Mother-Daughter Lock In

Monday, January 31, 2011 2 comments
On Saturday, Chloe and I went to a mother-daughter lock with her Girl Scout troop at the Liberty Science Center. We arrived at 6 p.m. and wouldn't be let out until 9 a.m. Sunday morning. We brought our sleeping bags, toothbrushes and we slept in what we wore to the event (the rules).

We toured the exhibits, pretended to climb a skyscraper and slept on the floor in the "Infection Connection" exhibit near a sneezing nose that showed how far mucus can spray. GOOD TIMES!

We watched a movie on bugs in 3D that turned into a horror show thanks to the shrieks and screams of 150 girls. Who knew a preying mantis could be so terrifying? Two girls from Chloe's troop couldn't even make it through the 30 minute movie and were carried out in tears by their mothers.

We also got to see an IMAX movie on the Hubble telescope. Thankfully it was fairly peaceful.

I leave you with some photos of our "camping" experience.

Playing with the coin funnel.

Chloe's favorite exhibit at the LSC--the giant bubbles.

Finally, asleep. Chloe is in the black and red sleeping bag.

Me, asleep. Thanks Liisa for "sneeking" and taking this photo of me.

Part of the group at the event.

Lip Sync Performance

Chloe's elementary school hosts a lip sync for the students. Its a fun, two-hour long event, that features different student groups performing to their favorite tunes. The event is not really a lip sync, its more of a dance show. It was fun to watch and a must to video tape (this is going to be classic embarrassment material for Chloe in about 8-10 years!).

The girls all decided to wear white shirts and mini-skirts. My child wouldn't normally be seen in a mini-skirt and therefore didn't own one. I had to take her to buy one earlier in the week. Is it any shock that she picked out a camoflauge mini-skirt?

Escaping the Bitter Cold in NYC

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 No comments
Going into NYC with children is never an easy feat. When Chloe was a toddler, it was a pain. Doable, but a pain. As Chloe got older and could walk and keep pace, it was easy and fun. But, now we have two kids and one is a toddler. We're back to going into the city with all the regalia and accouterments required to keep said toddler appeased.

It was bitterly cold this weekend and the boat show at the Jav*its Convention Center in NYC seemed like such a great solution to keep us from going stir crazy at home. Because we had all the toddler paraphanelia, we decided to drive. See, we forgot the golden rule of the city---taking the train in and taking taxis or walking is always the easier, faster, cheaper option. It's an easy rule to forget. Making it through the subway system with a stroller is not easy and it's easy to tell yourself it will be faster to take the car, but it never is.

Matt & Oliver checking out the specs. on a boat.
We made it into the city in good time, no traffic snarls on the *Geo*rge *Was*hington *Bri*dge*, but when we arrived at the convention center, it seemed all of the tri-state area had the same plans. There was no parking, cars were backed up and we got re-routed through the Lincoln Tunnel in the queue and back-up of traffic. Yes, THE LINCOLN TUNNEL. As in the tunnel that connects NYC to NJ. As in, great we just got to the city and now we are under the Hudson River going back to NJ and there is NO WAY to TURN AROUND because it's a tunnel!!

Back in NJ, we were able to turn around and head back into the City once again through the Lincoln Tunnel. We were back at the convention center after paying the $7 toll for the scenic tour and back in the snarl of traffic looking for parking spaces and trying to avoid the coned-lanes directing you to the Lincoln Tunnel! So, it seemed good luck when we saw a man holding a sign that said "CHEAPEST PARKING FOR CONVENTION CENTER THIS WAY!". We made an about left-turn from the outside lane along with 15 other cars and queued up for the parking spots. It turns out the cheapest parking for the convention center is $63. Seriously.

After biting the bullet, we left our car at the "cheap" parking garage, grabbed the kids, stroller, snacks and sippy cups and headed to the boat show, along with the other 2 million people. It was like Disneyland as people standing in line 20-30 minutes long to board a yacht or even a 36 foot cabin cruiser. This was the place to be on a cold day in NYC.

Matt & Chloe passing by a line for entry onto a yacht.

I tried to capture the line to board the yacht in the background.
We did have fun at the boat show, though we didn't stand in line for a tour of any of the super-yachts. We did get to stand in line for 25 minutes to pick up and pay for our car though!
Chloe giving the once over to a boat that is the rival to our boat manufacturer.

Fair-Weather Fans

Saturday, January 22, 2011 1 comment
 Chloe's allegiance has shifted...she's still a Gia*nts fan but this weekend she's a Je*ts fan (basically whoever is winning).


A New Ride

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 1 comment
First, we fully acknowledge our addiction to purchasing vehicles. A few years ago, we claimed we were over it, but we all know that was a lie! I would like to claim this was a spur of the moment, impulse purchase, but you know I can't claim it to be. This purchase has been thought about and talked about for over a year. The last few months have seen it get more serious and cool off and then more serious. Matt has scoured dealer listings, EB*ay and other auto forums looking for "the car". He's had certain criteria he has been looking for and it hasn't been that easy to find. We've been all over the tri-state area and farther afield looking at these cars and we found "the one".

Introducing Matt's dream car, with a little Chloe & Mommy dream in it too---can you tell which bit was our dream?

2004 Porsche Turbo Cabriolet, Atlas Grey Metallic

Daddy's dream got altered a bit when Chloe told him on a test drive at one dealership that she liked the model of car that had the roof that moved and that sealed the deal, Matt altered his dream from a coupe to a convertible. Of course, we're going to have to wait for the weather to improve before we move that roof! (And it does have rear seats for the kids and it is all-wheel drive---come on, its not totally impractical!)

Snow, Snow & More Snow

Since the day after Christmas, it has snowed once a week in our area. We've had an early school dismissal, one school day canceled and a two hour late start in the last three weeks.

Every time the snow falls, Chloe gets excited to go skiing or sledding. She never seems to get tired of the snow. She enjoys shoveling the sidewalk! She asked the other day if she could have a playdate with some friends so they could shovel the snow off her trampoline. Would her friends really think that's fun?

Chloe building a snow cave in front of the house with Aunt Deanna after the Christmas blizzard.

Chloe playing in snowfall #3 (the one that canceled school for the day).

For the MLK holiday weekend, we went north to Lake Placid and went skiing at Whitefa*ce. Chloe was in ski school for two days and Oliver was in the nursery school. We always thought White*face had great children's programs, and they do. Matt and I enjoyed some time without children. Most of it was Matt instructing me in being a better skier. Unfortunately, he can't instruct me into getting into better shape and skiing always reminds me just how unfit I really am!

Chloe in ski school at Whi*teface.

Our trip started out with some bumps. We left a ski bag and my packed bag at the top of our landing. We didn't realilze until we checked into our hotel room. Oliver and I had no change of clothes and I had no ski gear, except my skis. We had the choice to make the 4.5 hour drive home or the one hour drive to the nearest discount clothing retailer. We chose the one hour drive. With the purchase of a few essentials, some pajamas and a change of clothes for Oliver and I we were ready to get the weekend under way. I was able to wear a pair of Matt's ski bibs and rent boots and a helmet at the mountain. I think we failed in the organization/communication area of this trip, but its a lesson learned to communicate the number of bags going on the trip!

 It's cold in Lake Placid, really cold (And, yes, that's a negative in front of that number 17).

Chloe making the final run of our weekend with her Dad.

In the end, we had a nice weekend away as a family despite our poor start. Chloe definitely has the skiing bug again and I know Matt will be back out on the slopes with her in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I am preparing for our next big excursion as family, one that will not be as cold...Hawaii!!

Dear Friends

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 No comments
One of the great things about living outside NYC is that people tend to travel or want to travel to the area to visit. We didn't get to see as many people when we lived in Dallas--not that I am saying Dallas isn't exciting (it isn't really, unless you like shopping & eating out), but we have had more friends and family pass through this area than when we lived in Dallas. In fact, we some of our friends who live in Dallas more in NYC than we did when we were all in Dallas!

Stacie and I out and about in NYC.

So, I was excited when my childhood and most dear friend was in NYC on a business trip on Monday and we could go to dinner in the city sans children. Stacie and I have been pals since elementary school and were inseperable from that time on to college. Even though we don't get to see each other as much as we would like, we can always pick up where we left off and that is a treasure in a friend!

One Year With Oliver

Monday, January 03, 2011 2 comments
It was one year ago today that we held Oliver in our arms. We stood in the family room of Le Toukoul orphanage and watched as three nannies, each carrying a baby, slowly made their way to where we waited. There was Abdulhakim, our Oliver.