Monday, June 29, 2009

NY Aquarium

I am happy to announce that we have a year long pass to the zoos and aquariums in the NYC area. We had a fabulous time. It is right by the Coney Island Beach so of course the kids had to run down there--just to check the sand and the 66 degree water.

It was a challenge to keep an eye on T. He likes to run the absolute opposite direction of what you ask him to.
It was really bright.
In the video we were looking at penguins. They are sometimes called the equivalent of a donkey penguins (sorry I don't like saying it--so I smooshed it). I think they make sounds like a donkey (or something).

lullaby and goodnight

Sometimes when I go to bed it is as easy as falling off a log to go to sleep other days my brain will let me have nothing to do with it. It is almost as if my brain says to itself, "Finally a moment to think." It is often then that I have wonderful (and sometimes wacky) ideas that I think will change my life--or at least the next minute.

It is kind of like Bert and Ernie on Seasame Street.

Hey Burt (my brain).
Yes Ernie (my brain reply).
Have you thought . . . (brain begins to sing an upbeat-there-is-no-way-in-the-world-you-could-sleep-through-that song).
Good night, Burt.
(Burt is wide awake and unable to fathom thoughts of sleepiness).
Ernie? Ernie?! ERNIEEEEEEEE!

Thoughts of the night, in no particular order, include:

Bartering with friends--piano lessons for babysitting.
Other lessons--trip to Costco.

How do you show great love to dear loved ones that have lost a dear loved one? I love you dear ones--you know who you are and you are in our prayers.

Downloading music for Grandma Ot. Grandpa Ot. recently had a fall and has not regained consciousness for the last two weeks. He is in our prayers. What could we do to help Grandma feel comforted.

The need for Martha Stewart to reintroduce her Kid's Magazine. I loved the snappy photos--where the colors were so crisp and simple. The ideas were exciting and easily envisioned by children and parents alike. The layout was unconfusing. The cover was glossy. I could go on and on. I could even say [imagine me biting my lip--slightly and gulping] I would buy a . . . subscription . . . [shocked gasp].

Vaccinations, vacations, staycations, organization, visualization, food fixing, scripture reading, lessons, piano playing, cleaning house, writing a story, etc.

My brain goes through my checklists several times over. How do you tell your brain, "Enough already! I need sleep!" My head is a stubborn one. It refuses to switch to REM or any other kind of sleep. Somehow telling it over and over "Think sleepy thoughts" just doesn't . . . ssnnnnnnnnnnorrrr.

S's story

S has been helping a lot lately. I think she really treasures time with me. The other day after we had cleaned the fridge together and I was painstakingly mopping the kitchen floor she went to the other room, obtained several sheets of construction paper, and illustrated a story--a long one. She proceeded to tell it to me. It goes something like this.

Once upon a time there was a queen named Queen Lovely (names have been changed to protect the innocent--actually I forgot but it sounds more interesting that way), King Artist (that is the right name she gave him), Prince Kingboy (again the name S gave him), Princess Beautiful and the baby. They went on a picnic and they found a baby dolphin that was an orphan and both its parents had died. They put it in a huge tank so it could swim around and it was very happy (sorry environmentalists--you can pretend it says and it was adopted by a huge pack of dolphins and lived in the ocean).

The family got lost all except for the daddy. They were swallowed by a shark (I think she meant whale). King Artist and the dolphin looked in one ocean and then another and finally he found the whale and got swallowed. They couldn't get out through the teeth--there were only little spaces. Their dolphin friend was there (but not swallowed) and pulled them out with a rope through the blow hole. And they all lived happily ever after.

I'd say that is a pretty good story for a 4 year old (though parts of it sound oddly like the movie Pinnochio--but still).

With any luck a video of her telling it will be coming soon.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good Words

In our family we strive to use good words. Sometimes I get in a bit of a silly mood and add different letters to the beginning of words--you know, like the old song S'wonderful.

I was putting on my make up in the car (please tell me I am not the only one that does this--I hate to think the Allstate commercial was directed solely to me) and S asked me, "Mom, what are you doing?"

I answered, "Putting on my s'make-up."

S became perturbed and lecture-ally stated, "Mom, that's not a good word. We don't say that word."

I'll admit I bit my lip, but I couldn't help but laugh a little. Then after I could hold it in I promised her I wouldn't say that word again (but I also let her know it wasn't a bad word--if you know differently please let me know).

Unmistakably offended at my laughter she authoritatively folded her arms and gave me the you-know-I-mean-business-mother look.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Playgroup is super here in Brooklyn!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday R!

This was R's birthday party. We went to Chuck E Cheese and played and played. These are our friends Stacey and Samuel. Jason and Apollo. Stacey and Jason are married and Appollo and Samuel are their kids.

My cell phone camera doesn't work very well but here are the kids. I love T's expression.

R stopped for 20 seconds so I could get a decent (somewhat) picture. Thanks R. Happy Birthday!

W got really into it for the kids. :) What a great father! I love you W!

Boy Wonder--not as in Robin and Batman

One of the things I kinda like about NYC is that there is always a movie, documentary, or TV show being filmed somewhere. Maybe it is the potato blossom in me (as I am from Idaho) but there are times that I would like to sit and watch what everyone is doing. Find the techniques to make a quality film and add my own ideas, but watching for five minutes at a time is the closest I'll probably get--and I am okay with that.

They were filming across the road from me for an upcoming film called Boy Wonder. Before you assume I am a star chasing person you have to know that I hardly know any actors names. They could march right up to me and talk to me for hours, even if I knew their names, and I wouldn't know who they were. The only reason I figured out who these actors were was because I had the the drop on the situation, I could use the Internet and figure out who was in the movie and what it was all about (Wa, ha, ha).

By the way, it was a small miracle I got these pictures. The guy with the green and white sweater kept walking right in front of me as I was taking the pic. You can see the guy with the arrow pointed at him is one of the stars--the green and white guy did an effective job of blocking. Good thing my camera takes pictures at absolutely random moments or the picture of Ms. Henao wouldn't have worked (you know she must be thinking I have cute kids, cause she was looking at them [modest chuckle]).

Mr. Caleb Steinmeyer (I think)

Ms. Zulay Henao (I think)

After searching a bit I found this article:

The director, Michael Morrissey, was a short grey-haired man all in black with a thick Aussie accent. Subject change: Why do film people always wear black? There were at least 4-5 people all in black. That green and white guy must have felt like a sore thumb.

We had to avoid walking on that sidewalk for the most part (but I didn't mind--just a different view to gawk).

Nearby restaurant owner of Al Safa Lebanese food. Pretty good taboulea. They had a spread of snacks for the actors and crew (cheese puffs, chips, suckers, R eyed it hungrily). R took this pictures.

Now if you see any more of these filmings going around I appreciate your telling me. I love seeing the huge cameras and all the folks that work on it even though they always give me the wary watch-out-don't-film-yet-that-lady-has-children-that-may-go-off-at-any-moment look.

Note to self. If you want to scare camera crew bring a child The more children, more effective the scare.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Bronx Zoo

We went to the zoo as a family a couple of weeks ago. Now we have our official zoo pass--except that it goes to all the zoos and the aquarium (Yay). It also has unlimited access to the bug carousel and the butterfly garden (which we all loved). You will also see the effect of T's first haircut. No more curls.
This wasn't actually at the zoo, it was at a school activity for R, but those pictures didn't turn out as well and there are not many good zoo pics of me, so I added it. :) See my new haircut?
Oooh, W's muscle is so big it covers the lions in the back.

Doesn't this picture remind you of the old Chinese or Japanese art? R took that picture.
Can you see R in the back?
R was the only one who held still enough for my camera phone long enough. :)
Remember how disobeying your parents and chasing the peacocks in the zoo was so much fun? It took all my restraint to tell my kids NOT to chase the peacocks. Something in me still yearns. . .

Note R's face--the look of a rhino.

We are so blessed!