Friday, November 16, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Brandi's visit

Fall here has been great. The weather has been quite nice of course until Sandy decided to show up. I called my sister Brandi and told her she should come in October or November because the weather is pretty predictable and you often don't need a winter jacket before December. A week before her trip Sandy came to the East coast and was almost as bad as Katrina for quite a lot of folks. We were lucky that the storm didn't effect our way of living too much. We watched on the news saw many homes that were destroyed and lots of people were out of power. Everything shut down and it left us with no subways, buses and gas was rationed out. The worst for us was that school was cancelled for a week and Ben's jobs all got cancelled for further notice. Ben's job depends on the small business here in the Tri State area so either their power was out or their employees were unable to get into the city. Everyday we waited to see if school was going to be back in session. We were lucky that we had plenty of gas in the tank and we didn't need to fill up. We watched people line up for gas with cans and in their cars for a couple weeks. We did more walking than normal but other than those things we were quite lucky to not have been too affected. Today was the first time I didn't see a line of people trying to get gas and everything thing around us seem to be almost back to normal. The kids are back in school and Ben is back to work. I know that so many other people are having a very hard time and I am sorry that they will not have a home for the holidays. I never thought a storm would hurt our area this bad but this proves to me nobody is ever completely safe from disaster.

Brandi was lucky to have missed the storm but she did get to see the lines of people waiting for gas. She just missed the hurricane and the Nor'easter. The day she arrived the weather was a little cold but by Saturday the weather was amazing and we had a great time running around the city. She brought her two kids Logan and Morgan and we experienced her second trip to NYC completely different than when she came here at the age of 20. On our first day we checked out the Met Museum and the kids were in awe of the mummies and Knights and armor. However, I think their favorite thing was the cool playground across the street.

On Sunday Ben joined us and we went to Times Square. The kids loved seeing all the Disney and nickelodeon characters on the street as we walked around. We of course had to see and ride the Ferris wheel in Toys R Us. How many cities actually have a Ferris wheel in a toy store? I thought for sure Morgan was going to be terrified of the T Rex but instead she was obsessed with it and would scream if you took her away from it. The only thing that got her to give it up was that we were going to FAO Schwartz next.

I should have googled the location before attempting to walk four kids all under the age 9 to find it but I trusted Ben knew what he was doing and we all were quite exhausted by the end. However, Brandi got to see the Rockefeller ice skating rink and NBC studios so it was very cool. We ran into a Veterans day parade which complicated the walk even more but we made it and both Bran and I were amazed at how small the FAO was in real life. all in all the kids had a lot of fun and Brandi saw a different part of the city she had never seen before. She also has a new appreciation for how I manage living in such a large city with two young kids.

On Monday the kids had no school so we took them all to the Natural History Museum. The cool thing about doing all these fun things with Bran (Army wife) we got in free with her military ID. All the kids loved the this museum. It is very kid friendly and the animals are very easy to see and enjoy. Logan was enjoying the movie in the Ocean life so much that he didn't want to leave. The only way I got him to agree was that we were headed to see the bears and then get a slice of pizza. He yelled pizza and was ready to go.

Brody and Coolidge loved sharing a slice and soda with their cousins from Washington. To me it wasn't the best pizza but the kids ate every little bite and that is all that mattered. Every night the kids were exhausted and sometimes could barely keep their eyes open until 9. They played together very well and all of them including Bran shared one bedroom. Coolidge was very sad to see them go and felt they should have stayed at least 2 more days.

I go home every year to visit my family but only a couple of them come to see me so it was very nice to have Brandi come out and stay with us. I know how hard it is to travel with two young kids so I really appreciate her taking on that challenge. I hope that she had as much fun as us and will come back again soon.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Summer Part III

This summer I turned 40. For years I was planning a great way to celebrate this big birthday. I completely missed my 30th and thought I need to make up for it by doing something real exciting for my 40th. I had planned to take the family to Mexico and many other family members were planning on joining us but due to lack of funds this trip didn't happen. Instead I used frequent flyer miles and went to Vegas with my family from Seattle. As you all know that ended with Vertigo and Anxiety so I am not super thrilled with this last birthday. Funny thing is I was the only person not dreading turning 40. I feel as though I have learned a lot from this last summer and if anything I am a lot stronger having been through it all. It has definitely taught me to not sweat the small stuff. On my birthday I went out and had lunch with Ben and dinner with my family. Every year I celebrate my birthday with my mom because her birthday is the day after mine. She made us an amazing cake that we all enjoyed. 

I try to do different activities every summer and it is not easy to do on a budget. My sister invited us to join her at the aquarium and she had a discount card. I was so excited to hear that because I was dying to take them but the prices were outrageous. I'm so glad she asked us because Coolidge is still talking about all the wonderful creatures he saw there. His favorite was the star fish and see urchins you could touch. He loved that when you stuck your finger in the center they would grab on to your finger. He also couldn't get enough of the sea otters. He spent many days looking for the river otters outside my moms house. However, the best part for all of us was that we got to do it with two of my sisters and their kids. It has gotten harder and harder to only see them once a year. I am so glad that I got a chance to spend a lot of time with them this year. 

Adrian came to visit us in August. He loved Seattle last year and we were glad he wanted to join us again. With his busy schedule and ours we had a hard time finding just the right days but we managed to get him for 4 days of fun. I wanted to show him and my boys a part of Seattle they had never seen. I took them to a favorite park of mine when I was younger, Carkeek Park. They have fun easy hikes that are just perfect for young city kids like Brody. The best part is that you can go on a very short hike and then go check out the beach. Coolidge and I found a star fish that looked just like the one at the aquarium. That has to be the best find we have ever seen on a beach. In one day my boys got to experience 3 of their favorite loves, nature trails, trains, and the creatures on the beach.
The train rain right under us on a bridge.
Brody found a hermit crab

While Adrian was visiting we all experienced Jetty Island for the first time together. Even I had never been there. My brother-in-Law Henry recommended it and it was a blast. I got very nervous because I had no idea what to expect and while we were on the ferry that literally takes one minute to get to the Island the captain said we may not be able to return until 8pm, which is the last boat. I panicked for a few reasons one because my anxiety was on high that day and two my mother was at home making her sauce for the lasagna and she would have killed me if she cooked all day and nobody was there to eat it. After you get to the other side you realize that you can easily get off the Island when you ready but they scare you with the "speech" they must tell you just in case that actually happens. I didn't expect it to be so busy because the day we went it was over cast and a little chilly. But of course we picked a day that they set up a treasure hunt. We didn't find any treasure but we did enjoy the beach and company. 

This summer was great. I had a lot of plans and didn't get to do all that I wanted but yet I was able to do almost all of it. My anxiety through me for a loop but happy I didn't let it stop me from much at all. I am truly blessed to have such a great family. I can't end this blog without giving my mom a big THANK YOU.  She helps make our summers the best every year. I get sad when I think of her selling her home and our summers changing forever. Ben, the kids and I appreciate her more than she knows. She shops, cooks, cleans, babysits, and pampers us all summer long. Mom you truly are the best and we are missing you like crazy. 

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

16 Year Anniversary!

16 years ago I move here on this day. I only intended on staying a year, two tops. I fell in love with NYC and look at me I am still here. I moved in my twenties looking for an adventure. I intended on finishing school once I got back to Washington. I never thought I would apply to school here and manage to get my Master's in Elementary Education. I also never thought I would fall in love so fast. I loved being single and being free to date whom ever I wanted. But this guy named Ben took my heart the day I met him on the Lower Eastside at a bar called Saphire. I married that guy 5 years later and now I have two gorgeous boys named Coolidge and Brody.

If someone would have told me one day you will live in NYC and raise a family I would have busted a gut laughing. I'm so glad I made the decision to move. I have had the best 16 years so far. I wouldn't change a day even though there were some interesting bumps in the road. I have gained some great friendships and even lost some along the way. I've spent most of my adult life here and consider myself bi coastal. I'm someone who is still that polite Seattle girl but now with an edge.

I get the question from just about everyone I know...."will you ever move back to Seattle?" I used to laugh at that because I love this city so much. However, my kids are getting to an age that I am starting to question if I want to live here in the big apple anymore. As great as it is here it is hard to raise two boys without buckets of money. So the answer is, I don't know. I don't know where my life will be taking me in the next couple of years. I guess you will have to stay tuned to find out when I do. I know that I have had a great time here. I wish they had blogs out when I first moved here. It would have been great to document all my crazy times. I know that the charm of this place has worn off a bit. I used to love the noise, lights, trains, and crazy people, now it just gets on my last nerves. I remember for years I would walk down the streets and say to myself, "oh my actually live here." Now I say good lord you need to get the hell out of here. I guess that's what happens when you have kids and turn 40.

I never say never because I usually do what I said I would never do. I'm curious where I will be in 16 years. My boys will be all grown up and I imagine I will have had a lot more adventures with them. Hell I'm curious to where I will be and what I will be doing next October 3rd. Stay tuned to find out.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Summer Vacation Part II

The plan this year was for Ben to arrive half way through the trip so he could come to Sunlakes, attend the family reunion, and celebrate my birthday, however my anxiety put a wrench in that plan and he brought his camera to Seattle so he could get some work and then fly home with us. Although it annoys me that I was unable to handle it on my own I am so thankfull that I have a husband who is so wonderful and supportive. I knew 10 years ago when he attended my orientation for me at Hunter because I was out of town, that he was a keeper.

He arrived a few days before Sun Lakes which just allowed him enough time to get settled and help me shop and pack for the trip. I am not used to the extra adult so packing was a breeze. This year Sun Lakes was special because my entire family was able to attend. Normally someone is missing, either a spouse or one of my siblings. We were lucky that there were no injuries this year but my little Morgan did get sick and had to see the doctor. She is fine but Bran had to deal with a bit more whining and  crying than usual and put a damper on her trip. We had a lot going on everyday. The kids loved the boat, swimming in the pool, jumping off cliffs, hiking, golfing, boarding and playing games. It was great to have Ben there because it was hard to do everything all on my own and sometimes the kids wanted to different activities. Coolidge finally reached an age that he can participate in all the activities that his older cousins do. He tried knee boarding and I was so nervous for him. It is hard to be so much younger than your older cousins and constantly be 3 steps behind. His cousin Tyson told him how to do it and we all watched him give it his first try and get up without much struggle. The whole boat cheered him on and my eyes filled with tears. I was more proud of him in that moment than when he rode a bike for the first time. I am so blessed to be able to spend my summers in Seattle and go on a family vacation with all of them.

My little Brody has always been young enough that what his older brother and cousins are doing haven't really mattered. Well this year that all changed. He needed to do everything they did no matter how scary it may have looked. He was diving into the pool with floaties on, begging to jump off a 10 foot cliff and ride the pocket rocket his cousin Henry brought. It is hard for me to let him try these things so fast. I couldn't stop him from diving because he just did it whether I liked it or not. Ben showed him how to use the mini motorcycle while I closed my eyes.
I drew the line with the cliff jumping. I was worried he was pushing himself and would feel scared like his brother did after the fact. He seemed to understand. He still talks about it and I have a feeling it will be the same thing all over again. He is definitely a tough cookie and extremely coordinated but don't let his looks fool ya because he is quite sensitive.  This year a few of the dads took almost all of the kids on a hike that Henry led. Brody started off strong but once it got a little tough and he got tired Brody became the biggest baby and Ben was wishing he never brought him. That is the thing about my little 6 year old. Sometimes he acts like a teenager and sometimes like a 2 year old. You just never know what you are getting that day.

Coolidge on the other hand was ready to try it all and only complained if his age/height got in the way. He wasn't able to do wake boarding but I'm sure he could give it a try next year. He loved the paddle boarding. He road on the board with me last year but this year he was able to do it all by himself. This was the first year that Coolidge didn't struggle to much about feeling left out. We have so many kids with so many different ages that there is always something to do and play. This was Jaxon's first year. There are always struggles with the first year and lots of fun to have a little one to squeeze. Coolidge and Brody's first year was not one I loved. It is nice that you don't have to worry about them wanting to be on the boat, pool, and run to the store but you have to constantly watch them they are into just about everything and they get over stimulated very easily. We all just loved that Jaxon's only word was   BUH and we all were saying it to each other by the end of the trip.
We spent a week in Sun Lakes and always by the last day we are ready to go home. Our clothes and towels are filthy, our stomaches are stuffed with junk food, we all have headache from all the fun cocktails and beer, the kids start to get sick of one another, our backs are killing us from the cheap beds,  and the dry air is making our skin look bad. The last day is a race in the morning to get our cars packed and we are all on the road to drive 3 1/2 hours back home. As soon as winter hits we begin to miss Sun Lakes and start dreaming of what the next year will be like. I love my family.

When we got home from Sun Lakes we were greeted at my mom's house by Ari and Heather. They drove up from Reno and stopped at my moms to stay until Randy got there house in Vancouver ready for them. The kids were very happy to see them and so were we. I only get to see them once a year.

We were lucky that Asher and Ashley moved to Idaho and came and stay at my mom's house for a weekend. I haven't see Asher since my wedding and never met his wife and 3 other kids until that weekend. I knew all their faces from facebook but it was so nice to hug them and get to know who and what makes them tick.

I have to admit I was worried about how crazy it was going to be with 14 people staying in one home. You never know how the kids are going to get along but all the kids got along great. Brody and Abigale became to peas in a pod. If you were looking for one you knew they were with the other.  Coolidge and Christopher also had a great time together. I wished we lived closer to them so we could do more fun stuff together.

Thank goodness for my mother's big beautiful house because it allows us to create such wonderful memories every year. I pray daily she will never have to sell it but I know that the day will come eventually. Well, even though that was a lot of fun we are only half way through the summer. Part III will be coming soon. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Summer Vacation Part 1

We had such a busy summer that I will have to break this up in parts. In early June we celebrated Coolidge and Brody's birthday. For the first time they both wanted to celebrate in different ways. Coolidge wanted a slumber party and Brody wanted a Chuck E. Cheese party. I convinced Brody on the slumber party with them each inviting one friend but as time went by they both changed their mind and wanted a party. So we headed up to the great hill once again. We were lucky it was a nice and cool day and I wasn't running around sweating like a pig. They each invited 5 friends and had water balloon fights along with snacks and cake. I was great that my cousin Kiera was in town and she came to the party and helped me haul all the stuff up there.
Kiera bought the boys street slushies after school

We also finished the school year at CPE 1. We had a great year and I can't believe my youngest is now in the first grade and my oldest in the fourth. Coolidge  is slowly approaching middle school and it is crazy how fast time has gone by. Coolidge took his first standardized exam in school. He was a little anxious about it but after his first day he relaxed and realized it wasn't that big of a deal. I have to say that by the third day he was exhausted and so were the teachers from all the preparation before the big day. Brody started reading and writing this year. This was his last year with Yvonne and I can say he and I are going to miss her so much. Thank goodness her class is right next door.
Grandma finally got to see the boys play baseball
I was very blessed to have so many visitors this year. My mom came twice, once in December and again in early June. My uncle also was hear on business and was able to come check out my place and have lunch with me, Kiera, Ben, and the boys. My mother has talked about our apartment and neighborhood so much that it was really nice to put a visual to the stories. My boys just love him and were over joyed to have him in our neck of the woods. Just sorry it was for only one day.
We took Randy to our favorite beer garden
Before we left for Seattle my mom came and we drove to the Jersey shore and spend a week there. We chose to save the money last year and I and the kids were so bummed that we missed it. This year we didn't get memorial day weekend so we went the first week of June. It was a lot of fun and we owe it all to my mom because it was her time share. Because Kiera was headed to DC for her internship she stopped in Jersey and hung with us on the shore for a few days. I wish she could have stayed longer but I will take what I can get. This year wasn't the same as my past experiences because I will still dealing with vertigo so I was unable to drink coffee, alcohol, or swim. That can put a damper on the vacation but I still had a lot of fun. My mom usually stays for at least 2 weeks but because she couldn't bring the dog she was only able to stay for 10 days. We wished she could have stayed longer here in NYC with us. But it wasn't too hard to say goodbye because we knew we were going to be with her in a few weeks.
My boys love to fly
This year I  booked our trip to go to Seattle for the last day of school. I figured why sit around and wait when we can be there with family and friends and celebrate Forth of July lighting of fireworks. I wanted my kids to see how I spent the 4th of July. Here in NYC you can even light a sparkler. We spent the day at my dad's barbecuing and playing with cousins. Coolidge and Brody were able to light smoke bombs, flowers. parachutes and are really cool pyramid that shot up in the air then over sideways. Coolidge's eyes lit up like it was Christmas day. He was now a huge fan of fireworks. My sister took us to Boom City to buy these lovely explosives and oh boy there is really no way to explain Boom City. Their older cousins were in heaven, I was in hell. My anxiety was on high and the loud bombs going off every 5 minutes made me think we were at war. I have to say it was great because our show was quite impressive. Coolidge loved the friendly competition that we had with the neighbors. I am hooked and will be spending every fourth in Washington from now on. I just wish Ben could have been there because he would have loved it as much as we did.

One of the nice things about visiting Seattle is that most of my friends and family still live there. It makes it very easy to see them. However, Aj also lives out of state and luckily most of the time she plans her visit at the same time as me so we can see her and her family. It is so nice to see how her girls have grown in size and how their personalities have changed. I hate how she lives so close to me but just far enough that the drive would be annoying and the flight cost too much. I just wish they would spend the whole summer in Seattle like me so I could see them even more.

I'm so happy that Brandi and her family move home this year. We usually both come home during the summer but her moving there will make it even easier to see her because she is not living out of bags like me and cramming all her visits in also. I saw her and the kids more than ever because she was able to relax. Brody and Logan really connected this year and played more than I've ever seen. It was so nice to see because usually he is too young for all the other cousins.

This summer was packed full of fun and oh boy did we deserve some relaxation and fun. Between my vertigo, anxiety, and apartment flooding. I need some good times. Part II will be coming soon.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Happy Birthday...I have Anxiety

As the spring was ending I had a lot going with vertigo, my apartment was flooded, family in town, birthday parties and the anxiety of flying home was all just coming on so strong. I've always had anxiety but not like this. As soon as the kids had their last day of school I had an anxiety attack. It completely freaked me out and I didn't know what to do. I reached out to some friends who I knew could help me. I thank God for them because they were a great help. I saw a doctor about 4 days before I had to travel because the anxiety got so bad. I couldn't eat or relax at all. The doctor explained that it was completely normal and happens to a lot of people. He prescribed Xanax and said to only take it when needed because of how addictive it is. I am not a big fan of having to take anything. I have always been one to get through just about everything I put my mind to. However, the idea of a panic attack with my kids on the flight was too scary for me to not give it a try. When I was packing to go home I started breathing heavily and shaking. I knew that was the right time to give Xanax a try and see if it was going to help. I couldn't believe that in 20 minutes I felt completely normal and excited about traveling again.

I figured that a pill was going to take all that worry away and I would wake up without anymore anxiety. Well I was wrong and I spent the next 3 days still quite anxious. I knew that I had to go through this for several reasons. 1. I could never tell my kids we are not going to Seattle this summer. 2. I would be completely depressed if I stayed in NYC. 3. My fear would just get bigger. I have always been that person who says, "what are you scared of just do it and get it over." Now I completely understand FEAR. And to tell someone to face it is much harder than you ever think, when every instinct in your body is saying DON'T do it. I knew the worst thing for me was to not fly so I got up that morning and I did it. I am a strong person and I tried to do it without Xanax. As soon as I got out of the car I felt like I was going to pass out. The first thing you want to do is run home but I knew I needed to take a Xanax and keep on walking. I stood in line and repeated to only takes 20 minutes! If you have ever experienced an anxiety attack/panic attack then you know it is the longest 20 minutes and you feel like your whole body is freaking out. You feel like screaming help but you realize that you would look insane so you hold it all in and talk to yourself over and over. After 20 minutes I was completely fine and ready to go. I never in my wildest thoughts saw myself going through this. I have been through some tough shit in my life and never felt that vulnerable. Makes my eyes fill with tears when I think of it. It is amazing how anxiety can make you feel so weak. I'm sharing this story because I know that others helped me through all of this and I wanted my story to make someone else feel they are not alone.

I turned 40 this year and for my birthday I got vertigo and anxiety. All I wanted was a trip to Mexico. I spent my summer accepting my anxiety and learning how to handle it. August 1st. I looked at the day on my phone and realized the count down to flying home was slowly approaching. It shook me and I spent a day feeling awful. I decided I wasn't going to let it ruin the rest of my trip. I exercised,  cut down on the caffeine, and told myself that if I need xanax it was there to get me through it. I never needed it until the day of my flight. I had a panic attack on the ride to the airport and this time I didn't let it take over me too much. I did take a xanax and by the time I got to the airport the worst was over. I am home now and the anxiety is there but not enough to cause any change in my diet or daily life. I don't understand why this is coming out of me now at this stage in my life but maybe soon I will see a therapist and he/she will help me pin point it and maybe I will be able to laugh about it some day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dry Scalp

I was suffering from a dry itchy scalp and have tried special shampoo's and even put olive oil on my head to stop it. Those things would work for a day or two but it always came back and was driving me crazy. I was on pinterest and decided to see if I could find a better solution. I came across a pin that had Listerine as the solution. It sounded outrageous but I decided to click on the link found this blog that explained just how it worked. I was at the end of my rope and decided it was worth a try. Her Blog The Beauty Department said to add oil but I chose to just use straight Listerine. I was afraid it would burn like it does in your mouth but it didn't burn at all. I put about 1/4 cup of Listerine in a small travel size shampoo bottle and add it to the scalp all over my head, especially the driest areas. I left it on for 5-10 minutes and then washed my hair like I normally do. I couldn't believe how soft and silky my hair felt.  I also googled it and found that the reason it works is because there is an ingredient in Listerine that kills fungus. After I blow dried my hair I noticed it also got rid of  all the build up that was on my hair. I continued to do this every other day for 5 days. I couldn't believe how well it worked and I tell everyone about it because it is the only thing that worked for me. I don't want you to think your scalp will never itch again but it will definitely does better than any other products out there on the market. If you are suffering from the same thing try this and if it doesn't work go see your dermatologist because it could be something worse. If you try it let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Boys!

Today my son Coolidge was born 9 years ago. After I gave birth to him I was overwhelmed with emotions. I didn't know you could love someone that much. I truly knew what unconditional love felt like. I always thought I knew but it wasn't until then that I really felt it. I also had no idea that he would cry and cry and cry and cry. He was a very tough baby. He only liked to be held one way (facing out) and he wanted to breast feed every 20 minutes instead of every 2 hours. The first few months with my sweet little Coolidge was the most difficult of my life. I went through the baby blues and could only manage to breast feed for four months. The only thing that calmed him down was a pacifier. I never thought a pacifier would become the most powerful possession in my house. Now that I know him at 9 years old I know why he was that little baby. He is the most curious little child and has more energy than anyone I know. It makes complete sense that he never wanted to sleep because he had to much to do for a nap. To this day he can't cuddle with me on the couch because he needs to see all that is going on and at all times. He got rid of his pacifier at the age of three. He decided he was done and he let it go. He still has that beautiful angelic face that I can't stop staring at. My Coolidge is the sweetest little boy that wears his heart on his sleeve. Happy Birthday my baby boy. I can't believe you are only one year away from double digits.

Today my son Brody was born 6 years ago. Yes, they were born on the same day. No, I didn't plan it. Many of you know that I expected Brody to be a girl. I had one sonogram and they said he was a girl. Funny thing is I knew in my heart he was a boy. My pregnancy with Brody was very tough on my body but he wasn't a tough baby. Thank goodness because I needed a break. He also liked to suck right away but never liked a pacifier. He found his thumb the moment he was born and still sucks it when he is tired. He likes to nap to this day and loves to cuddle all the time (But only with me). I learned a lot from Coolidge so I was able to get help and breast feed him up until he was 15 months old. Brody is now 6 and is what I call my little love bug. He is very adventurous and ridiculously coordinated. He too is so very sweet and quite funny. He loves to be goofy but you have to be careful because if you say the wrong thing you realize he is very sensitive. He has the sweetest little chubby cheeks that makes all of us week in the knees. Happy Birthday my snuggle bug. I can't believe you are going to be in the first grade this fall.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicken pox and Veritgo....oh my.

I had planned to write my blog as soon as I returned to from Vegas but got hit with a stomach virus and vertigo at the same time. If you've ever experienced either of them the you know that the two together knocked me off my feet and landed me in the emergency room. I'm sorry to say it all came on while I was boarding the plane to go home from Vegas. I actually had to get off the plane and get on another one hours later. Because I've never experienced vertigo and combined with an upset stomach I experienced my first panic attack. It was a horrible way to end my vacation with my family. 

I went to Vegas to meet my family to relax by the pool, enjoy some gambling and shopping. The pool was anything but relaxing. We had to go through major security just to enter the pool area. The actually searched my bag and took my airplane crackers. All I could think is "REALLY!" I can't believe bringing a snack to the pool was going to make a huge dent in the amount of money they made that day. Maybe if they allowed more people to bring a snacks to the pool they would have to spend less on EMT's to come and help the drunk people passing out from dehydration and alcohol poisoning. I miss the old Flamingo that I got married at. This trip made me realize that Vegas is no longer the place for me. I did enjoy seeing my family and laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. My family is a lot of fun and I wish I got to see them more often. 

After my crazy experience of going to the emergency room I made an appointment with an EMT to find out about why I feel like I am on a boat where ever I go. I also called my dad and he told me that he experiences the same thing from time to time. My doctor diagnosed me with an inner ear problem. He said I inherited it and will feel dizzy here and there throughout my life. I have been swaying on this boat for over two weeks and it is much better but have to say quite annoying and unsettling. 

Another reason the whole thing bothered me is that I missed my best friends baby shower. I have been looking forward to throwing a shower for her since the moment I heard she was trying to have a baby. I am so happy that her friend Melanie was helping me with it because she took over after I got sick.  From what I understand it was just beautiful. I can't wait to meet Nicola's little babies and I know Her and Gleb are going to be great parents.

Brody and Coolidge are both playing baseball this year. I can't believe how much Coolidge's skills improved from last year. He was put out in the outfield and never really got to see much action. This year they have him on the pitchers mound and he is throwing to first base like a pro. Last year he got bored quickly by the sport and now he is excited to go to each practice and game. Brody was very excited in the beginning but now he is bored and wants nothing to do with the sport. It is too bad because he is quite good. I have faith he will try again next year and get that excitement back again. Ben is one of the assistant coaches on Brody's team and is now helping on Coolidge's team. It is fun to see him out there. He has a great energy that the kids really respond well to him.

Brody got the chicken pox about a month ago. At first I thought they were bug bites because he was immunized. I didn't realize until the next day when more appeared that he actually got the chicken pox. His doctor said that you can still get it even if you have had the shot. Poor little guy was very good about not scratching them and was bored to tears being quarantined for about a week. The nice thing about your child being immunized is the outbreak was quite small. What you see here in the photo was about the worst of it. 

So it is safe to say that this spring has been an interesting one for us. I hope it means that summer will be amazing. We are leaving as soon as school gets out for Seattle. I love summers there because it is nice and cool and you don't have to live by air conditioners. Plus all my family helps me cook, clean, and entertain my boys. What more do you need?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Big Boys

Spring came very early for us this year. I have lived in NYC for 15 years and have never experienced 70 degree weather in March. Me and my boys are loving every minute of the warmth and sun on our bodies. If the weather goes back to the 40's I will be ok with me because for about 2 weeks I have been on vacation.

We have had a lot going on since my last post. Coolidge started Basketball and played on the Upper Westside League. He had never played on a team before and had very little experience dribbling and shooting baskets. He learned quite a bit in a small amount of time and it was so fun to see him as this little nervous boy change into a confident player who couldn't wait for the game and is now sad that it is over. As you can see in the photo he is very proud of his new trophy. What made me most proud is that he was awarded a medal out of 6 teams for great sportsman ship. If you know Coolidge then you know that this award fits him perfectly. I was so happy that the coaches could see that in him. 
One season is over and now we are returning to little league. Coolidge will have a new coach and a lot of new players. I wasn't sure he would play baseball again because towards the end of last year he got a little bored and didn't show much interest. However, when it was time to sign up he was all for it. Coolidge is in the 3rd grade this year and will be experiencing his first state exam. He has taken "tests" before but I never actually told him they were tests so to him this is completely foreign. He also has never had to sit for an hour at a time and have zero help when he doesn't understand the questions. Because his school and I are preparing him he actually thinks the whole process is fun. He did tell me that he will be a little nervous on the day. Most people would say who cares what is the big deal he is only 8. However, here we have to work hard and the kids need good test scores in the 4th grade in order to get in the middle school of your choice. This test is what prepares him for the test next year so a good score gives you and idea of how he will score in the 4th grade. Getting into a good middle school will help to get him into a great high school and then of course College. I know it is crazy to think of all that but here there are lots of choices and some of the best schools in the country. 

Coolidge got a new skate board for Christmas. I was a little shocked he wanted to give it a try because he has never really been a wheels kind of boy. However, as he gets older he shows me that he is forever changing. I have made sure that Ben takes him out because I am not very good at letting him fall and get hurt. I thought it best for him to learn while it is cold because he is fully clothed and less accidents where the skin gets ripped to shreds.

He is reading like a maniac now. I have had the hardest time keeping up with him. I have been lucky to find some great reads for him from other moms that have boys. If you are looking for a fun books that your son will devour in a day maybe two, check out The series "Amulet," "Bones," "Knights at the kitchen table," and "Diary of a wimpy kid." He is now patiently waiting for "Heck" to come to our local library. He wants to read the Hunger Games but I am not sure if it is appropriate just yet. 

Brody is now starting T-ball this year. I didn't think he would play because he seemed bored to tears watching his brother play. I should have known it was because he is a doer not an observer. He is so excited to be on a team and has got quite an arm. It is so cute to see his team because they are all so little. Some of them love the sport and are looking to throw the ball catch it and run the bases. However, some of them are just into playing in the dirt. It all is quite funny. 

Brody has started writing and reading this year. For awhile he has been able to write all his letters but now he hears the word recognizes the sound and writes his sentences. He also is able to read through letter and picture help. he loves to bring home early reading books and reading them to the whole family. He is almost 6 and his molars are rapidly moving in. Which has created a lose tooth. It is very exciting but also very sad for me. It is just reminder that he is not my baby anymore. It is crazy how fast it is all going by and has made me stop and enjoy the moment more than ever. 

Ben has been working hard and was able to get our taxes done and learned just a little bit more this year. This is his second year as a freelancer worker so we are still learning what to pay and what you can write off. He is also helping coach Brody's team and loves being out there throwing the ball and watching the kids get all excited. However, it reminded him that he needs to exercise because he had aches and pains in places he didn't know could hurt. 

I'm excited because I am taking a trip with my family to Vegas in May. I haven't taken a trip without my kids in 4 years and Lord knows I need one. I love going to Vegas with my family but I just hope it will be a bit more relaxing than the last one. I also want to invite you to check out my food blog. Most of my readers know about it but I just love it so much that I constantly want to remind everyone to check it out. Quest for Delish

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Looking Back

I have been writing this blog for over 6 years. I never thought to celebrate because when I started I didn't even know what a blog was. Now I am writing a second blog and found a whole new love and appreciation for blogging. I started looking back at my family blog and seeing how it has evolved and how my family has changed. It also made me look back at how my life has changed since I moved to NYC. I wish there were blogs around when I first moved here. I had some amazing times that I would have have loved to write about and it would have been great to look back on it all through photos and stories.

I was 24 when I moved here. I was open to try anything and experience all that came my way. I lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment with 2 other 20 something girls. We didn't have much money, none of our dishes matched, and we slept on twin size futons like we were in a dorm. The heater would clang very loudly every time it turned on and wake me up. I remember waking up to that strange sound and smiling because every time it reminded me that I LIVE in NYC. We would have to walk our big bag of laundry down the block every Saturday. We didn't cook much and ate out on the cheap as much as possible. I learned the subways and buses through trial and error. I thought it was the coolest and scariest when I ended up in the Bronx when I meant to be on the Upper East Side. Back then everything was exciting nothing could get be down or out of this city. I was happy to be poor, loved the grim and grittiness because it is what made it special.

Now I am 39 almost 40 and my life is completely different from that 24 year old who moved here with the intention to stay for One Year. I'm married and a mom to two beautiful boys. When I started this blog Coolidge was 1 and now he is 8 and Brody is 5. When I first moved here the only person I had to take care of and worry about was me. This city looks and feels completely different. I upgraded to a 2 bedroom tiny apartment. I moved from grammercy park full of young cool people and restaurants to Harlem full of families and a little bit of restaurants. The heater doesn't clang but my upstairs neighbors make for the loss of that noise. Now my heater just falls apart every time you get to close to it. I no longer take one bag of laundry once a week to the laundry shop down the street. I am now hauling 4 bags of clothes to the basement and complaining all the way there. I know the subways like the back of my hand but most of the time I walk or take the bus with the kids. When I was 24 I thought cars were ridiculous and enjoyed the subway system and its brilliance to get you anywhere in the city. However when you have two small boys you carry so much that I long for a car to carry it for me. I have to push a cart to the the grocery store because I don't have big enough muscles to carry food for a family of four. I could pay to have my groceries delivered but I made the choice after having Brody to stay home with my kids. In order to do that I have to do all that extra work. It is amazing how having kids changes your whole life.

The grittiness and grime is no longer funny and cool. Now I have to tell my kids to watch out for the poop about a dozen times on the way to school. I'm no longer having Brunch with the ladies on Sunday looking for food to soak up all the alcohol from Saturday night. Now I am just happy for my kids to play in there room quietly so I can have a cup of coffee and watch the CBS Sunday morning show. Being cramped in an apartment like it is a dorm no longer is appealing when your kids are bouncing off the walls but can't go outside and play because outside is a busy street with lots of cars. At 39 going on 40, this wife, mother of two boys is starting to long for a house with a basement or family room, 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms (so one can shower and not be interrupted by someone needing to go to the bathroom), a yard, garage, kitchen with a dishwasher, and laundry room, However, it is hard to leave this city. If you have ever lived here you know what I mean.

This city has Everything. You can walk out your door and literally everything is there for you to enjoy. I appreciate it most when my friends and family come and I show them what I enjoy about NYC. I start to remember why I chose to stay. Then they leave and I start to think of how great it would be to have peace and quiet while I am sleeping, to watch my kids run around their yard, and to have a garage to park the car instead of driving around looking for a spot on the right side of the street. However, it is so foot wants to leave and the other is just stuck, afraid I might regret it. I don't actually know anyone who has ever regretted it. They say they miss the city but no regrets.
I guess there are no guarantees in life and you just have to make the leap. It is funny because I had no second thoughts about the choice to sell all my stuff and move here not knowing a single person here. That is another thing I noticed at 39 my balls are just not as big anymore. I'm sure it has to do with that I am no longer thinking for just myself but the 3 boys I have make these choices with.

Today I am celebrating because it has been great to see how my life has evolved and I am looking forward to experiencing more changes and writng about the next adventures we go through.