Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Before and After 6000 crunches

I hit my 6000 crunches today. My stomach is a little more taught, but everything else seems to be going somewhere in a handbasket.

I have struggled with 5 pounds since Lil Sis was born, and the HB08 has not helped the situation. The working out though has gotten rid of my hip pain, uncontrollable emotions due to the meds and made me feel stronger, even when I can't hold a door open (meds again).

So, my DH and I challenged each other. I would do more crunches and he would lose weight. I have done a bunch of crunches, and he has lost a bunch of weight. I would say these pix don't do him complete justice, but you can see a little...a side view of the belly would have been better, he's lost that and some face mass as well. Frankly, he's hot:

Feb. 2008: These jeans looked good but didn't feel good:


Sept. 2008: The jeans still look good and feel even better, and here he is modeling a slim fit shirt from Banana Republic:

Since losing weight, it is now confirmed that the girls inherited their booty from mom, darn.


My Loves September


DH:
Being totally cool about me heading out to the Adirondacks.
Laying out all the lunch stuff for me so that I wouldn't be totally clueless after 5 hours of sleep, the morning I got back and you had to fly out.
Teasing me that you bought me an XXL BYU hooded sweatshirt. HA HA HA HA HA HA!
Setting a good example with your scripture reading.
Giving me all the financial news.
Whispering to me about Lil Sis, who has recently emerged from her two years worth of TERRIBLE twos, "I'm starting to really love her (again)." Yeah, me too...finally! We've always loved her, she's just been a CHALLENGE...
Texting me about how that song I put as the backdrop for our trip slideshow reminds you of us when you hear it.
Taking me to pop burger. those onion rings....the best I have ever had in my entire life.
Knowing the house is not going to be at it's best when you get home on Sunday afternoons, and being ok with it.

Big Sis:
Practicing so well on your own when I was gone.
Helping with Lil Sis so that I could sleep in until 8:20 on Saturday! Holla!
Singing "Popcorn Popping" over and over again for our baby friend at the restaurant.
Dancing during your violin lesson. Your teacher asked you to dance while he played your Minuet, and you did so without abandon.
Being so happy to see Lil Sis on the subway ride home...giggling so much.
Writing on your back-to-school night poster that your favorite book was one we didn't even own. We bought it for you that night and you read it for us the next morning, with voices. Hilarious. Go check it out.
Dressing up as your own unique pirate for the pirate-themed birthday party.
Your "I get no respect! No respect" monologue on Sunday after watching your sister for an hour, while I was dead to the world on the couch.
Discussing your many many goals, including writing music, learning to play the electric guitar and becoming a "superstar".
Watching you dance at your new jazz class.
After explaining to me why she had two days off of school (Rosh Hashanah), and explaining to me about what that is: "it's not Chinese new year, it's like another new year...and there is a parade." She then asked: "Amn't I smart?"


Lil Sis:
Doing a "show" with you on the subway...looking at our reflections, putting in the DVD, pressing the buttons and saying the lines: "I'm Lil Sis and that's Big Sis (I played Big Sis), and we're....SISTERS!" All your idea btw.
Obeying so well lately, and continuing to be quite hilarious.
Letting me try a wedge cut on you...and being patient while I keep trying to fix it, make it better.
Feeling that finger in my nose as my alarm clock on Sunday morning, as opposed to the usual tiny kiss on the cheek.
You in your first class I have ever signed you up for. You were dancing to the beat of your own drummer...which caused me a little anxiety but a great deal of mama pride too...you go be your own girl, girl!
Making me laugh all the time now.
Telling you to go tell your sister to "Get your butt in here and practice!" And instead, you said: "Big Sis, you need to come and practice your violin." all nice and stuff.
Using the word doohz instead of does.
"Mommy" , you scream it, jump up and run to me with the biggest hug, after I stumble in the door at 6:55 am after my workout.
Looking desperately for pictures in your scriptures. Finally you found one: "Jesus!" "Wow...he's handsome".

September Sunset



Monday, September 29, 2008

Surprise!

My little bro. sent us his weekly email today, instead of Wed. It was a surprise, and he also entitled it: Surprise.

I think he was surprised because he is getting transferred to Santiago unexpectedly.

BUT, we had another surprise today, in our snail, mailbox:



Thanks for the surprise Grammy!

Ellie Love

Lil Sis found a little hole in Ellie's trunk. She insisted on me fixing it about 3 or 4 times in one hour. She asked me to please pull out my tools (needle and thread) already. I gave Ellie some stitches as promptly as I could.




The Ellie love continues. Lately Ellie plays a baby a lot, and Lil Sis plays a mommy. I am often the Grandma. It's good times.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Surprise Week...

Will YOU be surprised?

On the grate

Just walking home from school




Saturday, September 27, 2008

Epilepsifying

I made that word up.

I have been so on edge since the whole you-could-possibly-fall-down-in-between-that-tiny-crack-between-the-platform-and-subway-train-and-not-only-get-seriously-injured-but-also-get-your-purse-and-children-stolen possibility.

That has been complicated by the whole back-to-school situation. We travel during rush hour, we have a backpack, violin, 2 kids, hub-bub. So, when I do not need a bunch of stuff (say for a casting or something), I think the smartest idea is to start carrying my valuables in a fanny pack.


Well, it's more like a side-hip pack. The designer calls it a Hipshack. And it fits just what I need...keys, phone, id. And I can hide it under my puffy winter coat soon. I think it's going to be smashing. I already tried it out today. It's way easy.


Now I have a bracelet and a hippy pack and I have been seizure-free for over 6 months....so it's going good.

Friday, September 26, 2008

To you dear daughter

My love. I watched you at your dance class today with your black leotard and skirt, pink, sparkly leg warmers and jazz shoes, ponytail high on your head.

I watched your wide smile as you watched yourself move in the mirror. You found your hips, your ribs, almost forgot that your shoulders are not your elbows, but...your shoulders. You moved your body with the confidence of the lead dancer of the Ballet.

You led the small group of kids in across the floor exercises. You ran and leapt with joy and chassed with your arms extended out on either side of your narrow shoulders.

When you were done, you were cool with sweat and you exclaimed: "That was a really great dance class."

I replied: "Yeah, you looked so good in there, you looked like a girl with a lot of self confidence."

And you asked: "What's self confidence?"

I don't remember what I answered, I probably didn't answer, because Lil Sis needed help so that she didn't fall in the toilet. I got lost in thought....when will her self-confidence be threatened? How can I freeze this moment of sublime self esteem? Self Confidence. Love. Art. Life.



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tumultuous Times

Every time I pass by the Lehman Brothers building with it's brilliant moving lights and confident structure, I think back on that year when my DH and I were feeling amything but confident. I remember the day my DH interviewed at Lehman and how much I wanted him to get the job. Over the past month we have watched several banks fail, many of which he interviewed for over that year stretch of time that he was job searching.

Today on my way to help the economy (read, go shopping), I happened upon that symbol of a building. The lights stopped moving. It now has a static message: We are no longer Lehman. I snapped a photo and felt gratitude in my heart that none of those jobs that we so WANTED to work out at the time, didn't work out.


As of this particular moment, my DH is still employed. I however, am unemployed, which is pretty much the case most days of the year. I have not had a casting or an audition for over a week, and I am sure that has a great deal to do with the recent turn in the economy.

Speaking of the financial capitol of planet earth...

Big Sis is learning some language arts in school. Recently I did not help her through her homework, and as I was putting it away after I had tucked her in to bed, I noticed a big mistake:

The lowercase d shoud have been changed to a capital D, but that didn't make any bit of sense to her. NYC it is.

Trees

See the face in our neighborhood tree? I wanted to take pix of all the tree faces, but a park worker informed me that no photography is allowed in a city park. That is the first time that has happened to me. I have taken me some pictures in city parks in my time.


Not in the city park, here is a piece of tree that grew around this fence, and is now suspended. Interesting.



And a post on Willow Trees.

Third Person Thursday

She got herself all entangled in a PTA Fundraising Event. It's a Halloween Square Dance Party. She's never even attended a PTA meeting, and now, suddenly she is co-chairing the event. Whattup?

She's not in favor of the Square Dance portion because it feels like 2 separate parties to her, but the PTA Powers-That-Be make most of the decisions and veto a lot of her ideas. Blegh.

She has nothing against Square Dancing, in fact she has some fond memories of square dancing growing up, but she just feels there are some conflicting ideas with two different party spaces, two different music sources etc. She's finding a lot of her Latina Mom friends don't even know what Square Dancing is...so she is sending some Square Dance Videos in the school emails so that she can get people excited about coming to a Square Dance Party....she wonders will these motivate families to come, or force them to stay home? It's a toss up...at least the outfits are not required to enter.

Acey Deucy


Right and Left Through


Line Dancing

Square Dancing

Lively Australian Square Dancing

Barn Dance

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2 Years Ago...


2 Years ago around this week we were getting home from a weekend trip to Boston with our friends. I haven't been back since! I think I need to plan a little getaway to one of my favorite Eastern Cities.

Mostly I was drawn to these pix, not because I miss Boston, but because I miss my babies. The girls are getting so big so fast. Look at this little musha-musha. This is right before the 2-years of terrible-2's started:


Lil Sis is starting to look a lot like Big Sis now. She is already wearing those clothes, because she is growing at a much faster rate than Big Sis.


That Rooster nightgown, I just loved that piece...for my Chicken Little.

Gradually Going Green: Bronx Zoo


The Bronx Zoo continues to make environmental changes. The latest stand out is the Madagascar Exhibit, which reused an old building and is a totally green building. I could do without the cockroach part of the exhibit. Blah---shudder.

Here is a little garbage compactor that I enjoyed seeing:


A few other shots from our Bronx Zoo trip last week:

Monkey Love:

Adorable Baby Sea Lion:


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Bracelet Arrived!



It's here! And it's perfect. And, it looks even cooler in person than in the photos. And so informative.

Gotta love sister love. When school starts, their love grows because they are apart more. Little hands...

Bye Summer...

My dinner last night....it was dee-licious. And colorful.



Monday, September 22, 2008

Love Lately...

A few sweet things to take your mind off the disasters of the world....

Food:
Imagine Creamy Sweet Pea Soup
Dash of salt. slurp.

Coke. I switched back. I missed you coke....

Music:
Lucky

& by Jason Mraz

I'm Yours

These are the soundtrack of my 10th-anniversary slideshow.

She & Him Vol. I

TV:
Fringe. I love sci-fi and JJ Abrams.

And this, stop it:



New Bulletin Board

I saw it at Target, I had to have it:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cakes!

This past weekend we had our 3rd annual cake auction at church to benefit the teenage girls camping trip next summer. We usually end up shelling out big bucks for a few reasons: We Love Cake, our daughters are paddle-happy, and it's a great cause.

This year there was a little twist to cake auction night, a competition as well. As a result, I gotta admit, the cakes were stepped up a notch. Check out these beauties:

Of course Big Sis now has plans for us to MAKE a cake for next year, but I emphasized that we are the bidders, not the bakers!

See the girls in action! They REALLY got it this year. They scoped out the cakes ahead of time, decided which one they would go for and we just let them bid away. We ended up buying three cakes, mine was the most expensive at $38- And it was tasty...it's the cookies and cream cake seen in the contact sheet above.




The ipod cake was made by Big Sis' primary class teacher. As we ate it, she kept making jokes about losing her music with each bite, but that was ok because all the tunes were stored in her head.


Lil Sis' purse cake was made by our babysitter. She made sure it was made with no trans fat and egg whites. I guess she noticed I have "healthy" snacks around the house.

I am sure it is no surprise that after cake for breakfast on Sat.(I made banana choc. chip cake on Friday night), pirate cake midday, and my oreo cake (plus tastes of a few other cakes) by night, I had a belly ache by last night. And I could not sleep. I was high on sugar.

Want to know more, check out:
Pig Cake
Barbie Cake
Haunted House Cake

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pirates Ahoy!


This weekend we attended our friend's 4th birthday party in the park. It was a pirate-themed party. Big Sis got really into it, and dressed up. She felt especially proud of the accessory detail she put into her costume.

She was the oldest child at the party, and the only one who came in costume. She asked me before we left: "What if I'm the only one dressed up?" (that happened to her once at a Pioneer-themed activity at church, and we had to do a last-minute adjustment to her outfit because she was way embarrassed). I said to her: "You look fabulous. You've got to own it."

And she did.

My friend made this treasure chest cake for her son, so well done.

Lil Sis got all wet in the sprinklers at the park (STILL on? It was down right chilly today), but she was a trooper despite her soaked clothes and locks.

It was a nice way to spend the afternoon after our morning dentist appointments!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thar She Blows

It's taken me 6 years to remember to participate in National Talk Like a Pirate Day.

6 years of seeing that random New Yorker on the subway with a fake parrot on their shoulder and an eye patch, and wondering....what the?

And on one such day there happened to be a post on our family's MY FAMILY SITE from my cousin about National Talk Like a Pirate Day, and it all started to make sense.

This morning I remembered, and I greeted my family in my sleepy piratey-voice. Unfortunately I don't have the best pirate vocabulary so I ended up calling myself Captain Black-Mommy and Big Sis, Scurvey-Kid. I also threatened to have her walk the plank if she didn't pee in the pirate potty.

Now I am on my way to Target for some Frozen Barnacles (pancakes & Lean Cuisine).

Ahoy Matey!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Third Person Thursday

She wanted to try cutting her daughter's hair.

She watched a how-to video on youtube. The wedge cut demonstration looked easy.

When she sat down to do it, she started to feel anxious and borderline queasy. It was not as easy as it looked.

After she called it done, the cut did not look quite right. She decided to abandon the youtube technique and imitate her hair guy Frank instead. She had much more success blending the layers.

Such a wiggly subject, so many: "Ow"s...she still needs to tweak it a bit more, but for now, here it is:



She got a handful of random compliments, so she feels pretty good about her new skeelz.

Lips

For you Momma...

Hair Week continues...

No auditions = Beauty Fun.

Yesterday I wore red lipstick. I recently read in a magazine that a red lip is like a beauty pick-me-up. So, I walked into Sephora, asked them for a red lipstick, they told me, Nars, Red Lizard, and I picked it up and bought it. I didn't even look at it. And it's perfect. I love it.

I got about 4 comments on my lipstick at the school pick-up and then I noticed a few of the little students staring at my lips. One mom, as she spoke to me kept darting her eyes from my eyes to my lips. I did not expect such attention for my lipstick. Speaking of lipstick, I want to marry Tina Fey.

Yesterday I really wanted to repeat the red lipstick, but instead I decided to try a side-ponytail instead. I figure I only have 7 months left in my twenties, I better get it all out of my system.
Some might argue, I should have abondoned the side ponytail with my training wheels, but I loved wearing my side ponytail all day yesterday.

On Sunday, while I was trying to stay awake by cooking, the girls invented a little triple bjorn system with their special stuffed animals. I love this pic, because Lil Sis, all on her own, busted out a peace sign when I pulled out the camera.