Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 2: Something I look forward to

Week 2 in my 30 Week Writing Challenge

Something I look forward to in the next 12 months 

This September,
Adam and I will be taking our first mini-vacation by ourselves since Aaron was born. 
We've done many a single nights away, 
thanks to both grandparents 
and our Monthly Kid Swap
but we've never done a whole weekend. 


Of course, my dream would be a mini-vacation here: 

(our honeymoon at Sandals in St Lucia)


But instead we'll be channeling our inner college student 
and reliving the memories here: 


That picture was taken at Penn State in 2008. 
It was our first weekend trip to Penn State together as a couple. 


Adam went to Penn State for undergrad, 
and I spent the majority of my undergrad visiting my college boyfriend there on weekends. 

For all we know, 
Adam and I could have been at the same bar, 
same time, 
but never met. 


In 2008, Adam and I went for the first time as a couple, 
and had a GREAT time. 
We continued to go up once a year for football games 
until I got pregnant and then we haven't been back since. 


Aaron will be spending one night at each grandparents' house, 
and I am totally confident he'll have an absolute blast. 

Me? 
I'll probably bawl at least once about how much I miss him and his cheeks, 
but we'll see!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Goodbye, Grandma

Friday night, my grandma went to heaven. 
She would have been 90 this August. 

Grandma holding a pic of when she was 21

Grandma's health had been failing for years, 
and a while ago, she told us: 
"Don't pray that I get better. Just pray that I'm comfortable." 

We had several "oh no this is it" scares over the past month, 
so it wasn't really a shock. 
In fact, I was kind of like: "Oh ok, well, time to rearrange plans next week." 

But over time, the news sunk in a little more. 
And it's really the random memories that make me cry. 

I get choked up when I thought of how she always made me 
frozen boxed chicken cordon bleu, with a bearnaise sauce, and buttery cooked carrots. 
It was such a Grandma meal. 
She wasn't a world class cook, 
but she had a few specialties (like her lasagna!) 
and she made sure to know what each of her 11 grandchildren liked. 
So if you see me crying in the freezer aisle at the grocery store, 
that's why. 



Another thing I thought about was death and social media. 
There are some people, often labeled "classic oversharers", 
because we need to share to feel. 
I'm so one of those people. 

Adam, on the other hand, is so NOT one of those people. 
When we first were married, he complained that
 "everything doesn't have to be broadcasted." 
Adam hates attention and is generally a very private person. 
For him, mourning on facebook is just stupid. 


I thought long and hard before posting my little memory of Grandma Woodward on facebook, 
and finally I decided to do so, 
because Grandma was the kind of person who loved attention. 
She was a social person, who would make friends wherever she went. 
She loved when people doted on her. 
I bet if Grandma had been raised in the social media age, 
she would be all over facebook, IG, and snapchat. 
She'd probably be cooler than me, too. 


She told me this story of her college days: 
"Your granddad and I would go out together.  But he would go home to his parent's farm on the weekends, and I would get bored and go out with other men, so he finally stopped going home on the weekends." 

Well, then, Grandma!

(Grandma with Aaron, her only great-grandson)


One of the many amazing traits about my Grandma, 
was her ability to be so positive and joyful about life, 
even when she had experienced heart-shattering loss. 
She and my Granddad had four children. 
The oldest, my Aunt Karen, died in a car accident in her teens. 
Their third child, my Mommy Cheryl, died of breast cancer at 29. 
To lose two children and STILL go through life with such joy? 
I can't even imagine. 

And that's another reason why I'm sure she was ready to go home to heaven. 
Not only would she be reunited with my Granddad, 
but also with two of her children! 
Now THAT is a happy reunion! 

(And now I'm bawling again)


Until we see you again, Grandma...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Almost-Impulse-Buys at Target - Part II

I had time to kill between work and daycare pickup for a playdate, 
so I spent it browsing the Mommy Mecca. 

 I escaped with only a $7 bill, 
(an unbeatable record low)

My actual purchases included 
a red, white, & blue striped shirt for Aaron's 4th of July ($4), 
a travel-sized body wash ($1.50), 
and a box of plastic forks for my desk drawers ($1.50) 
(because I'm too lazy to walk across campus to the cafeteria)

There should be awards given to customers 
who can get keep their Target bill under $10.  
Seriously. 


The below are the list of items I did NOT purchase, 
but wanted to document as my 
Almost-impulse-buys at Target - Part II 
(Part I is here)


1. Batman shirt. 
$8.00




I am not a fan of character or bold print tees. 
However, Adam loves Batman 
and Monkey See, Monkey Do, 
so Aaron is THRILLED to point out Batman every time he sees the logo. 


2. Little People Disney Princess. 
$19.59




I've confessed my love of Little People collecting beforehand
so add in my love for Disney 
and I'm all like: 
I MUST HAVE THIS. 
 Although I don't need to spend $19.59 for my own Little People princesses. 
Get a grip, Mom. 

3. Decorative Wire Baskets 
$9.99 

 

I want a wire basket by the backdoor to store Aaron's outdoor play toys.
Realistically though, something plastic would probably work best, 
but I just like the appearance of wire baskets. 


4. Thank You Cards 
$6.99 



Call me old-fashioned, 
but I love sending hand-written thank you notes. 
I also love beautiful foil note cards, 
and these cheap ones remind me of the Kate Spade note cards
that I want SO BADLY. 

5. More Gift Wrap 
$5.29


Oh looky looky!  
It's gray with pink and silver hearts! 
Swooon. 
If only I had a baby shower or bridal shower to attend as justification! 

 6. Iced Sugar Cookies 
$2.99




I'm going to confess that these are my second favorite dessert of ALL TIME 
(Oreos always win #1)
I don't care that they are over-processed, chemically-manufactured cookies. 
They are awesome. 
AWESOME, I tell you. 
Every single holiday, I want them. 
Pink for Valentine's Day 
Green for St. Patrick's Day 
Orange for Halloween. 
 I always hope someone brings them into the office, 
but lucky for my waistline, 
no one ever does. 
The last time I was left alone with a container of these... 
let's just say the container didn't survive.  



And that concludes this weeks' Target browsing. 
I saved myself $52.85 
and about 2,000 calories.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

OH NO MESS!

Short Aaron story I don't want to forget. 


My sister Melissa was up from DC for my sister Rebecca's graduation weekend
Melissa was staying with us, along with our cousin. 


One morning, she's getting ready in our bathroom, 
her stuff everywhere, because that's what you do when you travel. 


Aaron walks around the corner and exclaims: 

"OH NO!  
BIG MESS! 
OH NO! 
AARON CLEAN UP MESS!"


And he RUNS to fetch a rag. 
He returns with Adam's dirty socks 
and proceeds to wipe down all of Melissa's things. 
And then INSISTS on stuffing them in her bag. 


And whenever Melissa tried to remove them from her bag, 
he wiped all her stuff down again
and stuffed them back in. 
So Melissa took Adam's dirty socks back to DC with her. 


This guy just kills me!



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week 1: Basic Things


Week 1: Basic Things About Myself 

This seems a bit silly to me because this entire blog is about myself. 
But to get down to the nitty gritty BASIC stuff...


I'm 5'3", 
with brown hair, 
and multicolored eyes (green/yellow/brown). 
My license says my eyes are "hazel" because, 
at the very intellectual age of 16, 
I didn't know what color hazel was so I just decided that would fit. 


I am considered "short" by women's clothing, 
but I wear regular-length pants because then I can wear heels. 


I am 1/4 English via my paternal grandmother, 
but the rest of me is some sort of European mutt. 


I have no allergies, 
but I do have a hole in my heart 
(a VSD - Ventricular Septal Defect), 
which has never been an issue 
except I have to take antibiotics when I go to the dentist or have surgery. 


I majored in Accounting at Messiah College, 
and graduated with a 3.94 GPA. 
I have my MBA from Villanova University, 
which took me 4 long years to get.


I got engaged at age 24, 
bought a house at age 25, 
married at age 26, 
pregnant at 27, 
and had a baby at 28. 



And that's about as basic as it gets!

Monday, June 22, 2015

30 Week Writing Challenge

I saw this on pinterest and I thought: 
"Oh, that looks like fun blogging material." 

It's a 30 Day Writing Challenge 
with a defined subject a day. 
(Except, um, 18 is a repeat of 13...?)

I can pretty much ramble on about anything, 
but I thought it would be fun to follow a roadmap, for once. 

The writing challenge is supposed to be a 30 DAY writing challenge. 
But because I'm a working mom, 
-- and ain't nobody got time for that -- 
I've turned it into a 30 WEEK Writing Challenge. 

So here it is: 

18. Someone Somethings you miss 

29. Family 


Friday, June 19, 2015

WIDN - June

My faithful readers (lol) may notice that my non-stop babbling has slowed slightly.
  Work has been pretty easy-going for Adam, 
and I'm not complaining in the LEAST. 


But in the spirit of keeping up the babble, 
I wanted to pump out another pointless WIDN


Making
A lot of bell pepper recipes. 
I've been waiting for months for bell peppers to come back in season
and it's finally here! 

A week ago I made these stuffed peppers
which are to die for. 
I don't pre-cook the meat and instead let them cook for 8 hours on low. 

This week I am making Drunken Noodles



Drinking
With summer here, 
I'm all about chilled white wine. 
Since our stock-up in the Finger Lakes over Memorial Day
we've been drinking Dry Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, 



Reading
Digital Fortress 
by Dan Brown. 

I like this book for flipping between three different story lines pretty seamlessly, 
and the fairly short chapters that keep my interest despite the heavy content. 
Also, I was completely shocked by the plot twist, 
(which I love, as opposed to books like We Were Liars where I called the plot twist immediately)



Wanting Craving:

Quincy's Lobster Rolls 
At $11.95/each, they are NOT a cheap lunch, 
and throw in $7.95 lobster bisque soup and suddenly lunch is $20 + tax. 
BUT OH MY ARE THEY SO GOOD. 
I HATE lobster salad 
(I hate any kind of potlock-style salad), 
but these sandwiches are not lobster salad. 
Oh no. 
They are full of tender lump lobster meat, 
no fillers aside from butter and a dash of seasoning. 
HEAVEN.
And I'm pretty sure I just drooled on my keyboard...


Watching

Flip or Flop on HGTV 
It's our first HGTV show we've ever watched, 
and we are totally obsessed. 
We have had a House of Cards Netflix for over two weeks, 
but we just can't pull ourselves away from scripted house drama. 



Listening to

I need help here. 
I'm in a running playlist rut. 
While I'm loving recent songs like 
Dear Future Husband (Megan Trainer) 
and Bad Blood (Taylor Swift), 
neither of these inspire me to pick up my pace while running. 
Instead, I'm recycling my tween punk phase with "classics" like 
Blink 182's "All the Small Things" (year: 1999)
and the entire Eve 6 Horroscope album (year: 2000)
(my first ever behind-my-parents-back CD purchase)




Eating

Um... everything?
See below under "Needing..."






Smelling

Sunscreen. 
Sunscreen everywhere. 
Despite my attempts to ban it from the house, 
Adam insists on aerosol sunscreen and omg, 
that smell penetrates everywhere. 



Wishing
We could go back to this...



(North Wildwood, NJ 
... which, for the record, is nothing like the Jersey Show TV show)



Enjoying

Work is quiet again. 
And I love it. 
I had an enormous project due before we went on vacation, 
and now that it's submitted and done, 
I can breathe a great big sigh of relief. 



Loving

That we finally got a FABULOUS family photo. 
I mean, seriously, all three of us smiling at once? 



Think I could photoshop on santa hats and use it for our Christmas card?


Hoping

That work can get their AC act together. 
We move into our new state-of-the-art headquarters in September, 
and our current HQs will be sold and demolished, 
so Upper Management is not interested in pouring money into the HVAC system with only a few months left to go. 
So they've installed portal AC units that in no way are compensating for the hot humid weather we are having. 
My office registered at 80 today. 
DIE. 



Needing


To stop this summer weight gain. 
I got down to a size 4 again 
and now I'm struggling to keep it!



Wearing

Banana Republic cropped white chinos
These things go with everything in my summer wardrobe, 
and I just love them with my favorite pair of wedges



Bookmarking


These creamy leather metallic flip flops
I love a classic low-key flip flop, 
especially with a hint of metallic because it goes with anything. 
Camp Patton wrote about these in her hospital bag post 
and I've been drooling over them ever since.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Introvert vs Extrovert

We just returned from an amazing Friends Vacation. 
3 couples + 3 kids + 1 puppy in a beach house in North Wildwood, NJ.
We had a fantastic time. 
Sure, there were a lot of children meltdowns, 
and we were all exhausted by like 9pm, 
but it was great. 


One of the things that really struck me about our time was witnessing the differences in personality types between two extremes of introversion and extroversion. 


Zach (3) is most definitely an introvert with a capital I. 
Aaron (2) is most definitely an extrovert with a capital E.  


First scenario: hanging the house. 

At any one time, you could find Aaron in the dead center of action. 
If everyone was in the kitchen, he was too. 
Everyone on the couch, he was too. 
At one point, my friend Erin was on the stairs with her 1.5 year old, 
and I was standing talking to her. 
Aaron takes the iPad from the couch and walks over to sit with us on the stairs. 
He just wanted to be where the action was. 
(And I was so amused that I snapped a photo)



Zach, on the other hand, would most often gravitate towards his bedroom upstairs. 
And when down with everyone, he was pretty quiet and reserved. 
Not to say that extrovert kids can't be shy, 
or introvert kids can't be outgoing, 
but watching where the kids gravitated to day-after-day was just fascinating to me. 


Second scenario: the beach 

Of course Zach would join us in digging in the sand too, 
but overall he was most content wandering around the water's edge with just his dad. 

Aaron, same as before, was wherever the action is. 
Everyone in water? Aaron in water. 
Everyone on sand? Aaron on sand. 


Final scenario: Boardwalk 
(otherwise known as Aaron's dream come true) 

PEOPLE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. 
Aaron is energized. 
He's running around shouting, laughing, playing. 
At one point, he's running circles around Zach. 




And then, in the most classic introvert manner ever, 
Zach walks up to his mom and declares: 
"I need a break" 
He just couldn't deal with people anymore. 

Unfortunately, we were out on the Boardwalk, far far away from the townhome, 
so there was no break for Zach. 
And sure enough, just 15 minutes later while playing black-light-mini-golf, 
he had a total complete meltdown of epic proportion. 
His mom apologized profusely, of course, 
but we all knew there was no need to apologize. 
The poor kid was just drained, 
and at 3-years-old, there was no way else to express it. 


It goes without saying that Aaron also had meltdowns, just different scenarios. 
His biggest temper tantrum was when we made him get dressed, 
because he wanted to run around naked in the other guest rooms. 
I mean, what terrible parents are we that we demand clothing?!?!


I constantly think how if we have a second child, and he/she is an introvert, 
 I'll have to change so much about my parenting behavior. 
Accepting that my child may not be excited for endless parties. 
Being willing to walk away from a social situation because my child needs a break. 
And setting aside time on our crazy packed weekends for my child to recharge. 
These are all little mental notes that I make when I watch the Introvert-Extrovert interaction. 

Le't's just hope I remember them all when the times comes! 
(Not pregnant, btw)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A few of my favorite things

My favorite posts are always about kid quirks. 
They always always always make me smile. 
And after reading Camp Patton's latest
I knew I was due for another with Aaron. 
I guess these aren't so much "quirks" but just fun little moments I want to remember.

First up... 

I'm sure every little boy has some phase of cross-dressing, 
(obviously, some adult men do, too, and that's OK too, 
but for now we're focusing on the toddler section of this...)


When his sweater got wet, daycare gave him a yellow jacket with flowers, 
and he refused to take it off all night. 


He also loves to wear my apron, 
and gets very anxious when I try to wear it myself. 


Aside from the apron, he also insists on wearing
 (a) my yellow gloves for dishwashing and
 (b) his snowboots.

He also clutches our Blender Bottles like they are gold.

And likes to camp out under the step stool when I'm cooking. 


On a longer story note... 
Aaron was sick this week and during my day home with him, 
we went to the library and the beer distributor 
(education & alcohol - story of my life)
 
We've gone to this beer distributor for years, 
but this was the first time I found out they have FREE dum-dum lollipops for kids at checkout. 
(Genius, I tell you.  "Hey, dad, can we go to lollipop store?!")  
Upon returning home with his precious, 
he has kept said lollipop on a designated plate in the kitchen for at least 24 hours. 
Where he continually goes to take a 'hit' of his lollipop, 
and then return to his other activities.



This photo also illustrates one of the other quirks he's developed: 
beverage container variety. 
First of all, "water" is one of 2 words he still pronounces the "Aaron way" 
Water = 'Ya' 
(the other is 'Thomas' = 'Nana') 
 
In order: 
"Monkey ya" 
"Mickey ya" 
"Minion ya" 
Each water cup must be available at all times. 



Adam once downloaded this pointless app call "Peek-a-boo Barn,' 
which is Aaron's LEAST favorite iPad app. 
However, he now calls the iPad "peek-a-boo barn." 
As in: 
"Aaron play wit' peek-a-boo barn?"
Or 
"Aaron watch 'Shake Off' on peek-a-boo barn?"

Speaking of Shake Off, 
while thumbing through a magazine at the pediatrician's office, 
he correctly identified Taylor Swift as "Shake Off"


And that's it for today's collection!