Friday, May 28, 2010

Sunny Friday

What a day. Wow. The weather was sunny, moderately warm (low 80's), and the sky was clear and blue. Annie and I started the day by going for a walk at Wollaston Beach, which is about a mile or mile and a half from our house. At one point, we stopped so she could get out of her stroller and practice pulling up a bit. Here you can see not only little Annie, but also the Boston Harbor and skyline.

On our way back from our walk, I stopped at the garden store and picked up my veggie plants! It's finally time to plant.  We got back, and after Annie definitively showed me that she would not nap by standing up in her crib and calling out to me, we went outside and I planted some of the plants, as well as some of seeds.

After lunch, Annie finally did go down for her nap. Here she is, fighting her nap by kicking her legs around and smiling, with her ever-present pink blanket ("snuggy"), of course.


She did finally fall asleep. Just one nap today, but it was nearly 3 hours long. That gave me a chance to put in the rest of the garden, water, and even weed a little. Here's what I'm growing this year: tomatoes, peppers, parsley, basil, peas, garlic, cucumbers, cantelope, arugula, beets, carrots, and Lebanese-variety zucchini. I've already harvested my radishes - including one that was as long as a carrot! My other lettuces didn't germinate. I don't know why. I have had bad luck with cantelope, so I'm hoping it'll work out this year. I haven't grown beets or carrots in quite a few years. I've been really getting into beet salad, particularly mixed with some goat cheese and arugula, so hopefully the beets will come out OK.

After Annie woke up, I rushed over to the bank because I needed to get into our safe deposit box and the bank closes at 4. Of course, when I went into the safe with the bank teller, I realized that my driver's license was missing. Like, I was completely caught surprised by the fact that it wasn't in my wallet where it always is. So I did not get into the box.  On the way home, I went over my life for the last months to try to figure out where the hell I would've put my license. I really did not want to have to go to the RMV on one of my days off with Annika in tow. Seriously, doesn't that sound like some form of purgatory? I finally figured out that the last time I took my license out of my wallet was when I went to the Bristol County jail to do a "know your rights" presentation with some other lawyers. This was probably 6 weeks ago or so. Anyway, long story short, I went through all my pockets at home and it was in my raincoat pocket, which I had last worn on my trip to Bristol. So there you go. I'd been going about town and taking trips without any identification on me at all. For 6 weeks. Fantastic.

For dinner, we had shells with spaghetti sauce. Fabulous Annika loved it:

And now I'm relaxing a little before our trip up to Vermont tomorrow. Aside from the license episode, it was really a fantastic day, and a great start to the weekend.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wedding weekend

I generally try to get on here at least once a week, but I'm a little behind this week. It's been a very busy 10 days or so. The highlights include a work conference in Worcester, followed by the monthly meeting of my professional organization in which I ran for secretary and won! Then the next day we drove to Buffalo for Jim's cousin's wedding. We were in Buffalo from Friday evening until yesterday morning when we drove back to Boston. Now we're settling back into life.

Here is Annie with her cousin Maddie, Uncle Rob, and Grandma in the pew at the church. Annie insisted on standing in pew the whole time.

 And here are the three of us at the church after the wedding:

Annie did OK on the trip. She tires very easily during these trips, but no surprise there. There's so much to absorb. But she seems to have bounced back pretty quickly. Tonight, for the first time, she is sleeping under a quilt that her grandma made for her; it's her first night without the sleep sack. Let's hope it goes well. Tomorrow is swimming and grocery shopping and a play date.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Recap of a near-summer weekend.

1. Jim worked on Annika's door.

He fit it to the frame, did the mortise work so that the door handle and skeleton key fit, and installed the hinges.  It is now ready to be sanded and stained! Not sure if we're going to go with polyurethane or if we're going to do a stain so that it matches the floor

2. Saturday: we went to a birthday party for the boy across the street, who turned 8.  Annie hung out with the little boy down the street who is the same age as her, and enjoyed a balloon (string tied to her outfit). 

She also won the limbo contest.

She also enjoyed the cake. Very much. She wanted more. The cake was in the shape of a soccer field, and had soccer figurines on top. It was made by our next-door neighbor - she is an expert cake decorator.

3. After we went home and Annie took a nap to rest up from that party, we went to a BBQ at the neighbors' house behind us.  We had a ton of fun. Annie got to play with their toys, including a very cool walker thingy that turns into a big wheel toy.

4. Sunday: I did some gardening. That's a fancy word for weeding and preparing the soil with manure and compost so that it'll be in good shape for when I plant in a week or two. There were a lot of tiny maple trees in the garden.  Plus, except for the arugula, none of my lettuce has germinated. So it was time to rake up the soil so I can plant something else there. No room to spare in this garden.

5. For lunch, we did a picnic and a little walk at Houghton's Pond.  Annie is working on standing up by herself and she was starting to get brave this afternoon.

After lunch, she went on the swings (her all-time favorite activity)!


6. Then we came home and cleaned up the house and got ready for the week.  A great weekend!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

13 months

Miss Annika is 13 months old today!

We had a fun evening outside with the neighbors. Annie has a new lion "walker" that she is just learning how to walk behind. It is much more fun to play with it outside, since there's not a whole lot of open space in our house for walkers. The neighbor kids enjoyed playing with the lion too. We also got to see Draco, who is a big dog (I think he's a rottweiler mix) who lives 2 doors down and is owned by our neighbor George. Annie loves Draco! He is a nice, gentle doggy and sometimes he gives Annie kisses.

Tomorrow we are going to another birthday party - the boy across the street is turning 8. We've been to a lot of birthday parties over the last month. I'm just glad that it's the weekend; time to get our lives in order before 2 weekends of travel - next weekend to Buffalo for a wedding, and the following weekend to Vermont to visit friends and a brand new baby.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11

Fifteen years ago tonight, Jim and I had our first date. We went to the Acropolis, and no, it wasn't the one in Greece. But it was the restaurant on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. I was 18.  Fifteen years from today, I will be 48 and Annie will be in high school. If we lay out life in fifteen-year increments, it suddenly goes by very quickly. I shouldn't do that.

Tonight we had a very quick dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, La Paloma, in Wollaston. It was a quick dinner because Annika was tired.  Daycare thinks she's ready to only take one nap a day. I think she's ready too, but when she does take that one nap, it needs to be for more than 45 minutes. (I think there's too much activity at the daycare for her to be able to sleep longer than that, unless she's really super tired). Daycare doesn't seem to understand this, so by the time she comes home, she's exhausted. It's frustrating to not entirely be in control. I guess I need to get used to it.

Tomorrow is a day of swim lessons and grocery shopping and hopefully a nice walk with the stroller to a park with swings.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day weekend

Happy mother's day to all the moms out there. Hope you had a wonderful day.

Aside from the obvious gifts in my life (my beautiful Annika and my handsome Jim), I got an unexpected present today too. I got to sleep in until almost 8am this morning. Why is this? Because Annika decided to sleep that long! I don't think this has ever happened before. She must've known that today was a special day! Jim is grilling kabobs for dinner tonight - for anyone who hasn't tried grilled pineapple, you need to do it as soon as possible. It is so good.

It's been a really nice weekend. Now that Jim is done with his class, we are starting on some of the home projects that have been building up over the last year. The first project is to put a door on Annika's room. Several years ago, we decided to get rid of the door to her room. It had been damaged when we refinished the floor in that room, and honestly, it was just garbage. Really, all the outer doors on the second floor are garbage. The closet doors are beautiful, original, paneled doors. But for some reason, one of the prior owners decided to get rid of the matching outer doors, and replaced them with the cheapest hollow doors they could find. The closet doors continue to be beautiful, despite the fact that they are 90 years old. The outer doors, perhaps half the age of the closet doors, have just gone downhill.

So yesterday, Jim bought a solid, paneled pine door from our favorite home improvement store, and is now working on hanging it - not as easy as it sounds. He has to fit it to the door frame, attach hinges, install hardware (such as a door knob), coat it with polyurethane or a stain, and then hang it. He has done the first two things on the list and will continue working on this over the week. Good thing for all those wood tools. :) It should be beautiful when it's done.

Other projects? Replace part of the ceiling in the porch, strip and refinish our rocking chair, replace some wood in the garage and paint it, plus the usual gardening, and possibly replace the attic windows. I think it'll keep us busy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Saw this in the Boston Globe today. Some nice (if somewhat non-descript) photos of Quincy, with a little commentary.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!  I spent this evening at a book launch/reading for a friend from the immigration law community. It is her debut novel - Try to Remember. I got my copy signed, of course. The party was at the Old State House, which is this old brick building, built in 1713, which was the seat of the colonial government and later the seat of the state government, and even later, the seat of the local Boston government. The Boston Massacre occurred right outside the Old State House. According to Wikipedia, it is the oldest public building in Boston. I used to walk by it almost everyday on my way to and from the Immigration Court, but I had never been inside. It is very beautiful inside, with ornate fireplaces and wide floor boards and a spiral staircase with sturdy wooden railings. It had exhibits with a lot of artifacts from the Revolutionary War era. I need to go back and look at all the exhibits some time, maybe with Annie.

Walking through Boston tonight, down the streets that I used to walk down everyday, I felt happy to live in such an interesting, old, vibrant place. I also felt sad that I no longer work in downtown Boston. I really, really miss it. Whenever I go there, I feel at home.  I hope that someday I'll be able to work in downtown again.

Today, I found a playground with swings for Annie! About a mile from our house is the public elementary school, Clifford Marshall. It's a nice walk - you can go the main way, which goes along Washington St. and Southern Artery, both major streets. Or you can go through the residential streets, which I prefer. It was nice to see everyone's azaleas in bloom. But I digress. At the Clifford Marshall school, there is quite a nice playground out front, and there was one baby swing. Annie got to swing for a few minutes, which made her quite happy. The elementary school kids were out playing, and several wanted to push Annie in the swing. It was cute. They were generally pretty gentle with her. There are also slides and other jungle-gym like things, but Annie isn't a big fan of the slide at this point, so we just stuck with the swing.

All in all, a diverse day. Annie's swim lesson in the morning, followed by the usual grocery shopping, our walk in the afternoon, and finally, my adventure in downtown. Time to turn in for the night!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Crazy Saturday

1) Annie got her first pair of shoes (that actually fit), and wore them around for a good part of today.

2) Annie used sunscreen for the very first time, when we went to a birthday party for our neighbor, who turned 1 today.

3) We have to boil all water coming out the tap until further notice. Yikes. There was a rupture in a major pipe that brings water from the Quabbin Reservoir to Boston, and the governor made an announcement that our tap water is not suitable for drinking, washing dishes, or even brushing teeth. Click here for an article about it.  Good thing we've been feeding Annika cow's milk! They're advising people to only use pre-mixed formula for babies. I would imagine there's been a run on that at the store, along with bottled water.

Tomorrow we're off to Jim's grad school luncheon. He was told that he's getting an award, but we don't know why! Details to follow.