Wednesday, June 30, 2010

And away I go - The Finale!

I would love to say it was smooth sailing (no pun intended) on the return trip home, but then I'd be lying -- BIG TIME! Ha! We had the taxi driver drop us off at the dock for the 11:05am ferry at 10:15am. After about 25 minutes, my uncle realizes something doesn't seem right about the area we are standing in and inquires at the ticket office. Turns out we are at the wrong dock. So we walk (complete with luggage) approx. 1/4 mile down the road to the correct dock for the ferry we need. Once we arrive, we come to find out that the ferry service has been canceled due to high winds and rough seas. The Vineyard Fast Ferry people will be taking us on a 30 minute boat ride to catch a bus that will drive us close to 2 hours it will take to get to Rhode Island where the cars are parked. People everywhere are freaking out that they will miss their plane or train connection. It was not pretty. Due to the new mode of transportation, we are now approx. 1.5 hours behind schedule.

Meanwhile, I got a call from the mechanic first thing in the morning letting me know he was successful in finding the part to fix Jeff's air conditioning. Yay! However, about 4 hours later, I get another call from the mechanic informing me that the part was the wrong one and no one in the area (including 2 Nissan dealerships) have the compressor needed to fit the car. Jeff has a limited edition Sentra and it doesn't take the usual compressor. The mechanic felt bad but told me there was no way the car would be fixed by the end of the day when I would be picking it up.

Just fabulous! This meant that mom and I would be driving back from Cherry Hill, NJ with absolutely no AC. For over 3 hours. Oh joy. This fact alone made up my mind that no matter how late we got back to my Aunt and Uncle's, we would do the drive back to Burke, VA that night. Our best bet for the most amount of comfort was to drive at night, when the sun was down and the cars on the road were at a minimum.

Congestion on the road caused us to go very slow getting back to NJ. By the time we pulled into the service station where Jeff's car was, it was going on 8:30pm. Mom and I stopped at Maryland House for a quick bite to eat, fill the car up with gas and hit the bathrooms. We made good time and got home just before midnight.

Once I told Jeff that the car was coming back not fixed, he quickly got on the phone and called around to see if anyone had this hard-to-find part. Believe it or not, the two Nissan Dealerships in Fairfax County didn't have it, but the mechanic across the street did. I was very skeptical that this was actually the part that no one else was able to locate, but lo & behold, the car got fixed within the same day yesterday. I am still in shock that it worked out like it did. And since the mechanic arranged for a rental car, the kids and I were able to resume our regular schedule for a Tuesday.

The trip to Martha's Vineyard was a complete nightmare, and the trip back wasn't much better. But I am happy I went and enjoyed the time I was there very much. With that said, it will be a very long time before I think it is ever a good idea to go back. Plus, I think Jeff is in the process of hiding my luggage.

My sister Lori (on the left) and my cousin Leslie (on the right).

My mom and I sightseeing.

Monday, June 28, 2010

And away I go - continued

Saturday and Sunday made up for the atrocious trip to get to Martha's Vineyard. The weather was beautiful; in the 70's and no humidity. Too cold to go to the beach, but very nice for walking around the island, sightseeing and shopping. With my birthday coming up in 2 days, every time I looked at something, my mom quickly said, "let me get this for you for your birthday." I made out like a bandit and now have planned to be around her every year near my birthday. :) I had no plans for her to treat me as much as she did, but I'd go up to the counter and she would've already slipped her credit card and paid for it. Got to love it.

Erik's wedding was beautiful. The ceremony was at the beach and the reception was up the road at this very cool house they were staying at. They had a tent set up outside and big, lantern lights hung from the ceiling of the tent illuminating it. Very cool and incredibly gorgeous. The wedding was intended for immediate family and very close friends; there was about 50 guests. It was low key, simple, and very special. The highlight was the best man's speech. The best man, Noah, gave a speech that was hilarious. In fact, at the end of it he got a standing ovation from everyone. When have you ever seen that happen? Tears were rolling down our faces from laughing so hard. At the end of the day, I was happy to have been a part of it. I really am a romantic and love weddings!

More than attending the wedding, I absolutely love being around my relatives. My aunt, uncle, and cousins are some of the coolest people and so much fun to be around. It is one laugh after another, even more so during some of the more traumatic traveling moments. We had a great time.

Our ferry to go back leaves at 11:05am this morning. We are doing the reverse trip back home, but all in the same day. Ferry to Rhode Island, Rhode Island to Cherry Hill, NJ, Cherry Hill to Burke, VA. It is going to be a long day.

Jeff's car is at the mechanic my aunt and uncle use. We dropped it off on Thursday night as soon as we got to Cherry Hill. I found out it needs a new compressor to get the AC fixed. The mechanic was not sure he'd be able to get the part in by the time we need to pick up the car on Monday. Jeff has said he'd be okay with my mom and I staying another day to wait for the car to get fixed, but I can't see myself doing that to Jeff and the kids. I already feel bad being gone as long as I have. I will find out at approx. 9:00am if the part is available. I need air! In fact, I am known by some friends as getting in the car when someone else is behind the wheel and saying, "Air. Me. Now."

My mom got Dramamine for the ferry ride back. Hopefully this will start the journey back on the right foot. Jeff has had a heckuva time back at home with Samantha. She didn't get one full night of sleep and her naps were inconsistent at best. I know he was put through the ringer and still counting down the hours until I return. I know the minute I walk through the door, I'll be put on the midnight shift (and the 1:00am, 2:00am, 3:00am shifts too!). It's a good thing I miss her. It's another good thing she is so darn cute.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

And away I go (again)

I am currently in Martha’s Vineyard for my cousin Erik’s wedding. For those keeping score, this is wedding #4 since October. Three of which required traveling to another state or country. I had no plans on going, by my mom asked if I would travel with her and I felt I needed to oblige. I will be gone for a total of 4 nights (Thursday thru Monday). We are returning home around midnight on Monday. I would’ve loved to have Jeff and the kids with me, but logistically and financially, it wasn’t possible. Nor, if this was the one trip we would take, Martha’s Vineyard would not be the place we would pick to go.

Jeff has been amazing in helping me go. He offered to come home early on Thursday, so my mom and I could get an early start driving to NJ. We would get to NJ, spend the night at my Aunt and Uncle’s house and then continue traveling the rest of the way to Martha’s Vineyard with them.

So far the trip has been one traveling snafu after another. We’ve hit endless amounts of construction and car accidents on the road. I drove for at least 40 minutes in blinding rain and a severe thunderstorm. The kind of blinding rain when you can’t even see the lights on the car in front of you. Furthermore, upon entering into the state of NJ, the air conditioning on Jeff’s car completely stopped blowing cold air. So while it got hot very quickly inside the car, it also fogged up the windshield and created more vision problems.

Day 2 of the traveling on the Friday wasn’t any better, actually worse. Despite having 90 minutes of extra time built into the schedule, leaving at 5:15am wasn’t early enough to get to Rhode Island for the 12:00pm ferry. We barely made it, with a minute to spare. Forget getting there 45 minutes in advance like they recommended. My uncle had to drive 95mph to make up for the lost time sitting in standstill traffic. My mom freaks out when I go 5 miles over the speed limit; you can just imagine the scene in the car with my uncle doing 95. But if we missed the 12:00pm ferry, the next one wasn’t until 4:30pm and we would’ve missed the rehearsal dinner. The ferry ride was rough, rough, rough. It made me incredibly nauseous and my mom got sick. Once we got to the hotel, changed our clothes and headed back out for dinner, the cab driver got lost and didn’t know where the restaurant was we had to go to. Oy!

I was looking forward to having a break from a very exhausting-to-be-around-certain 2 year-old I know, but right now, I’d like to just catch up on my sleep and not get stressed going from Point A to Point B.

Jeff is counting down the hours until I return. I think I am too!

And to my wonderful husband, who when I called last night to say good night and was having a heckuva time getting Sam to go to sleep, I am sorry. Really, I am. Please know, I have no plans to be gone again for a very long time.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting gas in the dark

I was coming back home from book club and decided to surprise Jeff and fill his car up with gas. I got to the Exxon station, located in the shopping center across the street from where live at 10:48pm. The lights at the gas station were on and I got out and started pumping. About 2 minutes into filling up Jeff's car, all the lights go out. Every single one! It is pitch black!! I am now looking around, wondering what is happening, and then notice a car leaving the gas station.

Did what I think happen, just happen?!?!?! Did the guy running the gas station decide to close a few minutes early and couldn't wait for me to be done getting gas? Did he think it was acceptable to turn off all the lights and leave me to finish pumping gas in the dark?

Dude!! What is the world coming to? Once I got done laughing, I became outraged. How completely rude!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A night with Harry

This past Tuesday night I got to see Harry Connick, Jr play at Wolf Trap. And when I mean see Harry, I really saw him. From the likes of the 5th row, dead center of the amphitheatre. It was wonderful. My friend, Jenn, who recently moved back to the area, had 4 amazing seats through her work connection and extended the invitation to sit with her.

Before finding out about these rockstar tickets, a big group of us (11 in total) had bought lawn seats to enjoy the concert under the stars. This is one of the best things about Wolf Trap and even if you don't spring for the inside seats, you can still have a wonderful evening enjoying yummy food/wine and hanging out with good friends. It is a great way to spend the evening.

About 2 weeks ago, the email came from Jenn to join her in the 5th row. I was torn! Do you instantly accept the rockstar seats and ditch my friends, who I personally invited to come join me on the lawn, or do I remain loyal and say, no way, jose...if there aren't enough seats in the 5th row for all of us, then I'm not going! Ah, what a dilemma to be in.

Before the big night arrived, I had made my decision to stick with my other friends on the lawn and not be tempted to view the show from what had to be the closest I will ever get to Harry Connick Jr in my entire life. But once we listened to a few songs (some of my all time favorite ballads -- Harry did mostly cover songs to promote his album "Your Songs"), I was easily persuaded by Wendy to go with her down to the front. And, what a view!! It was an amazing show. Harry Connick, Jr is funny, very funny. He was heckling the latecomers and made small talk with some of the people in the first few rows. He was charming, fun to watch and even better to listen to. What a great performer!

What a night! In the end, I got the best of both worlds....I went down to the 5th row for about 35 minutes and hung out up on the lawn for the rest of the time. It was an absolutely beautiful weather night (no humidity!! and in the 70s) and despite the sold-out crowd, we got a pretty good spot on the lawn. Thanks to Wendy for that!!

It's nights like these that make me really appreciate the area we live in and that a place like Wolf Trap is just a 30 minute drive away.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To the best there is....

Happy Father's Day to the guy I married. I am beyond blessed at the father this guy turned out to be. He is a most dedicated, caring and loving father to our two kids. Jeff can be firm and a softy, all at the same time. He loves to give hugs, kisses and say I love you for no reason at all. He will go that extra mile and continue being a fabulous parent, when others may have thrown in the towel and turned on the tv.

It is so wonderful seeing Jeff in action; working with Ian on his letters and reading, trying to teach Samantha her alphabet. And, I am not sure who is having more fun when Jeff and Ian are playing a wii game together. Jeff can play dress-up with the best of them and understands Sam's need to pick out her own clothing -- something I haven't quite mastered yet. And, I challenge anyone to find a better father to play play-doh with.

I am so fortunate that I married a guy who truly loves and enjoys being around his kids. He makes sure he is home for dinner each night and is constantly looking in to fun activities to do with the kids on the weekends. Jeff gives me the freedom to go out with my friends or away for long weekends and seamlessly takes over without complaint.

Happy Father's Day Honey! I absolutely love and adore the father you are.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ready to start over

The first thing out of everyone's mouth when they walk in our house is, "Wow, it's quiet." Yes, I know. That's because there is a huge void inside these four walls, left by a pretty big German Shepherd, Bailey. Oh, how I still miss him. It's really bad and I am not sure where I am in the grieving process, but I still expect Bailey to trail behind me from room to room or be there when I open the front door.

For the first time in 5 years, I've got Ian and Samantha in a program (camp) on two days of the week, for the same 4 hours. This is 4 hours when I could be in the house and be the only one here. 4 hours of no barking, no tail wagging, and complete silence. It is really hard for me during this time and I'll do whatever I can to run errands, go to the gym or meet friends for lunch. Anything that keeps me away from the house when I would be the only one inside.

I want another dog very badly. I want a puppy to put my time and energy into. I want this new little creature to take up a lot of space with his bowls, toys, bed, and body and help me forget what used to be there. But I don't think that is fair to the new dog. Like long-term relationships, I think if we get this next dog too soon, it would be the "rebound" dog. It's shoes would be too big to full and this new little puppy couldn't stand a chance. I do believe its in our best interest to wait at least a year before diving in again. Wait until the time is right and the family has had a chance to heal. Although, at this point, I think it is just Sam and me that still miss Bailey terribly.

Every now and then we'll be driving in the car and the conversation will turn "what to name the new dog we get". I have one stipulation; that we chose a name that starts with the letter "B". I'd like this new little guy to be named after Bailey. In the Jewish culture, it is an honor to take the first initial of a deceased relative and name the newborn with a name that starts with that initial. Bailey was named after my childhood dog, Brandon.

Some names that have been tossed around are: Bone, Ball (both submitted by Ian). Barney, Bob (Jeff's contributions). Ian did add "Bill" into the mix, but Jeff nixed that idea, saying we already have enough bills. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Failing miserably

We are now halfway through the month of June and technically, halfway through the June New Year's resolution experiment I've set for myself. The change I was looking to make was to be less connected. Don't check email and facebook while in the car. To my dismay, I haven't even come close to succeeding in making this change. Well, let me correct myself and say, there was this one day (early in the month) that I managed to not check FB or email once the whole time I was gone from the house. Mainly because I forgot to take my cell phone with me.

I didn't realize the extent of my addictiveness until I realized I can't stop. It has become so ingrained in me and such a bad habit. I think what I need to do is put my cell phone in my bag and leave it there.

So each day is a new day to begin and I will keep trying and hope I can succeed before the month is over.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sweet Summer Fun - part 2

Thursday, June 10th found us at Butler's Orchard for strawberry picking. Admittedly, we were a little late in the season to be picking strawberries, but fortunately the cold Winter helped the crops last a little longer than usual.

If our schedule allows it, we try to go strawberry picking, blueberry picking and apple picking each year. I've sort of made this into a tradition with the kids. I love getting outdoors and doing something that is good, healthy fun. Plus, it is a great lesson for the kids on where the fruit comes from and how it grows. My kids are big fruit eaters and I love that they really enjoy eating the fruit when we get back home that they helped pick. Strawberry and blueberry picking occurs with friends and apple picking is done as a family in the Fall.

To my delight, we had 17 kids (ages 5 and under) join us for strawberry picking. The weather cooperated and it was a good morning to go.

This year was the first one that Samantha understood what we were doing and had a blast. She ate strawberries faster than I could put in the container. It's a good thing they don't weigh the kids before and after. At one point she decided to just sit directly in the strawberry bush and get as close as possible with the fruit. After an hour, she was covered in strawberry juice head to toe - front and back!! Fortunately I travel with back-up clothes and did a quick outfit change before getting her back in the car.

Ian always enjoys our outings to pick strawberries and does a great job of picking the kind of berries you'd want to take home. He takes pride in picking the most perfect ones.

Afterwards we went to a Panera Bread nearby and got majorly lucky with scoring a table big enough to hold 14 kids and 6 moms. At first there was two moms and their kids sitting waiting for their food to be ready, but before we could even say anything, they saw all of us and got up and moved. Only one gentleman working on his computer needed to be asked to move to a different table and he did so happily. I later bought him a cookie and told him he will have good karma for a long time to come. He said he's been there with 3 kids this age and understood. Considering this was during prime time lunch hour, I love that getting a table big enough for all of us was effortless and made our outing even better!

So far our summer is off to fantastic start and I look forward to keeping the good times going.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sweet Summer Fun: a series in the making

Summer is underway! Ian has camp on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays. Sam has camp on Monday and Wednesdays. I've kept Thursday and Fridays free each week to wing it. To have the freedom to embark on various adventures and enjoy all that summer has to offer.

The first in this series actually started Thursday, June 3rd at the house of a great mommy friend, Jen. Her son Ethan and Ian are "twins". That's how the boys describe their relationship. They are like two peas in a pod and have great fun together. When Ethan is over our house to play, it is like having one less kid.

Jen bought this water slide that seriously could make an appearance in a water park. It is HUGE! She planned an awesome water playdate and the kids had a fantastic time playing all morning. This is what Summer is all about!!

Ian had his 5 year doctor's appointment right before we were due at Ethan's house. He received a shot and a TB test. Playing with his some of his favorite friends on the water slide did wonders for Ian to forget what just happened 30 minutes prior.

I am excited about the events and places we have planned on our Thursday and Fridays. While it would be easy to put the kids in camp each day of the week, I don't want the summer to be spent like that. I want to have fun with the kids and enjoy getting out there creating great memories for us to look back on. There is no place off limits on where we will attempt to go. If it turns into a bad idea, then I know not to go back. But even the bad ideas can be a fun adventure when you do it with the best mommy friends that ever existed.

Stay tuned for the next in the series: Strawberry picking

Thursday, June 10, 2010

24 Hours.

Yes, you saw correctly; that person waiting at Dulles Airport on Tuesday night, for a flight that started after her bedtime (10:00pm -- who knew they even had departure times that late into the night!?!?!), without a diaper bag hanging from her shoulder, or two sweet rugrats clinging to her hips and trying to maneuver a stroller was me. Yes, me!!

That woman, who was using a stylish handbag and only ONE small suitcase (as carry-on no less!!) was me. Yes, me!! I know, it was hard to believe. I am sure to all who knows me, if I had been spotted at the terminal, this late in the day, without kids, they probably thought I was running away. Ha!

I felt like I was on a mysterious, undercover mission. Being gone for exactly 24 hours. My departure flight left Dulles at 10:00pm and my return flight landed exactly 24 hours later at 10:00pm on Wednesday.

However, I had a purpose to my trip. I was going to see my little sister graduate high school. It is a very exciting time for her and I wanted to be there cheering her on. Major bonus that the graduation was not being held outside. The school was smart and holding the ceremony at the Amway Center. Yay for air conditioning! Now this was a graduation ceremony I could happily sit through.

I had briefly thought about taking the kids with me, but that second passed and I came to my senses. We will be flying with them again in November for Thanksgiving and that is already 6 months too soon. :)

So, thanks to my darling husband, I took off in the friendly skies and made my way solo for 24 hours. The toughest part of the trip was boarding the flight to Orlando and not getting on one headed for Australia.

Congratulations Meghan!! We are all very proud of you!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Team Committed.

I already know what my platform would be if I was ever in the highly unlikely position of being the First Lady or Miss America. Without a doubt, I would choose Breast Cancer research and trying to find a cure. I feel passionate about this cause and would love to see a cure during my lifetime.

On Saturday, June 5th, a good friend created a team for us to walk in this year's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C. Our name was "Team Committed." This name could be interpreted on many different meanings and all would be correct. We had big hopes that once word got out about our team, people would flock to sign up and want to join us. Ha!! In the end, there was only 3 of us. But it didn't matter; we were in good company and more than 40,000 other people came out to either walk or run this very worthy cause.

Despite my issues with the heat and my hatred for doing anything outside in the month of June, I love doing this walk each year. It is really touching seeing everyone with their signs, costumes and people who can barely move but want to come out and support a great cause. All I have to do is read the banners on the back of people's shirts of who they are walking either in celebration of or in memory of and I start crying. I get so emotional and just want to give everyone I see who lost someone to this horrible disease or successfully fought it a big hug. Breast Cancer really effects everyone -- no matter what age, race, gender or ethnicity.

So the plan was to get to my friend's house at 6:30am and she would drive us to the metro station. I carefully put out all the stuff I would need (fanny pack, water bottle, keys, camera, hat, etc) the night before. Included in a pile nearby were birthday presents I had to give Beth's kids because we weren't able to attend either of their birthday parties. I purposely put my bib number on top of the wrapped gifts so I wouldn't forget to bring it with me. Unfortunately, by the time 6:10am came, when it was time for me to leave and drive to Beth's house, I was operating on about 1 hour of sleep. Sam had a dreadful night and was up all night long and miserable, thus causing me to be up all night long. Everything the next morning was a bit of a blur and I was on automatic pilot making my way to Beth's house. But like I said, our team name was very appropriate and I had no intention of not going. Needless to say, I completely forgot the bib number and presents.

Our team of 3 (Beth, Jen and me) decided to wear matching outfits for the walk. We went online to the Race for the Cure website and found t-shirts and hats we wanted to wear. Despite having on the 'official' uniform we created, I still felt very naked without my number. I know, I know, having the number on wasn't completely necessary to participate. But still, I couldn't help wanting to have the bib pinned to my shirt.

So, we get on the metro and it is PACKED with wall to wall people. There is no room to move and you only hope that when the metro stops at each station, you won't completely fall into the person behind you or in front of you. Fortunately everyone is really nice and understands the situation. This gentleman next to me did not look like he was dressed to participate in the Race for the Cure and I could only assume by him wearing flip flops and jeans that he was headed somewhere else. I asked him which stop he was getting off at and where he was going. He did not speak one word of English and didn't understand anything I was saying. All he could do was smile. He made room on the pole for me to put my hand and tried to move over some to give me more room. At one point he notices our matching shirts & hats and makes a motion pointing to Jen's number on her shirt and then points to my shirt and the big empty space. Even this gentleman who had nothing to do with the Race for the Cure or couldn't even speak/understand English, saw I was missing my bib number. It was really funny.

Next year Team Committed is planning to make a return appearance. Maybe our team will grow beyond the 3 of us. Maybe at some point we can get our kids involved and have them understand what this means. And maybe, just maybe, I'll remember my bib number.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Heard and Observed XI

Ian: When I go to college, whoever wants to be my friend and is a girl, I am going to marry.
Me: What if you have two friends and they are both girls?
Ian: Then I will marry the first one that becomes my friend.
Me: What if the 2nd girl is prettier than the first girl?
Ian: I will still marry the first girl.

Me: Where will you live?
Ian: In our house. My bed is big enough for two people.
Me: What if the first girl wants to live in her own house?
Ian: Then I'll marry the 2nd girl.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Survival of the Fittest

I'd like to think I am the epitome of efficiency and can multi-task with the best of them. I've taken this to a whole new level and really outdid myself on the scheduling of events on Saturday, May 29th.

Having two kids born one week less than 3 years apart has turned out to be a blessing. My mom and stepfather live in Florida and will do whatever is necessary to attend the kid's birthday parties. By having the parties in the same weekend, it saves them an extra trip to come up North. This year, I decided to have the parties on the same day; back to back. Ian wanted his party at My Gym and I was going to do Sam's party at the house for close friends and family. Furthermore, because the kids were each turning another year older, I wanted to get their pictures taken at Portrait Innovations. I needed help at the picture studio and didn't want to take Jeff. His threshold for this kind of thing is on the low side. I needed someone who was willing to stick it out as long as the photographer was willing to give it to get a good shot. My mom fit the bill nicely. Since the parties were not until the afternoon/evening, I decided to do the kids' photos in the morning.

The schedule for Saturday went something like this:

6:00am - 6 mile run with the Gazelles. (this was more for my mental well-being in starting the day off feeling energized and ready to tackle anything)

9:00am - Portrait Innovations for Ian's 5 year pics and Samantha's 2 year pics. Plus, fingers crossed to try to get a decent picture of them together. Ha!!

12:00pm - Pick up food from Wegman's catering department for Sam's party

1:00pm - My sister Lori arrives at Dulles Airport and needs to be picked up

2:00pm - Pick up cake from my friend Bridget who generously offered to make an Elmo cake for Sam's party

2:15pm - Swing by my friend Jen's house who also generously offered to make a dozen Cookie Monster cupcakes to go with the Elmo cake at Sam's party.

2:40pm - Leave to go to Ian's party at My Gym

4:30pm - Ian's party ends

4:45pm - Sam's party at the house begins for dinner and more cake.

Approx. 6:45pm - Sam's party ends

The timing was tight, but everything fell into the place and fortunately everything and everyone was ready at the right time. There was one or two little glitches that will take me a long time to get over. The first was the food at Sam's party. I had Wegman's package it cold so that it wouldn't be sitting hot for hours before we would be eating it. I grossly underestimated how long it would take to heat the food. I thought it would only be 15 to 20 minutes max in the oven. My goal was to be able to have the food out and ready to serve by 5:15pm. By 5:30pmish when everything was still on the cool side, Heather stepped in and helped out big-time!! It was her brilliant idea to put each of the dishes in the microwave to get it steaming hot and then transfer it to the chaffing dishes. Within 15 minutes, we had it all out and ready to go.

The other glitch was these Elmo chocolate lollipops I made. Over the course of a few days while Sam was napping, I made 30 Elmo lollipops out of chocolate in the red, white, orange and black colors. They were super cute and I totally forgot to put them out on the table during the party. It wasn't until the very end as an after-thought that I remembered I had them sitting in the freezer.

Oh, and while I am beating myself up, I underestimated the appeal of the chicken nuggets. I really thought the food we had ordered from Wegman's (Chinese) was kid-friendly enough for the kids to eat. Ian is the pickiest eater I know and if he would eat the food, then I believed the other kids would too. So we made the chicken nuggets for the one or two kids who still required their regular fare. However, once one kid sees the chicken nuggets, then they all want them. The problem came where there were only 17 nuggets left in the bag to make. Jeff even asked me if he should run across the street and get more. I told him it wasn't necessary. So there was another mistake. Oh well. What can you do?

Other than that, everything else went well and it seemed like everyone had a great time. I can now rest easy for another year before the birthday party madness comes around again. And, I can go back to March's new year's resolution to not over-extend myself or the family. I guess I fell off the wagon a little. Just a little. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June's New Year's Resolution Experiment

My May change was to be nicer to Jeff. No remarks on how something can be done differently or better in my opinion, no comments how to drive, no sarcastic remarks just because. How'd I do? I will let him type the answer below:

Ok, so Jeff doesn't want me to discuss him. Therefore, his words will not be appearing in this space. However, I think I did great. And I think he appreciated the effort.

Now to announce my change for the month of June. This one due to the safety factor probably should've been done in the month of January. But better late than never and I will tackle it in the month of June and hope it becomes a permanent change.

I am hereby proclaiming that I will not check email or facebook in the car. I have made myself way too connected and have become quite addicted to being in constant touch. I know in the long run, I'll be less distracted and not so concerned by every blinking red light alerting me to a new message. There is nothing so important that it can't wait until I get home. And as a bonus, it will set a good example for the kids.