Monday, May 31, 2010

Marginal Success

Well Folks, after WEEKS of trying to get Will to potty-train, it looks like we're finally making some progress!  
We've switched to the Land of the Pull-Ups, and Will's happy to sit on the potty as long as he can play with this little mini-magnifying glass that lights up.  However, doing something on the potty is another story.  But right now I have to revel in the fact that he's actually willing to SIT ON IT.  :)
Will had told me last week that he was "scared" to use the potty because he didn't want to go to school, because it was "too different" and that he's "shy and nervous."  (Sometimes I wonder if he is really three years old.  I mean, where does he come up with these words??)  So on Wednesday I'm taking some time off to bring him over to the preschool and see it in action, see the kids learning and meet the teacher.  I'm hoping this helps.  Hoping.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our Week

Daddy's back from a wonderful trip to Myrtle Beach.  We made it through the week, just me and my boys!  No major incidents to report, Sean slept through the night every night and with the exception of one incident, Will was good as gold.  What was the incident, you say?  Well, he loves to look at himself as a baby in my photo albums.  So during one trip down Memory Lane while I was feeding his brother, he decided that the pictures were "dirty" and took it upon himself to "wash" the photos.  Using a bottle of Poland Springs.  Yep....I was livid!  Luckily it wasn't too bad off, with just towels as a quick fix. 

Last night I had a "date" with my friend Michelle for dinner at the Chateau and to see the new SATC movie.  We did this the for the last movie too, only this time we couldn't make it to Opening Night.  Dinner was fantastic, seafood primavera!  And the movie.....I don't care what the critics say, I thought it was great!  Yes, it was a bit cheesy.  But any true fan will love spending the time with their four favorite NYC girls, catching up with their lives.  Loved it!

Then today, my oldest friend Heather came to visit.  She is moving to Florida next week so she came out to hang out with us and brought donuts.  Will already adores her, to bring donuts was just gravy!  Sean enjoyed the snuggles she had to give, but he REALLY wanted a donut:

ooohhhh....donut  :)

Tomorrow, we are headed to the Cottage for Sean's first trip!  Hopefully this "Start of Summer" weekend will continue to be good weather.

Lastly, the Philadelphia Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup Championship!  This is really exciting news in our house!  Will asked this afternoon if he could dress his Philly Phanatic in his hockey jersey so of course we let him:

Now only if we could get him to stop saying "Go Bruins."  :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Too Damn Hot

God, IS IT HOT!  It's been like this, in the nineties for a couple of days now and it's too early in the year for it.  Brian put the AC in the bedroom before he left and I am very thankful.  I went out at lunchtime today and the internal temp gage on my car registered at 107 degrees.  I do not think that was in error!

Will's trying to convince me to take him and Sean out for ice cream for dinner.  I must's very tempting!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mitts n Bags

Ugh...who wants to think about mitts in 90-degree heat!  Here is another reason why I couldn't live somewhere hot and humid.....nothing to knit, really!  I know that there must be knitters in places like Arizona and Florida but seriously, what do they make?  No need for scarves and the like and yes, I know it gets chilly sometimes in Florida.  One hat will probably do you for life.

Anyway, my latest projects include fingerless mitts and a cute little bag.  I've officially now progressed to items that aren't square or rectangular!  The first pair of mitts is for me.  They're full of mistakes but I don't care, I love them.  And this raspberry yarn is SO pretty.  :)

After this pair, I decided to cast on another pair as a birthday gift for a friend.  I got this yarn at the big annual tent sale at Webs.  (that place is crazy enough without a sale by the way....this was wall-to-wall people and very long lines!  Scored some great deals and got enough for current projects and to keep me happy for at least a little while)  I loved the varigated violet and olive of this wool.  Unfortunately, when I started winding the hank it got all knotty.  Brian, who is a pro at detangling stuff (necklaces, yarn, you name it!) gave it his best shot but we ended up having to sacrifice some.  Needless to say, I made this lovely, perfect-with-no-major-mistakes mitt.  And I don't have enough yarn to make another one until the second hank that I ordered shows up in the mail.  If I didn't work full-time I'd be home, stalking the mailman!

 pretty, yet evil knotted hank

 Perfect, it just needs a mate

So, in order to pass the time (ha ha ha, I mean time while I should be cleaning. Or sleeping, sleeping's overrated)  I've cast on a small bag from my one-skein project book.  Check it out!  I'm finally knitting in the round!  I've come so far this year, it's amazing what you can do with books and an occasional instructional video on youtube.  Not to mention the help of the other Hooks and Needlers that I meet up with every Wednesday!

And as a parting note, I saw a t-shirt online that should be my new motto:  "I knit so that I don't kill people."  :).  I need that t-shirt!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

When the Cat is Away....

I'd hardly say that Daddy is the cat and we're the mice.  But anyway.  Daddy is en route on a special trip this week.  He's cashed in all his points and gone on a golfing trip for a week.  Lucky guy!

But OK.  This single-parenting thing?  It's a week and wow, I'm four hours into it and I've been puked on three (count em THREE!) times.  Sean's reflux is in overdrive and the poor guy is miserable.  Three outfits (for him and me) and a crib change later and he's still in a pretty screamy place right now.  I'd say thank goodness that Will (and Joey) are being good but I know that God has a sense of humor!  :)

Calgon, take me away.....till Saturday, when Daddy comes back and it's time to see the new SATC movie!  :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fashion Faux Pas

This morning, I was sipping coffee and reaching into my closet for my favorite black pants to wear to work.  Sean was crying in the background and I was well, more than a little distracted.  Like most mornings!  I found the pants, and proceeded to pull them on.  Huh.  These seem a little bit tight.  I just wore them last week.....did I gain like five pounds overnight?  Was the dryer not kind in the shrinkage of the waistband?  Nevermind.....they'll have to do.

  I met Will in the kitchen and proceeded to get ready for some potty training  (complete with screams of "NO I said I want a cookie but don't want to use the potty!  I used it lots of times but not today.")  I kneel on the ground to help him and get bathmat fuzzies allllll over my pants.  A little dog hair is one thing....but this is definitely noticeable.   Now I'm doing the Multitasking Mommy Dance, looking for the lint roller AND simultaneously making Will breakfast.  (Jealous much?)  I'm triumphant in my search and locate it on top of my dresser.  Damn, these pants really are tight!  I prop my leg on my bed and start to de-fuzz.  And........

Humph.  Don't get dressed in the dark, folks.  These pants clearly are NAVY BLUE and therefore not my favorite black ones.  Niiiiiice!  That would have made for an entertaining day at work. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm the One in Charge!

Daddy was driving the kids home from daycare this evening, when his cellphone rang with an important work call.  He took the call from his boss and was on the phone for about a minute.  Will asked Brian who had been on the phone and Brian replied "That was my boss, Paul."  Will said "Who???"  Brian repeated, "that was my boss, Paul, on the phone."  Then the best part......"But Daddy, I thought that your boss was Mommy!"


Friday, May 14, 2010

Eleven Years Ago Today....

...Brian asked me to be his wife.  Saying yes was the best decision I have ever made.  :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The One with the Stairwell

I'm really having fun with the old pictures these past few weeks!  This one was taken my junior year at Salve, on the lobby stairs in Moore Hall.  Wow, I can remember it like yesterday...

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Old Gray Mare, She Aint What She Used to Be.....

Fabulous weekend at our house.  :)  Saturday night was my friend Alana's bachelorette party!  About a dozen ladies got together for dinner, a comedy show and after party at Twin River in RI.  What a place!  All the slot machines one could ever wish for, though we didn't touch any.  Dinner at a fantastic steakhouse. followed by a comedy show.  We tried to do a nightcap at a chinese restaurant/karaoke bar, but when we got there it was closed.  So we settled for a dance club in Worcester.  Hmmm.  This is how you know that you are old:  when instead of dancing like you did in college, all you can think about is how crowded it is and Good Gawd!  That floor is disgustingly dirty.  :)  We had rented an Excursion limo and had a cooler of drinks and even a Ladies' Night Soundtrack.  The maid of honor is the best party-planner EVER!  She seriously thought of everything and it was really a fun night for everyone!  I rolled in around 3AM, which in my world nowadays is unheard of.  Will bust into our room around 7AM and my darling husband got up to feed him and his brother breakfast.  Too bad I couldn't roll over and sleep though, my allergies were so bad I was up for good at 8:30am with coffee in hand. 

Mother's Day was very good, with cards from the boys and some books and my favorite:  peanut butter Lindt truffles!!   Then Will and I did a little bit of cleaning and Daddy mowed the lawn...and after that I got some uninterrupted knitting time while Sean gave me his Mother's Day gift...a three hour nap!  Later on we packed up the kids and Joey and went to visit Nana and Papa.  Then I had my afternoon crash and burn....where my brain started processing things more slowly until more caffeine was consumed.  By the time we got home at 8pm  I felt almost drunk from sleep deprivation.  We just don't recover from late nights out with friends like we used to, hmmm.  The fantastic weekend was well worth it, though! 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Running on Empty

It seems like all the little things in my life are drying up or blowing out at the same time.  It's actually kind of funny.  I went to turn on the light in the bedroom closet the other morning, and it blew out.  Same thing with the dresser lamp this morning.  A knitting friend of mine is moving to Texas and when I took out my camera to get a couple of pics at the last meetup, it was out of battery power.  My cell phone has powered down on me several times this week because I keep forgetting to charge it.  BOTH printer cartridges were totally dry when I changed them this morning.  I made out a Mother's Day card for my MIL this morning, and guess stamps!  The best one is that I was totally surprised last night when my car's gas light came on.  Like, huh?  :)  I guess this is all a sign that things are REALLY BUSY right now!! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Building with a Broken Spirit

 As mentioned at the top of my blog page, I am a full-time working Mom.  I don't talk about work a lot on Life in the Carpool Lane.  Mostly, because I like my blog to be about light and happy things like my husband and kids, my hobbies, etc.  Sometimes I'll share a funny story with the details blurred a little to change places, names, etc.  I am a property manager, and what that translates to is a "Jack of All Trades."  I am rent collector, rules enforcer, services liasion, interpreter, confidante, accountant, and a whole lot of other things in-between.  I've been at this for nine years, starting in elderly housing.  In the past two years, I've transferred to a family property in a small city.  Upon telling a woman what I do for a living after having a conversation about my latest work drama (prostitutes in the hallways, drugs on the premises, and hiring a security detail to help with all of the above and more) she said "Wow, you sound like a fun person to have a cup of coffee with!  I'll bet you have loads of interesting stories."

Uh-huh, I do.  I've got funny ones, ones that make you reflect and I've got the kind that give you the heebie jeebies.    Most of my stories involve people. But today, it was about a building.   

From the description above regarding my current property, I'll bet you can guess it's not exactly what one might call a desirable neighborhood.  You're's not.  It's one of the worst neighborhoods in the city.  Most of the time I'm not creeped out, but then again, I'm there during daylight hours.  My building is a renovated old factory that was turned into apartments two years ago.  The building itself is over 150 years old, and is famous for manufacturing pianos and organs.  However, before it was turned into apartments, it was an abandoned, beat up old building that had been condemned since 2001.   Rehabbing it into apartments, everything brand new, made a big difference in the neighborhood.

Then you have the building next door.  Also very old, five stories, and in horrible shape.  Plus the clientele that came in and out was the sheer definition of "shady."  It was probably once a nice building.  But years of neglect, negligent landlords and devastating drug use turned it into a total slum.  I'd seen the people lounging on the front steps and leering out the windows.  I certainly didn't miss the piles of trash, the grime and filth.  And especially the guy that I saw my first day there, throwing his broken bed and a busted-up wheelchair from the porch railing four flights up.  (What a racket!)  It was certainly not on my list of "things I'll miss while on maternity leave."  Upon my return to work, I was not surprised to learn that the slumlord had been foreclosed on.  What did surprise me is that someone bought it.  And boarded it up, and installed cameras to cut down on crime.  The next surprise was that the new owner had secured a 1.3 million dollar grant to rehab the property, adding an elevator and other amenities..

I got an opportunity to tour the building the other day  I had painted my own picture in my mind's eye of what it might look like.  .  I've always been naturally curious, to know if the interior matched the exterior.  I'm sorry to say that no, they don't match.  In fact, the interior is much, much worse.  "Trashed" doesn't begin to cover it!  Mold in the basements, and around the ceiling light fixtures in the lobby..  Gaping holes in ceilings.  Water damage.  Floors and carpets that hadn't seen the light of day in decades.  Teeny, narrow apartments that hadn't been updated since the Nixon Administration.   Hand-lettered signs posted, warning neighbors not to bring their drugs in there.  In a phrase, sheer hell!  I was told "Oh, you should have seen it when it first closed in February!"  Actually I'm glad I didn't.  I had heard that they had to pay one person to finally leave and all I could think was "You mean people actually lived here willingly???"  It was the kind of thing that makes me grateful for my home and my family.

Yet, it has the potential of being a nice building again. It's slated to be completely gutted, and rehabbed from head to toe.  And I can't wait to see it.  It has so much potential, once the past and it's scars are removed.  I'm certainly looking forward to watching it go from the Disgraced Duckling to a Beautiful Swan! 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

One-Skein Swap

I meant to post about my one-skein knitting swap.  I signed up to swap yarn with a partner through Ravelry. 
My partner was from Ohio and we emailed back and forth a few times to talk about knitting and what we like/dislike etc.  The rule was that you had to send your partner a skein of yarn that they could use in a project, you didn't have to knit anything.

Here is what I sent:

 I know that it said that we didn't have to make anything, but I thought this knitting project bag ornament was so cute!  Plus I made it out of scrap yarn and it was a very fast project.  I want to make one for my Christmas tree this year.

I got a message that Chris loved the package!  Especially the chocolates and the purple Bamboo/Silk yarn.

I got home from work on Thursday night and SQUEE!!!  My package was there.  I opened it up and  I felt incredibly spoiled!  Thanks for all the great things:  the Lion Brand Thick n Quick yarn, the cookie pop, handmade stitch markers, circular needle, baby socks and patterns!  (I know I forgot something)

So I've learned:  swaps are incredibly fun!  And it's exciting to get something cool  in the mail again, instead of the usual bills and junk mail.  I can't wait to sign up for another one.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Potty Conversation

The kids needed clothes for the warmer weather.  That's the only problem with having two boys....if they're not born in the same season you still need clothes!  So we went to Kohl's as a family to stock up.  I didn't have the double stroller, just the single.  So we tried to have Will walk with us in the store.    It was his first outing in a while where we let him walk instead of riding in a cart, and one of us was constantly telling him to come back/chasing him through the store and warning him not to touch anything.  Argh!  It wasn't too terrible though, and he needs opportunities like this to learn how to behave in the store, right?.  But by the time we were in line and he was taking off for the door, saying that he'd meet us in the parking lot, I'd had enough.  So I told Brian that we would meet him in the vestibule.

Getting there, I pointed to the bench and said "Sit."  Happily, he obeyed.  Then he realized that the room had one of his favorite things, an echo!  "Echo!  Echo!  Echo!"  The woman across the vestibule gave him a smile and said "Yes, there is an echo in here!"  Thank goodness for an understanding probably-Grandmother.  She struck up a conversation, asking Will his name and how old he was.  She then asked if he was going to go to school soon and Will answered "Yes, but I have to learn how to use the potty first.  But I don't know how!"  The lady smiled and said that his Mom would show him how some day.  He then turned to me and inquired loudly "Mommy, why don't I know how to use the potty?  I want to learn so I can go to school!"

So do I, Buddy.  So do I.  September is looming, and I'm starting to get a little anxious!  Now that he's talking about it like that and the weather's getting warmer, I'm feeling more hopeful than I was yesterday.

Give it To Me...I'll do it myself

The past few days, Sean has been pretty hungry.  Hungry-Hungry-Hippo kind of hungry!  Before noon today he had consumed 13 oz of formula!  So the other night before bed, I made the executive decision to start a little rice cereal before bed.  **DISCLAIMER:  Yes, he's 3 months old.  Ten days shy of his four-month mark, in fact.  YES, I know that you're supposed to start solids between 4-6 months.  But when you have a baby that's crying constantly to eat, what's a girl to do?  Plus Will started solids around the same time with no ill effects, so what the heck.**

So, here we are.  The first rice cereal feeding.  A little cereal, mixed with a little warmed formula.  Thin, thin paste.  I bring it to his mouth and it's like Mardi Gras!  Legs a'kickin, all smiles.  LOVED IT!

So much in fact:

Give it here, Mama.  Too slow, I'll do it myself!