Friday, October 31, 2008

Without Further Ado...


When you cross Maleficent and Billy Ray Cyrus, you get:

Hannah Montana

Drama Note: I used Etsy's Alchemy services, and ordered a custom-made Hannah Montana tunic and jacket to match this one:

The fabric was shipped to the sewer MONTHS ago, and the garment was promised Sept. 14th. Guess what hasn't arrived? Thankfully, while paging through the TOYS R US bigbook, I noticed a new HM dress-up item that exactly matched what I was trying to achieve. I am still rather steamed that my seller never delivered and that I am out the bucks, but I am working on getting her booted from etsy.

And Sleeping Beauty:

This is Lil Sis' favorite Disney Princess, and I could not pass up the opportunity to be the evil Maleficent. The costume headpiece came as a 1-dimensional foam thingy, so I added a felt backing, polyfill and all the purple accents. I studied the golden book version of the illustrations of Maleficent for my makeup inspiration. I think it turned out well, though here I am sick and also extremely warm, so the makeup looks a bit drippy.


Tonight we trunk-or-treat, so we are off to go decorate the car and make sure all our treats are in order. Ooh, I gotta make cornbread too, as my contribution to the chilli cook-off.

Video Friday

A Halloween Video for you...


October Loves





Lil Sis:
The Saturday mornings when we all end up in our bed. Lil Sis proclaiming me her baby and then patting my bum....after a few pats, she sang a new song: "Your bum is squishy." Thanks a lot.
Sunday morning, I woke up disoriented to Lil Sis all tucked in next to me at 5:40 AM. I was confused. After about a half hour of her chattering, I finally staggered out of bed to sleep somewhere quieter. I was curled up on the couch and in she walks. She stopped, stared at me, and then found me a blanket and covered me up. Then she grabbed another blanket and curled up on the opposite couch.
Getting your feelings hurt when the cat scratched your arm.
Doing your pukes in the toilet. Way to go little one.

you: "Sometimes Coke hurts my tongue"
me: "then go throw it in the sink"

sip

you: "I like it."

Trying pomegranates for the first time, saying you don't like it because there are beads in it.
On Monday morning I felt the little kiss on my cheek that you greet me with. You asked for more blanket on your shoulder and more pillow. I moved over so that you could have more pillow. A few minutes later you asked: Where's Daddy? And I then asked....why don' you use Daddy's pillow? but secretly, I liked sharing...

Coming out to the family room to see you with your footsie jammies unzipped a little, and Ellie tucked in to your belly: "My Ellie is having my milk in my tummy, like Linz's baby."

Big Sis:
Upon hearing the "your bum is squishy" song, changed the lyrics: "Your derriere is squishy." Mom, derriere is french for bum. My teacher told me.
Being excited about me coming to school dressed as a witch.
Making up songs again: "If you have a wart than you can make a fort" and "If you have a fart, then your name is Mark" randomness.
Trying and liking my butternut squash soup.
Telling me I was being mean to Lil Sis...defending the little bug who had just dumped half the shower gel in the tub.
Being so sad about not picking apples, even after we did tons of other cool, fun stuff.
Going with the flow when your Hannah Montana costume never came.
You were so brave during your first filling, and subsequent fat lip...
Improving your Scales SO MUCH in preparation for your scale test.
Liking Boston Market so much.
Giving me lots of great ideas for our upcoming Holiday Photoshoot.
Explaining about the election process and how only one kid in your class is voting for McCain. When asked by a less-familiar ind. who you would vote for, replying that it was your own business, and that's the cool thing about voting, you don't have to tell anyone.

DH:
Taking me to the burger bash and being excited for me to meet the peops, and especially Nate Berkus...asking me: "What were you talking about?"
Not being phased by riding the subway with a witch wife.
I felt the puke in my hand, then I screamed your name: "JASON!" I heard you startle and then some sounds that indicated pain. And after I thought enough time for pain had subsided, I called you again...and you emerged, cleaned up the chunks, changed her jammies, while I cleaned the sheets and ellie and the floor. And then you showed me your terrible battle-wound...a skinned back...skinned on what? we are still not sure? the bed, the bench? And you still did your Daddy-duties in the middle of the night, and in pain.
Learning Achy-Breaky Heart on the guitar.
Listening to me this year. Go Obama.




Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another Cause?

Well, if Perez is into it....


Epilepsy Foundation!

She thinks she has to do some more research.....

Thanks for the link Chloe!

Third Person Thursday



She thinks her nieces are dang cute. And the one on the right is totally her twin....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gradually Going Green: Kindle

I had heard mixed reviews about it, but then I saw it on Oprah.

3 things clinched it:

1. It's green. Less Paper....

2. You can click on a word and look up it's definition. Love it.

3. $50- off...that's a lot

So now I am waiting for my new toy, and deciding which books to download....so excited.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LIST: TV


My friend's blog inspired the first list.

On the tivo:

Oprah
America's Next Top Model (it's way ridiculous this season....I fast forward most of it, and watch about 10 minutes of it)
Project Runway
Top Design
Fringe
GSN Live
Ugly Betty
SNL Thursday Edition
Dancing With the Stars
The Office

I think I might watch too much tv.

I have recently scaled back from last year, deleting:
My Name is Earl
CSI
House
Amazing Race
Grey's Anatomy
Private Practice

Monday, October 27, 2008

Latest Wrangling

I did a quick job for Toys R Us this summer, and did not know it was for the BIG BOOK!

What sweeties....all these girls:



Costume Clue #4

This will be the final clue for our costumes. We all require a head-covering this year.






Costume Clue #3

Costume Clue #2

Costume Clue #1

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Square Dance...check.

Last night I checked off a big October goal of mine, the Halloween Square Dance Party.

2 Sarah Palin's showed up for the party:


I made some cutie signs after I copied some silhouette ideas from an etsy item.


I convinced a friend of mine to add some ambience with her minor-key versions of children's beloved tunes played on her accordian. She totally made herself look all dead and creepy. It was such a nice detail to greet our guests.

I was exhausted and sweating because of my sickness and my costume (ooh, another clue!), but the square dancing went ok, the party was a success, and most importantly: It's OVER!

I got some awesome pix of my peops, but the surprise must wait one more week...

If you want to see some other friend's pix click:

HERE

HERE

Cutest Popeye

Kimono Clarks

Artist-friends jack o lanterns

Wigs and Construction Workers

My mom hasn't posted her costume yet, but just in case she does by the time you get to this, click on over here and look for Cruella DeVille.

A Story for Today

Today in church, the kids presented what they have been learning all year in songs and sentences.

The opening words came from one of the adult's who work with the kids. She told the story about the kids in nursery (18 months-3 years old). She said a little girl grabbed a snack out of her bag that was fruit snacks. She passed out one to each kid and realized as she got to the last kid that she was one short if SHE was going to have one too. The teacher watched her struggle with who to give the fruit snack to, the last child, or to keep it for herself. She got tears in her eyes as she said that the little girl said to the boy: "George, would you like this fruit snack?" And went without.

DH and I know that there are only a few girls in the nursery class, and probably only one who talks. That would be Lil Sis. We looked at each other after she told that story and said: "There is NO way that was Lil Sis." but still in the back of mind I sort of hoped it was her.

When the meeting was over, the adult leader approached me and said; "The little girl in that story, that was Big Sis."

Oh.....

I said: "Sadly, I knew it couldn't have been Lil Sis."

The adult leader: "Oh, well, after Big Sis gave away her last fruit snack, she asked Lil Sis if she would share with her, and Lil Sis screamed: NO and stuffed it in her mouth."

Now, THAT's more like it.

Pumpkins


This year we decided to paint our pumpkins instead of carve them. This one is mine. I like her green sparkly face.




Guess which paint tin goes with which kid?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Condo Adventures: The future

The economic crisis has gotten me a little off-course in my latest condo adventures.

See...my DH and I had a financial goal that we recently realized, and the reward for this was to purchase some new seating devices to replace our loveseats. When it came down to making a purchase last week, I got a little scared, and so instead, we decided to take Warren Buffet's advice and dump it into the market. Bye couch.......see you....

I made a little stop to this website to price out my second dream of having a retro diner booth, table and chairs in my condo...and I am super psyched about it. I even pulled out my tape measure today, and I think it's going to fit perfectly!

Since my budget is now swimming around in penny stocks, I better set my sights on something a bit more affordable. These fish bookends look tempting, except that whenever I have had betta fish in my care, they have committed suicide by jumping out of their dwellings. I wouldn't want any flapping about my beloved pages. darn...even fish hate me.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Apropos

I was doing a little browsing on the Oriental Trading Company Website, for the upcoming Halloween Party Square Dance I am helping to plan. And I found the perfect Halloween Candy for 2008.

Gummy Brains.



Stop It.

I am handing these out at our Halloween Party. No one else, just me. DH is handing out the superball, bubbles, pirate patch and gummy EYE BALLS.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Third Person Thursday

She had an audition on Tuesday. She had to bring the girls because it was after school. As they were leaving the studios, they paused on the street to try to figure out where to buy some skittles.

She saw someone in the Gold's Gym juice bar that looked familiar, and realized it was the actor who played Fiyero in Wicked, that they saw a few weeks earlier. She pointed him out to the girls and Big Sis seemed excited about the opportunity to meet him.

She approached and said: "Hi. We think we recognize you. We are pretty sure we saw you in the show Wicked a few weeks ago....are we right about that?"

He was so sweet to the girls and told Big Sis that she had nice Pumpkin earrings. Lil Sis of course didn't get it.

After a quick chat, we decided to get a Subway sandwich, and just as we were settling in she heard: "Kristy Glass."

What? Another someone?

This time, it was a colleague and composer, whose reading she is singing (reading?) next month. He had a bunch of groceries, she had sandwiches and kids, so again, a short chat.

Then yesterday, on the subway platform she heard her name again, and this time it was another colleague who is also a baby wrangler. She just loves the city. It's so huge, but ironically, so small town.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Love Scarf Update

Our Church congregation had it's second annual soup n swap this past weekend. I was unable to attend, but a friend had her eye out on behalf of the Love Scarf Project.

See!:


4 scarves already completed, and enough yarn to knit up 2 more!

How's your project going?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sick

Since I started on my heaevy-duty vitamin regime, as a result of HB08, I have not really been sick.

Well sick in the head yes, but that's a given. I had one minor sinus infection in May (as is customary for spring), but nothing since then. The kids haven't been sick, the spouse...nobody.

Until yesterday I got that scratchy scratchy feeling in my throat. And I still have it today. And I know it is going to spread and become possibly something more, so after much coercion, I talked myself into resting.

Can you imagine that?

I rested. I just stayed in my pajamas until noon and I relaxed. And I ate some soup and drank some water, because isn't that what the doctor prescribes? fluids! fluids! fluids!

Does coke count?

Costume Clue #3

My mom was at Build-a-Bear to pick up Halloween costumes for the girls' recent build-a-bear creations.


She got to the checkout and then spied some costumes that she had not yet seen, and realized that there were costumes available that were the exact same as what the girls are going to be.

She quickly exchanged her items in favor of the matching options. The girls opened them this week and were SO excited to have their costumes in miniature for their beloved stuffed animals.

One of the two of them is here. Apparently, one of them is in-stores-only.


Costume Clue #2

Costume Clue #1

New Website: Step 1?

My goal for January 2009 is to launch a new website. I am currently in the process of collecting new photographs for this endeavor. My web designer and I have an idea to have some behind-the-scenes shots, especially in the BABY WRANGLER category.

I'll be honest, most of the images of me on set are of my backside. It's the photographer mis-firing while I am still in the shot. Lately the problem has been my attention-grabbing toy has been in the frame, because I misperceive where the camera is. That kept happening at a job I had a few weeks ago.

I came away with one image of me from that job, but I am not sure if it sells me as a good baby wrangler:

"If your baby model won't smile, she'll soak 'em in cold water":


When I showed up to set, the client described me as "dressed like a clown". I had furry boots on from several seasons ago, bloomers, a short skirt and a pink tee. I might have looked like a clown, but I was a comfortable clown. I think dressing as a clown is a positive for the baby-wrangler tab of my new website.

Monday, October 20, 2008

List: Allergies

I got a new cereal at Trader Joes the other day.

As is usually the case when it's a TJ product, there were the usual allergy warnings: Processed with nuts etc. This warning is important for allergy-sufferers like me to take note of, but I have learned that those words lead to a wide variety of outcomes. For example, the dry-roasted and salted Almonds at TJ's has this warning, but I have very little reaction, maybe a tiny beginning of a hive on my skin sometimes, whereas the raw almonds at Costco with the same warning cause intense itching in my mouth and throat...danger! danger!

So, I read this warning on the TJ Chocolate-filled whole grain cereal, and what I usually do is sample the product and wait. I usually know within 5 to 10 minutes if I can proceed with this item. In the case of the cereal, I had no adverse reaction, so I poured myself a bowl, and enjoyed the rich, chocolatey goodness of the cereal.

It was not until that evening when my husband was checking on the calories that he read the ingredients list (I skipped this over, and just scrolled down to the allergy listings), and there it was: HAZELNUT.

Hazelnut is something I have avoided since I was told I was allergic to tree nuts over 15 years ago. But, apparently I am not allergic to hazelnuts. This surprises me and also does not surprise me because I ate peanuts everyday of my life until I found out I am allergic to them about 2 years ago. I took a break from eating them even though I didn't believe the blood tests, and when I accidentally ate 1 chip that was made with peanut oil, I knew I was HIGHLY allergic to peanuts. On that same visit my doctor told me I was no longer allergic to almonds, and it took me a long time to believe her and try them. Those blood tests don't lie.

And they're expensive. My insurance does not cover allergy testing, and when I got retested a few years ago, it cost me a pretty penny and a half. But I did not include hazelnuts in my list, and now I want to know the status of pine nuts, because I pass on dishes all the time because of PESTO!

So, a gajillion paragraphs later, here is the list of what I think (know) I am allergic to:

FOOD:
shellfish
I avoid all fish, though I remember tasting some trout once with no adverse reaction
melons
avocados
peanuts
most other nuts (exception almonds, haselnut?)
mango (not sure if I have proof, but I have a feeling I am)
peaches
apples
plums
cherries

ANIMALS:
dogs
cats
horses
rabbits
rodents
anything alive

INDOOR:
dustmites
mold
roaches

OUTDOOR:
ragweed
pollen
grass
insects
flowers
anything living

MEDICAL
latex
erythromycin
allegra
gandolinium
trileptol

It seems like there are more. I am so grateful I am only allergic to 40% of the 10 most common dietary allergies (indicated in red):

Eggs
Dairy
Peanuts
Tree nuts
Gluten / wheat
Soy
Fish
Shellfish
Sulfites
Sesame

This paragraph from the allergy101 website makes me think that I will never be completely out-of-the-woods in this area of my life:

"Allergies can change over time. In some cases, you can actually lose some allergies and gain others. You can also find that you add allergies over time. Be sure to stay aware of how you feel after eating and pay attention to your diet."

I am armed with 2 prescription allergy medications, an OTC one and an epipen, so I think I am safe!




Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday's Adventure: Apple-Picking


The school class wanted to repeat last year's apple-picking adventure this year.

Last year we went up to the Hudson Valley and picked apples on a steep mountain in 90 degree heat.

This year, on our way to a New Jersey Farm, the Lincoln Tunnel was closed so instead of 57 minutes, it took about 2 and a half hours. Our GPS system seemed to want us to take local roads only, so we had to fight with it and go around and around and around too many times to count. We had a passenger from the class with us, and he got carsick about 3 or 4 times. Poor thing. DH handled it with a lot of compassion, while I sat there closing my ears with my fingers, because I didn't want to hear it. I'm still not over the Stomach Flu of '07.

The experience at the farm was nice. It was our first cold-weather day. The hayride was beautiful. There was a lot of foliage, a corn maze, hay maze and pumpkins galore. By the time we were done with the hay ride, picking out pumpkins and mazing, we had not energy for apple-picking. So, we came home with pumpkins only.

The good news is, on the way home, the Lincoln Tunnel had reopened, and we knew to stay on highways and ignore the GPS system, but our passenger got sick as soon as we arrived home. Poor little one...

This morning as we left for church our building had been christened with the puke of another, but I have a feeling that wasn't from being car sick.








Friday, October 17, 2008

Video Friday

The video for Friday is......



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Third Person Thursday

She chose black. Black leggings, black dress, copper flats (ooh! Changing it up!). She wore a smoky eye and let her hair flip just so. She got her guru on.


Unfortunately, yesterday was the return of the bad medicine moments. She felt like in the night her blood had been replaced by liquid lead. She did manage to get to the gym, but soon after her shower and blow-dry, she had retreated to her bed. See, it works like this. She feels devastated, like she can't possibly face any aspect of her day, her roles, her responsibilities. She recognizes this is the medicine talking, so as she tries to suppress the devastation, her body then replies with achy bones, nausea in the stomach and all-encompassing exhaustion.

She went to bed on Tuesday, and she did it again on Wednesday. She slept deeply the entire time, dreamt even. Lil Sis enjoyed a good dose of Noggin.

She finally rallied. She put on her black, fitting for her mood. She and Lil Sis hopped on the V. A few minutes into their ride she smelled something, she touched her little one's backside and felt it was clenched rather tightly. She asked:

"Do you need to go big-giants?"

Lil Sis nodded. She gave her a pep talk about being a big girl and holding it.

By the time they got to the casting, the emergency seemed to have passed. They read a Dora Halloween Book together and after a few minutes, Lil Sis said:

"I'm just going to do a little toot."

She was one person away from getting her picture taken and hoped really hard that Lil Sis could keep holding it. Then just before she was on deck, Lil Sis got that panicky look, so they dashed out of there to find the bathroom.

While in the stall, LIl Sis hunkered down and she said:
"Ok. I need you to just push the big-giants out honey. Let's get them out fast because mommy has to go back to the audition."

"Ok. I'm pushing. Here it comes."

BIG GIANT PLOP

"Okay, let's wipe so that we can go."

"Alright....no, I'm not done.

"I'm done.

"No, I'm not.




"I'm done.

"Oh, NO...I'm NOT!"

"Alright, can we just wipe and then come back in a few minutes and finish?"

"Mom, just go to the audition. I will just stay here, just go."

"Okay" she said and then remembered visions of recent Oprah shows and that her toddler was sitting there half-naked in a dressing room in a studio where who knows what could happen to her and said: "NO! I can't leave you...just push."

"Ok. I'm done.


NO....not done"

And this went on and on and she finally just told herself to stop stressing them both out because it was all going to be ok.

And of course it was.



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Costume Clue #2

Our costumes over the years seem to be inspired by one company in particular, and this year is no different.


D-I-S-N-E-Y

Although, you could probably connect most things back to the ears....6 degress of Mickey Mouse (Kevin Bacon, Separation).


Costume Clue #1

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gurulicious

Tomorrow I have a casting for a print job, where I need to be a "savvy, hip tech guru".

Sarcasm here: I just love when I am given these specific words that mean nothing to me.

I tried googling it.

Whoa.



Something tells me that's not what they have in mind.

So, here I sit, trying to figure out what is in my closet that will indicate that I am a savvy, hip tech guru. I am pretty sure this is not a medical thing right? hip tech? So scrubs are out. Wearing ipod buds in my ears is too obvious yes?

I think I will end up wearing what I always wear when I just can't wrap my brain around the adjective direction: jeans and a blue top.


We went to the Gap

Lil Sis picked out this outfit:


And I picked out this one:

I think I won.

Shout-Outs!


Blog Buddy clg0513 generously swagged the posse:




The girls love their bookmarks, and I will be donning my obama necklace for the next little bit leading up to election day!

Thanks so much for treating us, and go check out her etsy shop for more.

And in other news, the producer of Runway Moms has added some more spice to her life, with a new company that's all about FOOD. Rosaberry is her new gourmet food service company, which frankly, I need....desparately. My girlfriends and I were talking about cleaning services for our homes, and I proclaimed: I would MUCH rather have a personal chef than a cleaning service. Maybe the email in my inbox from Jenna is the answer!

Check out her blog if you agree with her proclomation: "Life is short. Eat well."

Or click on the new link on the sidebar to go directly to her company, Rosaberry.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Love Scarf 2008


I found some yarn on sale at Michaels last week....I am going to double up the two pinks in a big knit stitch, and maybe I will do a knit/purl combo on the orange.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Condo Adventures: Artwork


I spent the afternoon organizing my Sisters Wall. I expected to have to spend hundreds of dollars to get each print custom-framed, but instead I found some options at Michaels, that added to my previous collection of a few selections from flea markets and ikea.


This square shadow box was 40% off, gotta love that:

The red in this frame matchest the heart on the bottom perfectly:

I purchased the 5 prints from etsy. If you have not spent time exploring that website yet, it's time.

I commissioned Big Sis to sketch herself and Lil Sis:

At the last minute I picked up a square 8 x 8 frame, and was SO pleased to find an enlarged photo of my girls holding hands and running through the forest, by photographer Michael Brian, hiding out in a photo bin full of random enlarged photos.

Here is the whole office, with the newly reorganized Sisters Wall. I tried to take some inspiration from the photo that Design Mom published recently.

Meanwhile, down the hall (seriously, can we even call it a hall?), the girls got a few new prints that DH and I picked up at the Renegade Storefront in Chicago during our trip:


This is not it's permanent home, but I got a sweet little something at Urban Outfitters, I wish I had made it myself, but come on who has time for that?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekend Adventure: Burger Bash


Some friends of ours gave us some tickets to the Burger Bash on Friday night. I found out at 3, got a sitter, and we were on our way by around 7.

We didn't know what to expect. It was exciting. We were in this open building called the Tobacco Warehouse under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Rachael Ray (yes, she was herself), was there, and gave a mini-speech. There were burger stations set up everywhere and so much red meat and potato sides. I only had a mini burger, a half burger and like 2 bites of another half burger and I was STUFFED. Ok, I had some Juniors Choclate Mousse Cheesecake and a mini brownie topped with a raspberry too.

Katie Lee Joel was there. I thought she was so cute on Oprah last year that I had to take a quick snap with her. All the "celebs" were totally open and cool about pix, I didn't have to be pushy or fan-ny or weird or anything. We discussed Oprah and then she encouraged me to meet Nate.

This was the highlight of the night. Seriously, my DH and I were like: Nate is HOT. And so nice. I told him that I was an XM radio fan and that I had missed out listening to him during my driving hiatus, and he was all: "Well, how are you doing?" So, super down-to-earth awesome guy.

As if that wasn't enough, Godiva was serving awesomeness, and Cat Cora was there. I told her my Mom and I loved watching her on Iron Chef, and she went out of her way to come out from behind the Godiva table to take a quick pic.

I loved the coke bottles.

I wanted straight coke with all those burgers, but I did not want the cals, so I went with Coke Zero. Deelicious.

See, there I am enjoying my coke.

Tom Collichio was another highlight of the night. He actually handed me my burger. And it was so good, the onion ring on the side....PERFECTION. I texted in my vote for him: craft. (the name of his restaurant line)

Al Roker's mini burger was delicious too. I did not taste his side potato salad. We brought the girls home a few sweets from the Whole Foods SWEET table. I am sure they will thank us for that later.

The best part of the night was overlooking the East River and checking out the waterfalls and enjoying the beautiful weather that is such a gift this time of year:


This was Surprise Week's adendum....a little surprise date! Thanks to our friends for giving us the tix!