Jul 30, 2006

Two Years of SAMMY BOY!

Sammers rolling in grass while Daddy cuts lawnI've been remiss the last few days for not mentioning an extremely important family event. On Monday, Sammers turned two! To celebrate the day on Monday, we thought of what he'd most like to do and decided on dinner at McDonald's. Now before you mock our cheapness, you should know it's a McD's with a PLAYPLACE! And he got his OWN HAPPY MEAL. (I still drank his chocolate milk though...it's not like he won the Nobel prize...). Anyway, we were joined by our new friends...we'll call them "Your Replacements" or just "The Replacements" for short. Mister Replacement is Dug's co-worker/fellow 1st year resident, and they have two adorable little girls who Sammy likes to follow around. SO! That was Monday. YESTERDAY, was the main event.

Hopefully you wouldn't for one moment assume I let the occasion pass without stressing myself out over a cake and a party. (As a wise person once said, "Assuming makes an a$$ of u and me."...get it?) So Friday night I spent between 2 and 10 hours cursing under my breath while trying to make a Lightening McQueen cake. (I ran out of red sprinkles, had to patch up some white spots with dark pink, and just generally didn't enjoy the artistic process. Luckily, Sam is obsessed with all vehicles so he liked it despite it's junk-yard appearance.)
Saturday we had invited over all the families from church that we've met so far to come for lunch, excessive sugar consumption, and general kid-induced chaos. We broke out the Bounce House for it's first use and the kids ran rampant through the house and yard while the adults chatted. As far as I could tell, a good time was had by all. Now for a Dub family birthday tradition. It's the "What's Your Favorite...?" game! Starring the amazing SAMUEL!!! (Use the voice of the "Price Is Right" announcer guy.) Sam..what's your favorite color? "Boo Yeho" Blue or Yellow (They're the only two he knows)
What's your favorite toy? "CA-CA'S! COO-COO'S!" (Race cars or Choo Choo's)
What's your favorite food? "Keys" (Cheese)
What's your favorite object? "BeBe BayEee" (Binky/Blankie)
What's your favorite parent's name? "Mommy!!!!"

Jul 23, 2006

A few little things...

  • Max has made pigs his new standard of strength and agility. i.e. "Wow Mommy! You're as fast as a PIG!!!" or "Hey Daddy, will you grow as tall as a PIG someday???"
  • The heat wave in Rhode Island has turned into 'cloudy, with a chance of showers'. The temp. has gone down, but the humidity has gone up.
  • My friend Kim once said, "You know what I think of when I hear 'wooded acres'??? CHIGGERS!!!" (That's different from "jiggers" which is what my mom called 'boy parts' when she was little.) Anyway, I can no longer walk near trees without swatting at phantom crawlie things and casually running my fingers through my hair to check for ticks.
  • Max is saving his money for a motorcycle, a convertible, and a stretch limosine. Evidently, our Mini-Van is no longer hip. Also, I don't drive fast enough.
  • We started putting up the border in the boys room only to find we didn't have enough to finish one wall. How is it possible that I, a natural math wiz*, measured wrong? It's a mystery.
  • My ankles are healing just fine, thank you! (use sarcastic voice when reading this one, because no one even sent flowers!)
  • Samuel spent his first night in a "Big Boy Bed". He only stayed up until 10:30 and didn't even break any of the things he pulled off the shelves!
  • Maxwell is becoming quite musical. He's recently been singing songs about the relative merit of "cow milk" vs. "soy milk" and others of his favorite beverages. Sing with me now: (any tune will work if it's in a minor key) "I love soy meok but it has mo sugo then wahhhhto so I like to dwink kahkalete meok but not cows meoooooooook...." {Sustain that last note for a few counts and change keys a bit.}

*lies are told in orange.

It's not my fault the bullets are messed up. I'm also a natural computer whiz!

Jul 19, 2006


We had a fun morning at a new friends house today. To see pictures, check out her awesome photo blog with pics of the adorable children. Note to the Utahn's: The very talented taker of these pictures is moving to your neck of the woods next year. Hire her!

Jul 17, 2006

"Work Party" or "When Max Get's Tipsy"

Last night, Sunday evening, we were invited over to Cosmina's house for a "getting to know you" BBQ with all of the Pediatric Residents. Cosmina is a new resident along with Doug and two other guys: Steve and Matt. Anyway, Doug and Steve are L.D.S. as well as one of the second year residents, Eric. All of the others are not. So, the Mormon's all show up with their kids, and everyone else comes with their dog or significant other.

As is usual in this type of setting, Max could not be even slightly subdued. With other kids around and lots of snack food sitting within arms reach, he was bouncing off the walls, running laps around Cosmina's home, trying to wrestle the other kids, and just generally enjoying himself and distressing me.

Obviously with this much activity he was working up quite a thirst. He'd had about 12 cups of lemonade, some Sprite and some water but kept requesting MORE. Anyway, eventually he went in the backyard with his dad to watch the burgers being cooked and I was content that he wasn't knocking over furniture or other children.

A few minutes later I walked towards the kitchen to see how he was doing and watched in horror as he picked up a nice tall bottle of someone's unattended beer and took a big chug. He then calmly set it down. In the mean time, I'm racing across the room and trying frantically to open the sliding door between us while pounding on it at the same time to get Doug's attention. He's standing about an inch from Max but concentrating on the BBQ (and keeping smoke out of his eyes) and misses the whole thing.

Finally I get the door open...Doug is now looking at me in bewilderment with Max standing calmly behind him, and I tell him what happened.
He looks at Max, confused that he could have missed this:

D - "Did you drink some of that?"
M - *nod*
D - "Was it yucky?"
M - "Ewww...yucky, gwoss!"
D - "Don't drink that anymore, okay?"
M - *nod*

No one else thought it was that big a deal while I'm wondering if I can stick my finger down his throat and get him to throw-up.

And that is the story of how my four and a half year old came to taste his first beer. Hopefully his last.

Unless we go to anymore work parties.

Jul 14, 2006

Items of note and notorious items

Yea! My husband FINALLY came home from what felt like MONTHS away. Yes, I am very attached to him, but I'm also very attached to his laptop which he feels like he has a right to take with him where ever he goes! Not only is it good to have him back (and his computer) but his first item of business this morning was to high-tail it to Sam's Club and buy a couple of window A/C's. That's right, we've been suffering (almost silently) through YEARS (weeks) of 120 (80) degree heat with no respite! (except when we stayed with him in N.Y. for a week and a half.)

But all that pain and misery has come to an end. All is now right with the world.

Except for one thing!
{Background music changes to minor key...}
Now, before I tell you the tragedy that befell me, (actually, I befell, but I'll get to that) I want to make a few things perfectly clear. I am NOT a clutz! (My mom did call me Clumzerella for that unfortunate decade when I was constantly running my hips and elbows into sharp corners but that is in the past.)

Anyway, as I was saying...I'm not a clutz. It just so happens that the day of the "incident" had been a very long and hard one. No husband, no help, lot's of painting, parenting, unpacking, and general manual labor. So when my "sweet and adorable"/"really naughty" Sammers wouldn't go to sleep, I was exhausted and desperate. Since "Dental Dad" forbid's the distribution of sippy cups to progeny in cribs, I decided to Choose the Right, and take Sam upstairs for a drink. I was hoping the drink and distraction would calm him down and he'd go to sleep immediately afterwards.

Anyway, upstairs we went (the boys are sleeping downstairs while their room is being painted) and I got him a cup of milk. I then proceeded, with my tank of a child, to descend the hard wooden stairs. Somewhere near the bottom, I missed a step and with boy secure in my arms proceeded to tumble and then crumple into a heap on the landing. I was positive I had just broken both ankles and let out a few primal wails of anguish. (I'm proud to say I curb my swearing habit completely around spouse and children) At which time Sam wriggled out of my arms, backed away in terror, and started up his own wailing to signify that he didn't appreciate my negative attitude.

So, to make a long story short, ("TOO LATE!") I'm a gimp now without broken ankles, but with lots of bruises and the inability to think of myself as a graceful gizelle. (Let's hope that doesn't last long!)

Jul 9, 2006

Need Something to Read This Week?

I just finished "Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman. A very cool modern day tall tale that was very quick and easy to read. It has a little magic, a little mystery and lots of action. Plus, it has a great ending which I always appreciate. Another book I finished while I still in San Francisco is a church book called "The Peace Giver" by James L. Ferrell. My sister sent a copy to all of our siblings because she liked it so much. This is one of the BEST books I've read in a long time. I don't read many church books from cover to cover in short periods of time, but this is a very engaging book. A lot of the chapters I went back and re-read because I really wanted to "get it". The great thing about it is it reads like a novel while it's teaching you this really deep, life changing doctrine. I highly recommend it whether or not you're L.D.S. (Find it at www.deseretbook.com.) Happy reading!

Jul 8, 2006

It's Official (or Visit to the Statue of Liberty)

I'm afraid of heights. Living on the third floor (with a balcony) started it. Visiting the Empire State Building yesterday accelerated it. Going to the Statue of Liberty today cemented it.

We took the ferry this morning and went up to the the top of the base. Looking over the granite wall made me seriously nauseated. And seeing either of my off-spring looking over the edge made me want to cry. I don't know what my problem is. When I was 13, I had to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower by myself while my dad stayed at the bottom. I thought he was such a wuss. (Which he is, but now evidently I'm one too.)

So anyway, we saw the Statue today and it's very beautiful and has a very cool history. (And I now have another mental health issue.) When we got back over to the city, we started wandering and happened upon the NYSE on Wall Street. Max liked the gigantic "stawo spangoed banno".

This evening I got to do a session at the Manhattan Temple. It is VERY beautiful inside with some awesome leaded glass. When I came out, I called DW and he told me to come join him and boys at the park.

When I found them, the boys were sword fighting with borrowed Light Saber's supervised by a couple we've never met, and D was learning to Tango in the midst of a giant free dance lesson. Hmmm...

D is a quick study and I've Tangoed before, (with sweaty Brother Elton) so we got a little dancing in while the strangers babysat and took pictures for us. They were a really nice couple from Tennessee who just happened to have a dog and two light sabers making them instant bestfriends to my boys.

What a fabulous way to end our last day! Tomorrow after church, we're going to head back to Rhode Island. Hopefully the trip wont take 8 hours this time.

After this, it may be a few days before I post again since I wont have Internet access. (Or anything exciting to write about for that matter.) Try not to miss us too much. Dug will probably update his blog in the next week if you get desperate. ;) Thanks for the memories, New York!!!

Jul 7, 2006

The Empire State

Does anyone know why New York is the Empire State? I don't, but I probably have it in a brochure somewhere.

This evening we decided to explore "The Village". Doesn't that just reek of hip yuppiness? While wandering aimlessly, we spotted the Empire State Building and headed towards it. Although it was getting late, we decided to go up and check it out--cost, wait time, etc. We figured we may as well do it since we were already there and may not have time tomorrow so we bought tickets and headed for the line. The wait (for the elevator to the observation deck) was supposed to be an hour to an hour and a half and we were starting to reconsider the whole idea.

D went and asked an employee if she thought it would be just as busy tomorrow and she told him just to wait for a minute. After directing a big group of people to the incredibly long line, she moved a barricade, and ushered us to an elevator. Without us asking, she let us skip the WHOLE LINE!!! We were stunned! Before getting on the elevator, D ran back and thanked her again. We couldn't believe how nice she was!

So we got to the top and looked around and it was awesome. It got dark while we were up there and the city just looked beautiful.

Unfortunately, in my old age I'm starting to get a little bit afraid of heights. Only if I think there's a possibility someone might fall from them, and it just so happens there were spaces in the wire fencing big enough for a kid to climb through (and plummet from).

So although I did enjoy the view, at the same time I was getting more and more sick to my stomach and less and less inclined to let my children anywhere near the edge. (Max is a really excellent climber! Okay, I'm getting sick thinking about it again.)

Anyway, despite my paranoia, it was a cool experience made even cooler by the "To Be Commended and Forever Praised" female employee who got my boys home and in bed that much sooner.

Tomorrow we're going to see the Statue of Liberty! Hooray for the Empire State!

New York On My Mind

Observations of NYC:

1. People are no more rude here than anywhere else. In fact, most people I've talked to have been extremely friendly and helpful. Especially the dog walker who got me un-lost and the chatty guy in the laundry room who was whistling "My Fair Lady" songs the the mom who pointed me to the nearest food place.

2. There is a serious garbage problem here. Piles of garbage wait outside buildings for indeterminate amounts of time, rotting away in the heat. I'm not throwing stones, because I don't know what to do about it, I'm just saying...

3. There seem to be fewer homeless people here. At least in Manhattan. There are lots of "performers" down in the subway, but seemingly far fewer then we used to encounter in San Francisco. (I guess maybe they don't give out really large cash hand-outs like in S.F.)

4. I didn't think it possible to find somewhere more expensive then S.F., but this is the place. I almost passed-out the first time I went grocery/drug store shopping here. $10 for a tube of toothpaste? I'll brush with sand before I pay that much. $8 for less than a half gallon of ice cream? I'm now on a diet. (It's probably for the best to stop eating ice cream since I'm out of toothpaste. .We're currently using Maxwell's Sparkle Crest.)

5. A lot of women do not wear bras here, and frankly, I don't blame them. It's really hot and humid outside!!!!! (But it sure ain't pretty.)

6. I don't really have another one, but I don't want to end on the bra thing. Fact is, we're still having a great time despite the smelly garbage and bralessness. There I go again. On a positive note, there's a stand nearby that sells candied cashews and almonds and they smell REALLY GOOD!!! (and taste good, for that matter.) And with that, I'm finished!!!

7. I thought of one more tonight while we were out exploring. This place is NOT "handicapped accessible." Which means it is NOT "Parents-with-kids-in-large-bulky-hard-to-collapse-strollers accessible." I shudder to think how people actually confined to wheel chairs get around in this city. Certainly not on the subway!

Jul 4, 2006

Monday and Tuesday

Yesterday, Monday, Dr. D had to go back to"work" (orientation) so the boys and I were on our own for the first time. We walked to Central Park and found the carousel. One hour down, lots more to go until Dad gets back. I didn't really have a second item on the agenda so after we all took a fun ride we started wandering aimlessly. Luckily, we ran into a really cool water play area. I stripped the boys to their undies (diaper and adorable boxer/briefs, respectively) and they took off. It was a really fun morning culminating in hotdogs from a nearby stand, then back to the apartment for naps. We ended the day by meeting for dinner at Gray's Papaya...a famous (rightfully so) hot dog stand.

Today being the 4th, I whipped out the matching Moldy Gravy t-shirts (picked them up at the outlet for $2.50/ea.) and the whole fam. headed for The Park. (D had the day off.)

We discovered another new area with a giant turtle pond and a really cool castle, complete with turrets (where you can gaze down on the turtles). After that, we split up. The boys went one way, and I went to the Guggenheim. Yep, it's been awhile since I've wandered a big city alone, but it's still just as fun. I went through the whole gallery at a leisurely pace with nary a whiny boy in sight. I even got to sit down and sketch one of the few Renoir's I encountered. The exhibits were mostly Modern Art, which I really don't get, but there was still tons of cool stuff to see. The inside of the building is awesome, but unfortunately, I didn't get to see the outside because it's covered in scaffolding as it's being renovated. (Bummer!!!) When I finished at the museum, I got to do a little shopping on 5th Avenue and checked out H&M (Thanks Felix!) The boys met up with me again for dinner followed by dessert at Serendipity. (YES! I got to go into a restaurant JOHN CUSACK has been in when he, not coincidently, made the movie "Serendipity") From there, we made our way to where the co-residents were and we all watched fire works over the Roosevelt Bridge. All in all, it's been a pretty great two days with no costly parking fines! Hopefully the rest of the week goes as well!

Jul 2, 2006

Sunday in New York (When I meet Larry King)

As it is getting late and we wont be going out again tonight, I think it's safe to say that today has passed without mishap. Not only that, it's been a really great day.

Today we attended church at the Manhattan Temple which in and of itself is really cool. There is a separate part of the building with a chapel and class rooms for regular church meetings (separate from the temple itself) where the Manhattan wards meet. As we came in and sat down, I turned around to get a look at the ward. Towards the back I saw a very familiar looking woman. Familiar because I just saw her on Dr. Phil a few weeks ago. It looked like Shawn King, the (Mormon) wife of Larry King with her two little boys. I was pondering if it really was her when I got a glimpse of who was sitting next to her. There was Larry King sitting with his family. It was a really great meeting with lots of visitors sharing their testimonies. Afterwards, I saw Mr. King in the foyer and shook his hand and told him I really liked his interviews with President Hinkley. He then got on the elevator with us and Dug got to chat with him a little. It was very cool.
This evening we wanted to do something a little mellow, so after we all took naps, we went down to Ground Zero. There isn't a lot to see...it just looks like a huge construction sight. But on the fences surrounding the area, there are signs and pictures describing everything that happened on September 11. There are also signs with the names of all the hero's and a display of pictures painted by some of their kids. Pretty powerful stuff!

Jul 1, 2006

Parking Problems

Today started out very happily. The husband woke me up and told me we were going out to breakfast (one of my favorite things to do in the whole world...go out to breakfast). But first we had to stop off at the car for some extra diapers. So we all got ready and walked the two blocks to where I'd parked the day before. Doug asked me to move the car over two blocks so we wouldn't get a ticket from the street sweeper. Unfortunately, we read the sign wrong and already had a ticket, but I moved the car anyway. So as we walked down the block and I didn't see the car up ahead, I got a really sick feeling. Very similar to the feeling I got one of our first Sunday's in San Francisco when, after church, we discovered our car had been towed.

Turns out, our car had been towed. It so happens that in San Francisco, if you're car is hanging over into someones driveway by even an inch, you can be towed. And in New York, if the sign says "No Standing" that means "DON'T PARK HERE OR YOU'LL BE TOWED, YOU TOURIST IDIOT!!!"

Now, normally when something like this happens, it really stinks but can be dealt with. In this particular instance, it wasn't so easy. Since we have only had our fabulous mini-van for a few weeks, we didn't know the license plate number. And since we didn't know the license plate number, we weren't able to use the automated system that tells you if your car has been towed and where it's been taken. After a million fruitless calls to various NYC government agencies with no luck, we had one life-line left--my fabulous father-in-law. Since we bought the car from him and it is still registered in Utah, he was kind enough to drive to the DMV and stand in line for over an hour, VIN in hand, to find out the required license number. By now, we had gone back to the apartment to sulk and kick random objects.

Eventually and painfully, the van was retrieved by SuperHusband and we were ready to start another fun-filled New York day...at 4p.m. Good thing we're so darn resilient and impervious to the flushing of a few hundred bucks down the proverbial toilet!!! We went straight to Time Square and took the boys to see "Cars" which they've been dying to see. We all loved it and followed it up with a trip to a very large "Toys R Us" for a ride on their indoor Ferris Wheel. Also very cool. That's it for our adventures today. Tune in tomorrow when we see if we can get our van stolen and driven off the side of a bridge!!!

(Don't worry...I still love New York even if I am getting a slight nervous twitch.)

A few other quick items of note:
* Since coming here, Sam has developed a severe elevator phobia. Whenever we get near one, especially the one in our apartment building, he starts whining and runs the other way.
* Max has become very smell conscious and announces it very loudly if he smells anything "yucky" or "stinky".
* Mother-of-two (that's me) has discovered she has NO good walking shoes and will be stopping at the outlets on the way home to RI.
* Father-of-two has probably discovered it was much simpler and cheaper having his family in another state...though he wont admit it.


Yesterday was possibly one of the most extraordinary days of my life. I got to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first time. If you know me, you know I love art, but maybe not how much I love art. I can only say that I'm not often at a loss for words but that museum left me speechless.

The afternoon started when we took a subway to Central Park and then walked through it to get to the Met. Central Park is very big and beautiful and similar in some ways to Golden Gate Park, only it has this amazing skyline framing it. When we got there, my little boys were less then thrilled to go inside. As we started dragging them through the Egyptian "Hatshepsut" exhibit, they were dismayed to find they could neither climb on the ancient sculpture nor run through the tombs playing hide and seek. It didn't seem like the Mister and I would be getting much out of our visit. But we persevered determined to get our money's worth.

Upstairs we went through the Japanese and Chinese Art galleries. I was amazed by the ancient porcelin and it made me antsy to start another ceramics class. Next I dragged the boys to what I knew would be my favorite area: the European Paintings and Nineteenth-Century European Paintings and Sculpture. Sure enough, when I found my first Vermeer, I could have cared-less that 20 different docents had already shushed my boys. They were told by Dad to get on the bench in the middle of the gallery, and stay on it so Mommy and Daddy could look at the paintings. I've never seen a real Vermeer up close and it was awesome. They had on display one of my favorites: "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher" which D-bug bought me a print of so we can hang it in our new house.

Next I found some Van Gogh's which, in their original form, have the power to get me teary eyed. They're just awesome and seem to exude his angst, genius, and love of beauty all at the same time. The Renoir's, Monet's, Manet's, Rodin's, and Dega's were also amazingly beautiful as well as a works by a bunch of other masters.

After dinner in the Museum Cafeteria, my kind, thoughtful, selfless husband, took the boys to a park down the street and left me to wander unhindered for a few hours. When I entered the Medieval Art area, it was like stepping into a million books I've read and getting to see the art, architecture, and costume in real life. Just a few days ago I finished reading a novel by Tracy Chevalier called "The Lady and the Unicorn". It is a fictionalize account of how some actual French Tapestries came into existences in the late 1400's. After reading the description of how the tapestries were made, I was thrilled to get to see some real ones up close.

Finally I forced myself to leave knowing the boys would be getting tired and ready to go back to the apartment. Besides, I had blisters on all my toes from walking so much and felt like my feet were about to fall off. So home we went by way of bus, subway, and a pleasant jog through torrential rain to top it all off. Just another day in Manhattan!