Friday, May 30, 2008

An [pleading] Open Letter to a Tourist...

Hi there. How are you doing? Summer's here. Whenever summer rolls around, I can't help but think of the multiple tourist destinations I have lived in before. Summer is the season of the tourist. So, I wanted to pass along a few different tips. Each is kind of location specific.

A. Gettysburg, PA: Oh, how we welcome tourists. I certainly don't want to offend anyone coming here to spend their money. I've lived in enough areas dependent on tourism dollars. I don't want to be mean to the tourist. But... ummm... could you please, please do me a favor? When you're driving on the Battlefield Roads, please pull over to the right to look at the monuments. If you don't pull-over, and you see a crazed looking woman in a mini-van behind you... chances are, she's not truly insane. Just late getting her son to soccer, school, or somesuch. And you're doing approximately four miles an hour. In the middle of the road. Forever. Thank you.

Local Recommendation: And please visit the Blue Parrot Bistro while you're here. I'm not getting paid for this promotion- it's just good. They're just off the square a bit.

B. Lake Placid, NY. A beautiful town. I'll wildly plug Lake Placid and the Adirondacks. This is where Rich and I met and had two of our kids. If you haven't visited up-upstate NY, you should. However if you do, please:

1. If you arrive in Lake Placid to train for the Ironman Triathalon, please be a polite biker. When your biking on Route 86 between Wilmington and Lake Placid, please don't ride in the middle of the road. I know you're fast. Really, I get it. You are still not as fast as a desperate mother trying to get home, or to work, or to daycare. When you get to "the notch"- the REALLY narrow part, right on the river- please don't ride three bicyclers across. At four miles an hour. Forever.

2. This request just in from a friend up there. When you're taking a local back road, and you see a deer, please do not park in the middle of the road. Particularly if you are blocking the road so you can get out and take a picture of the now long gone deer. Please. It could be a crazy woman behind you who is coming home from work and doesn't want to work anymore and she's ready to snap and I can't say what's going to happen. So, yeah, please don't park in the middle of the road. Pull over.

Local Recommendation: If you would like to visit the Adirondacks, let me know. I can tell you where to stay. Again, I'm not getting paid for it, but I used to work at the Mirror Lake Inn. Heck, I'll even type out their web site for you: . If you can afford it, they are very good at what they do. I do also know less expensive choices, too.

C. Lake George, NY. So, Lake George is the soft version of the Adirondacks. Pretty but full of tourists and tourist shops. Let's say you decide to eat at- oh -a Howard Johnson's there. And in this hypothetical situation, let's say you are a very large man. A very large man with an almost pelt like covering. If you are this man, please, for the love of God, do not come in for lunch wearing a tank top, speedos and sandals. Because you're fourteen year old waitress? She's going to be traumatized for at least twenty years. I'll let you know if it goes longer.

Local Recommendation: If you want to see the Lake George area, The Sagamore is nice. Again, not paid for promotion.

So, thank you. I appreciate your time. I'll see you out at The Parrot some night. Do you also live in a tourism area? Have a tourism pet peeve? Please let me know! Play nicely. Tourists are a valuable, renewable resource.

And hey, I'm open to paid promotion. Comp room nights. We can talk.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Knew We Were Having Fun...

Hmmm. My friend, Amy, gifted me with these pictures today. Luckily, all of those times I forgot my camera, she had hers.

First is Atlee decked out in dress-up clothes. I think the umbrella and sunglasses together are a very nice touch. Turn your head sideways- I'm too lazy to switch it around and there's a baby grabbing my leg. Work with me, people.

Next, there were sparklers at a friend's house. Shea and Atlee loved, loved, loved them. Do you encourage an interest in pyrotechnics?

Do I look concerned? Because, I get skittish around kids and combustibles.

I think Shea was trying to remember a spell from Harry Potter.

Thank you Amy!

Memorial Day Goodness...

Hello there friends and family. I hope you all had a great weekend. We certainly had our party shoes on here. So, let's go to the film, shall we?
Shea and Rich marched in the Gettysburg parade. I don't have any pictures of them, because, well, I didn't watch from where my husband told me to- and it pains me to say this, but he was right and I was wrong, and as a result I only have pictures of girls' club watching.
It's mighty hard to take pictures of yourself and the kids when it's just you and the baby's in a backpack. Well, it's hard to take flattering pictures of yourself.
Not so hard to get good pictures of beautiful baby. Ignore the grumpy face. And my eyeball.
I'm willing to bet our parade had way more people in 1863-style dress than most of your parades.
It's not just limited to parade days though. We frequently have women in hoop skirts strolling around. I'm not kidding. It's kind of disconcerting sometimes.
We are north of the Mason-Dixon line. So... I don't know what's up with the Confederate General. Did you have one in your parade?
Atlee totally dug the parade. Even if she didn't get to see Shea.
And afterwards, we went to our friends' house for a yummy BBQ. There was watermelon.

Rich and Shea look all serious, but they had fun. See the dog in the background? His name is Clifford. He had fun, too. He has just eaten an unattended stick of butter. That's a good time for a dog.

Greeley on the go. Nothing special, she's just cute.

See her standing on the picinic basket to get to my knitting? Again, she's cute. We hope you had a good holiday weekend, too!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tribute to Pioneer Woman...

Have you visited Pioneer Woman's blog? For awhile, she was posting some great pictures of the mustangs on their ranch. Want to see? Click here. So, with all due respect to Pioneer Woman, I offer the suburban mustang round-up.

Chances are that if you have a little girl, you have a similar pony population going on...

Works for Me Wednesday...

Hello there all you wonderful Works for Me Wednesday folks. I know you're here from Rocks in My Dryer. Well, except for like three of you. Anyhoo, my tip this week is about saying Grace before dinner. I generally don't discuss religion or politics around here. However, I will make an exception to tell you about how we say grace. Before dinner, we go around the table and each family member says what they are thankful for that day. It makes us and the kids think about how fortunate we are in our daily lives. It works better than a stock grace for us because it's nice to hear what's important to our kids. Atlee, for example, is frequently thankful that the sun didn't explode. She's also thankful for flowers and her big brother and little sister. So, that's what's working for us. What are you thankful for? Leave a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Returning to the Scene of the Crime...

Grandma and Grandpa were in town this weekend. On Monday, Grandma wanted to go to the Gap Outlet to purchase a certain pair of pink glittery flip-flops for Atlee. [Do you know just how lazy I am? Let me tell ya- I just googled the picture of the flip-flops. It was easier than taking a picture of Atlee's...] If you aren't aware of our most recent shopping trip, maybe you should read a little background here. We'll wait.
So, Grandma was going to get the flip-flops and she also wanted to get Shea a shirt. She had purchased him a Spiderman shirt before coming south to visit. Unfortunately, Shea does not wear shirts with characters on them. THEY MUST ALL BE PLAIN SHIRTS. Subtle stripes are acceptable.
We pull into the parking spaces in front of the Gap. I offer to stay in the car with the sleeping baby, thus not having to swallow my pride quite yet. We all know I will. I love the Gap's kid clothing. Sooooo, we pull into the parking space. We decide who's going in and who's staying in the car. Then, from the back seat we hear Atlee say, "I have to poop." It was deja-vu, all over again.

Works for Me Wednesday...

Hello there Wednesday Folks! I hope you're finding lots of great tips at Rocks in My Dryer this week. Sooooo- what works for me is to frequently play a little game called "Don't Go To The Store". Instead of rushing out to the store for the missing item, I try to make do with what I have. It saves me money and makes me be a bit creative with substitutions and conservative with what we do have. Running low on milk? Coerce the kids into drinking water. No papertowels? Let's mop up that spilled chocolate milk with old dish cloths, or old cloth diapers, or that ugly shirt I never want my husband to wear again. It forces you to scrounge around in the backs of the freezer and pantry for meal ideas. It's downright amazing what I find in the backs of cupboards. Why just yesterday, I made a chocolate frosted angel cake using a mix from the back of the pantry and a leftover Easter Bunny who'd been hiding on top of the fridge. (Yes, I am a little disappointed in myself. Leftover chocolate? How did this happen? We're reviewing our protocols regarding chocolate to prevent this from happening in the future...) So, next time you think you need to run to the store, try to go without it first. I think often of a New England proverb: Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without. Works for me.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Coming Soon to Six Flags!...

It's the Grandpa Roller Coaster...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Really Doesn't Work For Me...

So, I had a moment that really didn't work for me today. I wanted to see what the good folks who frequent Shannon's Rocks in My Dryer thought about it. The girls and I were shopping at- um- some outlet store. My pesky kids keep growing and growing. As a result their clothes stop fitting. Anyway, we were shopping. Whilst in the midst of the young girl's department, my not-too-long potty trained daughter said, "Mommy, I gotta go pee." I said, "OK- we'll ask someone where the potty is." No problem, right? So, we find an employee and ask if there is a little girl's room that Atlee (who's kind of hopping up and down with the need to pee) can use. This helpful employee responds, "We don't have one you can use. You can go across the street, up five stores and around the corner. It's not too far." I looked at her and said, "You've clearly never tried to get a four year to the potty on time. I guess we're all done here." I put down my selected items, walked out the store and brought Atlee to the toilet across the street, five stores down and around the corner. This did not work for me. I did not go back to purchase the items I had picked out. I was, in fact, in a snit over this. So, I wonder vast internet community- what would you have done? Does this happen to you? How does it make you feel? Am I, in fact, overreacting? Because, again, this did not work for me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Doesn't Work for me Wednesday....

Hello Wednesday Folks! This week's themed WFMW is what DOESN'T work for me. What has never worked for me are cribs. When my first born came along, we had the crib all set up. He had cute squirrel sheets and a Noah's Arc Mobile just waiting to entertain him. He never, ever slept in it. I discovered that as a nursing mommy, if I brought baby into bed- why, I could get eight (that's right, EIGHT!!) hours of sleep a night. When my second came along, I didn't fall for the trap of the crib. That's good, because she slept with us, too. However, when my third came along, for some reason, I thought I'd use a crib. So, we got the "Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper".

Do you see it there behind the baby sleeping in my bed? So, um, yeah- cribs don't work for me. For friends and family, yes this picture is a rerun of down below. But, it is a sleeping baby. Can you really see too many pictures of a baby who's big enough to flop on her belly? I don't think so. To see what's not working for others, head over to Rocks in My Dryer. Have a great week!

**edit** Please view my other doesn't work for me, by clicking over there in the blog archive. Please? It really didn't work for me!------>

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Lady...

Last night, Rich and I were sitting on the couch with Greeley while Atlee finished her dinner. All of a sudden she stops eating, looks at us, comes running over, turns her back to us and says, "Hold on- I gotta toot on you." And did.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Worst Blogger Ever...

Hello friends and family. I owe you an apology. I'm not a natural blogger it would seem. Otherwise, I would clearly have all sorts of pictures of this weekend's activities. On Friday, we set up a yard sale in the driveway. How many pictures do I have of Atlee saying, "How much is everything again? One hundred and eleven cents? Eleven cents?" None. How many pictures do I have of Atlee having a picnic on the lawn during the yard sale? None. Licking the last of the frosting off of the plate from a piece of cake? None.
How about Friday night? We all went bowling. Do I have any pictures of Atlee's slow motion approach to share? No, I do not. Saturday's cook-out at a friend's house? Do I have pictures of Atlee playing with her new friend? "Hey, Atlee, what's your friend's name?" "I don't know, but she's wearing pink." At some point, the little girl changed into a green shirt, and oh how it flummoxed my dear Atlee. "That's not her, my friend's in all pink." Do I have pictures of Atlee and her new friend. Sadly, again, no I do not.

So, I'm sorry my friends. I will try to do better. I will try to remember to bring the camera. I will try to remember to actually use the camera if I do bring it. I understand that my kids are just too damn cute and you need pictures. In the mean time, I offer these pictures from last week. Greeley loves to play with a ball. She also loves Rich's friend, Uncle Pete.
And this? This is a sleeping baby. Is there anything sweeter? I love how she flops onto her belly these days. It's such a big girl thing to do. She sleeps in our bed, if you didn't know. The tan thing in the background? That's the "Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper" that I swore she'd sleep in. Because this time? This time the baby wasn't going to sleep in our bed. Yeah, right, whatever. Just like I'll be better about taking pictures, too.