Friday, September 18, 2009

Week in Review

Well Monday to Friday let's say...This was a busy week - Mommy's meetings started again. Religion. PTO. Back-to-school night. It's always something. The kids start clay class today at the Clay Arts Center and they are soooo excited. All I can think of is the mess they are going to come home with. Francesca is going to have clay in her hair, Gav will probably have it up his nose or in his mouth. OMG I cannot even start to think how bad this will be. But they asked to take this class, and they asked nicely, so who am I to refuse? They made clay tiles at Port Chester Day and had a blast, so Scott and I thought it might be fun for them.

PC Day - that was last Sunday. It was supposed to be on Saturday but the crappy weather put the kibbosh on that. The kids could not wait until PC Day, mostly because of the jumping castles. They were so itchy to get there they wouldn't sit still at home! We got to Lyons Park around 11:30 and the kids ran straight for the jumping castles, tossing their sneakers at us and barely yelling goodbye. I was left holding their sneakers...and their PC Dept. of Rec. visors...and the free balloons from said Dept. of Rec...and free frisbees. Ugh! All this free stuff. The kids were delighted. Me, not so much, I had to juggle all their crap. Until I wandered around and found myself a freebie from USA Bank - a tote bag. Oh yeah and Gav snagged himself a free piggy bank from them too - his 4th or 5th piggy bank I might add. He has QUITE the collection of freebie banks from well...banks.

While Gav was jumping around on the blow-ups apparatus Francesca was exploring the fire department "burning building" simulator, where she climbed through a house that was "on fire" and had to figure out the safest way out. Scott managed to snag himself a free fire extinguisher - GREAT, MORE CRAP TO CARRY. He actually carried it the majority of the time though. The kids bounced around for somewhere around 5 hours, taking quick breaks to socialize with friends, grab more freebies and have something to eat. The Village of PC needs to give some serious thought to this whole jumping castle thing. Either provide benches for the poor parents carrying bags of free crap to sit on or install an invisible fence around the whole thing that would beep when a child goes to leave. It was exhausting walking back and forth, back and forth among the attractions. Plus I was carrying all that crap! Scott had a really good idea for next year's PC Day. He thinks that the village should fence the jumping castles in and surround the fenced-in area with a beer garden so that the parents can watch their kids and have a beer at the same time. Of course then the Village would also have to find a way home for all the now-drunk parents.

The rest of the week was kind of un-eventful. Francesca had several clothing crisises throughout the week. Her socks were too bunchy, her shoes were too tight, her jeans were too loose and then too tight (?) - ummm that's why they're called SKINNY jeans Francesca...My child cries at the drop of a hat over the most stupid things! Then there was Gav. He really doesn't complain about what he's wearing; he just wants to make sure his hair is done right. He likes to have a "faux hawk" sometimes so he can look cool for the ladies. Apparently Gav is "the man" - as told to me by the mom of a 5th grader. "Gavin is 'the man' - he walks around like he owns the place" - greaaaattttt. My 1st grader thinks he is a BMOC. That kid is going to get to PCHS and be voted "most likely to date a teacher" or something like that. Mark my words...

Scott and I went to "Back to School" Night on Wednesday. We squooshed into little desks and chairs, admired schoolwork and left little notes for the kids. They left notes for us too. Francesca signed hers "Fanny" - hmmmmm now she has a new nickname? Fanny? Um no. Not now. Not ever. I'll even take "Franny", but "Fanny"? No. She just laughed at Scott when he asked her about it.

Tonight starts the weekend and tomorrow Francesca stars tennis classes. THAT should provide lots and lots of blog-worthy material. I won't be at tomorrow's class because I have to work but I will be sure to get the blow-by-blow from Scott and fill you in accordingly. Enjoy the weekend bloggy peeps.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Summer Recap, Part 1

Well since I was such a bad blogger I am giving you, my readers (wait do I even HAVE readers??) a recap of the LaDore Summer of Fun. I will say right now that Francesca and Gavin had a way-funner summer than did Scott and I, mostly because we still had to go to work...boooo work. We started our Summer of Fun at 11:31AM, Friday June 26th, 2009 - one minute after school let out. Scott and I both took the day off of work and we picked the kids up at Park Ave., bid adieu to friends and headed for Boston. Yippeee!! My home-away-from-home from September 1991-June 1996. The home of Northeastern University, my alma mater. I was soooo excited and so were the kids. Scott was too, I guess. Scott is way low-key compared to me and the kids. Anyway, after 3 hours, several bathroom breaks (Gavin has a bladder the size of a flea) and many many many "Are we there yet's???" we were there!!!! We were able to check into our hotel, the Colonnade on Huntington Avenue. A BOUTIQUE hotel. A BIG RISK with the LaDore children. They were a bit miffed that this hotel did not offer continental breakfast, as they are used to when they go away with my parents and stay at a Hampton Inn or a Holiday Inn Express. For Francesca and Gavin a good hotel is not measured in AAA stars but whether or not they get cinnamon rolls, unlimited juice and all-you-can-eat cereal in the lobby in the morning. We assured them that they would not starve and once they saw how cool our room was they lightened up. They also saw the rooftop pool, which was way cool in their estimation.

We headed first for the Boston Childrens' Museum, which on Friday nights from 5-9PM is only $1 admission. Such a deal! They had a great time at the Childrens' Museum, exploring all 3 floors, climbing, jumping, playing and just having fun. We followed and occasionally got to help. After leaving we headed back to our hotel and had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory across the street at the Prudential Center. Of course the whole weekend was overshadowed by Michael Jackson's death and the ever-present litany of questions from the kids about him. Such as "Why does he look THAT WAY and his brothers look so different?" Oh boy I did not even want to delve into that one...not then, not ever. I don't remember what answer I gave them, but I guess it shut them up for the moment.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early - because even on vacation F and G don't sleep late - and hopped on the "T" (the Boston subway for those of you not in the know) and took it to Government Center, where we could walk to Quincy Market. We bought tickets for the Red Trolley and waited....and waited...and waited. For God's sake, where is this trolley? Every other trolley went by except the Red Trolley! Finally we were picked up and were happy to discover that we were just about the only people on the trolley. There were 2 other couples but we picked up a few more people at the next stop. As is the case with the kids, they will talk to anyone. Anyone. Not always a great thing, but anyway. The trolley driver was very animated - an ex-New Yorker I believe. Gavin kept answering his questions and the next thing you know, Gav and Checka were being invited to sit at the front of the trolley across from the driver. Oh boy they were so excited. For me and Scott it was almost an hour of sightseeing uninterrupted. We were sitting halfway back, enjoying the sights and the kids were up front, helping give the tour. Within 10 minutes the tour driver knew their names, what grades they were in and what we planned on seeing that day. The funniest moment had to be when we crossed into Cambridge and drove past MIT. The driver started talking about MIT and Gavin says "Oh my mommy went there!" and the driver said "Really??" like he was all impressed. I had to correct Gav and say nooooo I am a Northeastern alumni. He was still impressed, just not so much.

We got off the trolley at the Constitution and waited for about 30 minutes in the hot sun to board. You actually have to go through National Security to get on line. Kind of sad that it has all come to that. But we all loved the tour and had fun exploring the ship. After we re-boarded the trolley and headed back to Quincy Market we had decided that we needed to take a boat cruise. So we did. We took a tour of the Boston Harbor. The kids loved that and we loved sitting down for 45 minutes. After that we were suckered in to taking the kids to Build-A-Bear.

Back at the hotel we were very disappointed that it started to rain and we could not swim in the rooftop pool. The hotel manager gave the kids water pistols instead and suddenly their impression of the hotel improved. "No cinnamon rolls Mommy but I did get a water pistol". We couldn't leave as quickly as we wanted to because there was a wedding going on and every freaking wedding guest had valet parked and our car was blocked in. What a nightmare! It took us, the manager and 4 valets to get the van out. 30 minutes later we were on our way to the "No Name Restaurant" on the water for seafood. Yum-O to quote Rachel Ray! We waited for about 20 minutes and then were amazingly sat at a table overlooking the water. Granted our immediate view was the docks where fish is unloaded but hey it was still the water. The waitress gave us a big plate of garlic bread, which the kids eagerly ate. They didn't realize it was garlic bread and we didn't tell them. Not until the plate was clean did we tell them what they ate. If looks could kill...Scott and I would be dead. It was too funny. We all enjoyed our dinner - deep fried seafood for me and Scott, chicken fingers for them. Followed by gooey chocolate and carrot cake for dessert. One cannot come to Boston and not have fried seafood. The kids just about collapsed into bed and we started packing the suitcase to leave the next day.

Sunday June 28th - a national holiday in my book. Actually it was my birthday. The trip was my present. We ate breakfast and then headed out. We drove past Northeastern and I was shocked how much it had changed! Buildings went up where parking lots previously stood. Wow. A former dive bar was now the faculty club! The kids were not impressed. I was. It made me remember how much fun I had going to college there. Francesca said she thought she might want to go to school there. At almost $40K a year I hope she gets some sort of scholarship. I did read that they give athletic scholarships for every sport offered - over 40. Guess we will be finding an obscure one for her to pursue. On the way home we stopped at the "Travelers Rest" restaurant in Vernon, CT. I think it was Vernon - it was exit 74 off of I84. It's a restaurant that is also filled with used books. In fact, everyone gets a free book when they leave. The kids agonized over what book to choose - I think that took longer than eating lunch! After that we drove the 2 hours home and were happy to be back.

We saw so much in Boston but there is so much more to see. The kids definitely want to go back. So do we!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hello again

I should just repeat my June post that says I am a sucky blogger but I won't. I should have blogged all summer but I didn't. So this weekend, I will make time to blog. I'll add it to my to-do list. The kids are back to school and already funny stuff is happening. The conversations that the LaDore children have in the back of the car are waaaaay too funny. I should seriously hide a mike back there and tape what they are saying. The other day I almost had a car accident because I was laughing so hard.

We went shoe shopping and F and Gav were introduced to the concept of the "Ped" - at least that's what we always called them. You know, those pantyhose like things that you put on when you try on shoes. They were fascinated with them. They wanted to take them home - which they did, several in fact. So we get in the car and are driving home and all of a sudden those things are on their heads! And they're laughing their butts off! I hear Gav say to Checka, "You look like a cafeteria lady!". OMG I almost crashed my car on I95 I laughed so hard. She said to him "You want ketchup with that kid?" They found so many uses for those sock-thingys over the next few days. I finally had to hide them and throw them out. Cafeteria ladies indeed!