Wednesday, December 21, 2005

New York photos

Click below to see our pictures from New York City. Luckily, we visited before the transit strike, otherwise all the pictures would be of La Guardia Airport!

Monday, December 19, 2005

How To See New York in Two Days

To celebrate our 5th anniversary, Ryan and I spent the weekend in New York City. Thanks to our friends and tour guides, Stacey and Shiran, we saw three of the five boroughs and got acquainted with Manhattan. I guess as a sign of our current media-obsessed society, we recognized many of the landmarks and buildings from various movies and television shows. Of course, that makes it all the more interesting when see one of those movies or shows and can say we've been there.

Here's a list of what we saw:

Friday: Grand Central Station, Chinatown, Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve, City Hall, the Merrill Lynch Bull, Ground Zero of the World Trade Center, Serendipity 3 (restaurant featured in the movie "Serendipity" and one of Rachael Ray's Food Network Shows), and the Brooklyn Bridge. We also took driving tours of the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn, including a short visit with Shiran's parents in Brooklyn's Russian/Jewish neighborhood.

Saturday: the "Today Show" (we actually made it on TV), Rockefeller Center, Hyde Park, The New York City Library (as seen in "Ghostbusters" and "The Day After Tomorrow"), St. Patrick's Cathedral, Fox News Studio (we saw them taping), the Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall, Trump Tower (where the "Apprentice" is filmed), Herald Square, Times Square, the famed windows at Macy's, FAO Schwartz (including the huge piano Tom Hanks danced on in "Big"), a giant Toys 'R Us with a ferris wheel inside, a three-story Disney Store, Central Park and the apartment of a friend who lives in Manhattan (great view from the roof). We also ate lunch at "Prime Burger", one of Sarah Jessica Parker's favorite diners.

Ryan's favorite moment: Seeing Campbell Brown, an anchor on the "Today Show"
Jana's favorite moment: Seeing the Gutenberg Bible at the New York City Public Library
Most somber moment: Seeing Ground Zero at the World Trade Center
Best food: Tie between Frozen Hot Chocolate from "Serendipity 3" and a knish (a potato pastry) from a street vendor

We are exhausted, but we had a fabulous time. Maybe someday we'll get to go back and take Sydney with us. Of course, we'll have to schedule in some "down time" and we definitely won't be able to walk as much as we did this weekend (probably about 10 miles total).

A HUGE thanks to our hosts, Stacey and Shiran. Without them, we'd still be down in the subway tunnels trying to figure out where to go and what to do.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Games

Here are a couple of fun Christmas games. The snowflake game is quite addicting and be sure to turn up the sound on the snowglobe one.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Child of the Digital Age

It dawned on us yesterday that Sydney is the epitome of a child of the digital age. Not only will she never know life without the Internet, but she will also never know what it is like to have to wait to see a photo developed.

We took several pictures of her in front of our Christmas tree in hopes of capturing one good enough for our Christmas card. Several of the pictures were blurry because after saying "cheese" for two seconds, she ran toward us to see the result while the shutter was still in play. "See picture," she demanded after each shot was taken.

I remember the days when my parents would take one or two shots with the traditional camera having no idea how beautiful or horrific they would turn out. And then we would have to wait until the roll of film was full in order to find out; that could take up to three months. By then, we'd forgotten all about the pictures at the beginning of the roll. You know the kind I'm talking about: the pictures from that summer's vacation or the standard Easter picture with eyes that were red or half closed. When I look back at them now, they're not the prettiest pictures, but they're usually my favorites anyway.

Maybe when Sydney gets older, I'll pull out my old 35mm camera and let her take a few pictures that can't automatically be airbrushed or touched up. Of course, I'd have to be able to find that ancient thing called "film" first.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Victory is mine! Yesterday, when I picked Sydney up from school, her teachers told me that she asked to go potty, took off her diaper and went in the potty at school. They told me she's ready to get rid of those diapers and to bring her in panties tomorrow (along with several changes of clothes, of course).

So, over the past two afternoons, we've been diaper free and had only three accidents. Sydney goes to the bathroom on her own and comes and gets me when she's been successful so that I can reward her with a hug and a mini M&M.

I'm so excited I can barely contain myself. And I'm sure everyone else is excited that I will finally stop obsessing and talking about it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Big Butt = No Shots

I knew that having a large rear end would come in handy one day.....I might not have to get shots anymore! See the article below for more info on this sad, yet amusing medical discovery.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Back to diapers

Well, the potty training did not go as planned. After three days of trying, Sydney got sick. Perhaps it was the running around the house without pants for three days.

We decided to give it a break since forcing a child to potty train while sneezing and sniffling could be considered torture to a two year old. We'll give it another go once Christmas break rolls around. I think it'll be easier because she seems to have taken pretty well to the idea, it's just the consistency that needs some work.

Oh well, I guess I'll get to shelve the mini M&Ms for the next couple of weeks.

Monday, November 21, 2005

They Lied!

Let me just say that all those people who say you can potty train a child in ONE day are LYING!!! We spent most of yesterday and I've spent much of today peeling wet panties off of Sydney. Either she's truly not ready to use the potty or she's intentionally trying to drive us crazy. I'm leaning toward the latter.

WARNING: Those of you who don't want to hear anymore "Potty Talk," stop reading here.

For the past two days, Sydney has been sitting on her potty for long stretches of time. And sitting and sitting and sitting and sitting.... When she's tired of waiting, we pull up her panties and set the timer for two minutes (so we can go try again). Within the two minutes, she wets her pants. Sometimes she knows she has and sometimes she doesn't. Argh!

So for the next few days, we'll keep trying. I've stocked up on mini M&Ms, her reward for successfully using the potty (she's actually received five or six of them), and I've perfected the art of deep breathing. In the meantime, I'm going to focus on the big picture and convince myself that she'll be trained by kindergarten.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Adventures in Potty Training

Starting tomorrow, we will be attempting to potty train Sydney. I say "attempting" because as a two year old, she doesn't do anything she doesn't want to do.

We went to WalMart today and bought vinyl panties to place over her Dora/princess/Nemo panties. We also bought what we hope is one of our last boxes of diapers. She's very excited about using the potty; I just hope we can keep our sense of humor about the whole thing for the next few days.

Stay tuned for updates regarding our progress in this rite of passage. It's official....our toddler is turning into a little girl.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Free Satellite TV Anyone?

Free satellite TV! I may just have to move to Dish, Texas, based on the following article. Of course, I guess I'd better take a look at a map and find out where it is first......

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Small Rant From my Soapbox

The passing of Rosa Parks got me to thinking about boycotts. Her refusal to give up her seat on that bus so many years ago led to probably the most important boycott in U.S. history. The whole of society changed because of that boycott and that boycott would not have occurred without her.

I've had a personal boycott going for the past several months. I am no Rosa Parks and I do not expect to change society, but I find it important to stand up for what I believe in. After Tom Cruise publicly disparaged Brooke Shields for her use of antidepressants following her post-partum depression, I have refused to watch any film starring him. And because so many other Scientologists came out in support of his hurtful words, I have refused to watch anything they are in as well. To call her crazy and assert that vitamins and exercise alone (not therapy or medication) could cure her of her problem angered me. Andrea Yates probably took pre-natal vitamins for eight straight years (seeing as she had five children in a row) and look where it got her.

I've given up probably ten percent of what I was previously watching, which is not a bad thing because everyone should watch less television, but it sure is hard. I've had to cut out "King of Queens" because Leah Remini is a Scientologist. So is Jason Lee, so there goes one of my new favorites, "My Name is Earl." Forget old reruns of "JAG" because Catherine Bell is one, too. And I can forget about all the movies with Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Anne Archer (ie: "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger"), and Giovanni Ribisi (Phoebe's brother on "Friends"). Do you know how many movies on TV today star those people? I never realized how many celebrities are Scientologists and how hard it is to keep up with a boycott. Below is a link to a website listing "Celebrity Scientologists."

Of course, they have every right to believe in whatever they want and say whatever they want; after all, we live in America, where everyone has the freedoms of religion and speech. However, I have the right to not support their opinions or the work they do. It's tough, considering how much I love movies and television, but I'll soldier on. Boycotts do no good if you give up after a few weeks; Rosa Parks taught us all that.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

She's Already a Heartbreaker....

This afternoon we took Sydney to the park for a little while before dinner seeing as how it is now pitch black after dinner. She met a little boy who looked to be close to the ripe old age of three. First, he chased her up and down a hill. Then she chased him up and down the hill. And then they chased each other all over the park. It was obviously the two-year-old equivalent of flirting.

He showed her how strong he was by hanging onto a chain and even tried to hold her hand. She would have none of that nonsense. Instead, she held her hand up to his face and said, "Stop!" The poor little guy looked hurt, but continued to follow her around for a while.

After a couple of minutes of being ignored by Sydney, he lost interest and began to wander off and play with some other little boys.

Who knows how many more hearts she'll break in her lifetime, but we'll always remember this little boy as Sydney's first victim of romantic rejection.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Antics of a Two Year Old

Yesterday, my sister, Deyna, brought us a chest of drawers that she was no longer using. We put it in Sydney's room, next to her bed, and I filled it with clothes and diapers and then went ahead and put various items on top in order to clear up clutter in other parts of her room. It was nothing much, just her brush and comb, pigtail holders and barrettes and some Lubriderm lotion. Boy, did I make a mistake.

We put Sydney to bed at eight and as usual, we heard her playing in her room for a while. Since she moved into a big girl bed, she often plays for a while before falling asleep. Ryan went in to check on her at 8:30 and apparently her pink bear "went poo-poo" because she had found her diaper wipes (accidentally left on top of the dresser) and had used about 10 of them to "clean" her bear. Ryan took them away and put her back in bed.

When she still hadn't gone to sleep by nine, I checked on her. Sydney had Lubriderm ALL OVER. It was on the wall. It was on her blanket. It was in her hair. She looked up and said, "Need lotion," and proceeded to smear more on her legs even though they were already covered in 1/4 inch of the stuff. Ryan put a now screaming Sydney in the tub while I stripped her bed. Unfortunately, we forgot to take a a picture, but the image of her covered from head to toe (literally) in lotion will live on in our minds for a long time.

Needless to say, we've learned our lesson about putting things on top of her dresser.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Cat Bowling

Someone sent me the game below and I've found that I'm quite addicted to it. If only I could bowl as well in the real world, rather than the world of Halloween make-believe.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Our Little Picasso

There's more than one way to decorate a pumpkin....go to our website to see how a two year old gets into the Halloween spirit.
Click on "photos" and then click on "pumpkin painting".

Sorry for the inconvenience, but we're too cheap to pay for the kind of blog that allows photos to be posted!

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Joys of Fall

I decided over the weekend that fall is my favorite time of year. You'd think that after 29 years of witnessing the changing seasons I would have decided upon my favorite one by now, but I guess it just took that long to make up my mind.

Of course, the cooler weather is a definite plus. Ryan pointed out that the temperatures in spring are similar, but the cooler temperatures and low humidity of fall are so refreshing after four months of blistering Houston heat. We can finally turn off the air and open the windows to enjoy the nice day. We can spend more than five minutes outside, either working in the yard or riding our bikes. We took Sydney to the park this weekend and none of us broke a sweat in the hour we were there. That hasn't happened since March.

The upcoming holidays add to it as well. Sneaking pieces of Halloween candy during Sydney's nap time and getting her fairy princess costume together combined with the beginnings of Christmas shopping keep me in a perpetual good mood. Add pumpkin carving and several family birthdays to the mix and you've got three months of unbridled fun.

Perhaps my favorite thing about fall is the food. Thanks to the internet, I've found great recipes for chocolate chip pumpkin bread, cranberry pumpkin bread, eggplant soup, marbled pumpkin cheesecake and so many others. No wonder I usually put on five pounds between Columbus Day and New Year's!

Many people use the week between Christmas and New Year's to reflect on the previous year, but I like to do it during the fall. My good mood keeps me from getting too depressed about sad times or things that didn't go as planned. If only I could bottle the feeling and keep it year round.

Happy fall, everyone!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Maiden post

I'll admit that I'm definitely a sheep when it comes to all things electronic. I didn't see the need for an I-Pod or a laptop (as opposed to a desktop) until others heralded their praises. I even underestimated the superiority of Apple computers until I talked to some people who would use nothing else. This blog is no different. I had no intention of starting one until Ryan started his a couple of weeks ago. After all, does cyberspace really need one more person sharing his/her personal thoughts with the world? Well, whether another blog is needed or not, here it is.

I know that many blogs focus on one or two specific things, like politics or parenting, and although those two topics may appear from time to time in my own blog, I hope that my dormant stay-at-home-mommy brain can come up with other topics as well. No promises on the technological aspects of the blog (links, pictures, etc) for that is Ryan's domain and I will need some hand-holding as I learn the ropes. I only hope that I can amuse you just a little with my thoughts, rants and raves.

Well, I would add more, but Sydney, my two year old, is refusing to take her afternoon nap and I must attend to her. Please stay tuned for more interesting posts in the future.