Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Location: MA, United States

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wicked Needle Skillz

I am not a needle and thread kind of girl. Never have been. So, why, then, did I decide to embroider a seal for our latest family quilt?

Not too terrible, I hope?


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

14.73 Miles Per Hour

That was my average speed on the drive into work today. Due to a car carrier jackknife on the eastbound Turnpike Extension and the ensuing rubbernecking on the westbound side, traffic was backed up for miles this morning, causing my 22.1 mile commute to take exactly 90 minutes from driveway to parking garage. Needless to say I was late.

I hate being late.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rain On My Parade

This photo doesn't quite do justice to how wet I really am in this picture. Yay for trips to the bus stop.


Clam Shack, Baby, Clam Shack!

Yesterday, to complete our weekend of fun family togetherness, la Famille MoMP went took the dogs to the dog park, and I, of course, forgot my camera.

After we dropped them off at home, we headed out for a little joy ride to Mendon, to try out George's Surf & Turf at the Redwood Drive In. Mark used to go there as a kid when it was just the Redwood Drive In, and was curious to see if it was still the same.

It was sure tasty!

Felix will have to wait until next summer for fried clams, but carrots are good, too.

Felix's parents, post clams, pre-.soft serve

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Big on the Pig

Mark & I have been going to the same pig roast on the Sunday of Memorial day for five years now. This year, we joined the ranks of the other couples we go with, and brought along our offspring. Every year, I say I'm going to take a picture of the pig (this year's topped 130 pounds, I'm told), and every year I forget to do it. This year is an improvement on previous years because I actually got out the camera and took some pictures.

The day started silly.

The day got sillier.

Mark learned how to use the hip carrier. That was definitely silly.

Everyone picniced and enjoyed pig.

And La Famille MoMP posed for a family photo!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Cupcake Alligator

O's preschool class picnic was this afternoon, and since I'm the one who signed us up for the food list last week, I picked dessert (you gotta play to your strengths). The very next day, I saw my mom, and she gave me some pages from a recent Ladies Home Journal, which included instructions to make an alligator from cupcakes.

I was so all over that!

First, you gotta bake cupcakes. Normally, I eschew commercial cake mixes, but when baking with the assistance of a three year old and a six month old, sometimes you just have to cut a corner or two. Don't tell my pastry instructor, but I even used the Betty Crocker frosting in a can! The kids are food heathens like it better, anyway. Here are the cupcakes, baked and awaiting decoration:

O asked a million questions, wandered around, and occasionally did something useful helped, and Felix whinged around in his high chair, generally stressing me out, but in the end, I got it done:

I practically had to bend time to get myself, and Felix, and the alligator, and the big kids to the party, but in the end we all got there unscathed. Fortuna even smiled upon me and gave a resident parking spot right across from school. Some days, this job is the best job I could ever imagine.

With the cake installed at the party, we got down to the serious business of having some fun. Felix might be too little for cupcakes, but he still knows how to have a good time.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pre-Memorial Day Hodgepodge

La Famille MoMP has been very busy of late. Mark has been running wiring and installing ceiling lighting for the new rooms in the house, while I have been catching up on four months worth of filth laziness not cleaning the bedrooms (save Felix's room, which is pristine except for the patina of dust on his floor - I know I'm a terrible mother, so shove off). As I sit in the Bosses house, cleaner than my house will ever be due to a weekly once over by a talented, if crazy, housekeeper, typing away, my house is in decent shape. The dishes are in he dishwasher, the laundry is folded, the clutter is at near minimum, and the bathrooms are clean enough not to make any of us sick. I feel, all in all, that this is a successful week. Especially when you put it in the context of the massive remodel going on in half the downstairs, the fact that between us, we work 110 hours a week, the full-time parenting, and the three animals; then it's definitely a success.

At the Bosses house, things are also busy. Big Brother J is in the gnarly clutches of Little League Season, which never rests in it's quest to harry me. It's the end of the school year for the three Boss children, and there are extra requirements for all of us, not the least of which being the cupcake alligator I'll be assembling tomorrow morning for O's preschool class picnic.

Mark's cousin and younger brother both have graduations this month (BU, and medical tech school, respectively), and we get to celebrate in June the fact that his youngest brother is being discharged from the army for health reasons, four weeks before he was supposed to be shipped to Baghdad to train the Iraqi police force. My cousin came home from his third tour driving convoys in the desert, and has completed his service to the Air Force, so he's out of overseas danger, too.

I've been sewing, which is an entirely different post.

Felix moved up from a bucket style infant seat to a proper car seat, so now the Bosses SUV looks like a car seat showroom.

Time to go back to being busy. Look for posts about my wicked needle skillz, cupcake alligators, and pig as the month rolls to a close.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Strong to the Finach

This has been the week of pureed spinach here at MoMP.

And like Mikey, and Popeye, he likes it.

Here's what I did. (And before anyone goes off and tries this, I'm only sharing something that worked for me and my child specifically. You should always check with your pediatrician if you have questions/concerns about babies and food, especially food/spice allergies. Also, I do not endorse any particular school of solid food thought. Please don't think I'm prostheletizing or trying to force my spinach puree down your cyber throat. I'm just sharing.)

Chopped frozen spinach
Water to cover
pinch of nutmeg

Bring water to a boil, toss in spinach and cook until it's bright green and cooked through. Don't boil it to death.
Drain off the water, reserving some to loosen the puree. Toss the spinach and a little water into a blender or food processor or food mill. Puree the bejeezus out of it. Add more water if it's too thick.

Felix likes his spinach with a little Gerber mixed grain cereal and a little more water. I find that the pinch of nutmeg in the cooking water adds a little zing. Obviously, you should watch for any reactions to the nutmeg, and only try it once you're sure the spinach by itself is an all clear. We're very lucky that he's shown no reactions to anything he's tried.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A tribute.

Today is the birth date of a dear friend of mine who passed away nearly two years ago. He would be 31 this year. Just like me.

He was wonderful, flawed, and complex, as we all are, and truly unique. I feel the loss of him often and deeply. I regret sincerely that my son will never know him.

But he's still with me, and I'd venture to say I'm not alone in feeling that way. Just last night while driving home, a song he used to play for me came through my iPod, and I smiled to myself. It's a goofy folk song that pokes fun of Massachusetts towns and signage, called "Entering Marion." The singer manages innuendo and double entendre with impressive rhyme schemes, and with his tongue firmly in his cheek. My friend had that ability, too.

I remember his 21st birthday, ten years ago, sitting on the porch at one of our favorite watering holes with some friends, while he ordered drinks, and ate mud pie. I have a picture of him that day, and you've never seen anyone look more apathetic. He joked he was tired of all the trite photos of drunk 21 year olds ordering drinks and doing shots. (This is not to say that he objected to the drinks and shots and tomfoolery! Just the photos...) So, when I broke out the camera, he put his face in his hand and sighed. He was right, I remember that photo vividly, don't I? Long after the drunken photos have faded into my albums.

I remember so many other times. And then I have to remember that he's gone.

Mostly, though, I find that when he comes to mind, I talk to him. I guess it's equivalent to calling an old friend once in a blue moon, just to say hello. I try to leave my mind clear during these one-sided conversations, and every now and again I hear a reply in my head that carries his voice. Make of that what you will. My subconscious echoing his lost voice? Something more spiritual?

Either way, I find comfort in those conversations. And I'm writing about him, on his birthday, because telling someone else about him keeps the memories alive for another year.

Happy birthday, my friend. I miss you.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Of Baby Teeth and Other Injuries

After a week of absentee-ism, I am returned. All around me is the thunderous applause I hear in my own head. Hooray, it says, You are returned!

Yesterday, during a particularly vigorous round of errand running, I managed to mess up my right foot so badly that Mark had to come back into the city to bring Felix and I home. This morning, Felix, on the actual day of his half birthday, finally sprouted his first tooth. My knuckle did not celebrate the discovery, but everyone else did.

I wish I had more to say for myself.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Book Club 2008: Third Month

This month's selection was Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Let me begin by saying that I'm often turned off by literary hype. If everyone is reading a book because Oprah said to, then I'm going to avoid it until the buzz dies down. It's not because I assume I'll dislike it. It's more to avoid being lured into the trap of only reading things that the media tell me are good. That's why I was so psyched about this "club." With so many diverse women choosing the reading list, how could I be led astray? Needless to say, when Eat Pray Love turned up on the list, I thought, "Well, duh. I know I should read that. Tell me about a book I didn't see on a bestseller list."

Also, the reader before me told me she didn't particularly care for it, and I thought, "Ha! Not everyone loves this book!" It's almost like I was setting myself up to dislike the book to prove some point about myself. I am not part of the New-York-Times-Bestseller-List-Reading Mob(Was all this introspection brought on by reading this book, I wonder?)

That said, I loved it. I ate up every word. I thought about what Ms. Gilbert had to say about prayer and faith and belief. Some of it resonated very deeply with me. I want to go to Bali. I want to go back to Italy. I think I can live without going to India, but I won't turn down an opportunity, if one presents itself down the road. I want to recommend this book.

Next Month: Rise and Shine, by Anna Quindlen


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Years, Payments, and Miles

Last night marked the 5th anniversary of my VW. I drove it off the lot on April 30th, 2003, with Big Brother J and tiny Miss E in the back. On my way home last night, the car hit 70,000 miles, and my last payment is due in two weeks. It's a nice feeling.