% oblivious kid who just grabs the puzzle by one side and holds it like a briefcase haha. I just want to say to them "What made you thing that was a good idea?"