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Field Trip to the Planetarium

27 Mar

Today I was thrilled to be a substitute parent chaperone on for my little one’s field trip.  I hadn’t been able to snatch a spot as a chaperone on any trips for her and I had been bumming all year.  However when I showed up today as a last-minute sub and learned that the bus ride was 45 minutes I was a little horrified!!!!!  Here’s why:

1-I suffer from motion sickness.

2-Theres’s usually a kid who pukes on long bus rides and I’m not good with puke.

But alas we crammed on the nausea inducing bus (with the nauseous child and his vomit bag seated behind me) and made it to the Vanderbilt Museum Planetarium.  I remember going to the Hayden Planetarium as a child and adult and I was excited to see what was in store.

I actually was deluding myself a bit thinking I was going to see Laser Floyd or something…wishful thinking!

The lady who ran the show was a bit of a control freak which was sort of funny to witness in a room filled with over one hundred first graders.  But the kids were actually entertained for an hour learning about the solar system, planets and the constellations.   It was a great bonding moment with my little one….another one I wanted to freeze.  In the middle of it all she said, “Mommy can you take me here sometime?” :)

staring at the stars

staring at the stars


I just love this photo of her hair as she waited to go in!

Before we knew it our time there was over.  But I did learn something neat…a planetary mnemonic………..

Do you know the planets in the solar system?  Remember Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet…so…think about this…

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune)

Cool huh?!

(And thank god there were no pukers on the bus!)

Winter Break Wrap Up

24 Feb

Well we seemed to be the only people on my town who weren’t at Disney or skiing so the only thing left to do this week was to make do with some local fun.

We finally saw Frozen.  Though I usually loathe sitting in a movie theater, especially sitting through a children’s movie, I have to say Frozen is absolutely adorable and like the rest of the world we are all singing the songs like deranged lunatics.  With me it’s just that one line that’s stuck, “do you want to build a snowman?” so now I’m manically singing to the kids “do you want to have a snaaa-aack?” or “do you want to go outsiiii-iiide?” You get it.


We also hit Chuck-E-Cheese.  I had the kids try to guess where we were going on the way over.  I said no matter where we go no tantrums okay?  They immediately guessed at that point!

When we arrived I bought 40 tokens and arranged for a delicious pizza to arrive in 30 minutes.  I warned the kids that I would not be buying more tokens and asked that they please not get upset when they ran out of tokens.

15 minutes later my son was flipping out on me about you guessed it….his lack of tokens!!!!!!!!!!

We walked around the mall one day and like a typical man my son got fed up with the shopping that was happening with me and the girls.  Are you seeing a theme here with who I can possible label as biggest troublemaker? :)

And my girls got haircuts.  This is a big event because I only take them like twice a year and when I do they get their curls all blown out which is super exciting for them ( I hate this but they insist.)



Next break is Florida and I can. not. wait!!!!!!!

How was your week?

Winding Down…

29 Dec

I don’t know about you guys but the holidays have wiped me out! I’m so tired, and the kids are sort of draining me driving me really crazy during this long break from school. The day after Christmas the little one requested we spend the day going shopping for toys…can you imagine?!  Every year I tell myself I’m going to try to cut down on the excess but my husband has a large family so the kids end up getting a lot of gifts.  They are so fortunate…but I want them to appreciate what they have and receive and it’s tough instilling that when there’s so much coming at them.

Last night I watched my twins eating dinner in their new pjs (Santa always brings pjs) and I couldn’t get over the cuteness.

We still have a week to go before school resumes here and we are just taking it easy and hanging out.


(Ice cream is always great…even when it’s rainy and freezing out like tonight!)

If you, like us, aren’t vacating, how are you occupying the kids during the school break?

Another Christmas Tradition–Gingerbread Houses

23 Dec

My sister in law’s children are grown, however, she is kind enough to come over every year with beautiful gingerbread houses for my children to decorate. They look forward eagerly to this day even though they decorate houses in school in Girl Scouts and my daughter was even invited to a gingerbread house party. But there’s something about this day with their aunt and their cousin that ranks high in the book of specialness!





Today we are baking cookies all day.  Just what the kids need…more SUGAR!

What are some of your holiday traditions?

Our Annual Santa Brunch

15 Dec


Last Sunday we attended the children’s Christmas party at my husband’s golf club which is something we’ve been doing for the past few years. I really enjoy it because it’s a party focused on fun for the children.  There’s a DJ, dancing, games, a magic show, gingerbread cookie decorating, ice cream sundae making, and of course a visit from Santa who arrives via fire truck.  All of this is within a beautifully decorated environment with tons of delicious food. And, my children are old enough now where I can actually sit and enjoy some of the food!

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I find that I’ve been feeling so much more happiness during the holidays the past couple of years just from witnessing the joy the kids experience whether it be with our elf, lighting the Chanukah candles or any of the many holiday traditions.

I’m starting to believe that when you have children this really can be the most wonderful time of the year!


What do you think?

Is Halloween Over Yet?!

29 Oct

We’ve already been to a fabulous Halloween party AND we trick or treated yesterday at my parents complex. If not for the trick or treating at my parents last year my kids would have had no Halloween due to Hurricane Sandy so we love this event. It’s contained and wonderful.

But we already have loads of candy, and the kids costumes are barely holding together.  I’m wiped out! We still have the real trick or treating and some school parades and parties to get through :).

As you can see, I, the unspirited mom, even dressed up this year to accompany my barbarian husband!  Are you Halloweened out or looking forward to Thursday?!



Pumpking Picking and Wine Tasting with Friends

15 Oct

So funny I was just looking back to a couple of years ago when I posted this about going pumpkin picking with the kids and how miserable it was!

Once again last long weekend we made the long drive out to the south fork of Long Island and it was also another freezing day. We were with the same family from a few years ago and another and the kids were excited to be racing around in a different environment with their friends. When we all get together there’s always a lot of laughs and I’m always in heaven because my friends both of have babies and I have to live vicariously through them and soak up all that babyness!

pretty impossible to get this shot!!!

pretty impossible to get this shot!!!

It was chilly but the kids are older now so it wasn’t as stressful tracking them.  Before we let them loose we sat everyone down and did a big kid pose and then some separate family poses. And then they were off to roam.  This year I also chalked up 3 bucks for each of us for the hayride.  Sad to say the kids weren’t even that thrilled which is a sure sign that they are getting older!


these 2 were chatting like teenagers off on their own, about boys no doubt!


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who knew this guy could carry a pumpkin so well and carve one so skillfully later on?!

who knew this guy could carry a pumpkin so well and carve one so skillfully later on?!

The best part was after we got our overpriced pumpkins and headed just across the street to a winery!!!  Though it was very windy and I was still chilly (I am so a warm weather person, don’t forget!) I had so much fun sipping on some wine to taste with my friends.  When we decided on some bottles we went outside and drank while the kids ran through the rows of the vineyard.  It was so nice.

cheers to good friends! we all met when our 3rd graders were in nursery school :)

cheers to good friends! we all met when our 3rd graders were in nursery school :)

These are the days I hope the kids will remember…I sure will.

Did you do anything fun over Columbus Day weekend?

Annual Adventureland Expedition

11 Aug

Every summer for the past few we have been delighting the kids with the promise of an Adventureland visit at least once during the warm months. The love it so much and I know my husband gets a little thrill taking his children to a park that he used to go to as a child. It’s been pretty wild watching them grow literally on the rides each summer….starting out as little peanuts who barely made the height requirements for anything fun.

We did have a very scary incident on a ride one year and I am absolutely thrilled that definite changes have been made on that ride, I’m pretty sure, because of the concerns I raised. I feel very pleased about that and how everything was handled.

This summer’s visit was no different in that there was total enjoyment.  What was different is that the little guys are now big guys meeting many of the height requirements enabling them to go on the some of the bigger rides without an adult chaperone…very exciting!


I love it when the twins seemingly bond with one another, and since the little one was too little to ride on the big rides without a parent they did seem to be together a lot and I was LOVING it!


Luckily the little one wasn’t too daunted as she had some good times with her dad.

No way was mom gonna walk around with soggy underpants all afternoon!!!

No way was mom gonna walk around with soggy underpants all afternoon!!!

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After 4 hours at the park we spent the next 5 hours at a BBQ.  I love summer!!!!!!!

And I love big bro walking his sister out of the park…!


Is going to an amusement park part of your summer ritual?

Bring On the Heat!

18 Jul

Okay I know I tend to be a bit of a complainer at times, but though here in New York we are currently in the midst of a heat wave, you won’t hear me whining. Instead, I say bring it! I will literally take this 100 degree weather any day over horrible blizzardy, cold weather.  I love it!

Today we spent 5 HOURS at our town pool.  I can’t even believe we were in 100 degree weather for that long and generally happy!  When we got home the kids got their well deserved 5th ice product of the day…what’s better than Italian Ices for hydration?!


My little fair-haired beauties were getting so fried on their faces no matter how much sunblock I applied. I’m delighted I found one that really seems to do the trick, because they aren’t happy about wearing hats.  Now I feel much better about our beach days, which are as fabulous as always!


What about you? Would you rather be in excessive heat or a raging blizzard?!

I’ve got lots more beach left in me this summer!


American Girl Store Sojourn

25 Jun

So if you know me by now you know that I love summer, but I dislike more things, like crowded places that draw lots of children.  (oh there are many more on the list but I’ll save that for another day :) )It’s a struggle to be a parent who wants to make her kids happy, while also being somewhat of an antisocial introverted hermit who would prefer to lay around and read a book.

My kids may be the only ones in our town who have yet to visit Disney.  Oh the poor neglected imps!  The hubs and I loathe and dread the idea and most of our friends think we are crazy because the place is oh so fun which makes us feel like we might be crazy (how can an adult want to go that place, time and time again?!?). But I digress…

The girls, my girls, ages 7 and 6 have been BEGGING to go visit the American Girl Store since they got those darn dolls.  Seems like every little girl around here, by the time she is 5 or so, has a doll or wants a doll and most of them have some monumental visit to the store on the 5th or 6th birthday to pick out the doll or another and have a blast.

Well my neglected girls, shockingly, never did get those visits, though they did get the dolls, so I finally relented and planned the trip with a friend (whose daughter, my daughter’s BFF has been multiple times!) for right after school ended.

And for months and weeks the girls poured over the catalog and fantasized about the experience, while I dreaded it! But when the day finally got here, yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel excited for the girls who had awakened at 5:30 a.m. and dressed and were ready to trek into NYC for their experience.


We got a lot of sweet smiles from strangers in Penn Station and it was a reminder to me to continue to relish in the sweetness of these girls!


And truth be told I loved being with them.  My son was with his dad enjoying going to work with him.  I got to catch up with my friend while the girls buzzed about everything they AND their dolls were experiencing!


The food was not the greatest part of the day, but when the hostess said “how many dolls in your party?”, I did crack a smile!

“Feeding” the dolls was one highlight but definitely the major highlight of this experience was getting their hair styled and ears pierced.  Yes, you heard me right.  I paid real money for hair styles and ear piercings for dolls.  x2.  !!!!!!!!!!

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The ladies styling the hair were so lovely.  They were a highlight for me in how they engaged the girls, got them talking about themselves and gave them tips for taking care of the dolls hair…really lovely ladies!  And the girls, well, they were beside themselves with the results!!!

Really truly all in all it was a super cute day despite all my grumbling and it was such a great opportunity for some family and friend bonding.

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Today my daughter asked when we could go back.  I took a breath and said “not for many, many, many, weeks…”  She said “oh I’m SO GLAD you didn’t say months!” :)

Do you have any American Girl Store thoughts?  Are there any other cranky moms out there?


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