Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I love NKOTB. And NYC.

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of New Kids on the Block ... no shame here. And I love me some girl time ... so, this past weekend I went to New York City with some girlfriends to see New Kids on the Block at Radio City Music Hall.




I actually went to two of the three shows they did at Radio City ... I.love.them. During the final show, they surprised the fans by bringing Backstreet Boys out on stage with them ... epic.


Donnie Wahlberg had an after party both nights at different clubs in New York City ... it was so fun ... and interesting, considering I had never been to a real club before. Since we couldn't get after party tickets before they sold out, I learned how to get us on the house list ... go me! Nevermind the fact that once we got to the club, we were told there was no house list, despite the email confirmation I had.

Note to self: Do not argue with a New Yorker.

Whatever ... we got in, so that is all that matters. Actually, the second night they brought us into the VIP area ... go us! We got to rub elbows with Donnie all night long, err something like that.

Second note to self: If you ever go to Club Amnesia in New York City, do not stand right next to the stack of speakers --> you will lose your hearing. Just sayin.


L - R: Michelle, Stefanie, Me, April and Stephanie

I love New York City. Things are just ... um, different there. When we walked out of the club the first night, NYPD was standing all around the club smoking cigars while on duty. Nice. We asked one of them if that was really allowed and they said, "Darling, where you from?" Ha.

I could sit in Times Square and watch people all.day.long. I heard that the naked cowboy does not make appearances much any more ... instead, now there is the naked cowgirl and the naked cowgranny. Funny ... I just googled the naked cowboy and apparently he is threatening to sue the naked cowgranny. Oy.


Love being able to have weekends like this ... and thanks to my husband for letting it happen on Father's Day weekend. He.is.the.best!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Happy Summer.

My favorite thing about the arrival of summer is the traditions that come with it. Last night we went to the community pool for the first time this year as a family. The water was chilly ... but the kids could have cared less.


Nika assumed her position floating along. Payton tried to float with the assistance of water wings that failed to do their job ... and she sunk. Momentarily. Instead of relying on water wings, she clung to her daddy's neck ... nothing new for that self-proclaimed daddy's girl. And Mason ... he swam, because he can and he is a rock star like that.


Payton is seriously a wild fish ... she always has been. And she has never been afraid of the water. She loves it. By the time we were done swimming, between her lack of sleep (courtesy of a sleep study last night) and the chlorine of the pool ... her eyes were so red that she could barely keep them open. Must.learn.to.shut.eyes.under.water.


Part of summer nights spent at the pool includes the $7.99 pizza special. The whistle blows for break time, the children exit the pool dripping wet and a pizza is scarfed down before the next whistle blows allowing them back in the pool. Something about pizza at the pool makes it all the more complete.


Payton, can mommy take your picture?


Payton, if you want to go back in the pool, then you better, "Say cheese!"


Nika hated the water when she came home from Russia. The bathtub, the pool ... didn't matter what it was. We were told that the kids in the baby home are rarely immersed into bath water, rather just given sponge baths. And if they ever were immersed, the water was likely freezing cold ... because ya know, it was expensive to heat the water.

Thankfully ... we have worked through hear fear of water and she happily splashes along. She even enjoys jumping into our arms from the side of the pool ... if only she would learn to close her mouth when immersed in water. Sigh.


My other little fish ... err, big fish. We cannot get this dude out of the pool ... no matter how hard we try. He asks to go to the pool every.single.day. He loves it.



The arrival of summer also means barbeques with family and friends. We have had a few already this year ... great conversation, belly rolling laughter, happy children, the delicious smell of grilled food, ice cold beer, crackling bonfires ... what more do you need?



Happy Summer my peeps!

Monday, June 7, 2010

We will live our summer to the fullest.

The heat has arrived and with that comes summer fun. And busy schedules as we finish out the school year. Who am I kidding ... busy schedules are nothing new. Ha.


We are two weeks from being out of school and I.cannot.wait to have more flexibility with our schedule during the week. We will play, we will swim, we will go on field trips ... we will live our summer to the fullest.


And I am trying to make a pact with myself to return to blogging often. Ha.


Mason is finishing out the school year strong ... he has come so far with his reading and phonics. He passed his end-of-the-year testing with flying colors ... and that makes my heart happy.


Payton is coming along with her speech ... we have full on conversations even though we sometimes have no idea what she is saying. She has made great progress since we started her with PROMPT therapy ... and that makes my heart happy.


When I think back 19 months and imagine the little girl we brought home from Russia, I become more and more amazed at Nika's progress. And that makes my heart happy. She loves to learn, especially through music. And the more comfortable and confident she becomes, the more defiant she becomes. I have never seen a child experience more melt downs over something as simple as who gets their snack first. Little stinker. I am completely serious when I say I hope this is an age related phase versus lingering emotional issues brought home from Russia. That is something that scares me very much ... and all we can do is try to balance love and comfort with discipline and proper behavior.


On that note ... here is to the beginning of summer fun!

Friday, June 4, 2010

So proud.

Mason is growing up so fast. The things he says, the questions he has ... his mannerisms, his curiosity ... where did my baby go?

As his kindergarten year comes to a close, I am seeing just how hard he has worked. Earlier in the year I was concerned that he was falling behind in phonics. We have worked hard on site words, letter sounds and reading ... and it has paid off.

Mason's teacher just let me know that he passed the PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening) screening with flying colors. The screening consists of several tasks relating to letter, sound, and print knowledge:

Rhyme: The student is asked to identify a picture that rhymes with the first picture in a row.

Beginning sounds: The student is asked to identify a picture that has the same beginning sound as the first picture in a row.

ABC Lower: The student is asked to name the 26 lower-case letters of the alphabet.

Sounds: The student is asked to produce the letter sounds of 23 upper-case letters of the alphabet, as well as three digraphs (sh, ch and th).

Spelling: The student is asked to spell five words that have consonant-vowel-consonant patterns. The student receives credit for sounds represented correctly.

Concept of Word (COW): The student is asked to point to words in a familiar poem while reading, identify target words in the familiar poem, and read some words in isolation from the poem.

We will continue to work on all of these things over the summer so that Mason retains this going into first grade. And I love having to go through all of this with Mason, so that I know what to work with Payton on before she heads to kindergarten.

So proud!