Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Vermont Views 3

I pass this house on my way to the dentist. The purple looks more dramatic in real life than in these photos.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cheetos and M&M's

Today is my 40th Birthday. I wish I could say that after I post this, I am going to climb back into my bed, under my warm cozy sheet’s, and stay there until Monday. But, alas, no. After all, I am a grown-up with responsibilities, whether I want them or not. I actually don’t mind that it is my 40th birthday, as opposed to my 20th. I think that I look young for my age, maybe I do, or maybe I am just short. Anyways, what really is bothering me is my body. I can’t lose a pound (or 30) to save my life. I mean, literally, losing weight could potentially save my life. With the exception of the last 4 and a half years, I have always been a healthy weight. After my first pregnancy, I lost the weight I gained in under 2 years. Both pregnancies I gained around 42 pounds. I automatically lost 10-12 pounds after delivering. And now I am stuck.
With E, I lost all the weight doing Weight Watchers. I have started and stopped WW at least 10 times in the last 4 years. I have also tried exercising, and even when I have fun with it, I don’t want to do it the next day.
Yesterday, my hus asked me what I want for dinner tonight. I said “cake and champagne” and he replied “Cheetos and M&M’s too?” I laughed because I don’t like Cheetos. Pleeeeease, I need help! Am I turning 40 or 4? UGH!
At the beginning of the year I was tagged by Karen MEG at A Day In The Life… for a New Year, new way to think about something Meme. It was the Think Differently Challenge, and I am sorry I am not following all the rules. It has taken me this long to think of something to write about. Well, it is the start of a new year for me today. What I need to do is to start thinking about my body and my weight in a different way. Maybe not such a negative way. Obviously, my way of thinking now, is not working. And obsessing over it is not working either. I need to take action, but I am not motivated to do so. I have a lot of ideas, Yoga? Meditation? Psychotherapy? Increased caffeine intake? Crystal Meth? (just kidding). I wish I knew how to start.
For today, I guess I will just eat my cake and drink my champagne and try and RELAX.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

One Field Trip Down, One to Go

Not the dreaded field trip I complained about in an earlier post. This one I was actually looking forward to. E's drama club put together a day trip to NYC. We took a 4 and a half hour bus ride to get there, visited Rockefeller Center, had a tour of Top of the Rock, saw Mary Poppins on Broadway and ate dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe.
The day started off 10 minutes earlier than when my alarm was supposed to go off, which was 4:30 in the AM. I was up every hour during the night for fear of alarm clock failure. Being 4:20 in the AM is much earlier than I usually get up, UGH!
E and I made it to the bus on time which left at 6AM. I was fortunate to be able to sit next to a really nice young woman for the 4 and a half hour drive. She, I’ll call her J, was the chaperone and cousin of E’s best friend, who I knew would be joined at the hip with E for the entire day. J who is exactly half my age, turned out to be a wonderful, friendly companion for the ride and for the entire day. She and I talked a lot about music and shared songs from our players. Being that she is so young, I was pleasantly surprised at her eclectic taste in music, similar to mine in many ways. She was great with the girls and readily held onto both girls arms at all times while walking the streets of NYC. E of course preferred this new young cool chaperone over me. I was not offended because E still kept calling “mama” whenever I would walk too far away. I found it very anxiety provoking trying to keep and eye on our kids while also keeping track of our group of 45 people, while getting bumped into every 5 minutes or so by other pedestrians. And, I would like to know, what all of these people were doing on this Wednesday afternoon, walking the streets. Soo many people, too many for me to tolerate more than a day. One thing I did find pleasantly surprising was how polite New Yorkers were. Every time someone bumped into me or I walked into one of them, they said “excuse me”. Never once did anyone yell at me and tell me to go back to Vermont! The only rude person we saw was a man driving a NJ vehicle and he gave our bus driver the finger. The kids loved that.
Our first stop was just a quick 10 minute visit to the edge of the water so we could see the Statue of Liberty. It was soooo cold and windy by the water, we only stayed 5 minutes. Next, we visited the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink where we witnessed crazy people actually seeming to have fun skating in the 20 degree weather. At noon we took a tour of The Top of the Rock. The view was gorgeous. After, our small group of 4 got separated from the main group for a few nerve wracking minutes. We knew where the theatre was, but we didn’t know how to find our way out of the building. Heh, heh. Then when the others showed up, one of the teachers actually accused us of wandering off. J and I stood up to him though, because after all, he is not our teacher.
We then walked 7 blocks to the theatre on Broadway. That is not a long way in NYC, but with 45 people all walking at once, it seemed like it took an hour. Mary Poppins was a hit with everyone. It was never one of my favorite movies, but I did enjoy the performance. I especially liked the “Step in Time” scene where everyone tap danced. I do have a couple complaints though. I was thinking for some reason that the seats at theatres on Broadway would be more comfy and spacious than the local theatre here in Vermont. Well, this is not the case. Apparently most theatres must have been built during the time people were skinnier and shorter. It was difficult to not be able to straiten my legs for an hour and a half at a time, and I am SHORT! My next complaint was the price of the refreshments. E and I were starving, as we were forced to eat our lunch at 9:30 AM, and the show was at 2 PM, so we bought a cookie. A $4 cookie! Mind you, it was a big cookie, but for that price it should have been the size of a pizza. The souvenirs were priced as I expected. $20 for a T-shirt for E, $20 for a Mary Poppins pop-up book.
Our last stop was The Hard Rock CafĂ© for dinner. By that time E was starting to be affected by all the noise and activity of the city and stated during dinner “I wish they could shut off the music in here”. I actually enjoyed watching the music videos while eating. But I also felt like I had enough sensory stimulation for one day by then.
One other thing I feel the need to add to this long (sorry) post is the NYC fashion. The times when I was able to take my eyes off my child, I did some people watching. Mostly because I was interested in what they were wearing. And the answer surprised me. JEANS. Almost everyone had on jeans. In particular I noticed a lot of “skinny” jeans worn tucked into high cut boots. I don’t know why this surprised me, I guess maybe I thought I would see at least a few fancy people, wearing the clothes like the ones modeled on The Today Show. Not so much.
We had a great time in NYC, and I hope I get another opportunity to go again soon, like in a year or so. My next field trip is tomorrow, where I head off the Albany, NY to see Sesame Street Live with T’s class. I am going to be exhausted by the end of this school break!
Photo's: Top right: View of The Rock from the ground. Middle left: View of the Empire State Building from The Top of the Rock. Bottom right: The New Amsterdam Theatre.(note, the clock is incorrect)

Monday, February 18, 2008

E's Art Part One: Portraits

My 9 year old daughter did these wonderful charcoal drawings of us. Art is one of her favorite school subjects. She loves to do all sorts of different art projects and at least once a day she can be found doing some type of artwork.

Self Portrait

Papa Portrait (No, my hus doesn't have a mustache. That was added later by vandals)

Little Brother Portrait

Mama Portrait

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day Lovers(revised)

Our one and only Hydrangea last summer.

Revised with the correct name of the flower! I was writing at 1:30 in the morning, that's my excuse, plus I am not the gardener in the family. Thanks.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dance, Dance, Dance the (winter) Night Away

The hus, kids and I were stuck in a rut. Cold dark days and long dark nights were getting to us. Evenings spent just staring or yelling at one another. Kids fighting, Hus falling asleep on the couch, Mama reading and silently wishing everyone would just go to bed already, so she could have control of the remote. Maybe it was cabin fever. In the summer there is much fun to be had, even in the evening. Swimming, walking, playing or just sitting on the porch sipping a beer watching supper go up in flames on the grill.

For Christmas we gave E an MP3 player. We weren't sure if it would work with our slow dial-up, and it is slow, but it does. It takes around 1.5 hours for 2 songs! We had so much fun downloading E songs that I went out and bought another player for the adults to use. Now we are actually having fun in the evening, spending hours listening, dancing and reminiscing to music. It has really perked up our family time. Hus and I like a lot of the same music but also can have very different taste at times. It was my Hus's spiky punky hairdo that attracted him to me in the first place. The first time I saw him, I knew, hoped actually, that he would like the same music as me. I was really tired of meeting people that only liked country,which is very common in Vermont. And, WOW, he knew all of my favorite bands, that pretty much sealed it for me. Now we have that connection again, we even slow danced in our kitchen last week. The kids are having a ball dancing and singing too. E has choreographed entire dances for her brother. (Then criticizes him when he makes a mistake!) I am glad we have found something to do to help get us through this long winter.

Here are some of the songs we have downloaded. I know, we are all over the place with our choices.

Romantic Slow Dancing
Sharing the Night Together by Dr. Hook
All That You Have is Your Soul by Tracy Chapman
Love is Stronger Than Death by The The
Just Between You and Me by April Wine
Sara by Fleetwood Mac
Night Swimming by R.E.M.
It Doesn’t Matter by Alison Krauss
Nothing Compares to You by Sinead O’Connor

Fast Fun Dancing
Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol
This is the Day by The The
Goody Two Shoes by Adam Ant
Heart of Glass by Blondie
Lido Shuffle by Boz Scaggs
We Got the Beat by The Go Go’s

Weepy Dancing
Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad by Meatloaf
Touch Me in the Morning by Diana Ross
Wildfire by Michael Murphey
Angie Baby by Helen Reddy
Life in a Northern Town by The Dream Academy
I Don’t Like Mondays by The Boomtown Rats

Silly Fun Dancing
James Bond Lives Down Our Street by The Toy Dolls
Hockey Monkey by The Zambonis
Common People by William Shatner
Ice Cream Man by Van Halen
Mary Mary by Run-D.M.C.
Wichita Lineman(live) by R.E.M.
Afternoons and Coffee Spoons by The Crash Test Dummies
Tequila by The Champs
Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners

Songs Only Mama Dances To
Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies
Mutiny In Heaven by Nick Cave and The Birthday Party
Like A Boy by Ciara
Punks Not Dead by The Exploited
Pain by Jimmy Eat World
I’m Not Okay by My Chemical Romance
Pretty Vacant by The Sex Pistols

Songs Only Papa Dances To
Excuse Me Mister by Ben Harper
Johnny Appleseed by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
Take This Job and Shove It by Johnny Paycheck
Smoking Gun by Robert Cray

My Favorite Songs to Dance to Today
Tranquilize by The Killers
Virgin State of Mind by K’s Choice

What are you doing to pass time this long long winter?

Monday, February 04, 2008


Not those kind of peckers, silly, Downy Woodpeckers. Those cute little fluffy birds that like to peck holes in trees....

Or in the side of your house...

Well, I have news for them...

I've seen Eraserhead...

Henry: So I just, uh...I just cut them up like regular chickens?

Mr. X: Sure, just like regular chickens.