Monday, October 20, 2014

NYC in 31,600 Steps

Emma, Kate and Jane came home for UEA weekend.
(In Utah, there is a fall recess so the teachers can attend a training workshop- that exactly zero teachers I know attend. Teachers need a break, too.)

Since it was just a short trip and the weather was going to be amazing, we packed a ton of things in our two full days together.

 I love, love, love  street art.

Bryant Park

We caught the morning bus to Midtown and spent Friday sightseeing, shopping and visiting the Museum of Natural History. 

Yes, this guy is famous. 
No, we did not get his autograph because he's a statue and doesn't actually come to life and ask us for gum-gum.
Also, he doesn't like to be touched by fans.

Worst. Dinosaurs. Ever.

19,600 steps- over 9 miles of walking that day. 

In the past month, I've been committed to getting my daily goal of steps in. The dog is going on way more walks, and go figure, he's managed to get house trained. He fought going outside, but since I wasn't going to turn around and return home until he went potty, he  gave up and quickly realized that going outside got him a treat.
Smart dog- feisty and bratty, but smart.
It took him about 4 days of consistent long walks and going outside to discover the joy in marking things.....every 10 feet. He also attempts to pee on any dog that he isn't trying to bite.  
We're very popular with our neighbors who have dogs.

Walks with Badger are not super fun right now, but he's getting better.

This is why you tall people should never date short people. 

I was glad to see that after a solid month of walking every day (except for when I was sick) I was able to keep up and it wasn't even that hard for me on Friday. 

Saturday was another story.
We all had Jell-o legs, but we also had theater tickets, so we forged ahead. 
We were able to get tickets to Phantom for a really low price and everyone had a wonderful time.
I will be forever thankful to my friend, Wendy Koller for showing me how to get the cheapest theater tickets, so that now, when we have guests, we can actually afford to go to shows. 

It was fun seeing each of the girls connect with and react to different scenes, I was crying during my favorite scene, where Raul's life is being threatened unless Christine vows her love to the Phantom. 
Emma & Jane have been to three Broadway Shows, Kate has been to four and Romy has been to two. I've lost count, but I think I'm at six or seven. 
Five years ago, I'd have sold a kidney for the chance to just attend one Broadway show in my lifetime.
It makes me so happy that my kids get to experience it and that they know we're all very lucky and blessed right now to be able to do this. 

We had Doughnut Plant for breakfast, NY cheesecake for lunch and Popeye's for dinner.
Super healthy.
It's a good thing we got in all of those steps.

We made a Popeye's convert out of Kate. KFC is lovely, but oh, Popeye's.... 
There isn't one close to our house, thankfully.

The girls flew back to Utah on Sunday, and Kyle and Rebekah came over in the evening to play games. 
We barely defeated the zombies, but Wanda had to die, in order for the rest of us to escape.
RIP Wanda, the roller skating waitress who had no weapons save a frying pan. 
You had to die because you sucked.

I' m not dead yet.....

We sure do love Kyle and Rebekah and can't wait for their baby to be born this spring. 
I might possibly go crazy with baby gifts for them, and since they are like younger brother and sister to us-- I get to be Auntie to their baby and Aunties spoil children with presents they don't need.
That's the rule.
 I read it in a book somewhere.
Probably the Bible, so it MUST be done.

Today, a cold front has blown in and the kids are bundled up in coats and I have to figure out how I'm going to get those steps in when the weather is just too cold.

Matt has finally succumbed to that awful sickness I had 2 weeks ago and he is home, in bed, coughing and dying. 
I've got 50 pounds of apples that I'm going to make pie filling with and can this week, and we have the big ward party coming up this weekend. I'm in charge of decorations, so I'll be busy making Halloween crafty messes all week.
Life isn't quite the same now that the kids are getting older. 
It's strange how much time and energy went into just managing the chaos when they were all small and home all of the time. Now, people have routines, jobs and everyone wants some alone time to decompress each day. The house is quieter, there aren't toys to trip over and plates of cookies don't get eaten within 20 minutes of my taking them out of the oven. We work out where the cars are going to be and aim to have at least one night a week where we can all be together, but usually we can only manage to have most of us together.  We are all very busy with our individual things and it's a strange season. 
I guess I think they are all strange.  I'm one of those people who wakes up every day and life still surprises the heck out of me.  
I always have the same sense of wonder at how each miraculously ordinary day unfolds, even when things are terribly predictable and obvious to others. 
Eh, I don't hate that about myself. 
The world is crazy wonderful, even when it's quiet and boring and cold.

Friday, October 10, 2014

NYCC and Nyquil don't mix

Yesterday was the first day of New York Comic-Con.
We went last year and took most of the kids, but this year, we decided to have it be a date activity.
I love the kids, but the crowds were massive and once they got bored or tired, it was like dragging around...well, a kid. 

Matt took the day off and we were both really excited to see the people, the booths and to meet one of our favorite authors, John Scalzi. We'd gone to a reading in SLC and met him, and we were looking forward to another opportunity to get books signed and breathe the same air as someone we are huge fans of.
But there is no way Scalzi was going to want to breathe my air.
I woke up with no voice.
I'd had fever and a cough all night and I felt like death.
I was sick.
But I could still get dressed and so I slugged down as much cold medicine as I could keep down and Matt and I agreed that if we needed to leave after an hour, that was okay. if I needed to crash in the hallway and take a nap at the Javits Center, that was okay, too. if i was going to hack and cough on everyone at the event....well, that was not okay, so we agreed to leave if my cough came back at all. 
I fell asleep on the bus ride into the city. 

The line was a good 6-8 city blocks long to get in, but it moved the whole time. 
Some of my stronger medicines kicked in while in that line, so i was having a pretty good time. 
We saw booths featuring video games, lots of comic book store booths (I don't recall seeing any of those last year) and there were a lot more book dealers this year than we saw last year. 
We walked a ton and kept ourselves hydrated with 4 dollar diet cokes and hit lunch at a Greek place. I had fried mozzarella, and it was the first time I have ever tasted home made mozzarella cheese. 
It was so good. 
I'm still craving it today, it was wonderful.
We stayed until we both felt like our feet were going to fall off and I knew I was at  risk of ending up dead in some alleyway if I took  any more cold medicine. 

I was getting grouchy and all New Yorky on people, snapping at them to move and get out of my way.
Did you know I started doing that?
 I know, it's terrible and rude and when I'm tired, I totally do it now. It's a big red flag for us all that I need to leave the city and go home, that I'm too tired- I just don't know it yet. When you're with me and you hear me say " MOVE!!" to some nincompoop who has chosen to stop right at the top of an escalator, or in a's time to go home.
Even though they do need to move, when I'm not tired, I say "excuse me." 
Okay, I say "move, please" but still....
If you've lived here, you understand. 

I fell fast asleep on the bus again and we didn't have a ride home from the bus stop, so, we walked.
It wasn't too bad, the bus stop is by Roe's school and I walk there and back every day. 
I only whined a little bit.

Today I will not be walking there.
Today, I woke up and shuddered.
I not only have no voice, but my throat is raw and hates me.
I am either burning hot or freezing.
Every inch of my body hurts and I go from being restless and uncomfortable to passed out on my bed. 
I'm not taking enough drugs to kill an elephant today, I know I need to just rest and let this work it's way through. 
So there you have it- I went from totes kicking it with famous authors and Cosplay Kings and Queens, to lying in my bed, in my pink polka dot pajamas, binge watching Master Chef with a gross pile of tissues piling up in my room.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Man Cave

As you know, when I am under stress, cook and I redecorate. 
There is something about a new look or a different perspective- or maybe just working until I am so worn out that I am too tired to give a crap about the things...that gets me through.

There is also something about whipping up a batch of sweets that helps ease the pain in the rear that my stress decorating causes. 

Homemade marshmallows certainly make everything better.

I have struggled with our front room from the beginning. It is oddly shaped and I have not been able to make it comfortable and functional at the same time.
 One day, I will have the perfect solution, but today is not that day.
Today is a day when I don't know what I want, but I know what I don't want.
I don't want the couch in there any longer.
I also don't want the kids making such a mess upstairs, as they always do in whatever area the X Box and Wii are put. 
The boys and and their stuff needed to go downstairs,  we were no longer wasting an entire room  of the house simply because the ceiling is low.
It's a great space, but it only gets used for storage.
 We've tried making it a bedroom, but I have giant children who complained. 
There is a fridge in the hall outside of the room and it has a full bathroom attached. It's seriously perfect for normal- sized people.
Yesterday, I decided,  as Bob is my witness, it WILL be a functional space.
All by my arthritic self, I moved the sofa into the basement.  (It breaks up into two parts, so I wasn't a She-Hulk, but I WAS still kind of a badass.)
I relocated storage bins, and had Grey and Parker bring the TV down.
Once they saw the couch in the basement, to my surprise, the boy s actually got excited about it and started to talk about how it was going to be the 'man cave' they had always wanted. 
(Who knew they had talked about a man cave?)
We set up a gaming table and a shelf for snacks.
The movies and games were brought down and Greyson set up the electronics.

After a few hours, we found ourselves standing in a bona fide man cave.
The boys love it. 

I love that I cannot see or hear the X box and the upstairs can stay clean.
 I love that when we have visitors, I won't have to spend three days upstairs, scrubbing and cleaning out teenage boy filth.
I love that there is a specific home for the thousands of Magic cards we have in this house, as well as our large collection of board games.
 I love that this space is being used, finally. We have a comfortable, functional space that people want to be in.

Now, I just need to figure out what to do in the front room.......again. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Good Stuff

Last week, the kids had a 4 day weekend for Rosh Hashanah.
Romy and I hopped on the bus and hit the town for some Mom/Daughter time.
We picked the ONE day it has rained in a month to go, but we still had a fantastic day together. 
We're tough East Coasters now, we're not afraid of a little rain. 
(Snow is another story.)

 We met up with Matt for dinner and took the train home.
We ate at a place called "brgr." 
They boasted grass fed beef and after a few bites of her very expensive burger in the trendy spot, Romy said "I wish they'd have just fed the cows regular food, this has no flavor."
We were all thinking it.
While it's lovely that it was all fresh and organic, it was still a hamburger, not a Kale salad made from free range hippee dreams.

We give it one super organic pretentious star.

You want a good burger in NYC- try this place in Chelsea:

It doesn't have a/c and they use red lights in the room, but outside of that slight mental hospital experience, it's a really good burger and fries. The onion rings are killer, too.
Another bonus of Lucky's is that it is just up the block from a certain doughnut place we like. 
If you're going to have a heart attack, do it in Chelsea. 

 It's gorgeous outside right now, I know that Autumn comes every year, but growing up in Arizona, I still am blown away by how beautiful seasons are.

  I thought Utah was the Garden of Eden, we had grass and trees, but living here reminds me that Utah is also a desert. 
I'm getting outside and enjoying the weather as much as I can because .....