September 30, 2011

snippets from the week

Some weeks I just don't take many photos, and then there are weeks like this. Weeks of adventure. When I can't quite believe that I get to live in New York, that I get to do history with my son at Ellis Island, see the fog roll in on Freedom Tower and play on the Big Piano at FAO Schwartz with the girl who was brave enough to take trampoline with me in college (true story - and best class ever by the way).

On our honeymoon, Will and I walked right under the Twin Towers. He remembers it, I don't.I remember the parks and the old churches and the Broadway signs. Which is probably not a big surprise. But just over a year later, they were gone. And now there is this. This time I'm sure I'll remember.
We squeezed in one last weekend at Governor's Island before it closed for the year. I'm not sure we'll still be here by the time it opens again early next summer, so just in case we rented one of the crazy bikes. Because who doesn't want to rid a bicycle built for six?
We went looking for Eloise again. We didn't find her but we did find a place in the basement of the Plaza where you can have pink ice cream sandwiches with your tea and where there is a big playroom (and store) that is all pink and all Eloise.
Big Piano, Central Park Carousel and Magnolia Bakery, all in one after school trip. Kid (ok, and grownup) heaven.
Couldn't resist checking this off the bucket list.
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.
The Salty Pimp was totally worth three trains each way at the end of a long day.
So. Freaking. Good.

Ellis and Liberty. In the rain. (Which is ok, because we are all Ducks) Perfect.

Have a lovely weekend everyone. We get two more precious days with Auntie Kim and we are planning on enjoying every minute

September 28, 2011

family calendar DIY: a tutorial

I have officially reached the point in my life where a wall mounted family calendar has become necessary. More than necessary, it's, well, it's whatever more than necessary is. In one short summer wen went from keeping track of one school schedule to three. Three totally different school schedules. With parent nights and mid day soccer and robot technology classes and night time photography seminars. Once upon a time, and by that I mean four months ago, it was easy. Briton got on the bus, Briton got off the bus. Evie went to a wee bit of preschool. And that was about all I had to keep up with.
Not any longer.

The problem is that family calendars are, um, ugly. OK, probably not all of them. But the ones I found when I realized that my iphone would explode if I tried to make it keep up with our family's current Will is here, Evie is there, Briton is over here and I'm trying to squeeze a bit of work in the middle schedule. And then I found the cork squares.

These are 5x5 1/2 inch thick tiles. If you can't find this size, you could cut down some of the bigger ones that are out there. Or make a really big calendar. For us, I wanted to work a week at a time but you could also do a whole month.
I cut the letters with my silhouette but you could do the same this with pre-cut vinyl letters. The pain in the butt part is peeling off all those little bitty letters, but that's what TV time is for.

Once the letters are one, smooth them down with your finger nail and make sure the edges are totally stuck on so that paint doesn't seep under.
Paint a thin layer of chalkboard paint over the top of the tile and let it dry completely before peeling the letters off.

For permanent or semi permanent schedule items I wrote with white pen with the idea that next term I can paint over those and add new ones, weekly items that change get written up with chalk and wiped away at the end of the week.
After trying out a few things for a backing I ended up with one of my leftover maps from the map wall mounted straight on the funky discolored door and then the tiles are attached with map pins (with extras for notes.)

So far it's working well. Keeping my head straight and mostly making sure we get where we need to be when we need to be there.

Do you use a family calendar? How does it work in your house?

September 27, 2011

evie-0, hula hoop-1

Those New York hula hoops are tough man, you don't want to mess with them.

September 26, 2011


Sometimes the coolest thing about living in New York is just happening upon things. A Shanghai Jazz Concert in Bryant Park, a new art exhibit in the Cathedral, a festival in Little Italy. Now that our days are filled up with early school mornings, and busy learning days, it's easy to get lulled into routine and forget to find these kind of things, or at least to get out and let them find you. Having my parents here meant being tourists again, and it's fun to be tourists.
Little Italy seems to be kind of crazy most of the time but this weekend was insane, in a good way (unless your child refuses to hold your hand, and then it could be a little tense!) Food and carnival rides and food and midway games and, oh, food. Lots and lots of food.
We had a marathon day on Saturday. Taking in the 9/11 Memorial, Governor's Island for it's last weekend of the summer, a quick ride over and back to Staten Island, Battery Park, a peek into the financial district, Chinatown, Soho and ending up in Little Italy where Evelyn fell asleep in my arms which gave us no choice but to sit down at a restaurant and eat pizza and cannoli. Rough, I know. Of course she did pee in my lap while she was sleeping, so it wasn't all fun and games. But then again, it's probably not the worst thing to end up on my jeans wandering the streets of New York.
Today one of my oldest, dearest and bestest friends comes for a visit so we get to have a few more days of touring the city (high on the list this time are Breakfast at Tiffany's and the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. So you know it's going to be a silly fun week (but we'll still squeeze in school, of course. Maybe we can squeeze in some math while we are deciding if we want the Salty Pimp ice cream or the Bea Arthur cone, or maybe the Gobbler ice cream sunday)

So here's to being a tourist for a little while. And adventures. And the Salty Pimp.

September 23, 2011

snippets from the week

I overestimated both how much knitting I could get done while watching soccer, and the temperature during the game. Or maybe I underestimated that. Or not. Anyway, it was really too hot for wool hats. But just barely.
Queen of the soccer hill.
My parents are in town so we are getting to play tourist, which is fun. Briton has many, many things to show them. Many things.
Last night we went to see the Lion King which was pretty freaking amazing. Although, it was almost as fun to watch the kids watch the show as it was to watch the show ourselves.
Lots of fun, but a late night. Someone fell asleep before we even pulled out of the first station.

Have a wonderful weekend!

September 21, 2011

the magic basement provideth

I couldn't pass these up. They were waiting for trash day down in the basement and, although I have no idea what I'm going to do with any of these things, they just looked too interesting to leave down there. I also found the foot of a clawfoot tub which is now a bookend in the living room, awaiting paint to spruce it up, and some really nice Tupperware tubs that I'm planning on using for small crafty items (I don't like to use found stuff for food, even when I've cleaned it to death, probably weird but better safe than sorry) I also spotted a rather large flat screen TV with a big cracked dent in the middle of the glass. But I don't think any amount of craftiness could save that.
So any ideas? The silver tub is about the size of a bathroom trashcan and I'm pretty sure I can get the tape all the way off with a little elbow grease. But what then?

September 20, 2011

soccer mom

When I was pregnant with Briton, I used to daydream about what it would be like to have a 5,6,7-year old boy. Would he play basketball like his dad? Love reading like his mom? Would I be the mom who always had the snacks that kids want in the house? Would I drive (gasp!) a minivan and haul my child and a crew of friends to soccer each week? I'm not sure why this image of myself persisted. I should probably blame it on car commercials. Or some kind of commercials. I'm sure it was their fault, somehow.
Of course it never turns out quite the way you imagine. Because before your a parent, no matter how much babysitting or how many little brothers you have encountered in your young life, despite reading every book available about parenting, you really can't ever know what it is to be a parent until you are one.

I could go on and on about this, as I'm sure you can too, if you are a parent (or maybe even if your aren't) but this isn't about parenting,really, it's about soccer.

As it turns out, I'm not much of a soccer mom. I don't really like soccer. I definitely cant tell you an off-sides from a corner kick (Ok, I know what they both are, but I suck at identifying off-sides and I don't know when you have a corner kick and when you throw it in, nor do I really feel the need to know this). Add this general ambivalence to the sport to the fact that neither of my kids have really shown much interest in it and that I was more interested in sleeping in or working on the house than showing up for a game on a Saturday morning and we never really got into the soccer thing.

Until now.

We are currently heading off to soccer THREE TIMES A WEEK these days. Zero to three. Just like that.
Again, it's a combination of factors. Briton has a sudden interest in the game. We got a chance to put him on a team with an old friend from Charlottesville who lives here as well. There is no house to renovate, in fact there is no house to run around in so being out in the open running off some Saturday morning energy is now a big plus. And there is a regular homeschool soccer time in the middle of the day on Wednesday, just about the time that both Briton and I are getting squirmy. So we have soccer practice through the city on Mondays and soccer at Chelsea Pier on Wednesdays and soccer games in Central Park on Saturdays. It's a lot of soccer. But in a good way, as it turns out. Briton makes friends. I make friends. Will get to stretch his coaches legs a little. Evie gets to try to fall off the back of the bleachers repeatedly. We're all having fun.

The funniest part for me, however, is that, in a round about way, I'm doing the whole soccer carpool thing after all. It just looks a little different. Instead of kids packed in a van, we have this
So after all, I guess I am a soccer mom.

I asked Evie if she wanted to play soccer next year and got a "Ew no!" stare followed by a (dramatic) "I want to DANCE!" So apparently I'm going to be a stage mom too. Oh lordy.

September 19, 2011

with love

A year ago today, my father in law passed away. And even after a year, it's hard to know what to say, the words are never quite right. So I thought I'd share a collection of sorts that I've started. Some of them I've posted before, some not. All were taken in the city, things found by chance. Messages of love left on the sidewalk.

With love.

September 16, 2011

snippets from the week

The fall weather hit last night. Boom. Just like that. On Wednesday we were sweating it up with 85 degrees and the kind of humidity that makes it feel more like 95 and by Thursday evening it was 56 degrees and dropping. Ummm, lovely.
This means that, as of today, we have jumped from lightweight t-shirt and skirt to tights and sweaters. Except that sweater vest right there? The one I whipped through so that she would have it when it got cold? Not really warm enough already. We need sleeves. Sigh.
Remember in Friends when Monica and Rachel could look out their window to the apartment across the way and watch Naked Guy? We do not have Naked Guy living across from us (which is good, since we have children and all) Instead we have an assisted living facility which means that our neighbors are exceptionally quiet. As in we never see or hear them at all. Except for this week when they had a very loud party in the courtyard featuring a guy who sounded nothing like Buddy Holly singing Buddy Holly. There was even some dancing. Sort of. Dancing while sitting down kind of dancing. But good for them.
I'm testing the whole overdying thing for my sweater on the leftover yarn. So far I've managed to only lightly stain my tub green.
I fall in love with this place more and more with each passing sign, I mean week.
On Monday, as previously mentioned, Briton and I went way the heck over to the other side of Brooklyn to the Harbor Defense Museum to look at really big cannon and cannon balls with a bunch of other nine year old boys. But the view walking from the train to the museum was worth the trip. (ah the things I do for my children)
Will happened upon a 1920's subway car that pulled into the station where he was waiting this week. He didn't ride it (nutball!) because it wasn't going where he was going (again, nutball! I would have ridden at least one stop! Right?)

Have a good weekend all, we have our first Soccer in Central Park experience tomorrow (and I have yet to go find a size four ball, shin guards and turf shoes. You know what? Kids, they are expensive to keep!

September 14, 2011

fyi for the superheros out there

Made my day to see this in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine Newsletter.

Only in New York.