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Thursday, December 31, 2009

ryan seacrest is not smarter than a 5th grader

Rod: "Guess who's going to be singing in Times Square for New Year's Eve?"

Jackson (age 11): "Who?"

Rod: "Jennifer Lopez and Chris Daughtry."

Jackson: "What is this? 2006 ??"

Monday, December 28, 2009


My little sister Jennie came to visit us for Christmas. It's been great having her here. Right now she is organizing my tiny kitchen. That's true sisterly love, isn't it? She is also bunking with my six year old Lily every night. That goes beyond sisterly love. In fact, it probably qualifies her for some sort of world peace award. I'm checking into it.

Jennie and I took Lily to see Mary Poppins on Broadway yesterday. It was actually the first Broadway show for all of us. And it did not disappoint. It was amazing. If you are ever in the city, you definitely need to get tickets.

We took a little picture of the 3 of us before we left.

I have no idea where Lily learned to pose like that.

Another picture of Lily and my sister Jennie. As you can see, Jennie is hanging on to Lily to keep her from darting into traffic. Thank you Jennie.

It was unbelievable. The set, the cast, the theater...All of it was glorious. My only complaint might be that the theater didn't let us know that it was intermission. We thought the show was over. Yes, we are Broadway virgins. The lights went up and we grabbed our coats, while casually discussing how great the show was. As we walked to the door, we noticed no one else was leaving. Instead, people were buying 4 dollar bottles of water and Mary Poppins mementos. So we casually walked back to our seats pretending that we meant to get our coats on because we were cold. Or maybe I just did that.

The second half was even better than the first, so if you go to the show make sure you don't leave at intermission. I'm just trying to help you out in case you are Broadway virgins. Or are blonde. Unfortunately, my sister and I were both, so we really didn't have a chance.

Empire State of Mind

Empire State of Mind

While I have only lived in NYC for about 6 weeks, I am really loving it. It has it's challenges, but there is truly no other city like it. I ran across this video by Daily Candy and thought I'd share it with you. Just click on the link above. It will give you some insight into why so many call New York home.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

do we really need a tree to celebrate christmas?

That's how you think when you don't have room in your apartment for a Christmas tree.

Then you think, If we don't get a tree, my kids will one day tell a therapist..."and then there was the Christmas when mom said we had no room for a tree. It's like she was saying there was no love."

So last night, we bought a Christmas tree.

We walked down the block and picked up a tree from a guy selling them on the corner. Convenient. Yes. Eventful. Not quite as eventful as when we lived in Colorado and chopped down our own tree. But wow- it was convenient. I think the whole process took 10 minutes. Plus we got to experience the whole drag your tree into an apartment elevator.

Let me say though the trip was not without drama. Because we had Lily with us. And she wanted a different tree. But due to the fact that her parents have control issues know better, we decided to get one a little bit bigger. Lily was not happy. First she proclaimed she hated the tree. Then she kicked it. Unfortunately, she thinks Santa will bring her presents if she is naughty or nice.

But by the time we got home she was in love with the tree. And that's what it's all about.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

clean water. and good hair.

Last week Rod and I went to the annual Charity Ball event here in New York. I've never been invited to a formal black-tie event before. Unless you count my senior prom. And that involved a date who wouldn't kiss me, a few dozen yards of hot pink taffeta and an enormous amount of hairspray to make sure my permed bangs stood at attention all night. Viva la 80's!

I had been anticipating this event for months because I believe in what Charity:Water does. They are an amazing organization that provides a basic human right to those in need - clean drinking water.

OK. And I was also looking forward to this event because I was going to see some famous people. I like to balance out my support of goodwill with a healthy dose of celebrity gawking.

Here's a picture of Rod and I all dolled up before we left our apartment for the event.

Can you say Bond. James Bond?
And in case you're wondering, I worked on that pose for a long time.

The host of the event was Adrian Grenier. He's been a big supporter of charity:water for a long time. Plus he has great hair.

I got to meet Adrian (yes- we're on first name basis), but was too embarrased to ask for a picture with him. So my husband took this with his iphone instead:

The event was amazing. It was attended by about 1200 people and over one million dollars was raised to provide clean water to those in need. And I'll balance that statement out with this: Later on in the evening, Adrian was standing right in front of me, wearing his velvet suit and then... HE RAN HIS FINGERS THROUGH HIS HAIR.

Of course I immediately texted my sister, Jennie.

Unfortunately, I can not repeat her reply text because my mother sometimes reads this blog.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

my crib

Many of you have wanted to see what the inside of our apartment looks like. I thought I'd post a picture for you. Here you go:

OK. That's not our apartment. It's the lobby in our apartment building. But I bet I got some reactions out of a few of you.

Let's go on up to our apartment. Which, by the way, I figured out is smaller than a double wide trailer. Yes, it's glamorous living here in the city. I'm in a double-wide trailer in the sky with a family of six. There is room for only the essentials. Someone sent us a lovely boquet of flowers a while back and when I picked them up from the doorman, Jackson gasped, "WHERE are we going to put THOSE?" The reality that we are living in a small space is not lost on anyone here, people.

Going up. 31 please.

Here's what you see as soon as you walk thru our doors.

This is our living/dining room. My favorite thing in this room is the clear dining room chairs. We had the table with us in Colorado, but the heavy black chairs made the apartment feel so crowded. The clear ones give much more visual space. It's an illusion.

The original dining room is on the far right. We had to convert it to Lily's room. AND WE'RE STILL WAITING FOR OUR SUPER TO INSTALL THE DOORS. Did you know putting a 6 year old to bed while the rest of the family chills in the living room is not an easy task? And I won't even go into what happens when we have to send her to her room for disciplinary matters. Let's just say, the whole "there is an invisible wall here that you can't go past" statement isn't holding much water.

Here's Lily's room:

Here's our little kitchen.

And let's go down the hall to the boys room. (Disclaimer: I did not make up their beds, because who am I kidding? They are never made up and some things just don't matter to me right now.)

This is probably the biggest challenge of living in a small apartment. All three boys are sharing this room. We have 3 individual desks on the left side. Each has their own designated area. They've been good sports so far about all this. One of them even said "It's like being at camp." By the way, did you know you can use the retouch tool in Iphoto to digitally vacuum the carpet? Just a helpful hint I thought I'd share with you.

You need to check out this triple high bunk bed though:

I'm so impressed with my husband. He chopped up 2 ikea beds and made this. The bottom bed is really a trundle that rolls out. However, Jackson likes sleeping underneath the middle bunk rather than roll it out. He said it's cozy under there. Personally, I think he's afraid of being stepped on by the 2 older brothers that are sleeping above him.

Here's the master bedroom.

I really like the way our bedroom turned out. It's light and airy and quite relaxing. And I love the views.

So there you go. That's it. There are no more rooms. Except for the 2 bathrooms and who really wants to see a picture of a shower and a toilet?

modern convenience

The city has a lot to offer in the way of modern convenience. You can get anything and EVERYTHING delivered. I can get meals, dry cleaning, packages, shoes to be shined, laundry, etc... all delivered to my door. In fact, Rod informed me yesterday that he found a liquor store that delivers to our building. I quickly told him I would not be taking advantage of that service though. I just feel if you start having liquor delivered to your door, it might be the sign of a little problem. I'm just sayin.'

But the one convenience I don't mind paying for is having my groceries delivered. It's great. I shop on line, enter my credit card information, select the time for it to be delivered, and BAM! it's done. Remember, we don't have a car, so loading up a weeks worth of groceries and then shlepping them back to my apartment would require me to bring kids along to help carry the bags. And lets's be honest, what mother in her right mind likes to do that? Can I get a witness?

I was so excited to receive my first grocery delivery from Fresh Direct. I got the same feeling inside my heart as when the UPS man comes. Of course when the UPS man shows up, I still think everything he's bringing is a present for me. Am I the only adult that still thinks this?

Anyway, my groceries arrive packed in boxes like this:

Last time I was placing an order, Bo asked me to get snack foods he could eat while he watches sports on TV. Apparently men of all ages need a remote in one hand and food in the other to carefully balance out the universe. While shopping on line I found these hamburger sliders and thought they would be perfect for Bo. Here's a pic. They are still frozen in the picture which explains the iciness.

However, when they arrived, they were quite smaller than I thought when purchasing them on-line.

I'm either going to have to order these by the case to fill the stomach of a 15 year old or go ahead and let Lily feed them to her anorexic Barbie dolls.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

wordless wednesday in the city

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

family picture by my six year old

Apparently it's time to get my roots done.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

the most wonderful time of the year

We figured since we now live in New York, we should go see the heralded Rockefeller Plaza Christmas Tree. I'm sure it's actually called a "Holiday Tree" as to be politically correct. But since this is my blog, I don't have to politically correct. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas.

Rod and I took Lily (age 6) and Jackson (age 11) out for an evening of Christmas-time fun. We had a great time, but both the kids wigged out at one point because of the crowds, thirst, hunger, an itch attack over their entire body... And because I am such a great mom, full of Christmas spirit, I yelled at them to buck up. But no one gave me a second look because the streets were full of parents doing the same thing. Ahhh, don't you love this time of year?

We decided to go on a Saturday night. Because we are crazy. Here's a shot of the tree over the heads of a million tourists.

It was quite beautiful though.

We didn't go ice skating at the rink by the tree because we may be crazy, but we are not that crazy. The line wrapped around the square forever.

We actually had a great time, especially once we found this guy:

Do you see Lily eyeing him? Fortunately one of these guys were about every 100 feet. To assist our food-deprived children.

And guess who was riding a bicycle down the street?

Here's some of the windows. They were quite beautiful.

Bergdorf Goodman was my personal favorite of the evening. You'll definitely want to click on the picture to see all the amazing details:

Sorry, that last one was Anthropologie. I can't help it. I have a built in radar that pulls me towards those stores.

You know who had a dud of a window?
Barney's. It looked like a school art project. Seriously?

But, Bloomingdale's windows were great.

And in case you are still on the fence as to Robin's gender preference, let this settle it for you once and for all.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

a message to my daughter

Dear Lily,

You are only six years old. This move has brought out an excitement in you that I'm having trouble containing. In a 1200 square foot apartment. Even though this attribute is exhausting, I actually love your enthusiasm towards life. You adore absolutely everything about New York. But I'm noticing you need a few lessons. I thought I'd share them here with you.

1. Please stop chasing the pigeons. They are not "purdy" birds. They are dirty birds that pick up the germs of the city. Also, if you chase one more of these into oncoming traffic, I think I might have a heart attack.

2. If you find gum or candy on the street, please do not pick it up no matter how sparkly it looks. Same rule applies if your own gum or candy falls out of your mouth onto the street. The "5 second rule" does not apply in NYC.

3. Rats are not cute. I realize that's confusing because they are covered with fur. But again, these are germ infested inhabitants of this great city. Also, do not tell me when you see one of these rats on the subway- especially if you are going to describe them as "fuzzy and orange." I can't control the automatic scream that comes out of my mouth when you do this. And I'm trying to be a cool New Yorker.

4. We live in an apartment now. That means that there are people that live below us. They do not appreciate your gymnastics routine- especially after 8 pm. I have received a call from our doorman to back this up.

5. Elevators are fun. Especially when you live on the 31st floor. But other residents of our building don't like it when you push the wrong buttons. Something about elevators makes people grumpy. In fact, your father almost got in a fist fight last night on the elevator.

6. Show tunes are allowed to be sung in the laundry room. However, other residents, who do their laundry when we do, are not part of your cast. They don't want to participate with you no matter how loud you keep singing.

7. And finally, even though it drives your brothers crazy, it's ok with me if you continue calling where you live "New York Big City."


my hood

I am getting settled here to life in the Big Apple. And I have to tell you that I love it. The city is so full of life and energy, not to mention the interesting people that are everywhere! I think I have a hermit recluse that lives in the next-door apartment. He lets his papers stack up for at least a week. Then I've caught him peeking out his door to scoop the papers in. You know my goal is to find out what is going on in there! I'll keep you posted.

Finding an apartment in the city that fit our family's needs and budget was challenging. There were days during our search where I found a dark corner and soothed myself by rocking back and forth on the floor. But by the grace of God, we found a great place. I just love it. It's tiny. All 1200 square feet of it, but it's in a lovely location on the Upper East Side. And it's on the 31st floor of our building which means we have spectacular views.

I thought I'd show you around my hood today. (Click on any pictures to make them larger.) First of all, when I say Upper East Side some of you may think I'm living on the snazzy side. I don't live on the snazzy side. I live on the stroller side. It's very family-friendly and I really like it here. The snazzy side would require quite the bankroll (new money) or a pedigree (old money) and I have neither.

Here's a picture of the front of my building.

Did you know I can get fresh fruit outside my door every morning?

Here's the view from our living room.

See those two twin buildings there? I'll zoom in.

That's the other side of central park.

And guess what I have across the street from me?

Starbucks. I have made friends with that place.

View from my bedroom. I've always wanted a water view! I just thought waves would be involved instead of concrete.

View from my kitchen. I think you can call it a kitchen. Maybe it's more like a closet with appliances. But it does have a window and for that I am grateful.

And at night. It's all just glorious.

I love New York.
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