Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Trip: day 2

I forgot to mention that we arrived at 4:30 a.m. and my father-in-law was there to pick us up (thanks Dad!). Grammers was there to greet me and the children with a loving hug. I was just amazed at the joyful feeling that seemed to waft out from their lovely home.

They had gifts for my children--which made their joy reach beyond the moon and back.  Grandpa gave them camel-backs (you know the water-bottle-back-pack pictured below). And Grammers gave them gummy candy.

Note all the camel-backs. :) 
We went to sleep the children must have dreamed amazingly sweet dreams because S was up two hours later at the crack of dawn loving every moment of Grammer's house, yard, flowers, dog, trampoline, dress-ups, etc.

We went for a hike up by Alpine to Cecret Lake (I believe it pronounced like "secret").  That place is gorgeous!  On the way up T made sure Grandpa had the same standards we have by asking him if smoked or drank alcohol. The answer was, of course, no.

We met up with Steve and Mindy--of Busy Bliss fame.  We waded and saw a lot of salamanders.

We all came home exhausted, but oh so happy. Grammers had a little birthday party for all the visitors (my kids and I) and we all got fabulous gifts.  R, S, and T got their favorite cartoon characters in plastic and I got a watch (thank you).  Ben and Kara and Dad were all there too.

Then S had another lesson.  Thank you so much VDGs!  You're amazing and we are so blessed to be members of your family!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Trip: night 1

We go fly out to see our families about once a year.  

This year my kids were counting down from about 36 days on down and told everyone about it that they could.

When we arrived in the airport they told every living soul they met with unabashed enthusiasm, "We're going to Grandma's house!!!"  I think they assume that the airport is somewhat of a magical place because they become so excited. They asked everyone and their dogs where they were going (Buffalo, Orlando, etc.) and they were ecstatic, even when we had to stay in the airport 3.5 extra hours.  Thank goodness for the playroom.  It really helped my sanity.  

Then when it came time for us to catch the flight out, the kidlets nearly ran past the person checking the tickets.  Then they did run down the ramp to the airplane. The moment they stepped onto the jet, the captain greeted the children cheerfully and invited them into the cockpit to see the controls and gadgets. 

Rather than go into the cockpit and ooh and ahh over the gizmos T straightened his back and emphatically stated, "I do not drink alcohol, tea, coffee or beer! We don't use cigarettes or tobacco!"  

The attendant said, "That's a good thing, because you are only four."

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Parents 40th Wedding Anniversary

Forty years ago my parents were married.  I am so thankful for that day!  

 My parents are some of the kindest, most loving people I know. They've had 21 grandchildren (one passed). When I look at them, I feel so grateful and a happy desire to be like them some day.  They have been the greatest and most supportive parents a person could have.  They have gone through the teenage years of six children (which seems very amazing to me and I have no teenagers yet).  They have gone through some tough times including having a child get seriously injured and miraculously survive, having one or more of their parents pass away, career changes, etc.  They have shoulders to cry on and  have sensitive, listening ears that strengthen and provides understanding and hope for their children.  

I am so grateful for my amazing parents. I love them more than air.

Thank you soooo much, Mom and Dad! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Girl's night out.  I wonder who the first women were to have a girl's night out.  I imagine Eve going out (or staying-in cooking) with just her daughters and they had just a good man-less talk about child rearing and the newest plants they'd found recently and the good use they were.  They would have discussed the coolest new cave drawing  (if there were caves around and they possibly had time to create something--this does not mean I think that she was a cave woman, but that I think caves would be an awesome place to put art that you want to last forever) and who had the best hair-do (and how to do it) or made the most delicious food and sharing of recipies.  

In my opinion, girl's nights out are essential to women's mental health.  Plus we learn so much from each other and sympathize with one another's challenges and difficulties.  Girl's nights out are the best!

Delmonico's is the oldest fine dining restaurant in the the United States.  For NYC Restaurant Week their prix fixe menu is a fabulous deal. Just in case you were wondering prix fixe meals mean it comes with an appetizer, main dish, and dessert.  Lunch is set at $24.07 and dinner at $35.  There are 150 restaurants participating in "the week" running from August 13-September 3 (so it's still going for another week and a half so you could go with your honey if you're in town).

I really wanted the wait staff to start dancing like in Hello Dolly in the Harmonia Gardens, but they didn't.  R helped me with the artwork on the photo. :)

This is the song that inspired the dancing I hoped (but did not expect) would happen at Delmonico's.

I ordered the scallops as an appetizer (I never have scallops--so it was newish to me).
Then I ordered the Fillet Mignon for the main dish.
And I opted to pay $5 extra to have the Delmonico's original (meaning they invented it) Baked Alaska which was utterly heavenly.  These were the other options below--a chocolate cake-ish thing and lime cheesecake. 

At one point, when we ordering I got out my pen to write something down and left it on the table.  The waiter assumed it was one of theirs and took it (it looked just like one of theirs so it's understandable).  We forgot to order separately in the beginning so they did it when we were finished eating.  We were grateful. And I took the pen they left with us.  With a house full of kids having a pen handy is essential!  Come Sunday my children will be glad I have it.

In case you were wondering what other amazing dishes that have been invented at Delmonico's they are:
  • Delmonico's steak (1830)
  • Baked Alaska (1867)
  • Egg Benedict (1860's)
  • Eggs a'la Benedick 
  • Lobster Newberg

Leandra, one my friend's pictured above says that she goes to Delmonico's every Restaurant Week because their lobster (not currently on the prix fixe menu) and their steak is some of the best in the city.  I would definitely go again. :)


Pardon my absence. 
It is very late at night. I got home from my vacation this morning and  after sleeping for the entire morning and attempting to stay awake all afternoon, I now cannot sleep because my brain is so full of  . . . everything.  I try to think positive thoughts right before I go to sleep--to encourage positive dreams.  Sometimes those positive thoughts become grand ideas that make me just about hop out of bed and run to the computer to write down the possibilities.

Tonight this word "Enthusiasm" popped into my head and just like a web for writing all these supporting themes came singing in my head.

To some, I appear a level-headed, cheerful person. I strive to be that kind of person. But what you may not see right away is that I have a few serious veins of enthusiasm.  I think it was my parents who instilled this in me . . . well that and the fact that I like to dance.  I found out on my vacation that I used to dance everywhere every day.  I know I used to tap dance in lines for lunch to pass the time even though it may have looked ridiculous--I loved it.

One time I answered the phone with a dead-pan voice.  You know, like the people at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles--the people that give you your drivers license).  My mother, on the other side of the phone call, immediately asked me in an alarmed voice, "What's the matter?"   When I told her nothing was wrong she let me know that I needed to use enthusiasm when I answered the phone so she knew everything was okay.   At this point, let me say, if you call and I am asleep and I attempt a groggy enthusiasm, know I am doing my best and that I will probably not remember what we talked about.

From the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Activity Center. This is the look I get sometimes
when my enthusiasm tips the  "normal" scale. It makes me laugh.
Enthusiasm Plus
But there are things that spike my enthusiasm.  It's like on the "normal" scale of people doing somethings they'll maybe have the enthusiasm level of a 7.  Mine will be like a 10 or tipping the scale to 11. Things that will do this include:
  • delicious food--if I don't make it, I love it.
  • good books--there are some great books out there and I want to read them.
  • blogging--obviously.   I want my posterity to know their mother and grandmother was a lovable enthusiast.
  • photography--again obviously. I strive to capture pictures of people that show personality--I love people and they're all oozing with personality.  I just have to time it right to get the perfect one.  If we talk photography please understand that I feel it an accomplishment at this point just to remember what aperture and shutter speed are at this point. I can't speak lenses or photoshop or lighting very well, yet.
  • laughing with my family--especially late at night when my laughter scale is very flexible. Which is easy when my husband makes me laugh a lot and when my kids say funny things or talk in accents.
  • site seeing--the prospect of seeing new things and learning makes me almost giddy with excitement.  While on vacation I purchased a pass to a lot of museums across the nation and the girl that sold it to me said she'd never sold one to someone that was so excited (heehee). Transit museum, here I come. 
  • performing--including being an extra--it's really difficult to keep a serious face.  I love to perform.  If you need someone to perform I will probably say yes right away.  My adrenaline pumps and it's like I have two or three times the enthusiasm of a normal person and I'll be honest, sometimes it is a challenge to contain.
  • girl's nights out--I love laughing with my friends a lot. Guffawing is so revitalizing--and silly, but great fun.
This is from Delmonico's.  I'm going to post more on that later.  I laughed so hard that night. :)

For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy the following sayings.

This one makes me laugh, W actually purchased Nutella as a welcome home gift for the kidlets and I.  :)  This is how the kids felt (except it was "Dad" instead of "Mom").

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fire Museum and I saw someone famous

Michael Kors was out and about near the NYC Fire Museum.  My friend, Lindsay, recognized him right away. I did not.  It helped that he had a group of photographers flocking around him and the sign that was right behind him. . .and his shirt.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

 Brooklyn Botanic Garden is free on Tuesday. We love going. We went one day and it was hot.

 The kids were so cute!