Pancakes, Pumpkins and Productivity

First, it’s on. 

The garage sale, that is.  My neighbor Donna and I are both woefully unprepared but we’re getting our stuff out there come 9am next Saturday.  Remember how P and I were going to go through all of the items in question this weekend?  Never happened.  We decided it was enough to know we need to unload a bunch of crap.  Which items specifically will fall into the “for sale” bucket are tbd (probably around midnight Friday).  Plus, it was just too nice outside to hang around the basement wondering how we accumulated all of this junk. 

So instead, here’s what we did.  It was a wildly productive weekend, and anytime my to-do list makes good progress, I am happy.  Even better that we had fun along the way.

  • Friday night, date night for P’s birthday.  Good food.  Nice drinks. 
  • I had a solo trip out to Long Island on Saturday to visit a friend and her first baby.  Sorry Long Islanders, it’s lovely there, but it’s never an easy trip.  But I actually didn’t mind all that much because it was the first time in years I had that much car time to myself, which meant 1) songs with adult lyrics played very loudly and 2) nobody in the back seat who minded.  Oh and the baby is precious.  5 weeks old.  I love newborns, though they make me ache for just one more resident of Fordeville. 
  • I made pancakes for breakfast on Sunday.  This really isn’t a big deal.  I have no fancy recipe to share because it was plain and from a box, but the reality is that we just never seem to have time to cook anything for breakfast recently (unless you count toasting).  And it’s one of the few foods that the whole family likes.  So that was nice.
  • We went to a local nursery and found they were doing hay rides, the pumpkin patch, the whole “fall is here, despite your denial” deal.  My son loves a good tractor ride and both kids had a ball picking out their pumpkins.  Bonus points that it was right up the road.
  • Off to the mall we went in search of an iPhone for me (done!  and wow), Halloween costumes for the kids (done! even one for the poor pug) and a birthday present for P (done!).  The baby napped through my iPhone consult and they both slept in the car on the way home — we could not have planned this if we tried.  True planet alignment. 

Here are a few shots from the pumpkin picking.  While this fun ensued, I’m sure that alien pods continued to multiply our stuff in the basement.  But I’m too scared to look, until maybe Friday.

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A Woman on a (Selfish) Mission

It never ceases to amaze me how much prep work it entails to get out of town.  This time (cue angels singing), P and I will escape sans kids.  It’s been about 18 months since we’ve had a night away by ourselves (oh, unless you count my colleague’s wedding last year when I spent more time with my breast pump  — the baby was 4 months old — than my husband in a NJ hotel room).  This getaway will, God willing, be two nights — though the plan is hanging by a thread.  Still, I remain determined to be in the car this time tomorrow, headed north.

Specifically, we’re off to Vermont for a wedding.  In my head, I have this vision of an idyllic fall weekend in New England — gorgeous scenery, some nice shopping, delicious food and the swank inn (w/spa treatments) that I booked us in the night before the wedding.  And then of course the wedding itself — fun with friends, drinks, drinks, fun, friends.   All good.

I booked my mom for this huge babysitting favor months ago and she was game, God bless her.  Now, today, she sits in a hospital in Manhattan with my stepfather, who has just come out of surgery for prostate cancer.  Thankfully, all went very well and his prognosis is excellent.  He should even come home today (robotic surgery).  But of course it shifted what she could take on this weekend, understandably. 

This did not deter me.  I had nothing but resolve (albeit selfish resolve) to get out of Dodge and for the full two nights, damnit.  I need a break from the all-consuming potty training, the terrorist negotiations with a 3 year old and the non-stop climbing of a 1 year-old.  Just a quick break, just two nights, please, and I think I’ll be as good as new.

I have never done this but I called my sister-in-law and begged her to take our son for the weekend.  Our nephew is 4 and they would have a blast (the kids, I mean — I can’t say the same for the parents).  My SIL and BIL have 4 children, ages 12 to almost 3.  They don’t sweat the small stuff.  They have a great time and — thank you God — they were more than willing to take on a 5th kid  for the weekend (they were actually game to take both of our kids, but even my selfish motives couldn’t overcome the guilt associated with that big of a favor).  Our son and his cousin will be as thick as thieves all weekend.  Who knows — maybe the potty trained 4 year-old will rub off on our son.

One kid down, one to go.  The baby — the precious 14 month old who looks like an angel but has the devil in her eye.  It’s that phase of nonstop exploration (translation = danger at every turn).  My husband has our son calling her “The Destructor.”  So cute, so curious — sooooo hands on.  For her, I have devised a revolving door of caregivers, which consist of our nanny working overtime, my aunt and maybe my mom, depending on how my stepfather is doing.  It’s kind of a precarious series of hand-offs and I feel slightly bad about it.  But did I mention I’m getting in that car and going tomorrow? 

Oh and the poor sweet pug, Senor.  His weekend whereabouts are tbd, depending largely on a matrix of events that involve my mom, stepfather, aunt and possibly SIL.  But he’s a good boy and very flexible about where he lands.  As long as there are ample treats.

So, with all of that in play (breathe in, breathe out), it’s time to get to the to-do list:

  • Grocery shopping for aforementioned revolving door of people in my house all weekend.
  • Type up a list of all reminders for the baby’s schedule, details, oddities, etc (per my aunt’s request)
  • Pack the kids’ stuff
  • Move the baby’s car seat to our second car in case my mother wants to take her to her own house (see Plan III.A.3.b)
  • Figure out dog’s weekend whereabouts
  • Leave weekly pay for the nanny and dog walker at the house
  • Make up the guest room for my aunt
  • Pack up our own stuff for the weekend (I have no idea what I’m wearing to the wedding and probably need to buy a wrap or something for outdoor September Vermont festivities. says low in the 40s.  Hm.)
  • Go shopping (see above)

Did I mention I have a dinner tonight that I committed to ages ago (add to list: Make appetizer for the dinner)?  Oh and I need a manicure (badly).  And I’m at work all day today (let’s not even get into that list).

But I’m getting out of town tomorrow.  Somehow.  Wish  me luck.

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An Overdue Gift to Myself