Thursday, May 28, 2009

Breathing A Little Easier

I didn't say anything to anyone because I didn't want anyone to feel the panic that I was feeling but I found a lump on Owen's head this weekend when we were out of town. Since it was the holiday weekend and we were in NC, I couldn't get into see the doctor until yesterday. Well, you can imagine all of the scenarios that ran through my head in those few days of not knowing what it was.

So you can imagine my relief when the doctor said it was just a swollen lymph node that was probably caused by a mosquito bite or something else and it would eventually go down.

Whew. To say that I'm breathing a little easier today is an understatement. And I'm going to take a moment to thank whomever is in charge above that it was nothing more and say how lucky we are to have our health.

So....hug your kids, family and friends today and be thankful that they are healthy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's NOT Just A Meal

When we travel, we like to find the local places and dives to eat -- the ones that are unique to the region where we are visiting and New York City has plenty of those. If you eat at an Applebees or a Chilis in NYC, you should be ashamed of yourself. It's not just about the meal. It's about experiencing the local flavor so to speak.

When we're with the kids, I look for kid-friendly places where they serve food that the kids will enjoy and where they don't have to be super quiet. Oh...and it has to be budget friendly if possible. But yeah. I know. That's hard to find in NYC.

So if you're visiting NYC, you may want to look these places up if you're in the area if you dig these types of places.

We love diners. We love breakfast. And now we love Ellen's Stardust Diner. It's right near Times Square and the the waitstaff are actors and actresses trying to make it on Broadway. The food was yummy and the entertainment totally fun. It's unique and a NYC type of experience.

Even when they're singing, they're still working. Now...that's talent!

I'm betting that at least one wait staff has fallen off of the ledge while performing.

Retro 1950's is the theme. There's lots of cool movie and theater memoribilia hanging to look at just in case you're somehow bored with the show.

Our waitress. So cute. And so talented!

What kid doesn't love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Well...yours may not but ours sustain life off of them. And there is a shop in Greenwich Village that serves just that. I give you Peanut Butter & Co. Where the sandwiches are just like mom use to make. With carrots on the side. Because they're good for you and all. ;)

Yum. Peanut butter and fluff.

I tried to get a shot of the store itself but it was pouring down rain and the fam wasn't slowing down for me to snap it. Owen had already hailed a cab so I had to go.

Here in Fredericksburg, we have an old time pharmacy/luncheon counter. Goolricks is awesome. If you're fortunate enough to go there, you should NOT miss ordering a milkshake or a grilled cheese sandwich! So when I read about the Lexington Candy Shop, I knew we had to try it.

It's on the upper East Side a few blocks from Central Park and it has that old time feel to it. While the food was good, it was kind of pricey. If you're in the area, stop by and have a float. They come highly recommended by an expert. :)

They had an ecclectic collection of coke bottles displayed in their windows, which was fun to look at after we ate.

A great, inexpensive diner near the Natural History Museum in the upper westside is the Manhattan Diner. It was super cheap (for NY standards anyway) and the food was yummy.

So there you go. We enjoyed these places. They were a local flair of NYC. I'm quite certain that we could go to NYC once a month and never hit all of the best local dives. If you know of any good dives in NYC, post them in the comments so we can look them up next time we're in the city.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is This Perfect Or What?

Some of you have already seen this picture but it's just so Owen that I have to put it on the blog. We were at a cookout this weekend and he came outside wearing this hat. When I told him I wanted to take a picture, he tilted the hat on his head and then said okay.

This picture is just so Owen. So perfectly Owen. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

For the Grandparents...

I took this picture of Shane in Central Park. It's a good one. I hope you like it! I think that I may have to print and frame it. :)

Shane, 9 1/2

Friday, May 22, 2009

Street Performers - NYC!

In NYC, everyone is a performer. And it seems that everyone is trying to "make it."

And one of the best place to see performers is on the streets of NYC. While we were there, we came upon some guys doing their thang. I took lots of pictures (imagine that) but selected these as my favorites. I loved these because his body was still while his hand or leg was in motion.

I wish that the performer would have had on white pants or some light color to make him stand out from the crowd more but oh well.

You can click on the picture to enlarge it to get the full effect of the shot.

I almost deleted this picture but decided not to after looking at it more closely. Obviously something is going on because everyone in the crowd is looking in the same direction making the view wonder what it is that everyone is looking at. It's a classic art classroom teaching photo.

Owen enjoyed the show.

Next time I go to NYC, I'll definitely be looking for more street performers to photograph. I hope that you enjoyed the pics!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Things Kids Say...Part IV

The birds and the bees.

A topic every parent dreads. My friend says that her kids are going to learn bout it the same way she did --- from the kids down the street. lol. She's joking. I think.

Anyway, the topic has been brought up countless times recently. Well, not countless but enough that the conversation - the "real" conversation - is on the horizon with Shane. Ken recently watched something on TV and decided that it was in fact time to have that talk with him.

Shane heard us discussing it and zeroed in on it. And won't let it go. He was asking me about it a few days ago when Ken was going to have the "birds and the bees" talk with him and I said that I would be happy to talk to him about it right then.

He replied that it was a "man to boy conversation" that he had to have with Ken. And then ended it with "no offense, Mom." LOL.

Shane wasn't letting Ken out of it and made sure he set up a specific date with Ken. And made Ken shake hands on it. They now have a date to go to lunch and have "the talk."

Ken and I really don't know exactly what he knows (although Ken has spoken to him recently and said he didn't know) so I thought that I would fill Ken on our dinner conversation tonight since he missed it.

Shane said that he needed to ask me something but didn't want to do it in front of Owen. He said it was about sex and was very concerned that he was having sex with his friend Josie.

I asked him what he meant.

He said that he thought that when they shared a granola bar, he was having sex with her.

I about spit out my tea but somehow maintained my composure to inform him that only two people could have sex and sharing drink or snack with someone isn't considered "sex."


But...I'm going to put a granola bar in Ken's lunch and tell him that I get credit according to Shane.

Lord have mercy. The things that come out of these children's mouths. :p

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Soccar Super Star!

Sometimes when I blog, my intention on a post is one thing but once I start going through the supporting pictures, the topic of the post changes.

Because the pictures call for the change.

And such was the case as I was whittling down 200 pictures of Sheldon's recent soccar game.

During the game, I took my eye off of Shane for one minute. One minute. When I couldn't find him in 30 seconds, I hit the panic button.

Then my dad said "there he is."

I didn't see him at first but then zeroed in on him.

Right in the middle of the soccar field between two of the games that were going on. Look closely. You'll see his blond hair and red shirt.

I'm sure that the coach was grumbling about the parents that don't watch their kids or make them behave.

Hey! That's me. Mother of the year. Of course, I should have called him off the field immediately but I needed my pictures. The pictures that made me ask myself "what was he thinking?"

Shane. Just hanging out and participating in...err...watching Sheldon's soccar game. lol.

The other funny thing about these pictures is Shane himself being the best sideline soccar player at the game. When I put him in soccar when he was little, he wouldn't engage in the game or go after the ball.

Now look at him. A soccar superstar!

He was also a goalie superstar when Sheldon was playing goalie. lol

Thanks for the giggles, Shane. You are truly one of a kind. :p

Now...onto the real post. About Sheldon's soccar game. She did good. She tried and most of all she had fun.

Go Team!

And this is my very favorite picture of all. One day she's going to gain control of those legs and arms and will be a real soccar superstar!

Sometimes you never know what you're going to get when you clean off your camera!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Art-teest

A two-year-old + magic markers + "naptime" = a big mess.

I *thought* all of the markers were up. Well they were up but then the older kids got them back out and conveniently forgot to put them away.

And forgot to tell me.

And I *thought* Mary Mayken had fallen asleep for her nap. But evidentially she didn't.

And I *believed* her when I told her to stay in bed and she said "okay Aunt Kem."

When I caught her doing her beautiful artwork, I asked her what she was doing and she said "colowing."

Well. Duh Mary Mayken.

Next time just use the paper that was right beside you instead of your body.

And of course she found the one permanent magic marker instead of the washable ones.

And that my friends is why little kids are so cute.

To ensure that they will survive to adulthood. ;)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Re-Learning A Lesson

You would think that by the time someone is 38, they would have it all figured out. Well...not all of it but at least some of it. But I guess it's never to late to be taught a lesson and it's one that I'm going to heed and say thanks for the reminder.

Last week was crazy. Crazy. All kinds of stuff going on at the school with rumors flying faster than a Boeing 727 regarding some of the changes being made next year. And instead of dealing with things the way that I usually do, I allowed myself to be sucked into all of the annoying drama that I usually rise above. I wasn't participating in it per se but allowed myself to be drawn into other people's hysteria.

Undecided what to do about it (mostly because of different "advice" that I was told to do or not to do), I finally went right to the source and got it straight from the horses' mouth so to speak.

Which is exactly what I should have done in the first place instead of spending time worrying about something that wasn't worth the time I spent on it.

So, I learned a big lesson. Or should I say I re-learned a big lesson and that is that I need to handle things the way that I usually do. Stay out of the drama and go right to the source. First.

We're all adults here and I should have acted like it from the beginning.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Photographs of the Day

I'm still going through my pictures from New York City but wanted to share a few of my favorites. As most of you have figured out by now, I love nature shots and shooting things and people in their natural setting. So...I give you the NYC pictures of the day.

I hope that you enjoy them. :)

It's spring time in NYC!

We went to the Natural History Museum and went throug the butterfly exhibit. Butterflies are probably one of the hardest things to capture in a photo. They rarely rest and the movement makes it sometimes difficult to track them.

I rarely like to photograph buildings per se (unless they're old and historic) and am not really into hard architectual pictures but I dig the composition on this one.

And I like the blue sky and clouds that envelope the Empire State Building.

And what is Central Park without a horse drawn carriage?

I loved watching the ice skaters at Rockefeller Plaza. There were some really good skaters and some really bad ones but the thing that caught my eye with these children is the way that the younger skater is so dependent on the older child and the older child was so willing to help the younger skater.

Trust. That's what it's all about. That's what this photo says to me.

This one tells a story too. What do you think it is?

I simply can not resist a blooming flower in Central Park.

I love everything about photographing the city life and really just things in general. I really hope that my kids take up a passion for photographing people, places and things around them. It's the little things in life that matter and you never know what you're going to capture with your eye and a camera.

Friday, May 8, 2009

April Showers...

Bring May flowers as the saying goes. And in honor of this beautiful Spring day, I'm sharing some recent pictures of some flowers that I took.


You would think that these were taken at a botantical garden but no. These pictures were taken of the flower and garden show in Macy's windows.

Sue Ann, I hope that you can find a suitable picture for your desktop! :)