Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birthday pics, etc, as promised

You asked for it... Well, maybe you didn't, but here you go anyway.
While my parents were here, Mike and I had an overnight get-away in NYC. I went in on the train on Friday afternoon, did around by myself for a while, and met up with him after he got done at work.
I snapped the picture below when I was meandering through Union Square. There were these three girls walking to a restaurant (I later saw them across the street from where Mike and I were eating) and they had on practically identical outfits. They were such a bad cliche, I couldn't resist...
After eating and walking around a bit, we headed to BowlMor, a bowling alley in the Union Square/Greenwich Village area.

I didn't do so well. Yes, I got a few strikes, but that was a total fluke.Of COURSE I had to take a picture of Lance Bass's signed pin at BowlMor!This was, perhaps my favorite thing that I saw in NYC... On a front door in Greenwich Village, the person had posted a plaque that read "No Menus" in both English AND Chinese! Hilarious. I totally need one of those. We get bombarded with menus for Chinese places....

While Mike and I were still in NYC the following a.m., my brave parents took W to the Staten Island Children's Museum. W loved it-- they had a REAL FIRE ENGINE that he got to play in!

After visiting the museum, the three of them took the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan, where they met us. We took the ferry back to SI, where my parents had parked their car, and drove back home. W really liked the ferry. He thought the Statue of Liberty was neat; he has a book about NYC and when he sees the drawing of the statue in the book, he gets all excited.

So my parents are the King and Queen of Projects. While they were here, they did several things around here that have needed doing...
Dad, using the 100 lb roller on the new kitchen floor...
Giving horsey rides...
Dad also organized Mike's tools in the basement. Mom organized the other crap down there... We actually have a lot of space, now that stuff is neatly stacked!
We went to our favorite farm while they were here... The farm provides a free apple for each child who visits. W loves choosing one for his very own!
According to my mother, I loved to wear bowls on my head when I was a little girl. So of course Mom couldn't resist snapping this picture of W...
Ah, the birthday! My mom got me a cupcake tower for Mother's Day... It was the perfect thing for the party!

He loved having everyone sing to him!He got great stuff for his birthday...
A new bike helmet (with Lightening McQueen on it, of course), to go with.....
...his new bike! That's right, it's a two-wheeler with no pedals. It's a balance bike. A child who uses one learns to ride a bike without training wheels. A friend of ours had one for her son, and he now rides a two-wheeler perfectly, and won't be four until November!
Of course, we had an unwelcome guest...
I found this caterpillar munching on one of my tomato plants! He was actually quite beautiful. He had a gorgeous green body, with blue and white stripes along it. He will be a pretty butterfly (if he makes it!). I transplanted him to the neighbor's front bushes (hey, no one lives there!).
My tomato plants are incredible. They are taller than my fence.
It's a jungle out there!
Kicking back after the party...
Yes, it was a big weekend.

Fake bake, etc.

I admit it. I used to be a fake-baker. I haven't been in 5 years, and I try to be careful about the sun--wear a hat, sunscreen, etc. Seeing this article today scared me and made me glad that I have resisted the urge to have a tan as of late, and made me wish I had resisted long ago...
And can someone please tell Barry that his job is to run the country--not to smooth over ruffled feathers over a beer in the Rose Garden??

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


W turned 3 on Sunday! He had a great party. My parents were able to be here to celebrate, which was wonderful.
I'll post pics soon. Thanks to everyone who helped make his birthday so special!!

Former dorm-mate in the slammer!

A girl with whom I lived in Scales House at Smith was arrested on Friday for allegedly stealing $110k from a client of Chase, where she (I guess not any more) works. She was a first-year when I was a senior, so I didn't know her well, but I do recall that she was pretty wild.
Who knows what was going through her head.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Changing the dynamic

Are you a parent? Are you thinking of becoming a parent? Well, I have the book for you.

This book comes highly recommended from my co-worker, the Toddler Whisperer. The author, Beth Grosshans, is a frequent speaker/collaborator with our school. Her discipline techniques are no-nonsense and practical-- they work! I got the book on Tuesday and have been starting to implement the Ladder, and let me tell you, IT WORKS. W is NOT the one "in charge" at our house, but I can see him beginning to slip into that pattern, as Mike and I are both "pleasers," according to the book.
So I have tried the technique advocated by the book, and while it is a challenge at first, it really keeps my blood-pressure down, and works to calm the raging sea (aka, raging toddler). We don't spank, so this approach is perfect for our family. Basically, this book stresses the importance of correcting the situation at once, in order to avoid more serious problems down the road. Click here for a brief interview with the author.
The book covers problems from eating, sleeping, toileting, etc. This is definitely a book worth looking at if you have ANY questions about how to raise/discipline your child/ren.
I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The countdown is on!

A week from today, my parents will be here! They had planned to come up back in June, but were unable to because Dad had to stick around and wait on the state legislature to play its games. So they are going to start a drive up to Jersey next Friday and arrive on Sunday. They are bringing, among other things, a painting that my BFF did for me back in December, as well as a rug for my living room that Mom swears I'll "love". So they'll be here for a little over a week, and it looks like Mike and I might just get an overnight getaway out of the deal! I think we'll wind up staying in NYC for a night, and hopefully go to a show (if we can get tickets to a good one).
They'll also be in town for W's THIRD birthday! I cannot believe he is turning 3 this month. It's incredible. We're doing a Cars-themed birthday party, since he adores the movie and anything having to do with it. He's super-excited about his (as he calls it) "McQueen party" and says that, when he turns 3, he will wear Big-Boy Underpants and get rid of his "woo woo" (his pacifier, which he has in bed at night). We'll see about that...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

300th post

What better way to celebrate my 300th post as Little Miss Sew and Sow than to share a fabulous op-ed piece from the NYT?? This piece about Sarah Palin is brilliant-- especially the part about interrupting the networks' coverage of Michael Jackson's death... Thanks, Gail Collins, for putting my thought on paper! I've included my own comments in purple. Enjoy.

Sarah’s Straight Talk

Published: July 3, 2009

Truly, Sarah Palin has come a long way. When she ran for vice president, she frequently became disjointed and garbled when she departed from her prepared remarks. Didn't anyone learn anything from Mark Sanford's piteously unprepared "remarks" about Miss Argentina?? Now the prepared remarks are incoherent, too.

“And a problem in our country today is apathy,” she said on Friday as she announced that she would resign as governor of Alaska at the end of the month. “It would be apathetic to just hunker down and ‘go with the flow.’ Nah, only dead fish ‘go with the flow.’ No. Productive, fulfilled people determine where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time ... to BUILD UP.” Huh?

Basically, the point was that Palin is quitting as governor because she’s not a quitter. Or a deceased salmon. Oh, thanks for clearing that up.

Sarah Barracuda made her big announcement Friday afternoon on the lawn of her home to an audience that appeared to include only Todd, the kids and the next-door neighbors. Smiling manically, she looked like a parody of the woman who knocked the Republicans dead at their convention. She babbled about her parents’ refrigerator magnet, which apparently had a lot of wise advice. And she recalled her visit with the troops in Kosovo, whose dedication and determination inspired her to ... resign.

“Life is about choices!” declared the nation’s most anti-choice politician.

People, what is going on with governors in this country? Are we doomed to see them go bonkers one by one, state by state? Oh, yes, please! Let's see, who's already managed to show his/her "crazy side"?

  • Eliot Spitzer (awhile back, but still counts b/c of shock value)
  • Rick Perry (come on, seceeding from the Union? Come up with a new idea! That's been done!)
  • Rod Blagojevich (duh)
  • Mark Sanford (do I even need to explain this one?)
  • Bobby Jindal (his response to the "State of the Union" address was pretty wacky--especially the "set" for it)

The timing of Palin’s announcement was extremely peculiar. Not only did she interrupt the plans of TV newscasters to spend the entire weekend pointing out that Michael Jackson is still dead, she delivered her big news just as the nation was settling into Fourth of July celebrations. You’d have thought she didn’t want us to notice. That IS really strange that she did it at such a time... Seriously.

“I choose to work very hard on a path for fruitfulness and productivity,” she said in a fairly typical moment. “I choose not to tear down and waste precious time, but to build up this state and our country, and her industrious, generous, patriotic free people!” How, pray tell? Specifics, please.

Palin has a year and a half left to go in her term of office. The political world had been wondering whether she’d run for re-election. The answer is no. And furthermore, it turns out that Palin believes that the only way her administration can “continue without interruption” is for her to end it.

Anyhow, no point in wasting precious time. 2012 approaches... So do mid-term elections. Might she be planning a bid for a national office? Something to think about!

One underlying theme in Palin’s remarks was that many ethics complaints have been filed against her on issues ranging from her alleged attempts to get her former brother-in-law fired from the state troopers to charging Alaska for her children’s travel expenses.

According to the about-to-be-ex governor, fighting all this negativity has cost the state “thousands of hours of your time” and $2 million “to respond to ‘opposition research.’ ” But now this is all water under the bridge. Every single unfair charge has been dismissed. (“We’ve won!”) And now that the battle is over and the time/money has been wasted, Palin is going to leave her job in the name of “efficiencies and effectiveness.” So, basically, she's saying the state of Alaska will be better off without her in charge. How does that translate into America being better off with her in charge??

“I cannot stand here as your governor and allow millions upon millions of our dollars go to waste just so I can hold the title of governor,” she said. But you did.

Perhaps there is some new and interesting scandal that Palin has yet to let us in on. (If so, I hope it involves a soul mate.) Otherwise, it would appear that this is all about her desire to start raising money and setting up operations for a presidential run in 2012. Her fans immediately interpreted the resignation as a canny move to get her back down to the lower 48, with as much time on her hands as Mitt Romney. (Mary Matalin called it “brilliant.”)

Palin was the subject of a devastating article in this month’s Vanity Fair by Todd Purdum, who wrote that McCain campaign aides found it almost impossible to get Palin to prepare for her disastrous interview with Katie Couric. And there is no sign, Purdum reported, that Palin has made any attempt to bone up on the issues so that next time around, she could run as a candidate who actually had some grasp of the intricacies of foreign and domestic policy. She's a female version of Bush 43. Her schtick is that she doesn't know anything about anything. Unfortunately, that's a turn-on for a lot of voters. Me? I'd like my president to be a little smarter than I am... I'm just sayin'....

So if she’s starting to run, it will be as the same reporter-avoiding, generalization-spouting underachiever that she was last time around. But with better clothes.

Now we know she not only doesn’t have the concentration to read a policy paper, she can’t focus long enough to finish the job she was hired to do.

On Friday, Palin said that finishing out her term would be just too easy. “Many just accept that lame-duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck and ‘milk it.’ I’m not putting Alaska through that,” she said.

Apparently, she’s going to put the rest of us through it instead. Beautiful finish.