Friday, August 29, 2008

Finish the Sentence

I saw this Meme on Diary of a Modern Matriarch and thought it looked fun. Rules are easy -

Finish the sentence.

Maybe I should learn to use my sewing machine.

I love the smell of stove-cooked popcorn (not the microwave crap).

People would say that I am busy!

Tomorrow I will start coming up with a plan to clean our old bedroom.

I don’t understand why people still support President Bush. (sorry, I really don't)

I lost my sanity long ago - thank God, or I would go crazy!

Life is great, fun, exhausting, joyous.

My past involves good times with good friends and family.

I get annoyed with close-minded people.

My idea of a good time is hanging out in my kitchen with my friends and our families.

I wish I had about 10 hours more a day!

I have low tolerance of ignorance.

Never in my life have I been water skiing (and not regular skiing since I was about 6).

High School was fun.

When I'm nervous I realize I am probably doing something good for myself.

I'm almost always doing six things at one time.

I'm addicted to decaffeinated raspberry ice tea.

I want someone to clean my house.

I am not going to tag anyone - but feel free to use!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Olympic Fun

So I didn't blog about it - but I had so much fun watching the Olympics this year. Introducing my girls to the Games was such fun. They were mesmerized by gymnastics, swimming, diving, synchronized diving, equestrian, synchronized swimming and volleyball. They really loved it. It made it such fun to watch with kids seeing it for the first time.

Of course now we have a fish named Nastia. I begged them to name our new fish Michael Phelps, but no go. My DH was like "what, who? I think you got her name wrong". ummm...nope

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Amusement Park Vacation

So last week our daycare was closed. It always is this year - we still have to pay, and frankly, I'm not sure why they close, but they do. So, just like last year, we decided to go to Pennsylvania for a quick easy vacation.

On Sunday we went to the Nationals game (don't even talk about how they are playing), and in about the 6th inning, left to go to Lancaster, PA. The kids slept almost all the way, and we arrived, quickly checked in to our cottage, and headed for Dutch Wonderland. I LOVE this park. Designed for younger kids (i would say under 10), low-key, inexpensive, etc. They also let you come in after 4pm if you are buying tickets for the next day. LOVE that. So we spent a few hours, and reintroduced the kids to the park.

The next day (Monday) I spent over 10 hours in the park with the girls. OY! DH and Big Man went back for naps mid-day but we hung in there. It was actually great. They went on every ride and while DH was gone, we went to the water park. They have these great gigantic water slides (4 stories or more) that you go down in a raft. They were SOOOOO much fun. We also saw lots of shows and just had a great time.

The next day we went to a big farm that had hay chute slides, a petting zoo, a corn maze, and the like. It was fun and a nice change. Then, at lunchtime we got in the car and drove 1 1/2 hours to Sesame Place. We had 2 day tickets (they are really all they sell - for a CRAZY Disney-like price!!!) so went in that evening. I was concerned that Big Man would be afraid of the 6-foot Elmo and the other characters. He was a little hesitant when we first went in and saw Super Grover, but then we went to the Abby Cadabby show, sat in the front row, and Big Man was enraptured! He really loved it. When we went back the next day, he had an Elmo shirt on, and LOVED repeatedly showing it to Elmo whenever we saw him. The girls liked it too. K even got to dance with Ernie during the parade!

All in all a great vacation and a nice family getaway!

Now back to work and reality!!

Want more vacation stories? Visit We Are That Family for the Sizzling Summer Vacation Spectacle starting Friday!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Democratic Convention

Why oh why do I have to stay up so late to see Michelle Obama?? I am tired, but I don't want to miss it. On the other hand, I wept to see how well Ted Kennedy did. As a Massachusetts transplant, I love him. I have to - its inbred when you are born in Boston. But he was so brave and strong to get up and speak at this meeting. And so inspirational...

Food Fun - Part II

So after our first week of teaching the kids how to eat like people (where every single night was a screaming, hysterical, sobbing mess), the kids got a break because we went on vacation. I wasn't going to make them actually order stuff they won't eat from a menu.

But tonight we were back at it. Actually last night, but that was just pasta, bread, and applesauce - and they eat that all the time. Tonight was steak sandwiches, hash browns, and broccoli. And -- AMAZINGLY -- there was no crying. There was even a bit of enthusiasm. What a miracle!!! They didn't happily eat it - but they did eat it - most of it. It was awesome. And like I said, NO FUSSING. I'm sure it is a temporary bloop, but I will take it!!

Tomorrow is salmon - something neither my husband or I eat. I am the worst New Englander ever - I don't like snow - I don't ski - and I don't eat fish. My Dad, when he was growing up, his mother served dry fish sticks EVERY single Friday. So when he got married, my Dad told my mother he would not eat fish - ever. My mom loved fish, and used to get it at restaurants, but we never had it at home. So I never got a taste for it. But it is so good for you, so I want to try and like it.

So, tomorrow night lets hope there are not 5 sobbing, hysterical people at my dinner table! Wednesday night is terryaki chicken.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Healthy Eater 101

K is a horrible eater. Has been since she was a toddler. Now, at 6, she eats NO vegetables, and NO fruits. Seriously. She eats baby food banana/mixed berries and she eats applesauce, but that is it. She also eats no meats. Chicken nuggets only. No hamburger, no hot dogs, no grilled chicken or chicken in any form other than nugget, no red meat, no pork, no turkey or other poultry. She is pretty much surviving on dairy (yogurt, cheese) and grains (bread, bagels, cereal, pasta). She will eat peanuts and cashews to help with protein and she likes quiche (with cheese only, of course).

B, at 4, is a much better eater. She loves all fruits, many veggies, but is also bad on proteins. She will eat chicken nuggets and grilled chicken pieces - but that is about it. She also like nuts, but does no like eggs. Worse, K has started to wear off on her and she is getting picky.

Big Man eats everything and lots of it (he moved up to the 20% at his 2-year checkup - yay!).

This is something I have wanted to work on for a while, but just haven't had the will. A few weeks ago, the straw broke the camels back. I had taken the girls berry picking and we made a beautiful strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry pie. It smelled soooo good. B eats all these berries and LOVES them. She also like bread. So pie should be right up her alley. I knew K would scoff at it. When it had cooled and I cut a slice for B, she refused to even taste it. I was so angry. I actually left the room and went upstairs so I didn't just kill them. When I came down I was still really pissed. I basically told them that I had had it. They were not going to continue to eat like they were and when I got back from vacation we would all eat as a family. Whatever mommy (or daddy) cooked for dinner was IT. Nothing else unless you clear your plate, and no snacks when they come home from school (they get a snack at school at 4pm).

This week we started it. And what a joy it has been. Monday I played it easy on them - homemade chicken strips and McDonalds french fries. I actually went to Mickey Ds and bought the fries. Big Man gobbled it all up and wanted more. K and B sobbed to the point of hysteria all through dinner. DH decided that they could not leave the table until they had finished their plates. They had about 4-5 small pieces of chicken. K finally finished around 8:15 (15 minutes past bedtime). B didn't finish until nearly 9:15, after I had coated each piece in grated cheese.

Tuesday we had pork tenderloin with rice and green beans. The rule was you could leave the table after you had tried a bite of everything on your plate, but no more food unless you finished your dinner. This got all three of them screaming crying. Big Man liked the rice and green beans, but the pork was too much chewing for him. He had two pieces, and cried when I wouldn't give him yogurt. I could not get him to understand he had to eat the other two first. But I didn't want to break the rules in front of the girls. K and B again had sobbing crying fits. B eventually ate enough to get a cheese stick. K ate one piece and was done.

Tonight we are having chicken Marsala with pasta. Should be lovely. I think we are in for a few weeks of this, but I am hopeful we will someday have our nice, pleasant dinners. At the very least, I think I am going to need a nightly glass of wine with dinner to get through all the tantrums!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

His Expression Just KILLS Me

We had a lot of picnics in Paris. We would grab some baguettes, some cheese, some wine and some pasties and just pop a squat. One day, while picnicking near the Eiffel Tower, I decided to get a group picture. I carefully set my camera up on top of some plastic cups and set the timer. As I ran around my friends to drop into the picture, I slipped and slid on the grass and sort of ended up sliding into my spot. It didn't hurt, and was completely hysterical - especially the way I am looking happy and perfect in the picture while all my friends are looking at me.

But the best part is in the background of the picture. Over my shoulder is a police officer. He saw the whole thing and has the most priceless expression. Here it is blown up:

He looks so appalled. I can barely type this it makes me laugh EVERY time. He actually jumped over the little fence to come to my aid. He had a little hanky out for me to wipe the grass stains off my leg. I just couldn't stop laughing.

Here is the pretty version of the picture:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Just Can't Help Myself

So my middle child is a trip. Truly she is goofy, silly and just plain loco. Last night was no exception.

K came downstairs about 40 minutes after bedtime and said that B was singing loudly and refusing to stop. As she is saying this she is in our front hallway, and I see B sneak around her, go through the dining room and into the kitchen. K continues to complain and B pops out of the kitchen into the hall in front of her and is singing, strumming an imaginary guitar, and doing a kind of ho-down dance. I got out one "B, go to sleep!" before I just lost it. I was totally cracking up right in front of them. B kept dancing and singing and K started laughing too. In a few minutes we got them both upstairs and back in bed.

That girl is just crazy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Potty Tales

So while we were in Paris I had the joy of experiencing the public toilet. In Paris they have these sort of large tin cans that serve as individual public toilets. They are really kind of cool if you don't think about it too much. They used to cost money, but are now free. You push a button on the outside. If they are unoccupied the little bright silver door slides open. It automatically slides closed behind you. Once inside, you will see this:
Now, if you are like me, the first thing you will notice is that there is no drain. NO DRAIN. So where, pray tell does the waste go? I couldn't figure it out, so chose not to make any deposits. BTW - above the toilet contraption are a mirror, toilet paper, and (supposedly) hand sanitizer. I wasn't sticking my hands anywhere near any surface in here, so I never found out about the sanitizer.

Now comes the interesting part. You turn the handle to open the door to get out of the tin can. When you do, the door automatically closes behind you and locks. You will then see a sign outside that says "occupied". You then hear lots of commotion from inside and what sounds like an industrial shower. Thanks to the miracle of Google, I now know why there is no drain. Apparently the entire unit flips up into the wall and is thoroughly washed out on the other side (the waste disposal side). Then it flips back down and the door unlocks and is again available. It is kind of neat when you think of it. Where the waste goes from there I have no idea (nor do I want to know. Similar to my lack of any interest in the "sewer museum" my friends went to while I read a book outside. For me, the less known, the better).

Anyway, we also visited one of Paris' most beautiful public toilets that does not resemble this contraption in anyway. It was near the church of Mary Magdalene, and was GORGEOUS. Here are some pictures. I couldn't' get any really good ones due to the big sign that said "no pictures" - in ENGLISH. Seriously, why do the French think we would take pictures of bathrooms? Seriously! (hee hee) Anyway, these were Art Nouveau and very cool. Gorgeous tile and VERY clean. I highly recommend them if you are ever in need in Paris.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Girls Gone Paris

We had such a fantastic trip. Great weather, amazing food, beautiful sites, and of course, amazing friendship. It was a perfect week. We walked, ate, and drank ourselves silly. Crunchy bread, yummy wine, creamy cheese, sweet glace', and scrumptious pastries. Despite all of it I only gained 1.5lbs - we walked ALL OVER. I will do a bunch more posts in the next few days (my perspective on public toilets in Paris, a story that will make the 7 of us laugh til we cry, and more), but lets just say it was AWESOME.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


We are here in France, and are having a great time! Arrived this morning and found my way on the apartment via the metro. Really wish those things had escalators - hauling my luggage up and down stairs for two transfers was a bitch. Ahh well..a good workout, I guess!

We walked around Ile St Louis and did some fun shopping. Had a great ham and cheese crepe for lunch and a delicioso gelato!

We spent the afternoon waiting for our friends to show up (as it turned out there flight was significantly delayed). So now we are heading out to get provisions (wine, cheese, bread). Au Revior!