Tag Archives: Mark

Penny for My Heart

“Carry me.”

“Carry you?” I repeat, in my astonished voice, all full of mock gravitas.

“Carry me to the car!” he chirps. He’s even hopping like a little chickadee.

“Alright,” I say, “but if I’m going to carry you? You need to carry the car keys for me. It’s a really important job. Can you do that?”

“Yeah,” he says, reaching simultaneously for me and for the keys.

And because soon he’ll be too big to carry, I scoop him up and settle him on my hip. I carry his still-warm-from-his-nap, pliant little body out to the car. Freedom these days means leaving the confines of my work life, and returning home where I can breathe again. And, even weighted down with thirty pounds of boy, I am flying!

“My coin!” he whines, about halfway down the long walkway from the mud room to the driveway.

This morning he found a penny on the floor of the minivan, and he has been pressing it between his fingers, safe in the pocket of his cargo shorts, waiting to bring it home to show his Dad. He’s still young enough to find small talismans everywhere.

I reach into his pocket and find the penny, caught in that deep pointy part where the seams all come together.

I hand it to him, and we continue on our way. He has the car keys in one hand, his penny in the other.

“Lovey, do you want to open your door?” I ask.

The minivan has the automatic sliding doors, and he loves to press the button to open his door, but it takes both hands for him to both hold the remote and push the button.

So he sets his coin in the vee of my tee-shirt, just a little to the left of my sternum, where humidity and the curve of flesh defy gravity to keep the penny in place. Over my heart.

Mama's Losin' ItInspired by the prompt to define freedom, though, as these things often do, it went in a different direction.

Some Flaws I’m Working On

I don’t even like the goddamn lobsters.

Okay, that’s overstating it. I like lobster, but I generally find crustaceans to be more work than they’re worth.

But Mark does. So when he suggests he go up to the market and get a couple of chicken lobsters to steam for dinner, I agree. If he goes to the market, he will come home with ice cream. Ice cream is always worth the work.

Of course, I am the one scrubbing the beery sludge off the bottom of the lobster pot the next morning. I am choosing to be passive-aggressive about this. It’s a flaw. I’m working on it.

We’re potty training here this fine weekend, which is taxing business. I’m not going to turn this place into a dumping ground for my preschooler poop, but suffice it to say? I am tired of locking horns with The Most Willful Two and Three Quarters Year Old In the History of Ever. Happy Labor Day.

The laundry is endless. Pairs and pairs of tiny Buzz Lightyear briefs.

Two mornings in a row it has been my job to deal with our little bundle of joy, who, for all his clever songs about goats and lovely sweet hugs and kisses, is not always a morning person. This morning, it was just a little chilly in our room, and the down comforter was perfect the way it sometimes is. Lightly molded to my skin, warm without being stifling. The chilly side of the pillow under my sleepy cheek. One foot peeking out from the hem of the covers to test the morning air. Getting out of bed, finding pajamas, reprimanding a cranky little boy for trashing his train set in a fit of pique? Not on my agenda.

And now, because I said I would, I have to bake a batch of muffins.

And wash out the steamer basket for the lobster pot.

And shake off the crabby mood in which I’ve wrapped myself, because the weather is beautiful, I’m not at work, and there’s fresh pee in the potty.

In The Hole!

Felix discovered mini-golf while we were at Hampton Beach last week. He understands the basic idea, but the finer points are lost on him.

The course, though? He’s all over that!



Rhode Island Daycation: 2nd Look Saturday

What I was up to a year ago. Give or take.

2nd Look Saturday Button

Rhode Island Daycation
Originally posted
July 11, 2009

View Rhode Island DayCation in a larger map

Today we headed south on one of our rambling daytrips. Destination the first: Roger Williams Park & Zoo for some animals and a ride on the carousel.

The visit to the Zoo was moderately successful. Felix enjoyed himself, but I think he would have equally enjoyed himself running around the park. He did like the harbor seals and the giraffes. After a short break for a snack, he mostly just ran through the rest of the exhibits. Mark and I were fond of the Red Panda, but we didn’t get very long to stop and observe it.

From Providence, we jumped on Route 4 going south towards Point Judith in Naragansett. Mark remembered a clam shack type place he’d enjoyed when he was younger, so we decided to try to find it. We lucked out, and it was right on the main drag down by the lighthouse. We had a picnic on the lawn, and Felix got to stretch his legs a little after the slow ride down there. We took a little joyride down to the lighthouse, and through the vacation rental neighborhood where his aunt had often rented a place when he and his younger brothers were little.

We took the scenic tour north along the shore through Naragansett and North Kingstown before hopping on Route 4 again. Mark and I both had a craving for ice cream, and Felix never says no to a frozen treat, so we jumped off the highway again in East Providence, to grab some Ben & Jerry’s. Felix stretched his legs again on hipster friendly Thayer Street before we got down to the business of getting home.

Yard Sale!

Yesterday was our fifth wedding anniversary. We’ll start there. A week ago, my Mom called and offered to take Felix overnight, so we could have anniversary date night. Initially, we were like, “Um, yeah, but can we do it Saturday night instead?” Then Mark had a brilliant idea!

Rewind five years and two months. Wibbly wobbly…timey wimey… (extra credit if you get that)

A soon-to-be-married CDG and Mark sign a mortgage on the house in which they now reside. Mark promptly begins gutting it. Over the next five years, he systematically guts 75% of the second floor and rebuilds it all–beautifully, I might add.

All the stuff we needed out-of-the-way while various parts of our home were unfinished find their way into the spare bedroom. Chaos ensues. Our cat, who went to live with a very nice lady named “Cindy” about six months ago, spent four and half of those years being angry at me for:

  1. moving Mark in with us
  2. moving her to a new home
  3. renovating the home, loudly, with power tools,
  4. getting dogs, and
  5. having a baby

Then, petfinder.com and I found her “Cindy.” Everyone, including the cat, loves this situation. But I digress.

She spent those angry years peeing on the carpets in the spare bedroom. If we shut her out of that room, she peed in the bathroom, or on the basement floor. Just. Eeew.

Due to the overwhelming amount of stuff in the spare bedroom, we couldn’t get the carpets up and out until after the cat was gone. Until we suddenly found ourselves with a free and childless Saturday morning in June. And Mark had a brilliant idea!

Say it with me now, “Yard. Sale.”

So, last week we cleared everything out, sorted, purged and organized. The carpets came out, along with the smell–halleluia!–and we got ready for our yard sale.

What? A romantic fifth anniversary weekend shouldn’t include a yard sale? It worked for us! We also squeezed in dinner out, sushi to celebrate the sale, and adult… conversation. Gutter minds…

So, for the past week, the words “yard sale” have been in large font around our house, and my mind keeps turning back to the ski resort slang term yard sale, referring to a spill so bad that all your gear scatters when you fall, as though it were on display at a yard sale, rather than assisting you with your alpine descent.

Since what I lack in skiing prowess and athleticism, I make up for in enjoyment (my Dad, who taught me to ski, always says, “If you don’t fall, you’re not trying hard enough!”), yard sales were a frequent and prominent part of my downhill skiing experience. If I had a dollar for I hit the snow with my poles ten feet away in opposite directions and my skis on their way down the mountain without me, listening to some yahoo on the lift calling out, “YARD SALE!” I wouldn’t need to go back to work.

Of course, it’s been more than five years since I’ve skied. So we put my ski boots out. At an actual yard sale.

Happy Anniversary!

Rhode Island DayCation

View Rhode Island DayCation in a larger map

Today we headed south on one of our rambling daytrips. Destination the first: Roger Williams Park & Zoo for some animals and a ride on the carousel.

The visit to the Zoo was moderately successful. Felix enjoyed himself, but I think he would have equally enjoyed himself running around the park. He did like the harbor seals and the giraffes. After a short break for a snack, he mostly just ran through the rest of the exhibits. Mark and I were fond of the Red Panda, but we didn’t get very long to stop and observe it.

From Providence, we jumped on Route 4 going south towards Point Judith in Naragansett. Mark remembered a clam shack type place he’d enjoyed when he was younger, so we decided to try to find it. We lucked out, and it was right on the main drag down by the lighthouse. We had a picnic on the lawn, and Felix got to stretch his legs a little after the slow ride down there. We took a little joyride down to the lighthouse, and through the vacation rental neighborhood where his aunt had often rented a place when he and his younger brothers were little.

We took the scenic tour north along the shore through Naragansett and North Kingstown before hopping on Route 4 again. Mark and I both had a craving for ice cream, and Felix never says no to a frozen treat, so we jumped off the highway again in East Providence, to grab some Ben & Jerry’s. Felix stretched his legs again on hipster friendly Thayer Street before we got down to the business of getting home.

Nothing of Earth-Shaking Consequence

So many days, so much and so little of note in my life. Normalcy prevails, and I’m not sure what exactly to do. I mean there are always concerns; our major one right now is Mark’s back. He says he thinks it’s a slipped disc; I’m still hoping for a muscle strain. That I can deal with (by bugging him with homeopathic remedies, bed rest, and heating pads ::nagnagnag::). The alternative conjures visions of surgery, long recovery periods, lack of income, repossession, etc… Best not to go down that road for now.

So, until he gets back from the doctor’s this afternoon, I’m shoving those thoughts to the back of my head.
Otherwise, we’ve now got proof of improvement in the dining room!

The “before” was taken at our home inspection, the “after” about a week and a half ago. More when we paint! The house in general is reflecting my newfound clutter-busting energy. My Mother-In-Law dropping in last night to give us an ornamental flowering plum and a freilsland sage for our landscaping efforts didn’t phase me a bit. The kitchen was clean, the floors washed, the LR tidy, the trash taken out… It was like a whole new existence for me!

Our summer is rapidly filling up with weekends away and fun stuff… I wonder if we’ll have time (never mind funding) to put up the deck Mark’s planning for the back yard. It would be nice… A deck…

Enough daydreaming of decks and summer. J has his chess lesson in a few minutes, so off we all go!

This post started out slow, but I guess I had more to say than I thought… Nothing of earth-shaking consequence, but no one who reads this is expecting in-depth political analysis or international daredevil antics, so I guess I’m in the clear.

Free meat has become a weekend highlight….

Sunday: I caught the local Stop & Shop in a mistake at the register that equaled a free pot roast. It was a $12.53 hunk of beef. With my savings card, it was marked down to $6.45. Nice deal, huh? Well, as I was checking my receipt on the way out of the store… Eeeek. Full price! So, I marched my little self back into the store, and politely showed my roast and my receipt to the beleaguered cashier at customer service. She proceeded to refund me the entire cost of the roast because it was their system error. Cool!

Of course, I do have to face the fact that getting free meat has become a weekend highlight….

Other highlights included catching up on a month’s laundry, cleaning up and seeding the front yard, planting a hydrangea, my Saturday morning trip to the dog park with Maurice, and dinner at the local teppanyaki joint. Oh! and I made three nights worth of dinners yesterday afternoon. Way to make my own life easier 🙂

In home improvement news, Mark spent the rainy days trimming out the doorways and window in the LR, and sanding the filled nailholes in the DR. Painting time is coming! I bought a color sample of the color I like and put up a square on the wall. It’s gonna rock!

On the kid front, turns out O was cutting his first molar last week; thus all the crabbing around… We all feel terrible that we didn’t notice, but molars are way the heck back there, and he’s also cutting a front tooth, so we figured it was that. Bad parents/caregivers! This morning he headed off to his music playgroup with his Nana, and is now back and having a tremendous buffet-style snack (raisins, cheerios, pineapple, watermelon, and leftover foccacia). Cutting teeth is hungry work. He could stand to bulk up a little, so I’m encouraging all this (relatively) healthy snackage.

As for me, I got back to my C25K routine. Details here. I’ve also kept up with the majority of my FLYlady reminders, and the house is starting to look pretty good. Mark’s concerned about impending Housekeeping OCD. He might not be wrong…

Marshmallows, the Marathon, Maurice, and Mark

I got this from reading Crazy Aunt Purl today – one of her readers posted it. Gross, and yet, somewhat fascinating… Personally, I prefer my Peeps slightly stale, three days out of the package usually does the trick. Mmmmm…

Here in Boston, it’s Marathon Monday, and Patriot’s Day. Surprisingly, enough, Patriot’s Day has nothing to do with Belichick’s Boys of Foxboro, but, in fact, is a celebration of all the Famous White Guys here in MA who helped us toss off the yoke of British tyranny. Or something like that… Basically, it’s a crap holiday, since I still have to work. And there are a million freaking tourists in town, and I hate tourists.

Mark is sick with the bug that the kids had last week. Will I finally succumb? I’m trying not to. There are no guarantees, though. I’ve felt poorly for a few days, but I’m still functional. I kind of wish I could just come down with it and have done. Odd, hmm?

So, our Easter was markedly worse than previous years, due to my ill husband, but we did come away with this gem of a photo… Mark’s aunt gave Maurice this jaunty bowtie and collar ensemble, which he wore without complaint for a few hours. He’s such a fancy pug.

My Aries self has been in a sulk for a week or so. I can’t quite put my finger on any one thing – just a Universal conspiracy of misery, I suspect. I fell prey to horoscopes in Cookie magazine, and discovered my own portrait there amongst the illustrations. I stole this from them, but I’m hoping they won’t sue me, since I’m giving them full credit and I’m certainly not making any money from it. Just made me laugh…

Oh, and …. (drum roll, please!) The. Afghan. Is. Finished. I gave it to Jamie, Dy, and Rylee on Saturday evening, finished, bound off, and loose ends threaded. Brilliant! Now I move on to mittens! My Mom has the pictures, so I’ll post them as soon as she emails them to me!