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Monthly Archive for July, 2011

New Kids & Backstreet Boys Concert!

New Kids & Backstreet Boys Concert!

Yes, folks.  Being born in 1980 puts me at the prime age to have been a New Kids on the Block fan.  In both 4th and 5th grade, thankyouverymuch.  My parents got me concert tickets for my 10th birthday present, and my dad braved the crowd with both me and my brother and my friend, Amelia ~ it was August of 1990, and oh what a night!

I got to re-live my childhood boy band crushes this past Saturday night with three of my girlfriends as we attended the “NKOTBSB” concert.  My hubbs let me splurge and buy floor seats for the four of us and it was like a group 30th birthday present (shhhhh!!!!  I stopped aging at 26, so keep this info hush hush!)  We bravely faced the ungodly amounts of estrogen, stood at the t-shirt table for almost half an hour (3 peeps working the booth and a mass of people with no sort of line formation made it take FOREVER).  And we unintentionally missed most of the opener for the opener (17 year old boys running around in tight pants with faux-hawks…no thanks…I’ll take a New Kid in a tank with big muscles, though!)  And once the show started we were on our feet for the whole three hours and it was amazing!  And fun.  I have been to concerts of all types, and I don’t remember ever leaving one and describing it as just plain fun!  The guys performing were all in top shape, they still had the moves, the old-school songs were cool to hear again live and funny to me because the lyrics contain some major cheese (eg: “Please don’t go girrrrrrlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, it would ruin my whoooooolllle worlllllllllllllllld…..”)  And of course we were treated to the faves, Hangin Tough and Right Stuff.  Yeah, baby, it was awesome.  I screamed, hooted and hollered with my girlies.  We were crimped, crinkled, bedecked with bright shadow and glittered out the wazoo and it was just FUN.  We swayed during the slow ballads, large drool puddles accumulated on the floor below us and we had to mill around the tour t-shirt kiosk to get our shirts and slap bracelets (you heard me… CLICK CLICK …SLAP!!)

Here are a few pictures of our amazing evening for your enjoyment.

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Munchkin Update =)

Munchkin Update

Evan is two and a half, and Zeb – the “baby” – is 11 months old today!  I am delighted to be planning Zeb’s first birthday party and the special occasion of his baptism for the same weekend next month.  And Evan’s third birthday is zooming towards us quick, too.  I am stunned by him at least once a day…his language and conversational skills, the way he interacts with and talks to his brother (soothing him, bringing him a toy, explaining something that is happening), his height, his humor.  He loves Toy Story (all three) and Cars, and is an awesome little helper around the house when it comes to putting things in the trash can or recycling bin, or changing laundry over.  He’s a really cool kid to get to hang out with.

Evan and his twin cousins also began their first of three weeks of preschool summer camp, Camp Funshine this past Monday.  We’ll call Evan a “seasoned pro” regarding preschool.  We enrolled him when he was 15 months old – just two days a week to provide him a social outlet with peers (and give mama some free time) and the boy loved it!  His development from January through June 2010 was noticeable and remarkable.  He just completed another full school year and was old enough to partake in the summer activities so I talked my sweet sis-in-law into signing her little men up, too.  They’ll be in the same class at this preschool with Evan in the fall anyway, and we thought this would be a great introduction for them to the school, the teachers and the children as this is their first regular activity without their mama, daddy or Mimi.  It’s been a great week so far.  Three days in and all systems are GO!  Evan comes home in his change of clothes because his first set is soaking wet from all the water table fun, he’s in need of a bath to clean off the sweat and sunscreen, and he’s been ready for a nap early (this never ever happens).  He talks about the animals they learned about, the boats, the toys in the classroom.

I think the kiddo is having a great time.  And…is it wrong of me to say…so am I!  I hired my precious sister to watch Zeb for me during the summer camp hours so I can have some time.  I spent one morning cutting up and running around with my sis-in-law, yesterday I started three paintings (haven’t had a date with  my paintbrush in ages) and puttered in the basement, today I had my hair did ;) and painted…I’ve planned out my mornings to best utilize my sister’s time with the little one and my time ALONE, and it has been a really wonderful break.  My sister swears that her mornings with Zeb have been more than pleasant, too.  Playing in the shower, laughing, reading, napping (hm…doesn’t sound too bad, does it??)

Zeb is developing on a different timeline than Evan did, but nothing is too off.  He’s working so so so so hard to crawl and he suddenly mastered the roll over/sit up maneuver so I can’t leave him on the bed for 30 seconds while I go pee anymore.  It won’t be too much longer before we’re lowering his crib mattress!  And I can’t wait to turn him around in the car seat in a few weeks.  He is saying uh-oh, mama, dada, bye-bye.  He waves and can make kissing/lip smacking noises.  He scrunches his nose when he laughs hard (like I do), and he has four little chompers now.  Numbers three and four took forever to come in!

I’ll try to start doing these Munchkin Updates with a bit more frequency.  Shoot…I hope to try and start blogging with a bit more frequency, but the littles come first and my “free time” on the computer is limited right now.

Happy July folks!  Make someone smile today, it doesn’t cost anything!

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European Adventure: Part III – London

European Adventure: Part III


The last part of our voyage took us on another train ride under the English Channel to London.  We were surely glad to hear proper English, and the accents were a delight!  Our hotel this time was directly across from Kensington Park, home of Kensington Palace, a gorgeous recreational area and Princess Diana’s Memorial Playground.  Our rooms again were lovely, and Evan was lucky enough to be roommates with “Ting” in her soft grey suede digs.  Mom, the baby & I made a rushed trip to Harrod’s our first afternoon there while the hubby and big boy napped.  Running though at nearly top speed, we only managed to drool in two very small sections of two floors (there are 6 floors I believe and the store spans an entire city block….ohhhhh emmmmm geeeeee!!!!)  Our purchases were modest, a mere dozen of the loveliest cupcakes EVER and we were out the door again to reunite with the sleepyheads.

President Obama’s arrival happened to fall on the day after ours.  His presence in the city, which was very close to our location and most of our scheduled itenerary, had us making last minute changes but ended up allowing us to see a few things not on the initial list for this trip that we may not have ever seen.  We visited gorgeous Hampton Court, the summer home of King Henry VIII (and all of his wives).  It was fascinating because he built a Tudor style palace and someone after him (I cannot remember who at the moment) added on, building an entirely separate Baroque style palace and joining them in one corner.  The courtyard between was pretty, but the seemingly endless acres of sculpted English gardens all around were astounding!  We got a reader’s digest version of a history lesson while strolling through the open portions of the palaces and lands, and Evan led us through a hedge maze with only one dead end (our guide told us there were 7 dead ends total, so we were impressed with our kiddos natural instincts!)

We eagerly partook in the fish & chips tradition, we saw the priceless crown jewels at the Tower, went on the London Eye (much cooler than we thought it was going to be), witnessed a flash mob of dancing roller-bladers near Piccadilly Square, wandered through Westminster Abbey – I loved seeing all of the tombs there…Charles Darwin & Geoffrey Chaucer & Isaac Newton got me in a tizzy.  Really, that doesn’t even begin to cover the monumental amount of history there ~ kings going back hundreds and hundreds of years…we just don’t have that kind of lineage here, it is truly engaging.

All in all it was a dream trip.  Our little boys were better travelers than I ever could have hoped for, I loved experiencing Europe with my mom and my husband, and I’m so excited that the doors of the world have been opened for my children!  This will not be our last adventure abroad – just the last one for a little while ;)   Maybe we’ll tackle Disney World next.  Who knows?

We’re at Hampton Court ~ Where’s Evan?

The corner where the two palaces join at Hampton Court.  Left – Tudor, Right – Baroque

London Bridge was definitely upright and stable.

Fish & Chips with mom at the Goat Tavern.  Yum yum, y’all!

On approach at the London Eye

Evan and his big truck in a pod of the London Eye.  Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in the background.

Cupcakes from Harrod’s…just as tasty as they are good looking.  There was even glitter.  I INGESTED glitter.  Now my innerds are sparkly, too!

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European Adventure: Part II – Paris

European Adventure: Part II


On my husband’s 30th birthday we hopped aboard a train, much to our toddler’s delight, and were whisked off to Paris.  We loved seeing all the charming little towns and villages nestled in groves of trees as we sped towards our next destination.  We saw plenty of windmills – old and new construction, plenty of flower nurseries – no doubt hiding away next year’s plethora of tulips, and had an easy 3-hour trip.  The closer we got to Paris, the more the clouds dissipated…we were heading for lovely weather and hoped it would stick with us for the duration.

Our hotel was just gorgeous, tucked just one block off of the Champs Elysees and very close to the Arc de Triomph.  Our room adjoined my mom’s via a little entry hallway, and our room had a nice seating/dining area which made for the perfect communal space.  Mom and I laid out our journals and paints almost immediately, and we all made ourselves right at home.  Our days were sprinkled with marvelous adventures: A Siene riverboat cruise, Centre Pompidou, The Louvre (FINALLY!!), the Eiffel Tower, Chateau Chantilly, and a variety of cafes, restaurants and fou-fou boutiques.  My mom even gave the hubby and I the opportunity for a few date nights!!  IN PARIS!  How lucky are we & how awesome is my mom!!

Though they may not remember it, my children (at 2 years and 9 months respectively) have seen the Notre Dame Cathedral, they have been in the Louvre and seen the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory and a whole exhibit of Rembrandt’s work, and the toddler chased pigeons in the park while we enjoyed a cafe break and some fresh chocolate crepes!  It was all very magical, the weather was impeccable and we made family memories to last our lifetime.

Evan and his big truck (and the Eiffel Tower, of course)

Evan upon our arrival at the Chateau Chantilly

One of the breathtaking (and HEEE_YUGE) rose windows at Notre Dame

My littlest little & I at the Louvre with the Venus de Milo

The sparkling display we could watch from the balcony of our rooms!

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