Friday Free-For-All – 04/05/19

Friday Free-For-All

Well, the decision of whether or not to renew my blog domain registration was taken out of my hands. I was literally sitting down at my computer to cancel auto-renew when I got an email from WordPress thanking me for my payment. Crap! For some reason, I thought the renewal date was much later this month. That’s kind of crippling the rest of my month spending-wise, but I’m taking it as a sign from the universe that I’m not quite done with my little blog just yet.

We have a very full weekend ahead. “Oysterfest” with my in-laws tonight, TWO birthday parties tomorrow, and then my folks are coming to visit Sunday. Bring it on! I’ve been feeling pretty isolated lately (being a stay at home mom who lives in the boonies will do that to you), so I’m excited for some social events.

The weather around here has been downright bipolar lately. One minute sunny and blue skies, the next, blowing winds and sleet. It was 60 degrees on Wednesday and 35 on Thursday. COME ON SPRING, LET’S GO ALREADY!

A friend of mine is looking for someone to split the Vermont City Marathon with and I SO WISH I could do it. After the crapfest that was VCM 2016, it would be so nice to have a positive experience with the race, but I simply can’t afford the registration fee. That and I’m definitely not in shape to run a half marathon at the end of May. I mean, maybe I could do a super short training cycle and get there, but it wouldn’t be pretty. Boo to being fiscally responsible.

Have you ever had to turn down a race because you couldn’t afford registration?


Weekend Update – Getting Back on Track

Happy Monday, friends! With Ben’s return to work looming, we’re trying to get our shit together a bit. During the first few weeks of having a new baby, it was all about survival. Now that we know a bit more what we’re up against, we can resume “normal” living. We got lots done this weekend, and it felt great!

This was a surprisingly busy day. I was up super early with V, and did a little cleaning up around the house before Ben was up for the day. After giving me a break to eat some breakfast and have coffee, he headed out to mow the lawn, which has been sorely neglected since we got home from the hospital. I continued to supervise baby and do more cleaning.

Around noon we headed into town to meet my friend Stacy for lunch at Chili’s. On the way home we also hit the bank to deposit a check that’s been hanging out for weeks, which felt good. And then Ben headed out to finish the lawn while I fed and snuggled a cranky baby.

We whipped up some burritos for supper, gave the baby a bath, fed her, and watched some nerdy BBC programming on YouTube before an early bedtime.

Once again, I was up early with baby girl; she’s usually ready for the day between 5:30 and 6 am. I grabbed a lactation cookie and made coffee while she kicked and cooed on her activity mat. After a feeding, I popped her in her Rock n Play (lifesaver!) for a power nap while I fed the kitties and power cleaned. Some friends were due to come over at 10 to drop off gifts and meet V, and our house required some additional spiffing.

After Ben got up, I made breakfast and some Oatmama lactation support tea, and worked on this blog post for a while. It’s not very often I get to just sit down with my chrome book and type without a baby in my lap or attached to me, so this felt like a total luxury.

After our friends’ visit, Ben headed out to do a MUCH needed dump trip. We hadn’t gone since before V was born, and we had garbage and recycling in very unbecoming piles in the garage. After a recent raccoon break-in (so gross), we were eager to get the garbage out of there. While Ben did the dump run and V napped, I did some dusting (hasn’t been done in forever!) and put laundry away.

Our lovely neighbor came over in the afternoon and brush-hogged some paths through our field down to the rail trail, which will make getting down there for walks and runs a lot easier going forward, hooray!


We also made a trip into downtown Jeffersonville for the annual Festival of the Arts. We met up with our friend Nikki and her son Kalamack and strolled around for an hour or so. It was a beautiful day to be outside, and it was lots of fun to see all the wares made by our neighbors.

In the evening we had crockpot chili for supper, and relaxed with some TV. I went to bed before 10 since I’d gotten up so early.

Ben did me a solid and got up early with V so I got to stay in bed until the luxurious hour of 7:30! After coffee and breakfast, we went for a lovely walk, putting our newly brush hogged paths to use. It felt great to get out and moving, and I felt more like myself than I have in a long time.


Later in the morning, I got to take a shower and chill out for a bit while Ben was on baby duty. Then we swapped and I hung out inside with V while Ben went out to work on a woodworking project. Between feeding cycles, I got to work on this blog post and binge watch a few episodes of Call the Midwife, my latest guilty pleasure.

In the afternoon, we brought a loaf of homemade bread over to meet our neighbors on the other side of the house. They just own land and camp there Memorial Day through Labor Day each year. It was really nice to finally go over and introduce ourselves, and they seem quite nice.

Supper was some steak and veggie kabobs on the grill, with molasses cookies and milk for dessert. After supper, we gave Miss V her bath, and then watched Hot Fuzz for the umpteenth time. It’s our favorite movie of all time, and if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it.

Have you ever seen Hot Fuzz? What’s your favorite movie?

Weekend Update – Out and About

Happy Monday, friends! In an effort to get back to a semi-regular blogging schedule, I’m re-instituting Weekend Update posts. Eventually, I’d love to get back to Manic Monday training recaps, but since I’m still recovering from childbirth, this is what we’ve got. Enjoy!

On Saturday morning, we decided to get up and at ’em early to go out to breakfast. The first week and change at home, we were quite happy to simply sit in the house and stare at our baby. But cabin fever began to set in a bit and we realized that we need to leave the house sometimes. We’ve definitely gone out for stuff like doctor appointments and groceries, but doing something just for fun felt really good. We’re lucky to have a great breakfast spot not five minutes from our house, so it was a really “safe” first attempt at eating out with a baby.


Within five minutes she started fussing, but I was able to nurse her right there in our booth, after which she passed out in my lap for the remainder of our meal. I had some next-level Grand Marnier and vanilla bean french toast that was basically the equivalent of an entire baguette, while Ben had a big fat omelet and home fries. And of course, lots of coffee for both of us. #newparents

The rest of the morning was spent giving Vera a sponge bath, feeding, napping, and watching Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. In the afternoon, we headed over to my in-laws so Ben could put a new muffler on the truck, and then we stayed for supper, which was very much appreciated. Any time we can get a meal cooked for us is a big help right now. We ended up being at my in-laws’ for almost 8 hours, by the end of which I was absolutely fried and more than ready to be home. I fed Vera, took a shower, and went straight to bed.

Sunday was another early morning for me. I like to be up early with Vera to give Ben a chance to get a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep. I fed her and put her in the Rock n Play to nap while I made coffee and breakfast and cleaned up the kitchen a bit.

Ben was up for the day around 9:30, and we hung out for a while, sipping coffee, watching Coco, and snuggling the baby. In the early afternoon, we decided we should get out of the house and do something productive, so we made a meal plan and grocery list for the week, then headed off to the store.

It was dreary sort of day, so we decided to just surrender to inertia and spent the rest of the day watching YouTube videos, blogging, eating, and other miscellany. We had leftovers for dinner, thanks to my in-laws, and not having to cook for a third night in a row was such a luxury.

Vera was a bit gassy and fussy, so it was a later night than I would have liked. Once she went down though, she slept for one 3 hour chunk and then another 2.5 hour chunk immediately following, which felt like such a win. But then of course, she was up for the day at 5:30 am. Happy Monday to me!

Have you gone out to breakfast recently? What did you have?


Quick Post-Vacation Check-In

Happy Monday, friends! I didn’t mean to disappear for an entire week, but hey, I was on vacation, and I really took that to heart! I didn’t read any blog posts, I didn’t write any blog posts, and didn’t even really think about the blog that much at all. It was glorious!

Ben and I sent half the week at home and half the week in New Jersey visiting friends. We got a taste of spring weather, did lots of house work, slept, ate, and just tried to soak up some alone time before Baby Girl makes her arrival in approximately 8 weeks. Crazy! I hope you all had a great week, and I’ll try to get back to regular posting soon.


My handsome husband at Triumph Brewing Co in Princeton

Weekend Update – Makeup and Friend Time

Happy Monday, friends! I am EXHAUSTED today after last week’s exertions on the makeup crew for Lyric Theatre. The madness extended into the weekend, so let’s check it out!

Immediately after work I headed downtown to snag parking, which can be pretty tricky on a Friday night. Thankfully, I got a decent spot close to the theatre and headed on in. The great thing about this show was that the makeup was SUPER simple, no changes or anything, so once all of my people were made up and ready, I could head home.

Instead of heading home, though, I headed to my in-laws’. Grammy was back in the hospital and doing very poorly, so Uncle Bill had come into town, and Aunt Maureen and their daughter Lindsay were en route. My in-laws fed us supper and we planned out Grammy visits for Saturday. Ben and I finally headed home around 9:30, where I promptly crashed into bed.

We got up pretty early because a) I wanted pancakes for breakfast, and b) Ben was going to file our taxes before a busy day for both of us. I whipped up pancakes and did a few things around the house while Ben worked away, and then I headed into town around 11 to be there for the noon theatre call.


After making up my assigned folks, I went to the box office and bought a ticket to see the matinee. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a musical based on a Steve Martin comedy from the 80’s, and it was HILARIOUS! Of course, the best part of seeing a Lyric show is seeing my friends perform, but I had a great time on both accounts.

After the show I headed straight home, because Ben and I had planned to go visit Grammy. Unfortunately, I planned really poorly and arrived home exhausted, starving, and SUPER cranky. I managed to calm down and shovel a bowl of cereal into myself before heading over to the hospital.

Ben said that Grammy was looking lots better than she had when he’d seen her earlier, and we visited with her for about an hour before leaving to grab dinner at El Toro, a local Mexican place that has been on our “to visit” list since we moved into the new house. The beers were a bit pricey, but the food was delicious, and tasted extra good because of how hungry I was. I got two shrimp tacos on homemade corn tortillas, and it was just enough food to fill me up without leaving me uncomfortable.


By the time we got home from the restaurant, it was pretty much bedtime, since I had another day at the theatre ahead for Sunday.

We used up the rest of the pancake batter from Saturday and had pancake breakfast round two, which was delightful. After breakfast, I started going through my usual Sunday to-do list, which included prepping some cheesy crock pot chili for dinner, since we were having our friends Nick and Nikki over.

Once again, I left around 11 and made it into Burlington right around 12. Since this matinee was the last show, I hung around to help clean up and put everything away until about 3:15 before heading home. On the way home I started to get all wound up about how we were having dinner guests and I hadn’t been home all day to clean and get ready, and arrived home already dreading the frantic clean up I’d have to do before Nick and Nikki arrived. And then I walked in the door and Ben had already cleaned the whole house. Sweet! That left me free to have a snack and change and finish prepping dinner.

Having Nick and Nikki for dinner was a nice, quiet way to wrap up the weekend. We had chili, salad, and Ben’s homemade break for dinner, with ice cream sundaes for dessert. We just sat at the table and chatted and relaxed until about 8, when they had to get home to get baby Kalamack to bed. I can’t lie, I was in my PJs and in bed shortly after they left. This week took it out of me! And now it’s Monday, and I’m already living for the weekend. *sigh*

When’s the last time you had pancakes for breakfast?

Weekend Update – Easter

Happy Monday, friends! I hope those of you who celebrate had a lovely Easter weekend. And if you don’t celebrate, I hope you had a lovely spring weekend. Welcome to April! After the craziness of last weekend, this weekend was much more my pace. Read all about it below!

We ended up having an early closure on Friday because both our corporate offices and the New York Stock Exchange were closed. This allowed me to run a bunch of errands, including grocery shopping, Easter shopping, taking care of a friend’s cat and chickens, and cleaning out my car. Woot!

Ben had broom ball playoffs, so I was on my own for the evening. I made myself a hodge podge dinner out of party leftovers and pantry scrounging, then spent the rest of the night ensconced in a comfy chair, watching Netlix and Hulu and knitting. Being pregnant has really emphasized my already grandma-ish tendencies.

Saturday was a full day. We desperately needed to do a dump run and bottle return after the festivities last weekend, so we packed up the truck, and then drove both vehicles over to my in-laws’ place for long overdue oil changes. Having access to an auto lift is pretty damn great.


Once we were done, I went home to clean while Ben helped his dad clean out Grammy’s apartment at the assisted living facility. Unfortunately, due to ongoing health challenges, she had to be transferred to a true nursing home situation. While she’s closer to us, which is great, she’s really upset about the change in circumstances, so we’re planning to bust her out of “Grammy jail” for meals fairly frequently.

In the evening, we attended a shindig at my in-laws’ house because Emily is headed back to Prague for the summer. She may or may not be back for good in the fall, but we wanted to send her off in style just in case.

Us kids ended up having a wee bonfire later in the evening, and we ended up staying up quite a bit later than I would have liked, but it was fun, and for a good cause 🙂


We were up and at ’em bright and early Sunday morning to head down to my parents’ house for Easter dinner. We haven’t been down to visit them since before Christmas, and we were excited to meet my sister Hilary’s new boyfriend. AND my parents’ new dog, Fergus.

Before we left, though, we exchange Easter “baskets” for the first time. I put baskets in quotation marks because we just used bowls. We decided that buying more crap when we’re actively trying to get rid of crap was counter-productive. I was very proud of the selection of goodies I got for Ben, and very pleased with what he got me.


Easter Sunday at my parents’ was super relaxing and nice. My sister’s new boyfriend is great, we had a delicious meal, and then an out of control good dessert from a local bakery. Ben and I headed home around 5, went for a walk (no ligament pain again, woot!), and relaxed until bedtime.

What is your favorite holiday/seasonal candy?

Weekend Update – House Warming

Happy Monday, friends! We had a busy but delightful weekend warming our house with the help of lots of friends and family. Rather than trying to rehash the whirlwind, I’ll just leave you with some photos from the party and the rest of the weekend, as well as my top three favorite moments:

1 – I apparently forgot to tell my mom that my best friend and her husband were coming up for the party. When my mom saw Mandy, she totally freaked out and was so excited, it was adorable!

2 – Ben’s cousin Lucas flew up from North Carolina and DIDN’T TELL ANYONE HE WAS COMING. He just showed up out of the blue and it was the best possible surprise.

3 – Waking up Sunday morning full of love and gratitude for our amazing friends and family, and our “warmed” house.


Friends that bump together stay together 🙂


Mom was just a little excited


Norm in repose


Rocket gets much-needed snuggles


We’re pregnant and we stayed up till 1 am!


Buster loves Vinny


Weekend Update – I Socialized!

Happy Monday, friends! I did something this weekend that I haven’t done in AGES: I socialized. TWICE! Crazy, right? Read on to hear more.

Since Ben had his usual Friday night broom ball game, I decided to head over to my friends Aimee and Andrew’s house. They have two little boys and are in the process of moving, so they had some baby and maternity stuff for me to pick through.


Of course, we also had a great time eating snack plates for dinner (SNACKS ARE LYFE) and getting caught up. I haven’t seen Aimee in a couple of months, so it was great to just hang out and chat.

Ben was a champion and did our grocery shopping on Thursday night, so we were able to just relax on Saturday morning, which was a treat. After breakfast, we got cracking on whipping our basement into shape.

When we moved in, most of our long-term storage stuff just got dumped down there to be dealt with later. But with our house warming party coming up, we wanted to at least get stuff up out of the middle of the floor and onto the shelves. We ended up going through 4-5 big boxes of stuff and either trashing, donating, or putting away the contents, which felt AWESOME! And we got everything up off the floor too. Win!


Clearing cobwebs to hang a flag we found while unpacking

After showers, we headed over to our friends Julia and Andrew’s house for a St. Paddy’s Day party. We were among the last to arrive, and we were the last to leave at the ridiculously late (for me) hour of 11 pm. We had a great time just chatting and eating snacks, and Ben and Andrew bonded over drinking games.

We slept in a bit on Sunday, and then pretty much lounged most of the day. We made a quick trip over to my in-laws’ place to grab some eggs and some mail, but otherwise didn’t do too much. I had hoped to work on a few sewing projects, but somehow during our many moves over the last couple of years, a critical piece of my sewing machine has gone missing. That was a huge bummer, but I still felt like making something, so I decided to bust out the old embroidery floss and makes some friendship bracelets just for the hell of it.


We had tacos for dinner and watched Hot Fuzz for the umpteenth time, then I called my parents, took a shower, read for a bit, and we went to bed.

Do you have an organized basement, or is it a hot mess like mine?

Weekend Update – Cleaning and Relaxing

Happy Monday, friends! Just like that, another weekend has gone by. They all seem too short, but this one was ACTUALLY too short due to the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. I’d really like that hour back this morning…

I ran a few errands on the way home, and then had another Friday night of leftovers for dinner and relaxing with a mud mask while Ben ran around at broom ball. Delightful.


Saturdays seem to be our productivity days. After breakfast, we meal planned out the week, then headed off to the dump, then grocery shopped. We were planning to have Ben’s Grammy over to see the house, but our errands took longer than expected, so while Ben headed out to pick up Grammy, I did a frantic all over house clean: vacuumed, swept, did dishes, picked up clutter, put laundry away, and generally busted my pregnant ass.

Just as I was making the bed and hurriedly shoving stuff into our closet around 3, they arrived, so we settled down to chat and eat some snacks. I think Grammy was happy to get out of what we jokingly refer to as “Grammy Jail,” and we had a nice little visit.

Around 4:30, Ben took Grammy home, and I took a shower and laid down in bed for a while. The flurry of errands and cleaning really took it out of me and I was pretty tired. We were expecting Ben’s parents and sister Emily for dinner, so I needed to chill out for a bit.

Ben got home around 5:30 to take his shower, and then his family arrived shortly after with a grill in tow. Ben’s dad BBQ’d some chicken, and I roasted some potatoes and made a salad to go with. We chatted, ate, and hung out until around 10, when I started to have some *ahem* digestive issues. Let’s just say that pregnancy is hell on your insides, and leave it at that. My in-laws left shortly after I went to bed, but Emily ended up staying over night, and she and Ben were up conversing and drinking beer until the wee hours.

As a result of the late night and the time change (eff you, Daylight Saving Time), we all slept in pretty late. I was still enjoying a relaxed “brunch” of coffee and a homemade breakfast burrito when Emily headed out around 11. Right around noon, Ben left to go snowboarding, and I was left to my own devices for the day.

After such a hectic day on Saturday, I was really craving a slower pace. I did a few productive things, such as firing up the crockpot for dinner and hanging a few pictures, but most of my day looked like this:


I was really focused on just taking it easy. I’ve finally reached the stage of pregnancy where I FEEL pregnant all the time. My body is different, heavier and more tired and needing more rest, and rather than resisting and trying to just push through and DO ALL THE THINGS, I’m trying to chill the eff out. It’s hard, but I’m getting better at it.

Ben got home from the mountain around 6 and we enjoyed a dinner of crockpot teriyaki pork chops with brown rice, then I resumed reading while he popped on a WWII documentary (nerd), and we went to bed at 9:30, which was just what we both needed.

And now it’s Monday and I am desperately wishing I were still on my couch reading. But c’est la vi.

When’s the last time you took a total relaxation day?

Weekend Update – Family Time

Happy Monday, friends! This weekend was another glorious blend of basking in our new house getting sh*t done, and relaxing with each other, friends, and family. Read on to hear more!

Ben had broom ball as usual, so I ate leftovers for dinner. While he was gone, I reveled in some at-home beauty treatments. My new mud mask and charcoal tooth whitening powder came in Friday’s mail, so I played with those, then read for a while before bed.

The novelty of waking up for a relaxing weekend in our house still hasn’t worn off. We had a leisurely breakfast together, and then headed out for our weekly grocery shop. Due to several unplanned meals at other people’s houses last week, we didn’t need to pick up too much, so it was a quick (and inexpensive!) trip.



Fried eggs with Cholula, oatmeal bread toast, fried taters. Bacon came later 🙂

My stomach wasn’t feeling super great when we got home, so I popped a couple of Tums and reclined in bed reading for a few hours while Ben did some outdoor maintenance stuff.

Around 4, we headed over to my in-laws’ house, because Ben’s Aunt Karen, Uncle Stan, cousin Sarah, her husband George, and their son William were visiting. Grammy was also there, so it was a full house. Little William is three years old and on the go ALL THE TIME, and it was really funny to watch him interact with the dogs, the cats, and all the adults. We had a delicious Italian dinner, with spaghetti, meatballs, sausages, and fried eggplant stuffed with ricotta cheese, fresh baked bread, and brownies for dessert. There were a ton of leftovers, so we took some home for Sunday’s lunch, too.

It was great to see everyone and hang out, but by 9 I was ready to head home and relax. Ben and I turned on some Monty Python’s Flying Circus for a bit before retiring, and it was the perfect end to the day.

We were both up for the day around 8, and after breakfast I buckled down to unpack a particularly mouse-infested box that had been on my to-do list for a few weeks. It was the box with all of my sewing/craft supplies, and it was in rough shape. I had to throw a lot of fabric away, and the rest of it had to be washed, dried, ironed, and folded. I also had to wipe down my sewing machine, and throw out a lot of glues and paints that had been heated and cooled to the point of being useless while in storage. It felt really good to finally get that done!

While I was ironing and folding away, Ben got to work making some fresh bread, since we’d never gotten around to delivering it to our neighbors the previous weekend. Once I was done with my craft supplies, I changed the sheets on our bed, did some more laundry, started dinner in the crockpot, and then did some light meal prep stuff for the week ahead. I made more cold brewed decaf coffee, hard boiled eggs for snacks, and made a few jars of overnight oats.

When the bread was done around 3:30, we wrapped up a loaf and headed over to our neighbors, Eugene and Sandy’s house. Eugene is the son of the older woman who previously lived in our house, and he and Sandy couldn’t possibly be nicer. We stayed at their house for about an hour, chatting about all kinds of things over beer (for Ben) and orange juice (for me).

At about 5, we took our leave and headed out to take a little walk around our property, as I haven’t had a chance to explore it much. Unfortunately, my round ligament started complaining pretty quickly, but it was still so nice to survey our land. We’ve got lots of apple trees, lilac bushes, roses, and blackberries. I can’t wait for spring to see what else comes up!


We get some pretty spectacular sunsets

After that, we had a delicious dinner of cheesy queso chili, and settled in to watch some more Monty Python with Girl Scout cookies for dessert. Baby Girl was kicking up a storm all evening. I think she likes cookies and British humor, just like her parents 🙂

Do you have good neighbors?