Thursday, November 17, 2011

Life's Good

Time seems to have flown by. We are already a week away from Thanksgiving and soon Christmas will be here before I know it. I love Fall because we are always so busy with fun holidays and you can still be outside with a light coat and sometimes no jacket at all. The leaves turn colors and the park becomes a piece of art everywhere you look. As you can see from the photo above the kids found this very cool hollowed out log. Not only did they have a blast playing with it they each found a spot and yelled take our picture. You would think I set this great photo up but honestly all I did was push the button. 

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Halloween. We had a blast and I was utterly exhausted by the time the actual day of Halloween came along. Kerry and Faan hosted their annual Halloween party at their beautiful house in the Poconos. We decided to dress as an army troop. The kids had a blast digging through their closet for clothes and weapons for this costume. Kerry and Faan always throw a great party and my city kids just love running through their huge back yard. This year Coolidge was lucky enough to get invited to go back stage at the Phantom of the Opera. His friend's mother used to be part of the production and still goes back every year for the Halloween party. Coolidge and his friends got see the actors put on make up, they had a haunted house set up and they were able to trick and treat. Coolidge had a blast and thought it was the coolest thing. I have to say I was a little jealous I didn't get to go with him. This is one of those things that make me so happy we live in NYC. This year the kids got invited to more parties than ever. Because of this they each dressed up in about 3 different costumes. Coolidge was a Soldier, Spy, and a Safari guy. Brody was a Soldier, The Joker, and Spiderman. I didn't mind because all of the stuff was from our closet and they just loved every minute of it. Brody would dress up every day if he could. 

My favorite holiday is next. I just love Thanksgiving because it is a time when our whole family gets together drinks and eats yummy food without the pressure of giving the perfect gift. This time of year always reminds me of how blessed I am. This year we will be celebrating in Queens with my in-laws. I am very lucky to have married into such a wonderful family.

You all know how much I love to cook. I am in no way a chef but I love food and cooking. When I get  one of my food magazines in the mail it is like a 15 year old boy with his porn magazine. Ok maybe not quite, but very close. I have been posting the dinners I make on facebook. I have gotten quite a bit of a response to these photos and a friend of mine said I should really start my own blog. I never really thought anyone would really bother to read it and thought it would just be a waist of time. However, I couldn't stop thinking about it. After discussing it with Ben over and over I decided to bite the bullet and write my first entry. I am not very good about putting myself out there for others to criticize. I don't mind constructive criticism but when you are passionate about something and someone has a snarky comment towards it, I get very irritated. I told myself that I need to relax and do it for myself and if someone picks at it harshly, so be it. I love writing it and am constantly thinking of my next entry. Now my biggest challenge is to get other bloggers and those looking for a good recipe to come read it. I think sharing your recipes is one of the best things you can do for people. I named it Quest for Delish because I am constantly looking for the most delish recipe. Sometimes I find a recipe that is good but not great. Sometimes I find one that no matter what can't be beat. Those that can't be beat are usually the ones I share. I love the blog because I hope it will challenge readers to try the recipe and even make it better. So far I think I have gotten one comment of how to change the recipe. I loved that and am eager to try. So if you haven't read my new blog go and check it out and please share with others. Quest for Delish

This time of year also makes me want a house and a yard. I love to host parties but my little apartment doesn't allow for too many people at one time. And as you know once you start inviting you can't stop. I love the convenience of living in the city but there are times like this when I would happily give it all up. It starts to get cold and walking every where becomes annoying. The weather soon keeps us in because the  bitter cold is not so fun for very long. That is when I wish I had a basement of family room where the kids could act like monkeys while I am in another room. I guess no matter where you live there are pros and cons. Most of the time I feel like this city is for young rich people or rich families who have a country house they go to one weekends. hmmmm.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Summer's Over

Fall has begun even though it still feels like summer outside. The kids have been in school for over two weeks and are in full swing. As of right now no after school sports/activities. We are still feeling out what the kids want to do and some of the activities don't start until October. Ben is back to work and making videos non stop. I have finally got everyone back on track and seem to have found a moment where I can write my blog and reflect on what we did all summer long. We had the best summer. It was so fun it was very hard to leave Seattle.

We arrived in Seattle this year on July 5th. I hated the idea that we would spend a lot of time away from Ben but I felt we were better off missing Ben then staying in the city where it was hot and not a whole lot to do. So this year we decided to spend 7 weeks on the
west coast. Ben joined us for the last 3 weeks. It was the best idea I had because I was able to relax, the kids had plenty of space to play and we were always surrounded by family. As usual we packed up and headed East of the mountains for some what I call glamorized
camping with my family. This year was a little different because my sister Lindsy was not able to join us. Brandi and I are used to not having our husbands in Sun Lakes but not having Lindsy there put a whole different twist on the vacation. We still had a great time but she was definitely missed. She wasn't able to go because she was to close to her due date. Every year is different in Sun Lakes. the kids change and so do our adventures. One of my favorite moments was Christie and I going for a stroll just after the sun went down. We were chatting about our day gossiping about a friend when all of the sudden we saw a young buck in our path. Our first response was, "oh look a deer." We admired it's beauty and then Christie said, "wouldn't it be crazy if it started to chase us and pummel us with its antlers." Right then it started walking towards us. We thought that was strange because usually they get frightened and start running the opposite way. It continued coming towards us and Christie and I kept walking backwards when Christie yelled, "oh my God it is going to get us." We started running and screaming while it ran at us. Christie ran behind a tree and I ran past her laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. The deer continued to run through our camp grounds up into the miniature golf course and then up in the hills. We laughed about that moment through the entire trip. There were also a lot of firsts this time around. Some of the kids jumped off the high cliff and Coolidge jumped off his first low cliff. Brody took off the life jacket and swam for the first time without any help. We also had baby Morgan with us for the first time this year. Next year it will be baby Jaxon's first time. I love my family and even though I have had my share of stress on these trips and often said I am not coming back, I can't imagine not being there with my boys.

Kiera has been coming to visit us in Seattle every August for over 3 years now. This year she brought her boyfriend, Sean. He is a great guy and taught my little Coolidge how to fish. As you can see from the photo on the top that was the very first fish he ever caught. I've never seen him so proud.
That day he caught 4 fish and must have caught over 10 the entire summer. He loved going to buy bait and as soon as it was warm enough to get outside he was on the dock getting his gear ready. While Kiera was in town we took the kids to see the troll under the Fremont bridge. I thought they would love it and they did. Ari wanted nothing to do with it and I guess it was a little creepy looking. Brody and Ari became best friends this year. They shared a love for superheros and it was nice for them to have each other because often the age difference between Cool and Bro can cause fights. One of my favorite memories of this summer is my Uncle Randy and Heather joined us. Because they live in Nevada they are a part of my family
that I don't get to see very often. I love them so much and they always make me laugh. My uncle Randy ended up staying for awhile along with his dog Izzy. Coolidge fell in love with Izzy. He thought it was the best to take her on walks and watch her run around with Coco. Every morning he woke up, Izzy and Coco were there to give him a big kiss. I wondered if getting Coolidge a dog was a good idea and after seeing his love for them I realized he really does need a dog of his own.

Gay and Adrian came to visit us in Seattle this year. I wanted to show them why I love spending my summers in Seattle and a little bit of what I grew up with. They were only there for 4 days so I tried to pack in as much as possible. One of my favorite days was showing them and my boys a beach that I used to go to frequently when I was younger. I took them to Golden Gardens. It was fun to see Adrian enjoy it along with Coolidge and Brody. Our beaches are very different than here on the East Coast. They are more fun for kids because there are lots of Rocks, logs, and and creatures to explore. After the beach I took them to my old neighborhood. I used to love this Mexican Restaurant and was dying to see if it was still as good as I remembered. They loved it and so did I. It was
strange to be back and look at my old house. I have a lot of memories there and it looks the same but different. the next day we took them to Pike Place Market. I think they enjoyed it but it was more rushed due to the fact that parking cost us a fortune. I don't like taking New York City folks downtown Seattle because to me there is no City like NYC and Seattle is boring in comparison. I would have preferred taking them other places in Washington that can't be experienced any where else, but you can't not take them to Pike Place and the Space needle. Next time they come to visit I can really show them what I love about Seattle. We had a blast and I can't believe it took me that long to invite them.

I was very blessed that Lindsy got pregnant at the perfect time because her due date was in the middle of August and I was able to be there for the birth. Living 3,000 miles away keeps me from experiencing a lot of what my family does. I missed the birth of every niece and nephew until now. It was a very emotional experience because we were all so worried that Jaxon would have Cystic Fibrosis. About 2 weeks after his birth Lindsy called me and told me he didn't have it. We have known this was a possibility since she was about 2 months pregnant. I had been waiting for this news for so long that after she told me I was overwhelmed with Emotions. I went from jumping up and down cheering to sobbing on the phone. I've never cried so hard from joy. A huge part of me knew he didn't have it but there was this small part that told me to be ready to support her. We are so blessed that he is healthy. I had the chance to hold and help feed him a few times. He is so precious and has the longest fingers I've ever seen on a baby. I'm sure they will come in handy when he wants to play football or basketball. I'm sad that I am going to see him grow on facebook and not in person. The next time I get to squeeze him he will be almost a year old. Thank goodness for Skye, it makes you feel a little closer.

This summer made me and my family realize that we need a house with a yard. As much as I love NYC, I loved seeing my boys run around like I did when I was a kid more. This City has more to offer than you can ever imagine. But it is just not the same as having a yard and neighborhood to run around and explore. I promised my little boy who cried for 4 days after coming home that I would get us a house and a dog soon....not tomorrow but soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The cold is finally gone and spring has officially sprung here in NYC. I haven't written my blog in quite some time because we have been so very busy. It was one awful Winter for us. Lots and Lots of snow and bitter cold winds made for a long Winter. Every year Christmas passes and it seems like January and February are the longest months of your life. However, now the weather is warm and we are in full swing.

those of you that live here in NYC know that it is that time of year that you pull out your spring clothes from under the bed and swap them for you winter clothes. Storage is a luxury in this city so we store our stuff in places you Seattle folks never even think about. It also means wearing shorts and then come the skinned knees and bandages. Every year without a doubt I put my boys in shorts and that day they cut of those precious knees. I wonder at what age does that stop? Spring is my favorite Season here. The weather is warm but not hot, NY'ers are so happy about the change their all become a little nicer and we start to see our friends on the street once again.

Both Coolidge and Brody have learned something new over the last month. Coolidge started little league. His only experience with a bat and ball was in Sun Lakes. He loved play woofle ball with our family so much that he wanted to join the Harlem league. Most of his team played T -ball before but he is completely new to hitting, catching and throwing. I was worried he would get frustrated and want to quit. But he is so excited and learning so fast that I haven't' seen any frustration at all. He is 7 years old and wants his own independence so he makes sure to take care of himself when he gets injured and sucks it up. I am so proud of his eagerness to be attentive and alert to what is going on in the game each time. He got his first in the field home run. They have won all 3 games and he gets excited to practice and play every week.

Brody as you all know loved his glider bike and was quite good at zooming around on it. So good in fact, people would stop and watch him fly by. We noticed he was ready for a bike with pedals and brakes so we bought him his first big boy bike. He was on it for about 2 minutes and was off and ready to ride on his own. If any of you have a 2 or 3 year old and are wondering if you should get them a balance bike, I say yes, do it. Most kids are not ready to ride until 3 because they are not quite tall enough. However, once they turn 3 they are ready to go. They may start on their tippy toes and struggle for a short while but believe me it wont take them long to be riding all over the place. We got Coolidge a big boy bike when he was 4 and put training wheels on it. He eventually took the training wheels off and after a lot of holding and running next to the bike he got it and was off on his own. The balance bike Brody rode for a year and half eliminated all of that frustration and fear of falling which in the end has made him a much more confident rider.

Brody is always eager to learn something new and determined to do it on his own. However, pooping on the potty is not one of them. The fear he has is more overwhelming than the eagerness to be like everyone else. I know eventually he will get it and I will look back and laugh about it but right now it is the biggest challenge I have ever had as mommy. As many of you know being a parent is truly like riding a roller coaster. You have your moments of sure bliss and excitement. You feel like you are on top of the world and nothing can bring you down. And then the shit hits the fan and you are DOWN! Your children are going through a tough time and you are up for the challenge and do your best to help them through it but you FAIL! So you try something new and FAIL! You start to feel like you just can't help and you are now on that part of the roller coaster ride that makes you sick and you wondering if you will ever get off. It's the part of parenthood that sucks. As a mommy you want to protect your kids from anything and everything. And because we live in the age of technology we have too much information at our fingertips. Whenever we are concerned we google it and create more fear. In some ways our parents had it easy. They didn't know shit. they spent their child rearing years through trial and error and we had to learn from all their mistakes and now we raise our kids with a bubble around them. And when we mess up with put ourselves through hell because we should have known better. I am hoping this blog will help my kids to understand being a parent is hard and sometimes you just have to let them get through it on their own and they will SURVIVE!

I wanted you all to know that all of these photos posted on my blog today are taken with my iphone. I am amazed at how well the photos come out. I was going to buy a new camera for myself because my little canon is slowly on its way out. However, I found out that Verizon was getting the iphone just before I went out and bought a new snapshot. Thank God I waited because I think their photos come out just as nice. I also didn't have to buy an ipod because I can down load my playlist right on my phone and it sounds as good as any ipod. All my waiting paid off. It is truly the best purchase I have made since my new fridge.

I'm sad to say that my family is not coming to see me this May. Usually my mom, sister Christie, and her kids come and visit. They are not going to be able to do it and it makes me very sad. It will feel like forever since I get a chance to see them. Sometimes it is hard to live so far away. Thank God NYC is so damn fun because I think I would be depressed.

However, I do have wonderful news. I just found out yesterday that our good friend L.J. is Cancer FREE! Our prayers were answered and he is healthy again. We love you L.J. and looking forward to seeing you this summer.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Happy New Year to all our friends and family. I hope you all had a great holiday and that the New Year has been a great start. It feels like last year went flying by. The end of the year was a bit rough for us but when I look back I realise we had a great year. This was not the best Christmas we have ever had, it also wasn't that bad. If anything all I can do is laugh about it. Brody Coolidge and I got knocked out by the flu a couple days before my mother arrived. My mom came just in time to take care of us and also get a nasty cold of her own. It wasn't what she wanted to be doing but was a big help for me and Ben. I couldn't get out of bed so she helped keep the place clean and serve us with toast, crackers and water. I know she was excited about coming to play with her boys and have her daughter cook all day and night for her but instead she got to watch us lay around and moan and grown for at least a week. Luckily Ben never got sick because he was the only one who had the energy to go out and shop for the last final gifts and food. I was most bummed because I planned to host a big dinner on Christmas eve and wasn't able to even think about food let alone cook for 17 people. We managed to have a few people over for some appetizers and managed to get a few of our guests sick. I think the worst part was that my boys woke up Christmas morning and just stared at their gifts while sitting on the couch. Their energy was so low and it was as if they wished they could wait one more week so they could feel better and enjoy what Santa and everyone else brought them. It seemed like everyone we knew was battling a cold, going to the doctor, and hospital. It has to be the most depressing holiday that I have ever celebrated. However, now January is almost over and I can chuckle about it and pray next year is much better.

A lot of you and even those who don't read my blog have asked me if I am going back to work. Well I was asked to help my friends with babysitting their daughter while their nanny was on vacation. I thought it was a great idea because I could use the money, she is adorable and it would give me a chance to see if I can enjoy working while being a full time mom again. It was only part time and she has to have been the easiest baby I have ever taken care of. I took care of her for 8 hours a day 3 days a week, 2 weeks in December. The first week was fairly easy but challenging. I was also co chair for the book fair at the school and so I was doing triple duty those two weeks. The second week was exhausting and I felt that as much as Brody loved having Mauve around he didn't like that I wasn't at his disposal. I was so happy it was only temporary because being a mom is hard enough and I enjoy my full time job enough that unless we REALLY need the money, being a mom is all I need. Coolidge, who is dying for me to have another baby just loved taking care of her. He saw this picture of her and said, "Awww, bring her back." She just fell in love with Ben. Usually the babies take one look at him and either cry or run the other way. She followed him around where ever he went and I just enjoyed watching her drive him crazy.

Before we got sick we were able to do a lot of the fun Christmas stuff that we usually do every year. We went to Macy's wonderland and saw Santa. This year the line was the longest we have ever seen but I have to say it went pretty fast. The boys never whined once. Maybe they were afraid Santa would see them and not get any gifts. Whatever it was they were very easy and it was a lot of fun to see them tell Santa what they wanted. We also decorated our gingerbread house. This year Coolidge decorated his own and Brody and I did one together. Brody spent most of his time eating candy but he loved sticking the candy on and making patterns with the all the colors. It was fun to have them both very into it this year. We were having a great December and planned on cooking all sorts of cookies for the teachers and grandma before we got sick. For the first time since Coolidge was one year old I put store bought cookies on Santa's plate. It normally would've upset me except I was so sick I didn't care.

We got a huge snow blizzard soon after Christmas. It was nice for my mom to see what the city is like when those type of storms hit us. Every thing quiets down and for at least half a day the city is covered with this beautiful white blanket. However, soon after the plows come out and so do the people. The sidewalks get cleared away but each time you try to cross the street you are walking through big slushy puddles which makes doing chores or taking kids to school miserable. I managed to get my reluctant kids and mom out to sled. My boys normally love to be out in the snow but they were still under the weather and my mom doesn't like being cold. However, we still had fun. I didn't realized that there was no rush to get out and make snowmen and snow angles because since then we have been snowed on about 4 times. It feels like the longest winter I have ever experienced and we haven't even began the month of February. Right now I am wishing I had the money to take a trip to the Caribbean. I guess if I took on a full time job I would have that money. I guess that is one of my sacrifices.

I have been more involved in the boys school than ever before. It is amazing once you spend some quality time there you have a chance to see what the kids are learning or will be learning. Just by talking to other parents who's kids are in the upper grades I have gained some incite to what I have in my future and what I will need to prepare for middle school process. I know my boys are still little but with our system you need to be one step ahead. The middle school process is even harder than the kindergarten here in NYC. The good news is that High school is probably the easiest. I know most of you are reading this and don't understand what the hell I am talking about because most of you send your kids go to your local school. Here it is very different and many schools are specialized and your test scores and interests are how you determine what middle school you will apply to. God knows that by the time my kids are applying to College I will be a pro.

I just wanted to share a great new find. My husband got a new coffee maker for Christmas. It is called Keurig B40. He has wanted one for quite some time but I didn't see the point since our current coffee maker that he also insisted we needed worked just fine. However, he requested one for Christmas and now we have been blessed with an amazing machine. If you have ever thought about getting one I say GO FOR IT. I absolutely love that I never have to buy filters, I never have to clean the pot, I never have to make sure I make enough for everyone, I can choose a different kind of coffee than my husband, and every time I wake up it is ready to go...all I have to do it pick the flavor and push the button. It comes out hot every time. I don't know how I ever lived without it. And for all of you thinking but I love the brand of coffee I am drinking right now and don't want to have to buy those pods. They make a filter so you can continue to your current coffee. It is Heaven Complete Heaven.

Check out a video of Ben sledding with the boys. He only attempted that jump once.