Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New York State of Mind

I got back from New York City Monday night around 11:00 and have spent the last two days trying to get back in the groove of grocery shopping, laundry, and reading "If you give a moose a muffin" 500 times. That quiet French restaurant in the West Village seems a lifetime away.

If I were adding to my list of "Things You Can't Tell by Looking at Her," number 11 would be that I've always wanted to live in New York. The fantasy used to involve me as a principal dancer in the New York Ballet Company, but since I'm neither a) a ballerina or b) young enough, I've moved on from that. Now it involves me living in a penthouse on the Upper East Side, taking my girls to the Met by day and going to Broadway shows by night.

Since my mom turned the big 6-0 this year, my sister and I decided a girls trip was in order. We let my mom pick, and she chose New York. She'd never been before, so I wanted to make sure we saw everything. And we pretty much did.

Our hotel was in a great location on the Upper West Side. We were two blocks from Central Park and two blocks from the subway. If you look at a map of Manhattan, we seriously touched on every major area in the city--Central Park, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, West Village, Chelsea, Greenwich, SOHO, NOHO, Little Italy, Chinatown, Financial District. We probably walked 100 miles. Well, maybe not, but it felt like it.

I was having such a wonderful time that by Sunday, I was ready to pick out my penthouse. And then it started raining. The thing about rain in New York is that the city is all concrete and so the rain just begins puddling. Everywhere. As we were sloshing around the Financial District, making our way to Battery Park, I began having second thoughts about my New York dreams. My shorts were soaked, my new sandals were failing me as I was slipping and sliding all over the place in them, and the thought of riding the subway with a bunch of other wet people was mildly nauseating.

As were got off the subway and were walking back to our hotel, where a pair of dry sweat pants and coffee awaited, I decided I was only a fair-weather New York wannabe. The rainy days were a deal-breaker. And then I looked into a store window we were passing and saw the thing that made my New York dreams come alive again--rain boots! Rain boots in all kinds of crazy patterns and colors.

The dream lives on!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Things you can't tell by looking at her....

Since I don't have anything really blog-worthy to write about today (because, really, how many blogs can I write about swimming and going to the library?), I'm going to do something a little different. The following is a list of 10 things that you probably don't know about me. Anyone else want to play?

1. When my kids aren't in the car, I listen to Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd and Tom Petty--and other artists whose names aren't Bob & Larry (that's Veggie Tales, for the uninitiated).

2. If I could be rock star, I would be Gwen Stefani and I would totally rock the pink hair.

3. I hate to drive. I was the first one of my friends to turn 16 and the last to get my driver's license.

4. I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up, but I really hate to fly, so that probably wouldn't have worked out anyway.

5. I can't stand to be barefoot, even in my own house. I am one of those people who actually use the footies at airport security. No bare feet. Ever.

6. If there are Oreos in the house, I will eat an entire row in one sitting. And feel no remorse.

7. I hate to run. And yet, I've committed myself to another half-marathon.

8. I am addicted to "So You Think You Can Dance?" And yes, I do.

9. I know all the words to "Ice, Ice, Baby".

10. I saw "Titanic" five times. In the Movie Theater. That probably qualifies me for some kind of loser award, but then again, so does making this list...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Early Bird...

It's 7:30 in the morning and Arden is down for her first nap. Do you know what that means? That means she's been awake long enough to need a nap at 7:30 in the morning. More specifically, it means she's been awake since 5:23. A.M.

So, I know a few months ago I blogged about how Arden wasn't sleeping through the night and how I dreamed of the day that I would get a full eight hours sleep and, for the love of all things sacred, why does this kid wake up at 3:30 every night?! It seems now that I should have been more specific about what I wanted from her. Yes, I wanted her to sleep through the night. Yes, I wanted to get a full night's sleep. But, come on, do we really consider 5:23 A.M. as sleeping through the night? It's a little to close to 4:00 a.m., which, in my opinion, is definitely still the middle of the night.

And it's not like she just wakes up and wants to snuggle on the couch and watch a little TV. No, she wakes up ready to start the day by emptying out all the bins in the toy box, taking all the plastic bowls out of the kitchen drawers, and climbing in the dishwasher. For some reason, "Let Mommy have her coffee first" means nothing to her.

There could be hope though. Claire went through an early-rising phase as well and I'm very proud to announce that it's now 7:52 and she just woke up. Looks like she's out of that phase--and it only took two years!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Big D

Last Sunday, the girls and I set off on a little road trip to Dallas. I would like to tell you that traveling five hours with a three year old and one year old was a breeze, but that would not be true. By the time that huge lone star was looming in the distance at the Texas/Oklahoma border, Arden was about to lose it. I knew she was hungry, but there was no way I was stopping when we were so close. Since I couldn't reach her, I resorted to throwing goldfish crackers at her. It seemed like a good idea at the time, until we stopped and I saw the proof, all over the backseat, of what a bad shot I am.

We had a great visit with my aunt and uncle, Grandad Tracy and Mimi and Aunt Ashley. Here are some highlights from the week...

Arden mastered the art of climbing stairs. Fantastic. Really.
Claire played dress-up with really big earrings and bangle bracelets. Earrings are now the newest addition to her list of "things to do when she gets a little bigger."

Swimming everyday with Grandad Tracy. By the end of the week, Claire had become brave enough to swim all the way across the pool. And Arden discovered that she prefers to be out of the water, because you can't really run in the pool.

Playing at the Wiggly Play Center. So much fun for kids, yet so migraine inducing for adults.

Feeding the ducks at the pond by Grandad and Mimi's house. Claire really loved this. When we first got there, she marched right up to the ducks and said, "Ducks! I need your attention!" Wonder where she's heard that?

Riding the carousel with Mimi.

Taking Claire for her first pedicure/manicure. She picked out her own outfit for the occasion, right down to the accessories.

Other highlights include seeing our old friends from Small Group (I miss you guys!), going to the Dallas Aquarium (fun, but would definitely pass on it next time), Claire's sleep-over at Aunt Ashley's, and just lots of visiting.
Claire didn't want to come home and is already asking when we can go back. Just as soon as the memory of that car trip fades, honey.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

As If I Could've Stopped It

With the world's biggest Wiggles fan in our house, this really was inevitable. In the end, the pull of those four singing men in their primary colors, that zany pirate and, of course, the dancing dinosaur proved too much for Arden to resist. She has been sucked into the Wiggles World.

Monday, July 2, 2007


Saturday morning, Arden woke up with a huge rash covering her tummy. Even though I am aware that children often get rashes after they run fever (she had one on Thursday) and even though I figured it was probably no big deal, I still decided to take her to the doctor. Because I'm one of those moms. Besides, if we're not going to the doctor on a weekly basis, how are all those pediatricians going to pay their mortgages?

So off we went. Me and my smiling, feverless, jabbering, non-sick-acting-whatsoever spot-covered gal.

When we finally saw the doctor (an hour wait, our longest ever), she took one look at Arden, turned her little hands over to look at her palms and then said, "Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, ever heard of it?".

I had heard of it, and truth be told, I've always been kind of grossed out by it. The name alone is enough to turn your stomach. For one thing, it sounds a little too much like Hoof and Mouth Disease, and for another, it's a little too descriptive for my taste. And then there's the rash. Any virus that causes external symptoms completely weirds me out.

As we left the clinic with instructions for lots of fluids and TLC, I began wondering where Arden picked up such a disgusting virus. Now, I've never been one to worry a lot about germs. You won't see me with a shopping cart or highchair cover, and I don't bathe my kids in GermX anytime someone within a mile radius sneezes. But Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is a pretty gross virus, so I started brainstorming all the places Arden might have picked it up.

1. Sucking on the handle of the shopping cart at Wal-Mart
2. Licking the floor of the play place at the Mall
3. Chewing on puzzle pieces at the Library
4. Gnawing on the bottom of Claire's Crocs
5. Sucking on assorted flip flops
6. Eating discarded goldfish at the neighborhood pool (not our goldfish)
7. Eating wood chips at the Park
8. Licking the slide at the Park
9. Chewing on toys in the pediatrician's waiting room

I could probably keep going, but once I started listing them all out, I got even more grossed out. This might cause me to rethink my policy on cart covers and GermX.