Monday, June 30, 2008

How'd I Do?

So today was the first day of my rejuvenated, get my arse in gear plan to lose 10 pounds by Alex's birthday. I did great, until I got home. Rather than take the time to figure out what to make, I opted for a before-dinner snack of Pringles and fruit snacks.


Okay. The day's not over, and in the grand scheme of things, this is not a dealbreaker. I did catch myself and have a yogurt before things got completely out of hand, so at least I put some dairy into my day. Now, I'll make myself some actual food, work out, and make sure that I eat a healthy snack before leaving work tomorrow - that should head off the snackies when I get home.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Can you tell us how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

Upon meeting Big Bird, Alex was apparently inspired to do his best Richard Nixon impression.

Big Bird palms Alex's head like a little basketball.

Family portrait by the Camden waterfront.

Will does his best shipwrecked corpse impression.


Just got home from our vacation weekend, and it was perfect. The weather held up, Sesame was so much fun - if insanely crowded, the Adventure Aquarium was great, and we had an altogether awesome time.

Grover was indeed there, and he was in SuperGrover regalia. However, I was on line for the Grover ride, the Vapor Trail - AUGH! At least Mike was good enough to capture him on digital. I did make sure to get pictures with Bert and Cookie Monster, though. I think going to Sesame Place was as much fun for me as it was for the kids.

More on vacation and pictures to come. In the meantime, I've got to finally say it. My son is going to be five and I am still not back in my pre-Alex clothes. I can't beat myself up for this anymore. For Alex's birthday, which is in just under two months, I'd like to know I'm on the path back to pre-Alex clothes. So I'm hoping that by making it public, I've committed myself to not falling off the wagon. Not congratulating myself for sticking to a good eating plan after one day by 'celebrating' with the stuff that keeps me looking like this. I commit to being ten pounds lighter by Alex's fifth birthday. Keep me honest, folks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Of Pirate Parties and Pre-K Graduations...

The end of school always brings running around with it. This week, Will's class had a pirate publishing party (say THAT three times fast) and Alex graduated Pre-K.

What's a publishing party? It's when the classes work on projects for a few weeks, and then 'publish' their projects - make a cute little report book up and such - and parents and family to come visit, ideally. Will's class worked on pirates this past month, so he wore his Jolly Roger finest to school that day (a very cool tee from Savannah with the pirate flags of some of the most famous pirates in history, plus his skull & crossbones bandanna) and I contributed two bags of - you guessed it, Pirate's Booty - to the party. I brought Alex with me, dressing him in his Pirates of the Caribbean shirt to make sure he felt like he was a part of things.

The Pirate Boys!

Will's teacher this year is one of those teachers who really goes the extra mile with getting the kids involved in their learning. At the end of each school year, she goes all out and decorates the classroom for one major theme to end the year on, this year's theme being Under The Sea. Since pictures are worth a thousand words, let me just pause here to show you.

That's a classroom. How cool is this? There are fish, crabs, jellyfish, and even a plush Orca hanging out in the classroom with the kids. Last year's class theme, the rain forest (complete with hanging vines and snakes) was tough to beat, but it looks like she may have topped herself. It was fantastic.

We got to review all the kids' projects and comment on them, and then we pretty much just hung out. I snapped this cute shot of the boys - I love when they think no one is looking and you can really see how much they enjoy each other's company. Despite the fact that they get on each others' nerves constantly.

And then, it was time for Alex to graduate Pre-K yesterday. And I actually didn't fall apart into a puddle of sobbing motherhood. I think that may have been due more to the irritation at the rude parents and assorted family members who kept shoving and standing in everyone else's way - seriously, if you're in the front row, what the hell do you need to stand for? Sometimes, adults are more infantile than the children.

Anyway. It was Alex's day, and he was awesome. He sang, he danced, and ultimately, became a graduate.

Of course, having received his little diploma early on, he got bored pretty darned quickly.

So now, it's on to Sesame Place and a great summer.

We leave in less than two days for Sesame Place! I think I may be more excited than the kids. I hope we get to see Grover; even at the ripe old age of 37, I love that furry little blue guy. Bet on me taking a picture with him if he's wandering around; if he's in SuperGrover regalia, so much the better.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I think everyone's day would be a little brighter if it started off with The Village People, don't you?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Plurk Obsession

Okay, so as if Facebook wasn't an obsession enough - or Ravelry, for that matter - I get Plurk. I've never Twittered before, but a bunch of knitters on Ravelry have been talking about Plurk, which is apparently just like Twittering. So I set up an account (full disclosure: I also heard that one of the Plurkers would share a sock pattern with any fellow knitters who are also Plurkers. Hey, you knew it was likely knitting related, didn't you?)

So I sign on, and next thing I know, after some time in the Plurk Ravelry forum, I'm now addicted. I've even added the widget to my blog, so just take a look over there on your right. Hi there. Now you know what I'm doing all day long. Doesn't this give your life new meaning? Thought so. So if you happen to be on Plurk, just look me up.

By the way - met Stacey for lunch at ZenBurger yesterday, and now she's converted me. Vegetarian but tasty? Chipotle sauce on tap? Dancing hamburger video? What could possibly be wrong? I tried to find footage of the dancing hamburger on YouTube, but sadly, there was nothing to be found.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pretty much speaks for my frame of mind today.

In other news, I finished the Lacy Days socks from the last post. Very comfortable! Now, I've gone and started the epic Tree of Life afghan project (check out the button on the right) from Lion Brand. I've joined their Knit-Along, and God help me, I'm going to do it. I'd love to have it done in time for my mom's birthday in September.

Have to continue on my quest for a bathing suit today, since the only thing I accomplished at Old Navy earlier this week was an understanding that I am about a decade too old to be shopping there. At least for bathing suits. Sigh.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the Daddies out there!

This weekend was a whirlwind, like they've been for the most part lately. We had Will's delayed birthday party yesterday - same bat-time, same bat-channel (i.e., Nathan's, where he's had the past two or three birthday parties).

Nathan's on Old Country Road, by the Source Mall? WOW. They've done some big-time renovations, including adding a separate party room with two large screen HDTVs for the kids, the Burritoville is finally open, and a Ray's Pizza is coming. Yum.

It was great for Will, because we had 19 kids there; he was surrounded by his friends and family, and I am pretty sure the kid had a blast. And the stash of presents? Don't even get me started.

Will and the guys chowing down

Birthday cake time! It was an Iron Man cake - ROCKIN'.
After the party, I met up with Piera and we went to a book party - GOD, it was so nice to go to one again! I really, REALLY miss book publishing. And the added fun was that it was a friend of mine who wrote the book - no, not another book from Dan just yet - Robb wrote a Q Guide to Sex and the City, and had a book party at Book Court, a fantastic little honest-to-goodness bookstore in Brooklyn, last night. No mega-super-multi-floored stores, no Starbucks counters (full disclosure: there is one down the block, and I did have a tall skim latte), just a space that felt deliciously like my own living room, books, and people that knew not only how to talk books, but how to make a wicked Cosmo. Yay!

Piera, David and me - together again!

Author-Man Robb Pearlman, and David

Like the show? Buy this book!

Another old friend from the ISO days, John Nicholson, came in for the party and ended up giving Piera and I a lift back into Queens, bless him - especially since Mike and Alex braved horrific rain and a BQE shutdown to get us there and apparently only beat us home by 20 minutes.

It was awesome. And as I settled into bed last night, I whipped out the book and read half of it. I finished it this morning. Reading Robb's book is like sitting down to a Sex & The City marathon with some of my best gay husbands (well... it was written by one of them, after all), dish, snark and all. If you like the show, you'll love the book. Not a gay man? Seriously, this is Sex & The City - all the more reason for you to read it, girls.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I've Been Remiss...

My blogging, knitting and hot saucing pal over in The Windy City, the (Not So) Cynical Knitting Gal, has a great blog with fantastic photos of her garden and her pets (especially her smooshie-face doggie, Gracie - who has her own blog). I've been remiss in visiting her blog, so I'm off to comment all over it. Just thought I'd share. If anyone likes pictures of golden retrievers that you just want to bury your face in, I highly recommend it. And honestly, if you like gardening or just beautiful pictures, I really recommend it - how she gets those shots is beyond me.

As for me? After a brutal allergy day yesterday (thanks again, FHLL, for neglecting Field 4!), I'm back in business, sounding a lot worse than I feel.

I've gotten to the heel work on sock #2, and hoping to turn the heel on the way home if I get a seat on the train (har har). Since the first leg was a bit tight, despite the ribbing work, I cast on and knit the initial ribbing with a slightly larger needle (which Stacey would still say looks like a toothpick - we'll start Stacey off with some nice chunky worsted and size 15 needles), so I'll see how it fits when I'm done. I am fighting the urge to try on the sock now, since these needles are shorter and if I drop any stitches off the needles at this stage of the sock, I will burn them and never knit again. Okay, maybe not that drastic, but I'll whine and cry and make Mike's life miserable for a while. That's far more realistic.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

So sadly, Danny Brown's did not win their second round of playoffs last night. They played hard, though - honestly, next to last week's game, it's the best they've played all season. Will smacked a triple out into the outfield, causing me to scream myself near hoarse. Unfortunately, though, the other team pulled the win out in the last inning. Will was heartbroken, but Mike and I told him that next year, if he keeps playing with the heart he demonstrated in just these two games, it'll be a different story.

In the meantime, a shot from last week's game. Doesn't he look badass in his catcher's outfit?

Alex is so excited that the season is at an end, because it brings him that much closer to playing tee ball next season. And then, the world is in for it, because he'll have a bat.

In other rotten breaks, the dust on Field 4 - the one field that the Forest Hills Little League seems to neglect for some unknown reason - was visibly swirling in the air last night. The grass is half dead, and the rain we had wasn't enough to saturate the poor ground. My sinuses have been ripped up, and I was miserable for most of the night. Ugg.

I finished one more sock and continued on its mate (I was calling it the Rally Sock, since I felt that working on the first one during the game last week helped Danny Brown's achieve victory). I'm about halfway through the second sock's leg, so I'm hoping to get to the heel tonight, and finish it by the weekend. Since I know the mysteries of sock knitting wigs Stacey out, I'll post a pic.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

HTML Help?

I'm having a heckuva time creating links lately. When I try to link the buttons to the sites that are hosting the KALs I'm part of, I keep getting these red "x"-es above them, like I've got another picture that isn't showing up. The button is linked, but there's this ugly red x glaring at me. Anyone know what's up?
Kindergarten is AWESOME.

So sayeth Cutie Pie, who had his Kindergarten orientation this morning. We'd been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks now, and I really thought I was well-equipped emotionally to handle just the orientation. I always sniffle and well up on the first day of school, but Kindergarten orientation? Nah, right?

WRONG! I burst into tears the minute they led the kids out of the cafeteria to go sit in the classrooms and meet their new teachers and friends. I went over to a friend of mine, who has a daughter in Heartbreaker's class and twins that will be starting Kindergarten in the Fall as well, and said, "I really didn't expect to cry today." She gave me an encouraging nudge and told me it was okay. My baby's going to Kindergarten. Wow.

The orientation itself went smoothly. I got there early to help set up, which I think also helped Cutie Pie feel more comfortable. Unlike his brother, who walked into that school cold, he's had almost four years to be familiar with it; he's roamed the hallways with me, he knows most of the teachers, and quite frankly, his brother is Mr. Congeniality over there, so he's blazed a very welcoming path for him. He helped me set up the cookies and juice in the classrooms, and got to meet several of the teachers early on. The principal even shook his hand.

When it was time for me to start showing the incoming parents where to come in, he decided he was going to sit in one of the teacher's classrooms! When I told him he had to come with me, the teacher came out and offered to take him in until the parents were settled in, Heaven bless her.

So the parents were all funneled in, and it was great to see so many familiar faces! The first time around, I didn't know anyone. Having been a part of the school for a few years, and having Alex in a Pre-K program in our neighborhood, I saw a lot of faces I knew - hey, it's a transition for me, too. We said goodbye to the kids for a little bit, I had my mini-meltdown, and we took off for the tour of the school. I think I've gotten the tour down pat, so it only took about 15 minutes.

Of course, I stopped by Heartbreaker's class to show the parents some of our fantastic teachers and the creative things they do with their class - his classroom is currently featuring a fantastic Under the Sea layout, with a blue sheet of thin plastic, or vinyl, acting as a canopy for the class and exotic fish hanging down - I have to try and get a picture of it; it's simply amazing - so I got some face time in with Heartbreaker, who, I'm happy to see, is still happy to see me wandering the halls from time to time.

We got our little kidlings back, answered some questions, and I gave my Parents' Association schpiel. We had some interested parties, so here's hoping for some new volunteers to keep us moving forward.

Dropped Cutie Pie off at school, just in time for snack - how's that for timing? And wended my weary way back to work.

Man, Fall is going to tear me apart this year...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Go Danny Brown's!

I had the excitement of being able to not only see Will's playoff game this weekend, but got to see his team battle it out and WIN!! The kids were in full force - they had a rough season, but really knuckled down and pulled out a win in the last inning!

The game was over 2 hours long and in the brutal heat of the day (1 p.m. game, just in time for the hottest part of the day). And, as you see from the picture, these kids have on dark brown and black uniforms - essentially, black holes of suck for the heat. Thankfully, the coaches kept them hydrated and didn't let them get crazy in the dugout so they could keep their energy up.
I sat in the sun, baking, and knitting on a sock (hurrah! Finished last night!). I told Will that now I have to knit the sock's companion at the next game, because I don't want to upset karma too much by casting on something new. He probably thinks I'm crazy, but I know these baseball superstitions. After my friend and coworker Shelley mentioned that Johnny Damon went six for six after shaving off his moustache, I'm thinking I should rip the sock I finished out, so I can work on the same sock, which must be embued with good karma.
God, don't let me become a sports parent. I don't think I can handle the stress.
Anyway. Got to celebrate Adam's birthday with everyone at Pasta Lover's the other night - mmm... pasta... and even had a little time with Baby Boyd. And Nancy lit the match by mentioning she'd wanted to start letterboxing, which is something I'd been hearing about on the Lime & Violet podcast and had been toying with looking into. So now Nancy, Stacey and I will likely be roaming around Queens and Long Island, with stamps and notebooks, looking for letterboxes. Because you know, we have a lot of time on our hands. And we really needed more hobbies.
Any good letterboxing tips for a newbie?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I was reading PopCandy today, and came across this website that's like a gut-punch. A Chinese cartoon artist has created comics telling personal stories coming out of the earthquake. I can't begin to describe the power in his artwork, so I'm just going to put up the link here and encourage everyone to go to it.

By telling people's individual stories, it transcends the news and becomes real - it's not just anonymous faces that we're half a planet away from; it's a mother's last message to her child; it's the dedication of a teacher to his students; it's the policeman who has to make an awful decision. We have common ground to connect on, to empathize with.

We can discuss in the comments. I warn you, have tissues available. It's not light reading, but it's important reading.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I'm so excited. I've gotten back in touch (and never lost touch) with some old friends from the Saint Bart's days. We've been e-mailing and meeting up for lunch, and I tell you, it's really done wonders to get me through the days. The core little group of us have been busily planning a mini-class of '84 reunion, and it's actually going to happen. On June 21st. And more and more people are getting on board.

It's great, having that thread to connect me, and ground me, to my childhood. I loved my time at Saint Bart's. I loved being surrounded by the same small group of people - we went to school together, we lived together, we played together, our parents hung out together. It was a safe feeling, and knowing that we're all drifting back toward one another after all this time is like a warm blanket I can wrap around myself.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I saw, and thoroughly enjoyed, Sex & The City today. Stacey, Nancy, Janet and I had an honest-to-goodness girls' day out. First, we had a tasty lunch at CUP Diner in Astoria (and I ate healthy, too - and didn't reward myself with junk food afterwards!), and then headed in to enjoy the movie. I have to say, if you're a fan of the show, you'll enjoy the movie. So take that as you will.
Nancy and I went back to her place, where Mike and Keith were waiting with the kids; I got to play with Baby Boyd for a little while until my boys got antsy, and then we were back off to Casa Kiladitis. All in all, a very nice way to spend a Sunday, normally the day I loathe the most.
It was an honest-to-goodness girls' weekend, having been out to Sag Harbor for Lauren's baby shower the day before. I can finally reveal the super secret projects, having completed one of them (the baby blanket) in the car on the way to the shower! I'll have pics up soon, but there is a baby blanket, a hat, and the Baby Chuck Taylors, which went over as well as I prayed they would. I have some washcloths that I'm working on, but it's not super-secret anymore since I pulled one out at the actual shower to work on.
Lauren is a glowing mommy-to-be, and she was surrounded by some gorgeous baby gifts and lots of love. I even got to see the baby belly move!! I swear, I never got tired of watching my own belly jump around when Will, and then Alex, would let me and everyone near me know they were awake, so I love watching my friends get to experience the same things.
Sigh... back to the real world manana.