NYE Energy Boost

I cannot, CANNOT, believe that this is the last day of the year. This has been quite the big year, what with our baby turning one, buying a house and related accoutrements, both Aaron and I being ridiculously busy at work, and a wonderful, beautiful daughter who absolutely refuses to sleep most of the time. Add to that Gabbie being sick twice in the past three weeks, and to say that we're exhausted would be a bit of an understatement.

But! The last two nights Gabbie graced us with full nights of sleep, I finished up and submitted two big reports by yesterday at 10 a.m., and I'm hopped up on all kinds of caffeine. I'm rip roaring and ready to go, which is a good thing, because I have quite the to-do list to tackle today, including laundry, cleaning, cooking, shopping, and fitting this all in around Gabbie's nap schedule (ha!). I'm shooting for 5:00 to have it all done so I can look relaxed when Aaron returns from work. We'll see how it goes.

Somewhat related, since I'm working on making some right, I have a somewhat surprising confession to make. Until last weekend, I had never in my life eaten a deviled egg. Then I ate about a dozen of them, and I'm obsessed. So, I'm trying my hand at them today, in addition to making pot stickers, Asian turkey lettuce wraps, and some sort of dessert. I know the eggs don't exactly go with the rest of the meal, but I've been having a mad craving for them, so I'm making them fit somehow.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great New Year's Eve, however you celebrate, and a very peace-filled and Happy New Year!

Goals for the New Year

So, I decided instead of doing resolutions this year, I'm going to make a sort of life-list of things I'd like to accomplish in 2010. Seems like a good year to cross a few things off my list, or at least as good as any. I'm excited for the new year so I can get started! Here are the first 5 things on my list (you'll notice that I am going to have a very, very busy year, and I'm alright with that).

1. Eat vegetarian for a month (we're going to attempt this in January)
2. Read 50 books this year.
3. Train for and run a 5K
4. Decorate my house (it still has that just moved-in feeling with nothing on the walls)
5. Get a babysitter at least once a month so Aaron and I can have date nights

I think I can do this. I'm ready to kick butt in the new year!

One week, both ends of the spectrum

The beginning of last week was an absolute nightmare. Wait, no, let me correct that. The nightmare actually began on two days earlier on Saturday night right around bedtime. Gabbie had a hard time going to sleep (which is incredibly unusual for her), but once she was finally down we were hopeful she was asleep enough to sleep all night. Hope was dashed when she woke up 30 minutes later, and then proceeded to wake up every 30 to 40 minutes the rest of the night. She was acting like her mouth hurt, so we thought maybe she was teething (even though she's a great teether, and usually we don't know she's getting a tooth until it's already broken through - sorry I don't mean to brag).

The next morning, in my haze, I noticed she had some raised white blister-like spots in her mouth. My thoughts turned immediately to hand, foot, and mouth disease since it has been going around her daycare. We did what we could to alleviate her pain and malaise, and basically gave her whatever made her happy all day. Sunday night was a repeat of the night previous, and we had already decided we would be keeping her home for the two days that week we had planned to send her in to daycare.

But by Monday afternoon we started to get more concerned, because she had refused to eat or drink anything all day, and the few bites or sips we had tricked her into taking had resulted in tears and a hand covering her mouth. We were also (selfishly, I know) starting to get worried about our planned vacation. We had already cancelled plans to go anywhere but were still hoping to drop Gabbie off at my parents' house to get a few days respite (and catch up on missed sleep).

We called the doctor with our concerns, and she asked us to bring her in during their evening office hours and we were semi-happy to learn that she didn't have HFM, but were also sad to hear she had caught a common virus that causes canker and cold sores. She had about 7 canker sores in her mouth, hence why she wouldn't eat or drink anything. It hurt!

With the medicine we got for her, she improved quickly, and we were able to drop her off at my parents' as planned. The weekend ended as good as the beginning of the week was bad. That is, to say, that we had a fantastic time. We never ran out of things to talk about, something I had worried would happen. We used the time to really reconnect and rediscovered that best friend that had been missing and replaced by a co-parent. We really had a lot of fun, even though most of the time was spent shopping for Christmas gifts. Aaron made sure I didn't have to cook once (except for some oreo and nutter butter truffles for gifts), and took me out for some truly fantastic meals. We slept through the night three nights in a row. We even got to go bowling (if you catch my drift). A few times.

Like I said, wonderful. Then we went and picked up Gabbie, who was thrilled to see us, and spent the night hanging out with my parents and playing board games. It was hard to go back to work yesterday morning, but at least I had a few great days under my belt to bolster me through the rest of the work days this year. If only every other week could be vacation week my life would be pretty damn near perfect.

Day School Lunching

Over the summer, during a weekend trip to my parents' house, I noticed something familiar in the toy basket my mom puts out for Gabbie. It's red, plastic handle was sticking up over the top of the basket. My lunch box from elementary school - a red model with Care Bears on the front. I think I got it in the first grade; I can remember getting it from the shelf in the closet above where we hung our coats, and those were the first grade closets, so it must be. It had a matching thermos, long since missing, and I loved it.

It's strange I remember it so well, because it's likely that it was rarely used. I went to a small, parochial school and we had excellent hot lunch cooked by some of the older ladies that attended the attached church. But I definitely have strong memories tied to it. Like the time I had yogurt in my lunch box and couldn't finish it all. It was a Yoplait, so I just stuck the metal top back on top and threw it in my box and then into my book bag. Yet, I was completely surprised when I got home and everything was covered in a thick layer of strawberry yogurt.

At the time I was in elementary school, Ziplock bags were made in my home town, and since my dad worked for the company (as did most of the dads and moms in town), we got the bags for cheap. Taking care of the earth wasn't as much as a priority as it is these days, but I can still remember one day when a teacher praised one of my fellow second graders for rinsing out her bag, and carefully folding it and putting it back in her lunch box so that it could be re-used the next day. I think it was more of a praise for not wasting something that could be reused so as to save money rather than to save the earth, but I made an effort to save my bags after that. I even made a big production out of it, wanting to be singled out for doing something good as well, but I never got the same kind of praise.

I rarely had the latest, hottest toys or clothes back then. My parents are the king and queen of frugal, so we got things that were useful and used them until their usefullness had ended, but I had that Care Bear lunch box at the height of Care Bear popularity. When they stopped being popular, I begged my mom for a different box, but no dice. I took to carefully drawing the cartoon character du jour on a brown paper bag and taking that instead on the rare occassions I packed a lunch, usually on fish sticks day. And never on spaghetti day. Spaghetti day was the bomb!


I'm participating in {W}rite-of-Passage - taking the challenge to write well.

I have been gone for far too long

I promise to work on some better content tonight, but for now you get random numbered points.

1. I finally finished one of the two big work things I had to accomplish before I leave on vacation. Well, kind of finished. The first draft is off my desk for now, and I'm waiting on edits, but still. It's not my responsibility for a few days and it feels great.

2. I've had a sore throat for multiple weeks now, so I went to the doctor to make sure there wasn't anything seriously wrong. I just have to say that as someone who has had allergy issues their whole life, you think I would recognize allergy issues when they arose. But, no. I had to go spend the co-pay to have the doctor tell me that I was having allergy issues and to go buy Claritin and a neti pot already.

3. I'm a little nervous about using a neti pot. My transformation to crunchy hippie just took a big step forward.

4. I'm only making three kinds of Christmas cookies this year, but I'm having trouble deciding on which three to make. I only have one day between now and Christmas to do the baking, though, so it's a totally reasonable decision. Unlike the 10 different batches I normally make. I'm insane when it comes to holiday baking.

5. I haven't started Christmas shopping yet. I've barely stopped to breathe lately, so it's understandable, but when I realized I honly have about 2 weeks to Christmas, I may have started to hyperventilate. Just a little. (OMG THERE'S NO WAY I CAN GET EVERYTHING DONE IN TIME!)

6. I think this vacation we're taking is the best idea we've ever had. I need one. Desperately.

Excuses, excuses

I know I've been absent here since I flaked on NaBloPoMo, but I do have a valid reason - I'm working my butt off in order to get two big tasks off my desk before my anniversary trip. If I don't get them done, I don't go, and since they involve writing all day, every day (I'm even sitting in bed working right this very moment; well, I'm blogging this moment, but you know what I mean), I don't have much tolerance for writing once I get home.

Plus, I also have to get one done before I can have my birthday party this weekend and Aaron will KILL me if I don't help get the house ready for the party Saturday night, which means no planning to work on Saturday. So, yeah. I'm no fun right now, but only so I can have copious amounts of fun later. During five days alone with my husband.

I can't wait!
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