Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Top Ten List

Ten days until we get our stuff back from storage.

The top ten things I can't wait to get my hands on:

1. My fancy extra-sharp kitchen knife. So over sawing the carrots in pieces with the cheesy dull apartment knives.
2. The Whirley-pop popcorn pot. Nothing else even comes close to making tasty stovetop popcorn. And don't even get me started on microwave popcorn. Bleh.
3. My robe, not sure why didn't I bring it with me.
4. Our bed, complete with extra-soft sheets and the perfect pillows. Ahhh, I can't wait.
5. The lavender thingy that I microwave for headaches. Could have used it more than a few times, like last night... and the other day.
6. My bathing suit cover-up. Schlepping to the pool in a t-shirt isn't cutting it.
7. My sun hat.
8. My shoes, especially the silk ones that wrap around the ankles and my one pair of Prada heels. Oh and my Kors sandals. Come to think of it ,better get a pedi.
9. My straightening iron. Haven't used it in ages, but now I need to wrangle my east coast frizz.
10. The drinkware. Sipping microbrews from a juice glass and they call these wine glasses? And my favorite coffee mug...

Friday, June 25, 2010


Yesterday was a particularly crazy day with the kids, mostly Little Guy. It was supposed to storm in the afternoon, so I took them to see Toy Story 3, Little Guy's first movie. I think the excitement of going to the theater led to a shortish nap. Afterwards he was literally bouncing off the walls.

Overall, I didn't feel the greatest about taking him. The movie themes were more mature and darker than the original. A little much for an almost three year old, though the eight year old loved it. I'll give myself a C- on parental judgement for that one, only slightly redeemed because he did sit all the way through it.

Anyway, I had one of those end of the day dinner preparations where I was stopping every two seconds avert some disaster.

Hubs came home a little late and by the time we got the kids to bed, I could barely form sentences. I slunk to the couch, popped some Top Chef on the DVR (this season not so much, by the way), and mumbled responses whenever he tried to chat with me. Poor guy, I am usually all over him to have adult conversation in the evening, and then when he's into it, I send him away. You lose some, you lose some.

Anyway, this weekend we're taking the maniacs up to Maine to join some friends for a 40th birthday. There will be lobster, or lobsta as they say up here, and Shipyard beer and blueberry pie.

That should do it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


We just finished a farm style dinner - fresh eggs scrambled with farm tomatoes, sage, green onion, and a little feta with a side of potatoes and roasted squash. I ran out of time to hit a regular grocery store today and had to whip together dinner from whatever came in our CSA box. Oh, but it was delicious.

It has been a busy couple of days - a new pediatrician for the kids, haircuts (for them, not me, though I desperately need a little color), working out car details, insurance and registration, and an agonizing decision about where to place Little Guy in preschool next year, with two really great options. On top of all that, Hubs' schedule is imploding right around the time we are supposed to move into our new and final digs, so we're trying to juggle that too.

I told him I'd handle the movers by myself with the two kids in tow if that's what it would take to get our stuff out of storage.

I need my stuff.

Luckily, we commandeered a grandfather to come in and pull some handyman heroics during the few weeks after we move in. He'll take the kids to the park and then come home to do my honey do list around the house, kind of like a wife/husband all rolled into one. Of course, it will cost us a few gallons of coffee, a daily paper, and an unlimited evening beer supply... but it will be so worth it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fried fish and a fine fender bender

On Saturday we decided to take a little drive up to Ipswich to check out a strawberry festival at Russell farms. Ipswich is a coastal town around an hour drive from Boston, travel Gods willing. The weather was going to be amazing, so we thought maybe we'd catch a glimpse of the ocean and check out a local strawberry farm.

I did some research and found out that Ipswich is also the home of the legendary Clam Box, a roadside fried seafood place that is known for having a permanent long line snaking around the building and through the front door.

We were prepared for a wait, but timed it just right, got there right when the place opened, and treated ourselves to a three way combo platter piled high with clams, scallops, and shrimp, served with a side of french fries and onion rings. The kids would have nothing to do with the fried seafood, but we were able to order chicken and an older man even stopped by our table and complimented us on how well behaved our children were. We were a little taken back, as in our kids (?), but then again I literally had the soap bar sitting on the table, so maybe.

A perfectly timed trip through the Clam Box alone would have been enough, but then we made our way to Russell Farms for some strawberry picking, a hay ride, and cider donuts. It was a sunny afternoon and the farm had some wonderful shady play areas. There was a perfect breeze, the kids were in heaven and Hubs and I had plenty of time to relax and chat.

The beach parking was full and closed, so we decided to find some ice cream and then head back. On the way back we stopped at White Farms ice cream and picked up two giant cones for $5. But just to prove that no day can be without a twist, a young girl hit our car while we were sitting outside (and this while Hubs was rinsing sand from Little Guy's eye, always the calamity happens in multiples). So the van looks a little wonky, which makes for some eyebrow raising as I am parallel parking around town, and now I'll have to hassle with the estimates and repair, but no one was in it and we were able to drive it away. And that ice cream was homemade.

Do I sound like a boring travel brochure? I can't help myself, New England is just so damn cute and I just can't get over how much I love it. Really, crunched fender and all, it was one of the best days we've had in a while.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Soap Opera

So the whole ignore it thing wasn't working with Little Guy's newest phrase that pays, and we're back to the soap.


Life would be so much easier if I didn't have to actually discipline these children.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


So a few weeks ago I made what appears to be a colossal mistake and made a big deal about Little Guy using the word stupid. After the Trader Joe's incident, I decided to wash his mouth with a little soap the next time he said it. Sure enough he despised the soap, and for a few days it seemed to do the trick.

Problem solved right?

Yeah, except it stopped working and now he is almost compulsive about repeating it, even with the soap. He says it all the time, most often not in the context of calling someone a name, but to see if I will have a reaction. He sings it, he repeats it in the car, he lets it slip while we're shopping (along with a dramatic wide eyed face as he covers his mouth, and smothers a little giggle).

I went through the same thing with Girlie, the only difference was, she was completely horrified when I explained to her that the word was hurtful and she shouldn't ever ever say it. I think she said it once, got a stern talking to, and that was the end of it.

There are a few other words too, but this one is the one he can pronounce most clearly. So what to do? I am thinking of just letting him have at it. I think if I take the fun of the forbidden away, he'll give it up. Which means of course that I will suffer a little public embarrassment in the process.

So stupid.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


When we bought our house in Arizona, we removed a small cactus bush in the backyard by the pool. I had nothing against desert landscaping, but the cactus was just planted a little too close to a spot where the kids might whiz by in bathingsuited bottoms. Unfortunately, that lone cactus was the last of our native landscaping, so we wound up having a pretty grassy leafy Phoenix yard but at the same time the kids and I managed to leave Arizona without getting stuck by a single cactus.

But come to find out, I still got stuck in another way.

Around a month before we moved away, I got a ticket in the mail for a red light violation snagged on a camera in Scottsdale. It wasn't a blow through the light kind of thing, I had already pulled partially into the intersection to make a turn, when the light started changing and I followed the car in front of me. A violation for sure, but something we've all done. So I could pay the ticket or attend the court date. Since the court date was the day after we were scheduled to fly to Boston for our final move, I paid the hefty fine online.

But that isn't the end of it.

In Arizona, once you are convicted of running a red light (which I now am, by paying the fine and "admitting" my guilt), you have to attend a defensive driving class. So now, I have to take a class here in Massachusetts and fax proof to Arizona DOT. In the meantime, my license has a flag on it and I can't proceed in getting at Mass license, or I can, but as the AZDOT gal said I probably shouldn't.

The class is, of course around $500, not to mention the time I'll spend doing it. Apparently, I'm a crazy red light running mini-van Momma who deserves to get slapped with the full extent of the law.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Boston is my new boyfriend

It's been chilly and rainy and this city is completely oblivious to the fact that it is indeed the middle of June. But none of it matters because I can already tell that I have a huge crush on Boston.

Over the weekend we took the kids on the subway and did a little touristy trek through downtown Boston. Little Guy was, of course, enamored with the train ride and completely cute about it. For him, that would have been enough. For Girlie, it was the swan boat ride in the Public Garden, hokey as it gets, but totally sweet at the same time. Hubs and I just couldn't stop smiling over their heads because wow, we live here.

So we're not living in the city, but I am so happy with where we landed - Newton is around ten miles outside of downtown Boston and on the subway line. It is a made up of small villages, each with its own "center" with tiny restaurants and little specialty shops tucked into every corner. The small shopping takes some getting used to, especially coming from the giant stores in Phoenix, but once you find what you are looking for, it is a completely satisfying experience buying from someone that owns the place and has probably been there forever. Today I bought a Father's Day gift for Hubs from a place we can walk to from our temporary apartment and should he need to get it repaired? No worries, he can just bring it in, the guy does it right there.

And people walk everywhere. In Phoenix people don't walk farther than their mailboxes.

Of course, the winter will be the biggest downside, so I will have to reserve judgement until we get through our first one. But I saw a little sign for ice skating while we were in the city, so I have a feeling it may be two years before the romance starts to fizzle.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hair Don't

So I was much cuter in Phoenix. The humidity in Boston is killing me. My hair is frizzy and today I have a giant pimple on my cheek.

I'm going to need to overhaul my beauty regime. I should remember what to do, I lived in the swampish southeast for most of my life. Until then, I'm going to put on a giant hat and be glad that we really don't know anyone yet.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Truffles

After Little Guy's nap, I got the kids ready and we headed off to a really nice park nearby. We found the park the other day while driving around and the kids kept begging to go back so I promised them that we would go after naptime.

As we pulled out of the parking garage the first few drops of rain hit the windshield. The temperature on the car dash read 62 degrees. Rainy and a little chilly. I explained that we'd have to try a little later and headed for Whole Foods instead. Little Guy had some trouble with it at first, having spent the last two years in Arizona where a rain delay was unheard of.

We dashed into the store, shivering a little (I know, but we were in short sleeves) and I made a game of finding the few things on my list. As we rounded the final aisle to the checkout, we spied an employee handing out samples - little truffles on a skewer with fresh cherries and angel food cake. And this is what I love about the kids, somehow that sweet little store sample made up for the park trip that didn't happen. They wholeheartedly embrace the simple pieces of happiness.

The rain never did stop, but the kids ended the day all smiles, and probably fell asleep dreaming of chocolate and cherries.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Me Me Me

Me time? What the hell is that? Oh right, I'm occasionally supposed to take a little time for myself.

Actually, I got up extra early today and managed to squeeze in a few minutes of uninterrupted time to knock out some things just for little ol' me.

First, I signed up for a local organic CSA. We used to do this in Georgia and I loved it. I have been meaning to do it again for ages, but the ones in Phoenix weren't terribly convenient, so I never got around to it. This particular group has organic meat options and eggs too, so we'll probably add on once we're settled. Yay for fresh organic stuff. Technically this one is for the whole family, but it will do my heart the most good.

Second, and this is a big one, I signed up for a writing class. As soon as Boston became a possibility, I got online and found this awesome organization. Today I registered for a six week "jumpstart" course to get my writing going again.

The class meets weekly and starts three days after we move into our house, so for a few minutes prior to clicking on register, I started freaking out - would I be able to find my way downtown, and figure out the train, and line up the childcare, omg, maybe I should just wait for the fall class. And before I could finish that ridiculous thought, I signed up. I have plenty of time to figure that stuff out and signing up for the class was just the kick in the toosh I needed to start organizing my writing again.

And that one is really only for me.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Heavy lifting

So we're two months into having all of our stuff in storage and we still have another month to go.

Little Guy is particularly confused about it, and keeps asking when he'll get his toys back. I have done my best to explain it, but he has no concept of time, so the explanation falls short. Hell, it's almost confusing to me - we were in Phoenix in temp housing, now we're in Boston in temp housing, but our stuff is in New Jersey stored safely (I hope) in a central warehouse. We move into our house in a month, and the company will unload it here then.

Every time we pass a large truck Little Guy asks if his bike is in it. Awww. I know. Right?

Of course, I did set aside some things to keep with us, important papers, some toys, my wine opener, you know, the essentials. When we came to Boston from our temp place in Phoenix, we shipped several boxes of that stuff to a nearby UPS store. We've been here about a week without those toys and the kids have been doubly crazed. Today I received an email from UPS that the boxes had arrived. Hurray! I excitedly told the kids to get their shoes on. We were going to get the toy boxes!

There were too many boxes to fit in the car, but I knew the two largest were the toys, so we squeezed them in. When we got back, I pulled Little Guy's box first, figuring I could keep him busy exploring it while I grabbed the rest. I knew which one was Girlie's because she had drawn a little house on it.

The boxes are fairly large and around 40lbs each, but I was determined to muscle them from the parking garage to our apartment. The kids were bouncing off the walls at that point and couldn't possibly wait until Hubs got home. I drug that box through the garage, into the elevator, down a long hallway, and then another long hallway, and into the apartment. Finally, we rip open the box.

And it was full of Hubs' office computer equipment.

Yep, someone mixed up the boxes, so the toy box went to his office instead. And of course, it was too late in the day to get into the holding area for deliveries at his office.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Grocery nirvana

Since Little Guy has been such a joy to shop with, Hubs suggested that I make a big grocery run today while he hung out with the kids. I hopped in the car, selected the grocery category on the GPS, and randomly picked a name nearby.

And hit the jackpot.

When I pulled up, the store didn't look like much. A little dated on the outside, smallish parking lot, weird front entrance. Eh, I thought, I guess I'll give it a try. Turns out the store is fabulous. All of my favorite products - plus oodles of extras, like a "meatball" mix of ground beef with the tiniest bit of sausage added in, really good breads, organic snacky stuff, and not too pricey.

The best part?

At the end of the trip, they send your purchases down a conveyor belt and you pull your car around under the store where a guy loads them right into your trunk. Oh sweet heaven.

I'm starting to love this place.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Driver's Ed

Let's move on from tears to traffic. Driving around this place is like playing some sort of crazy video game. Lanes merge in and out, construction pops up at every turn, and in some places it is hard to tell whether there is one lane or two, sort of a make your own road thing.

Phoenix is one gigantic grid, so we got adjusted pretty quickly, but I'm pretty sure the road system around Boston was designed by a sugar high toddler who snagged a contraband sharpie pen and went at it.

One of my bestfriends is from here and she has always been a pretty amazing driver, now I totally see why. I know she has always cringed a little at my driving skills, so I thought of her as I was making my way across town today. I almost picked up my cell phone to call her, but decided to wait until we got back.

Better to keep both hands on the wheel and the gas pedal down.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tears at Trader Joe's

So I cried at Trader Joe's today.

I'll just pause a moment to let that sink in.

The time change and stress of moving has us all exhausted. The kids didn't fall asleep until sometime close to midnight last night and Little Guy woke up and actually climbed out of his bed at 3:30 AM. So we're all a little delirious and Little Guy is having some sort of tantrum about every 2.5 seconds.

Under normal circumstances I wouldn't step foot into a public space with two cranky kids, but our cupboard is bare and we need at least the basics to get by. So we're cruising through the grocery store at warp speed, I am just grabbing things randomly off the shelves, Little Guy is flipping out, Girlie is "helping", and some dear woman is trying her best to help me. We get to the check-out with milk, juice, and some PB & J fixings in the cart, plus a few random things that should be good for dinner (except not together) and Little Guy starts grabbing at the bell, tossing stuff out of the cart, and THEN he turns to me and yells at the top of his voice

"Mommy you are stupid."

Yep, I cried.

I'm going to give it a few weeks before I hit that store again. Hopefully no one will remember me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Same old same old

This marks my first official resident of greater metro Boston post. We arrived in the city a few hours ago to light drizzle and a snag at the car rental place. What, no parade? Ah well, I guess the city isn't as excited to meet us as we are to meet it.

Tomorrow's to do list is filled with exciting Bostonish things like stocking our place with groceries and the dog supplies we left behind. Whole foods and Petco, and a swoop through CVS.

So much is different. So much is the same.