Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Week in the Life (v2014.26)

 Sleeping siblings

Happy feet

Someone likes eating

Finn loves to draw and her drawings are stating to become recognizable.  Sort of.

Someone is a TSO fan (and it's not the mom).

Also a Vince Giraldi Trio fan!

Finn is SOOOOO nice to Lucy (sometimes)...

I found the receipe to make the warm candied nuts that you buy from street vendors in NYC.  We have eaten at least 3 batches already!!!

 Auntie Anita gives such great presents!

 Watching from the outside

Daddy did someone's hair that morning.

Late last week, Fish came down with a pretty bad cold/fever and was quite miserable for a day or two.

We wrote a letter to Santa last week -- making sure that he gets to the right house this year.

Fish thinks that blue chalk is quite tasty.

Wearing Mommy's scarf -- fashionable!

Looks a little like the kid from A Christmas Story.

Our house last night!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy anniversary!

Today marks our 10 year anniversary...  It's hard to believe that it's been that long.  Our wedding was quite the celebration.  You can check out some of the photos here, if you don't believe me (the lower in the page, the later in the night and the emptier the kegs and bottles.  And yes, I wore a red dress.  In fact, I saw the dress and ordered it -- I didn't actually try it on for the first time until after it was specially ordered and paid for.  But it was perfect.  As you could see in the gallery of our actual wedding, E and I didn't get very many photos together that day.  Both of us were too busy having a great time celebrating with all our friends and family.  So as our 10-year anniversary approached, I had asked E if he would be willing to take some photos of just him and me in his tux and make it back to where it all started...  Where he proposed to me.

I had envisioned the perfect day in December in New York City for our photos.  And let's just say that not everyone cooperated with us.  My hair was perfect -- I mean, seriously, perfectly curled when I left his mother's apartment.  The rain began the minute we stepped out of the car in Brooklyn and continued until we were driving back up to the Bronx with a HUGE slice of NYC pizza in our laps.  It rained and rained and rained that day -- and I will tell you that the Brooklyn Bridge was COLD.  I couldn't feel my feet by the time that we walked over to the Brooklyn side to get into our car.  And big thanks to Mike, E's friend who came and froze & soaked his balls off to snap the photos on the camera set up with a tripod -- I will be forever grateful for you sacrificing your warm-inside-Wednesday for us.

In thinking about the rainy day and looking at the photos now, I think they accurately represent our 10 years of marriage.  Imperfectly perfect.  We are considering a re-do -- running about the city again in a warmer (more hair-friendly) time of year (in hopes of being able to hit more places that are important to us as a couple).  But for now, these are the two most important spots in New York City in the re-telling of our story -- the Brooklyn Bridge (the site of our official proposal) and Trinity Church (the site of our first proposal).

One cold day in December 2003 (the 13th to be exact), E proposed to me in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge, with him standing in Brooklyn and me in Manhattan.  Without going into the whole details of the proposal story, it involved one $115 parking ticket, four broken cameras, one busted side-view mirror re-attached with duct tape, and an episode that will stay between me and the South Street Seaport bathroom.  But I did say yes and we went on to drink with friends until the wee hours in the morning at the Village Idiot.

The exact spot where the proposal happened

Ten years, two babies later -- two people stand in the same spot -- different, but still the same.

Trinity Church is also special to us because it was the first place that E proposed to me.  What you say?  The first??!?!?  A little background -- our first date was a wedding in June 2001.  I was living in Iowa City and he was living in NYC.  In August 2001, I went out for my first NYC visit.  E took me on a grand tour of the city on motorcycle.  The first night there, we came across a street vendor hawking cheap silver rings.  After being insulted by the vendor that I had fat fingers, we bought a ring each and came up a plot to make our friends in Iowa City think that we got married.  Now this was before the invention of Facebook and Instagram -- so we had to take tons of photos to show them back home, tons of FILM photos.  One of the photos that we took was him getting down on one knee in Trinity Church to "propose" to me.  If only we knew then what we know now...

A photo of a photo

The entire roll of film looked like this basically -- ring flashing...

I really wanted to get a photo of us inside Trinity with our wedding attire -- I had the times the church was open to the public.  But the weather threw some wrenches into our plans and when we were there, they were just starting mass.  The ushers looked at us quite strangely -- but never offered to stop the mass to usher us to the front (darn them!).  Maybe next time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Breakfast with Santa

Last Friday, I was able to score a breakfast with the Big Man.  You know, the Fat Man.  The one in the furry red suit.  Now, my kids are not at the best age to enjoy this.  They are at the best age to take hilarious photos of how petrified of the Big Man.  But NOT at an age where they are at ease and making jokes with the big guy.  So I prepped and I prepped and I prepped...

We started talking about having breakfast with Santa at least two weeks before it was happening.  I talked about how we would get there and have breakfast and how Santa and Mrs. Claus would walk around and stop at each table to talk with us.  Finn was quite excited about the idea of actually EATING with Santa for some reason.  And when I told her that he wasn't going to eat with us, just stop to say "ho, ho, ho", she still didn't get it.  "I'm going to have breakfast with Santa!!"

We walked the aisles at Target looking at all the toys -- giving her ideas on what she would tell Santa that she wanted for Christmas.  The one thing that I can say about her is while she isn't very decisive, she is very easily distracted and didn't pitch a fit about not being able to buy a toy that very minute.  Imagine walking the toy aisles with an almost three-year-old and not fits were thrown!  Score!

We also practiced -- or at least tried to practice.  We checked out a book called "Brave Santa" from the library, which is about a little boy named Jack who is very shy and doesn't want to talk to Santa.  So his parents ask him to practice with them being Santa and Jack being Jack.  It works in the book -- so I figured I would give it a try.  But I only got laughs when I tried to sound like Santa saying "Ho, ho, ho!  What do you want for Christmas, Finn?"

We got there a little late and was a little chaotic getting every seated with breakfast.  Then Santa and Mrs. Claus came in the room.  Finn didn't really know what to think.  She was excited when they made their first appearance, but as they worked their way around the room, the fright started to become apparent.  Thankfully, the way we were seated had Santa visiting with Brother and not Finn.

He didn't cry, so I thought we won!  Then I realized that he wasn't going to stop on Finn's side.  At first, I was upset.  But then I looked at her and she didn't seem the worse for the wear, so I figured she would be her opportunity to speak with him when we went into the theater and sat on his lap.  And she actually seemed relieved when he walked away.

They passed out little gifts for each child.  Fish got a little board book about cars and Finn got a little pig.  I thought it was odd, until I remembered that we were at the FarmPark.  Of course, Farmpark... Barns... Pigs... 

Then came time to make our way to the theater to sit on his lap and ask for our Christmas gifts.  We get into the theater and are waiting our turn.  She is excited to get up there.  UNTIL we are the next people in line, she suddenly decides that she doesn't want to sit on his lap.  He suddenly becomes very terrifying to her.  We make the compromise that she doesn't have to sit on his lap -- Brother will do that.  But we told her that she needed to sit in the sleigh next to Santa.  And this Santa was boasting that he didn't have a crier yet -- thinking that he was going to solve our problems.  Let me just tell you that he almost had TWO criers in one seating...

We got both of them up there and of course, Fish started crying immediately.  I snapped a bunch of photos and E took him back.  Then Santa wanted to talk to Finn about what she wanted for Christmas.  And with Brother out of the picture, it became very apparent what her body language was saying.  It was saying I-don't-like-this-get-me-out-of-here-I'm-NOT-going-to-touch-this-dude-not-even-a-little-bit.  Her legs were crossed away from him and practically hanging out of the sleigh as she was clutching the side of the sleigh.  And she got her "Finn Face" on where her upper lip sticks out farther than her lower lip and her eyes start to do their "I-look-like-a-little-deer" darting back and forth.  In fact, she didn't utter a word to Santa and wouldn't even look at him when he offered her a candy cane.  She wouldn't even look at the candy canes!!!!!


After not talking with Santa, we got to head over to Santa's Workshop to build a toy with his elves.  Once again, she was Little Miss Talkative in line.  And when the elves came, she clammed right up.  She picked Olaf to make and Fish picked a truck.  She got to hold the drill while the elf drilled the holes for Olaf -- she was Finn the Frightened!  After that, her and I headed over to the Painting Department and got to paint Olaf up, which made her happy.  We also headed over to the Glitter Department and she put way too much glitter on it and I'm going to have glitter on my floor for months!  All in all, the program was very good and they had the place decorated to the gills.  Finn had a fabulous time, even in spite of being petrified of Santa and the elf.  So I think we will be heading back again next year.

Santa's Workshop

Her finished product!