Monday, September 24, 2012

Frankenbaby and other silly tales.

It's Tommy...but with the scratch on his head, I've been referring to him as Frankenbaby.
I think we've got a solid Halloween idea there, no?

And this is Tori.  We had grilled shrimp last night (and broiled fish and tons of veggies--my kids will eat anything!).  Tori declared the shrimp to be whistles, and spent most of dinner making music with the shrimp!
This picture of Dani is unremarkable, except if you saw a picture of my mom at the same age, you would think they were twins.  I need to dig up a photo and put them side by side.
 Dani thought shrimp whistles were the funniest thing ever.
In pediatric gastroenterology news, Dani's headed to Albany Med for an upper GI series tomorrow.  Here's hoping we can figure out why she's such a little gaggy kid.  And while Big Man takes her, I'm taking Tommy to the doc for a wellbaby visit.  I hope he doesn't need a shot.  I've never had to do a visit with a shot...

Friday, September 21, 2012

One day. Two parks.

We took the kids to the Sassafras Park at the old Bacon School Saturday.  Sadly, now that the school has closed, the park isn't terribly well maintained; in fact, there were parts that didn't even seem that safe.  It always always surprises and disappoints me when people litter, especially when there are garbage cans around.
 The kids had a blast, however.

Tommy needed a nap, so we brought the kiddos home, but Dani and Tori still wanted to play outside, so I took the girls to the park down the street.  What a difference a neighborhood can make.  Here's Tori in the slide--good thing she can't read, or appreciate pictures of penises.

Not to mention the swearing, smoking teens paying no attention to the children in their care, who basically pushed and ran my kids over until I decided it was time to go.  Kind of a bummer.

We'd been to that park before and never quite had such a bad crowd there.

Funny words of the week.
Big Man and I are going to celebrate our 8th anniversary in a few weeks.  Dani is just getting the hang of dates and days and times and such.  A few days ago, she looked at him and said, "Daddy, you don't look that happy.  You haven't looked happy in eight years."  He chuckled and asked if she was sure it had been that long.  "Yes, Daddy, you haven't been happy for eight years."  Big Man erupted in laughter.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dress Up!

We were given a bunch of dress up clothes and shoes for the girls!  Tori was as excited about the bin I put them in as she was the clothes.
Dani rocked the heels, dress, and hair bow, and thought her soccer participation medal provided the necessary bling to complete the outfit.

Tommy, always game, sported the pink tutu.  (You should have seen him last night in the leopard dress, gloves and hat--the girls loved it!)
He was happy to reestablish his manhood with a cool strut after dress up was over.

Daddy was happy about it too...he's not such a fan of Tommy in drag.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Are you ready for some football???

Sunday!  Sunday!  Sunday!  Big Man was happy because the Bears home opener was on.  Time for lazy Sundays, game food and family time.
Dani and Tori prepared by doing pre-game stretches.
 Tommy's contribution was to take an nap for almost the entire he didn't make it into any pics this week!
 The girls brought their little table and chairs into the living room, and played while we watched the game.
It was a reminder of how nice it is to be back home!  And, how much I love football!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tales from the DNC: Day 4, and the long trip home.

The main night of the convention was supposed to be in the outdoor stadium where the Carolina Panthers play; I had managed to get my folks tickets to hear the President's speech.  But, we kept having rainstorms in the afternoon--heavy ones.  I started to dread the though of sitting in a stadium for 5 hours in the rain.  Since the forecast was severe, the powers that be decided to keep the current location, and not move to the larger venue for the night the President was speaking.  As you might have guessed, with security like it was, we didn't exactly get curbside dropoff.  There were charter buses for delegates, but they could never get closer than 5 blocks or so from where we needed to be.  On Thursday, the big night, we got in the bus and it started to downpour.
Honestly, the rain made me feel a little better because all the folks who no longer had tickets probably understood.  And then, a miracle!  In the 20 minutes it took my shuttle to get me to the arena, the clouds parted and the sun came out--so I didn't get wet!
There were TONS of cool things...great speakers, music.  James Taylor, Mary J. Blige, and the Foo Fighters played live.  Big Man loves the Foo Fighters!
Great speeches--John Kerry found a sense of humor--he has apparently finished licking his wounds from 2004, and gave a kick ass speech.  The NY Delegation had a famous guest--Sandra Lee from Food TV (she dates Governor Cuomo).
Michelle Obama introduced the President, and we all just listened, and got inspired!  Because of the last minute move of venue, we didn't have the typical balloon drop--instead we had confetti launchers!  It was the most amazing, energetic crowd, full of hope and excitement!

And I was there, a part of it!
And another late night, and it was time to come home.  Thank GOD I booked an afternoon flight.  Due to volume it was recommended we get to the airport at least 3 hours early.  I took the noon shuttle for a 4:30pm flight...wasn't too bad, and had time to surf the web and relax at the airport--if you've ever been to the Charlotte Airport--it's really pretty lovely; lots to do, eat, and see.  My local news station met me at the airport for a story...I was quick, because after 6 days, all I wanted to do was get home to my family.  I missed them!
Tommy enjoying the slinkys I bought for Dani and Tori.  I swear, they all grew inches while I was gone.  It was a long time to have been away--sure we Skyped, and talked, but I didn't kiss my kids or my husband for six days!  I made up for it today!  Happy to be home, but thrilled with my experience.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tales from the DNC: Day 3

Holy exhaustion, Batman!  I'm a tired girl!  But wow, it's so awesome here!  I found my flag lady from day one, and she had another funky outfit.
New York may have had crappy seats, but our Senator got to say hello!
Bill Clinton, elder statesman that he is, brought down the house, with, which I am told, the longest speech in DNC history.  The crowd was transfixed--we could have listened to him all night!
 Surprise guest...O!
And then, there was a mid-states reception (NY, NJ, PA & DE) at Discovery Place.  My kids would have loved it!
 This is what I look like to someone wearing heat-seeking goggles:
 My convention pal, Mary, and I having a glass of wine in Paris.
And yes folks, I tested out a real bed of nails.  The edges were dulled but still, it was a bed of nails.  It this lawyer thing doesn't work out for me, I've got a future in the circus!
So far, it's been the most whirlwhind, stressful, exciting and inspiring week!  I'm excited for tonight!  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tales from the DNC: Day 2.

Day two of the DNC was crazy!  Traveling through the city of Charlotte is extremely difficult, even by secure DNC buses.  There are police from all over the country, all wearing their home uniforms, and with every possible mode of transportation, including dirt bikes!
Protestors are set up in varying zones around the city.  Closest to the convention center were the 'lifers.  There's a lot of hate here, and dozens of 5 foot tall photos of aborted fetuses to be seen.
Just around the corner, Planned Parenthood was having a rally--it would have been much more interesting if they let the 'lifers protest right nearby!
There was one big protest, but I couldn't get close enough to it.  There were rows of police in the streets, with bicycles and riot gear.
And the weather!  Oy vey!  Like walking around in a hot cloud.  We've had severe thunderstorms every afternoon...and to think we laughed at Tampa's hurricane during the RNC.  Payback's a bitch, as they say.

We just learned that tomorrow has been moved inside to the Time Warner Arena--it was supposed to be at the Carolina Panthers' stadium, and there were over 65,000 regular people who were promised tickets (including my mom and dad).  But due to the severe weather, they are moving it inside.  Honestly, I'm good with that--I was not looking forward to sitting in the rain for the night!

Walking into the convention was amazing.  I've been fortunate to do a lot of cool things in my life, and have been a delegate to NY conventions for a decade, but nothing really prepares you for this.  Every state, each territory, and nearly every major news network in the country are here.  History is being made, my friends. 

And the speakers, there are not words.  So many of the elected officials who spoke last night, literally came from nothing.  They grew up poor--not Ann Romney's version of struggling--eating spaghetti in your basement apartment--all the while knowing that you have a serious safety net in your wealthy parents, and a trip to the country club for a bowl of lobster bisque is just a limo ride away---but really poor.  Ken Salazar, former Attorney General of Colorado grew up in a Mexican-American ranching family and had no electricity or running water in his childhood home.  Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro thanked his mom, a housecleaner, for pushing a mop so he could stand before the convention holding a mic.  One of my favorite speeches was Ohio's Governor, Ted Strickland.  "If Mitt Romney was Santa Claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves," he joked with the crowd.

There was a tribute to Senator Kennedy, which had clips from his 1994 debate with Mitt Romney...priceless.  Mr. Romney was asserting that he believed in a woman's right to choose and that Roe v. Wade was the law of the land and should be upheld.  How far his position has changed to court the right!  Teddy Kennedy capitalized on it, as Mitt's positions were ever changing, even 20 years ago, providing a list of all the things that Romney had decided to switch position and support during his campaign, concluding with, "Now, it looks like he's for ....reform, if we give him two more weeks, he may even vote for me!"  It brought the house down last night!

And of course, it's not a party without Kumar!  A few weeks ago we watched A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas.  Harold and Kumar are the modern-day Cheech and Chong.  Kumar is definitely the Chong to Harold's Cheech.  But he cleans up pretty well, and delivers a surprisingly insightful speech.

Michele Obama was the keynoter of the night, with some insight to the person who is our President.  She was remarkable.

Tonight is President Clinton--and I can't wait!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tales from the DNC: Day 1

It's day one in Charlotte, and the DNC is just getting underway.  Today was CarolinaFest, and the start of activities in Uptown Charlotte.  Uptown is really downtown in Charlotte...they sort of do things backwards in the south.

 It was a day without structure.  Lots of fun activities for delegates.  I spent last night with my best friend from college, who lives nearby, and my parents, who relocated from Amsterdam, NY to Hickory, NC about 10 years ago.  My folks left in the morning, and I was free to explore.

This was the first sign that I was getting close to the action:

I was close...the Charlotte Convention Center.  Security was crazy.  Access on many streets was limited, even to pedestrians.  But like many delegates, I wanted to scope out the place I'd be in the coming days.  The Convention Center is across the street from the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which hosts a Buffalo Wild Wings in the lobby--which is the New York Delegation's hospitality station for the week.  (Yes, friends, that means all the wings, and other deep fried delicacies I can consume, on the hizzouse!)

Oddly, Fox News had an outpost just outside the NY station.  No one was there, 'cept the crickets.  I'm hoping I can debate Glenn Beck in the coming days.

This woman embodied everything I imagined a convention delegate to be.  Cool costume, hat, pins, the works!

And later in the evening, at the Governor's party, I had a blast.  We were at Strike Center--a huge bowling alley with the whole NY Delegation  Here's me with Albany's Mayor Gerry Jennings and NYS Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli.  It's going to be a fun week!

And here's me and the folks, just before they left!