Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

It was a busy day. Daddy and Grampa have been doing a lot of work on the house (pics and updates to come!), so Des and I went to the park for a while.

Then Daddy took Des to a couple of the neighbors houses for trick or treating tonight.

Desmond as pirate and Tony as... Terry Francona?

Des doesn't quite grasp the concept of dressing in costume and knocking on doors to request treats. It was really just so our friendly neighbors could see him in his costume. They got a kick out of it.

However, Des does grasp the concept of bath time. And how freakin fun it is.


Great day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Costume on the Cheap

I hadn't put too much thought into Desmond's Halloween costume. I was not psyched about choosing one for him, fighting with him to get dressed into something he doesn't care to wear just to take photos and say "See? We dressed you up that year!" But if I didn't do that, people would talk, right? I'm not secure enough to not care what people think, I guess.

Shopping didn't help with the lack of enthusiasm. It was the weekend before Halloween so I knew pickins would be slim. I tried three different places. The first had 1 option for boys... a monkey. It was cute, but there were dozens of monkeys on the rack. Which means every other little boy with a last minute costume would be a monkey. That bothered me. Plus it was $25, which seemed high at the time. No thanks.

The next place only had costumes in a bag, which I think look cheap. If one year Des wants to be something out of a bag, I'd be all for it. But while I still have a say, I'll pass. Plus the only option for boys his age was some weird cartoon character that I didn't know.

The third place had a bunch of options. My favorite was a chicken. So cute! Plus, we call Des 'chicken' or 'chicken nugget' (nug for short) all the time. Perfect! I took it off the rack ready to buy, when I looked down at the tag. $40. I checked the tag of different size, as if it might change things. It didn't. No, no, no. NO WAY. Maybe I'm the cheapest person on the planet. But we're pinching every penny right now. $40 for something he's gonna hate me for putting him in? Out of the question. No matter how cute.

Finally I resigned to make his costume. I'm kinda artistic! A lil' bit crafty! I think. I poked around the internet trying to decide on a cute costume that would be easy to DIY, and settled on a pirate. A baby pirate! Come on, how cute is that.

I made a plan of action as to what we'd need to buy and what we already have. Took a quick trip to the craft store and put it together one night when he was sleeping. Here's what we got:

I didn't have to sew a thing. One of the reasons I chose a pirate is that the disheveled, frayed look actually works FOR you. I bought the iron-on patch, gold puffy paint, black t-shirt, and a bandana. Everything else we already had.

Total time: ~45 minutes, including trip to craft store

Total cost: less than $10

Having pictures like these forever... priceless.

Okay, okay. I'm glad I did the costume thing. ;-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Whoring Out the Blog

I am not a good sales person. In junior high when we had to sell candy bars to help pay for our trip to Washington DC, I would give them to friends and then pay for them with my own lunch money and allowance.

In high school when we'd solicit donations for our volleyball team outside of a donut shop, I barely made eye contact with people. I didn't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable or obligated to give. No really we're fine! :smile, look at feet:

So here I go. Reaching out with a candy bar and a tin cup.

Inspired by the enthusiasm and creativity of those I met at Blogtoberfest, I'm asking for your help to make some connections and increase our readership here at POP. And instead of monetary donations, it comes in the form of two little mouse clicks!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Click the image above (or the icon on the right side menu) and then click vote. Super simple. They don't ask for emails and won't send you spam or monitor your checking account (I promise, Mom). I would appreciate your support ever so much!

I've found some really great sites that have become daily reads for me through I'm hoping I can get a few more readers of my own.

Okay. So thanks. I'm gonna go fidget and itch my neck for a while.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blogtoberfest 2010

Last Thursday Tony took over the bedtime routine for one night so that I could attend the 4th annual Boston Blogtoberfest. Hosted by the beautiful and talented (as most of us BTrees are) Jenny, of All Eyes on Jenny fame, it was a chance for local bloggers to get out from behind the screen and meet up face to face. There were cocktails, appetizers, impractical shoes, and adult conversation. Like a whole other planet. A fabulous, urban, lovely scented world free of primary-colored plastic toys and spit-up... although there may have been some caked on the collar of my dress.

I got to catch up with old friends, as well as meet many new ones. I also won booze! If the universe is sending me a message to get out more, it hath been received. Event sponsor Brew England (run by my good friends Sarah and Adam) raffled off gift baskets of their favorite beers. I've already imbibed in two and they were deeeelicious.

My night out with my fellow blog nerds made me realize two things:

1. I am hopelessly technologically challenged. This blog is as savvy as I get. I still use a non-smaht phone... phone calls and texting are the extent of its capabilities. Gagdets aren't my thing. I don't tweet and don't understand the purpose of Twitter. I'm sure there is one, it's just beyond my comprehension. I save my most visited links and blogs to my favorites in Internet Explorer... I know not of this Google Reader. Marcel tried to show me, but I was all:

It's okay. I like that disconnecting is easy because I don't carry the internet in my pocket at all times. I have no immediate aspirations of becoming more tech savvy. But I'm not stubborn about it. One day I may jump on board and get a phone from this decade or start up with the tweeting. Stranger things have happened.

2. I need to get out more. Regularly scheduled Momma's Nights Out are in the future. I'm not at a place right now where I need to get out of the house. I actually enjoy being home with my family. But I don't want to get into a rut where all I can talk about is BABY BABY BABY, and I never want to get to a point where I feel trapped or resentful that I'm home on another Saturday night. Like I said, I don't see that happening. But going out every once in a while will make me a more well-rounded person, and therefore a better mom and wife. Duh, right?

All in all, it was a great night out. Although there was not a whole lot of networking on my part... I think I passed out 3 of my DIY business cards (made with mailing labels and a cereal box, hello ghettooo). I still had fun chatting with peeps in a new bar with make-up on my face and a drink in hand. Very refreshing. It was like my version of a spa treatment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Coming Through, Part 1

In July 2009 while in my first trimester of pregnancy, I started having unexplained seizures. This is part 1 of the series that recounts that time. Read the intro here:

I shall drive my chariot down your streets and cry
It’s me I’m dynamite and I don’t know why
And you shall take me strongly in your arms again
And I will not remember that I ever felt the pain

An activity book of word searches sat on the coffee table. It was a recent Saturday morning and Tony’s mother watched Desmond for us the day before. I figured she came upon the book trying to find something to do while Des was napping. I flipped through the pages and noticed something odd. Only single letters were circled, not whole words in long skinny ovals like you would usually see. Huh. Must be a different way of solving these things.

“Ton, I think your mom is a secret agent sending messages to the government.”

I showed him the book.

“That’s weird.”

He tried to find a connection between the words given and the letters circled. Maybe she only circled the first letters of the words. Or the letters that were not included. It didn’t make sense. We were both perplexed, but we put the book down and didn’t think about it again.

Next Saturday came. Tony was feeding Desmond at the kitchen table. Peaches and yogurt and waffle. Daddy wasn’t putting the waffle pieces down fast enough and Des was letting him know with all sorts of excited “Ahh”s and “Guhh”s.

“One at a time, little man,” Tony said.

I sipped my coffee. The word search caught my eye on the coffee table.

“Hey Ton, did you ask your mom about the book?”

“Shoot, I forgot.”

“No big deal. Just curious.”

Later that night, after the baby was asleep and we were lounging on the couch watching TV, Tony picked up the book.

“Hm. These form words. Something is spelled out. ‘These… last… few… days…”

I peeked over his shoulder and we read it together, out loud, connecting the scattered letters slowly.

“Have… been… scary.”

He closed it. We both remembered something at the same time. This book was given to me last year when I was in the hospital, 14 weeks pregnant and having unexplained seizures. A 911 call, frantic ER trip, 2 ambulance rides, 5 days in the hospital, so many doctors, and countless tests. Tony never left my side.

It’s a 2-3 week timeframe of which I remember very little. But in a rare reversal of roles, this was something that Tony had forgotten about.

“I did this in the hospital one night. I couldn’t sleep.”

I could tell he was embarrassed. That I had found something he wrote and that he had forgotten he wrote it in the first place. I asked if I could read the entire thing. He said yes, somewhat reluctantly. I pieced together the letters to form the words at a slow, halting pace in my head…

“Sarah, I love you more than words can describe. I would not know what to do with myself if something were to happen to you. These last few days have been scary for me. I can only imagine how hard they’ve been for you. We’ll get through this together and be stronger because of it. Sleep well, my love. Love, Tony”

Tears fell out of my eyes. I pictured him sitting in the dark next to me as I slept in the hospital bed, circling these letters, one at a time in a puzzle book.

I felt so sorry and guilty for putting him through it all. The word “scary” was ringing in my ears. I recall at the time feelings of confusion, anxiety, exhaustion. He was scared. Maybe it wasn’t the first time he shared that feeling with me, but it’s the first time it sunk in. Like a 2x4 to the face.

Not so much here, or here, but riiiight here. Bam.

Then, pushing through that helpless guilt came a profound sense of gratitude, humility, and love. I couldn’t hug my husband long or tight enough to express it. If I could, I would just hold on to him with both arms forever.


When I told him I was going to write about this, he said there was more to read than just the puzzle book. Soon after it happened, Tony had typed up a full detailed account of everything. He never told me about it until now. Apparently my husband had painted the picture I had been looking for all this time. Now I was finally ready to see it.

Reading it was like looking into someone else’s life. I guess I hadn’t realized just how little I remembered. There were tiny moments I could recall through my eyes, like photographs, but most of it I saw for the first time through his. And that’s when I understood how truly scary it all was.

Continued in Part 2...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Run Down

1. Happy belated 31st birthday to my wonderful husband, Tony. We went out for an amazing dinner at the Capital Grille. I can say with little hesitation, it was the most amazing meal of our lives. We made inappropiate noises at the table as our steaks melted in our mouths. I'm sorry gentle people of the Capital Grille. We don't get out much. Then I gave him his gift of Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, and underwear. All romance up in here. Here's to celebrating every birthday together forever and ever, my love.

2. Desmond turned 9 months old on the 15th. I... I can't wrap my brain around it. Where did my baby go?

Oh there you are, sweepea. Even when you're 6 feet tall, you'll still be my baby. Here's hoping you're not still sucking your thumb by then.

3. You may have noticed things look different around here. I'm messing around a little with the layout and design. I have no idea what I'm doing. Any feedback, good or bad, is much appreciated. I already got a big thumbs down from the hubs. Okay, it was really a minor critique about one aspect, but my Negative Nancy mind spun it into Major Suckage. But really. I'm totally open to all thoughts.

4. Part 1 of Coming Through will be posted tomorrow. Eekers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Welcome Logan!

I just want to take a moment to say congratulations to our friends Jeannie and Chris on their new addition. Another little BTree Baby is in the world! Logan was born 10/17 at 1:39am.

Oh myyy... those cheeks. That face. I can't deal.

We are bursting with excitement for them. And I can't wait for Desi and Logan to be BFFs!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

All Over the Place

People told us that once Des started crawling, overnight he would be all over the place. How true it is. Three days after he made his first forward movements, he was able to go from one side of the house to the other and back.

It's fascinating to watch. Maybe I'm setting him up for bad habits, but I've been letting him explore and try different things (short of eating garbage or touching a hot stove). He pulls books and DVDs off shelves, opens and closes cabinet doors, tears apart magazines, and chases the cats. It's a learning experience for me too... I have learned that we still have a lot more baby proofing to do.

These explorations are all fully supervised, of course. With camera at the ready.

The other day he made his way over to the entrance area, quite taken with the shoes over there.

Mama's brown boots. Cute!

Delicious too.

An old pair of flats.

He was not as keen on these, I guess.

Remind me not to include these photos in my application for Mother of the Year.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coming Through, Intro

Remember that multi-part entry I vaguely referred to a few entries ago?


Last year we had a scare. It was a bizarre blip on the radar of my generally healthy life, still difficult to explain or talk about. I can’t remember a lot. It was out of nowhere and then never really resolved. But I want to share what I do recall and what I’ve been told happened. Piece it together in a way that makes some kinda sense. Then I can paint a picture, point to it, and say “Here. Here’s what happened.” For me. For my husband. For our son to read one day. Mostly for me.

I hesitate to make it public. It’s profoundly intimate. But maybe sharing it all will resolve something inside me that doctors and medicine can’t. That’s my hope.

I have a feeling it will read like a poor man’s Picasso recreation, with a little Dali and Escher sprinkled in. I’ll call it Crazy Stairs.

Oh no, did that hit Crazy Stairs?

Part 1 to be posted soon. At this point I don’t even know how many installments there will be. It’s ‘coming through’… albeit slowly.

I’ll continue to post Des updates and light-hearted entries in between. And maybe the health recaps once a week or so. Otherwise I might go a little crazy. If I’m not already there...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekends on a Budget

Things are tight lately. Or as we often say jokingly, "We po'." Not reeeeally. But kinda. So when we want to get out of the house, we try to take advantage of what our area has to offer for the budget conscious (read: po'), like us.

Our local library offers passes to museums, parks, and zoos at a super cheap price. This past weekend we had some beautiful autumn weather, and we decided to head to the zoo. Regularly, admittance would be $11 per adult (bay-buhs are free). With the library pass, Tony and I were just $2 each. That's a savings of... here I go doing the math in my head... beep-boop-bop-beep-bop-beep...$18!

I know $18 doesn't sound like much, but percentage-wise, that's like... don't ask me to do the math on that, my head will explode.

You have no idea the joy it brings us to save money. It makes us go "Eeee!!" And to have a fabulous family outing on top of it? Priceless.

We kept trying to point them out, but this was the first time Des really saw an animal. The bears were hard to miss. He stared. And then he kicked his legs like crazy. I'm pretty sure he wanted to wrrrastle with 'em.

He LOVED the big cats. Legs a-kickin' all over the place.

He's got big cats at home. He aint scurred.

I highly suggest looking into your local library. Also, did you know that you can borrow books from there? They just let you take them home. Without paying. And then you bring them back when you're done so your house isn't cluttered with dusty paperbacks.

What is this magical fairy land? And why am I just discovering it now?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Future Model

Working on his Blue Steel and being really, really, ridiculously good looking.

I think he's got it down.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Crawling Update... Take 2

One day we'll gain the capability to take those new-fangled moving pictures from home. For now, scroll through quickly to see the action.

After trying to lure him with every toy he owned, it was a tape measure that finally did the trick. The boys of Choice Woodworking would be so proud.


Thursday, October 7, 2010


This is Loki-cat. Approximately 10 years old, pushing 20 pounds, and often misunderstood.

- Lounging in freshly laundered clothes.
- Showing dominance over brother, Neely-cat, and most other living creatures.
- Baked goods.

- Physical exertion.
- Gates, doors, and any other barrier from places that require investigating.
- Pet carriers. This panther cannot be caged. Rawr.

Unsure of:
- That tiny human. Or could be strange looking cat. Will keep safe distance until further notice.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So Much Better

We're all feeling better, hurrah!

It's true. Although this update is really just an excuse to get that sad, snotty photo of my poor son off the front page of this blog.

Des and I took the day off yesterday to recover.


Very necessary and it totally did the trick. I woke up this morning still a bit off, but able to go to work and send Des to daycare. By late afternoon our runny noses, headaches (me), and loss of appetite (him) were all bettahh!

My boys are the best.

The world is a beautiful place when it's not covered in mucus.

I'm working on a multi-part entry that I just started tonight. It's bringing back a joy in writing I haven't felt in a while. I'm hoping to get the first installment up within the next couple of days. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Here's what we're dealing with at the Cawlamone residence:

Snot Fest 2010.

Sorry. But it's everywhere.

A quick trip to the pediatrician confirms it's just a common cold. Welcome to cold and flu season, Des! Poor bugga is miserable, but he's a trooper. If he doesn't learn to crawl by trying to get away from the crazy lady constantly wiping his nose, I'll be surprised.

Of course it didn't take long for me to catch this thing. Desmond hands out open-mouthed kisses like candy, and I can only reject my baby so many times. Love hurts, right?

7pm and I'm off to bed with a box of tissues. I am not a good sick person, so forgive me if the blog is lacking until this thing blows over.

Healthy vibes are welcome!
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