Friday, April 30, 2010

Pile it on

So now on top of all that I have to do this weekend, somehow because I was at the wrong place at the wrong time I was asked to make a book of art that our kids made for our teacher for teacher appreciation day.
I have to mount each picture on construction paper, punch holes and tie the whole thing up so it looks like a book.
Do I have to make a cover? A back? No idea.
That will be Monday's project.
Our class mother was so desperate to not do this project she came and rang my doorbell to hand me the kids art. I don't mind though and I'm always happy to help out.
My fridge is still full of food that is not mine and tomorrow morning I have to cook two casseroles and bring them with me to the birthday party.
Somehow I have to figure out how to dip the strawberries and then fit them back into my fridge so they stay cold till the party...I can do all of this. I can handle it all with grace, style and sense of humor.
It's nice to be needed! It's nice to have people know they can count on you. Right?
Maybe Tuesday I can fall down...

Webcam

I'm amused easily. My own webcam page amuses me to no end. It's the ultimate ego trip. Broadcasting my life onto the web as though ANYONE else cares what I do during the day.

But since my ego is of considerable size here it is...

Watch live streaming video from afewclownsshortofacircus at livestream.com

Oh boy

The new cleaning gals were supposed to be here at 9. At 9 they called me and said "What town are you in again?"
This does NOT bode well for the rest of the day...We shall see...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm a busy busy gal...

SO...tomorrow is Friday.  I have a new cleaning company coming out and they will be here at 9am. While they are here I'm going to have to leave because I have to go to the mall to get pajamas for PJ and I have to find some sort of a rain poncho for myself for Sunday. Call for a thunderstorm at 80%. Teeshirt I've been given to wear is white. BAD combo...
Then I have to come back home, and bake 80 cupcakes for a baby shower pack them up for my good friend Kelly who is taking them and my cupcake carriers with her to Boson. My pal Shari is coming over at some point to use my kitchen to bake some stuff for her party which is on Saturday morning.
At some point in the day I have to take my bike out for a quick spin to be sure the  seat height and handlebar height is good for me.
Then I have to pick up the kids from school and entertain them till bedtime.
Saturday morning at about 7am Shari is dropping her two children off here at my place so she can get ready for the 8am surprise birthday party for her husband. The kids grandparents will be picking them up here at my place and we will all walk over together.
I have to leave the party early because I've promised to dip 150 - 200 strawberries in chocolate and drizzle them with white chocolate.
Then I have to get them to the fundraiser for the kids school and I have to find a dress that is decent and appropriate to hanging with grownups that don't stomp around in Doc Martins and have funny colored hair.
(Maybe I can find this grownup dress at Target which is where I'm going for the pajamas and rain coat)
The fundraiser ends at 8 and I need to be home and in bed by no later than 9pm. I have to be up at 4am and out the door by 5 on Sunday to get to the Bike Tour on time.
Truth be told, I like when my life is this busy and my days are this full. It keeps things interesting and moving along and at the end of each day, I feel as though I've accomplished something.

Dinner Time

For God's sake dog. Leave the poor kid ALONE... I'm adding that I shot this video to gauge Lion and his communication skills. Typically he will lash out at the dog and hit him or kick him or even bite an ear to get Humphrey away from his food. Humphrey usually hangs in the bedroom while the kids are eating so meals aren't always like this...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There are places I remember...

From kindergarten to 5th grade I attended Friends Seminary School. All was well till 4th and 5th grades when things went completely and totally down hill. A new very very cool (and still, as an adult much cooler than I could ever hope to be) girl moved to our school. She took my very best friend Sasha away and in doing so, took the rest of my friends away as well.
5th grade was an absolute nightmare for me. Awful year. I had not one single friend which in itself is horrible but when everyone decides that they are also going to be cruel to you it makes it so much worse. So much worse.
I was the only kid in two classrooms not invited to birthday parties, I once had a sleep over and stupid me didn't even question why everyone attended till they all got up and left. I ran into the hall after them to find out what on earth was going on and was informed that the only reason any of them came in the first place was because they wanted to prove that I was lying about Daryl Hall (ya know, of Hall and Oates?) living in my building. It was the truth. I WASN'T lying. I used to ride the elevator with him all the time. Today not to impressive but back in 1982 and 83? BIG DEAL. They discovered that I wasn't lying and all went back to the apartment and no one spoke to me the rest of the night.
Happy birthday to me.
We used to spend every weekend in the country and one Sunday night we came back to find a very hurtful, mean message on my parents answering machine from my former best friend and her new best friend. My mother remained very very calm though I'm sure inside she was so upset. She sat down with me and told me the best way to handle this was for me to ignore it. Act like it didn't happen. When they asked about the message (and she knew they would) act like I had no idea what they were talking about.
I thought she was insane but nothing else was working so I might as well try her way.
In the spring we went to a local Y to swim for gym period. Just a few blocks away from school but it was always towards the end of the day.
Looking back, those two twits must have been dying all day waiting for me to approach them or say something about the message but I didn't. I held my tongue.
As we were walking by this church they called out to me "Diana, did you get any messages last night on your machine?" I remember I stopped and looked up at this beautiful mosaic on this church turned to them and said "No, Why? Did you call?"
The looks on their face was fantastic. I had just taken all the wind out of their sails and all the fun out of their sport cruelty. They put their heads together and chattered like squirrels clearly trying to figure out what had gone wrong with the plan to be hateful and mean.
I remember feeling like I'd FINALLY won a round and I felt strong and smart.
It was there on that day, under that beautiful portrait mosaic of Christ that I learned that you don't have to give all the power to the bully if you don't want to.
I also learned that my mother is one smart cookie and she knows what she's talking about.
That was 25+ years ago and every single time I pass this church this memory always floods back to me.

NY to Montauk

I asked a facebook pal who is a serious bike rider and also a fellow Beach Cruiser owner about going long distances on her bike and what I was told about 30 miles making me a bad ass.
She replied that he doesn't know what he's talking about. She's done up to 70 miles on her bike with no problems.
I shot Mike an email with the link asking about it and he wrote me back that that's father's day.
CRAPUS!
My first reaction was "so?" knowing that Mother's day I'll get  a card and spend the day doing laundry and dishes and he will be on the computer playing his games.
Father's day will be more of the same. I don't suppose however it's a very nice gesture on my part to dump the kids on him for the day because I have to be in the city at 3:30am to start biking...
Between that and the NYC Century ride being on my anniversary I think the world is out to get me....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

sssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I'm whispering so she doesn't hear me.
I think I might have bought the wrong kind of bicycle.
I say this without ever having thrown a leg over her, without ever having pushed a pedal or made contact with the saddle.
She's not wrong for what I can do now with my lifestyle. I think she's perfect for that. She's wrong for what I want to do in the near future.
For that, a touring bike or a road bike would have been a better choice.
Today I found out about an amazing ride from NYC to Montauk. I inquired about doing it on my Bison and was told if I can do 30 miles straight on her I'm a badass and there was no real way I could do any sort of a tour or long distance ride on her.
Of course, I'm stubborn, and so I replied that I was going to take her for 42 miles this weekend and if I survived, I might be signing up for the 66 mile leg of his tour.
The cyber equivalent of sticking out my tongue. Don't tell ME I can't do more than 30 miles on her!!
I really want to do these distance tours of 100 or more miles. What leads me to think I can do such a thing is something I've been pondering all day. I guess it's the same thing that won't allow me to go down in weight when I grab a kettlebell that's too much for me or that I'm struggling with. It's a mixture of stupid pride and Pollyanna and mad desire and lust with just a sprinkle of stubborn thrown in.
I've been doing some looking online for touring bikes and while I know that now, where I am in my life, I cannot pick up for a week and bike from Buffalo to NYC though I really think it would be a total blast. I can't even do a weekend tour. Clearly family dynamics just will not allow it.
So for now it's Bison and I and we will do what we can together but in my future is another bike and lots of long distance riding.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hair

My hair has been just about every color under the rainbow. For the past 5 years it's been my natural color and I've been growing it out.
I'm tired. It's not fun anymore. I want fun hair!
I'm trying to decide if I want to go black, red or platinum blond.
This is me a long time ago with black hair:

and this is me a long time ago with blond hair:
and this is what I REALLY wanna do with my hair but the masses around here will riot.
If I go black, as the roots grow out I can add fun color like pinks and reds and purples. Though the expression "Once you go black, you never go back" applies not only to penises but to hair as well. Black hair dye is a one way street unless you want to destroy it all with stripper.
Blond is a little easier but LOTS of maintenance. I was one of those blonds who hated roots so I was always dying my hair and as the end result, destroyed it:
Red is good but requires serious upkeep as it washes out quickly and can look faded and disgusting...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm getting excited


View Bike Tour in a larger map

So apparently everyone else (read: Peons and non charity team riding selfish bastards) start all the way down by Battery Park City (Hit the minus button on the map to zoom out and see where I'm talking about) or at least that is where they have everyone meet up. I get to start at the front of the ride all the way up by Worth Street which is apparently how far almost 32,000 people go when you line them up with bikes.
This is last years ride.
and this is video:


I who like to be in control of things like this am nervous about bathroom breaks and being too hot or to cold, stopping and not wanting to start again and a million other things...

Not Giving Up

Every time I go to the mailbox something else from the bike tour arrives. Yesterday it was my vest, charity pass which allows me to be at the front of the ride, foot cream and helmet number.
 If nothing else I'm a stubborn bitch and I went to check the weather. If the forecast had been for rain, I would have chucked all of this right into the garbage but it's not. It's supposed to be sunny and a high of 72. DAMN.
I did something that is super hard for me and I sucked it up and went to some of my mom pals and asked for help.
I asked if they could help me out with the kids on Sunday so I could do this ride.
I asked my pals Shawn, Shari and Liz. Three supremely capable women who have been around my kids enough to know what they are about and what to expect. I worry not about PJ but about Lion.
In a weird, but not surprising twist on Facebook my friend Cathy stepped up and offered her help as well. I would trust her absolutely with the boys but didn't think of asking her because she's really never been around my kids and I wasn't sure if she was up for the task.
Shawn stepped up right away and offered to take the boys for 3 hours in the morning.
So I'm waiting to hear from Shari and Liz and if they can't help, I won't love them any less but I'm hoping, between these 4 amazing women I'll cover almost the full day with the boys and I won't have to worry about them and about Husband being stressed...

Friday, April 23, 2010

BICYCLE

I'm so excited. We FINALLY went and got her! She's here! In my apartment! My beautiful pink bicycle is here...how elated and happy am I?
The very wide handlebars will take some getting used to and she's much bigger than I thought she was going to be. Her name is Bison the Bicycle because Patrick says she's as big as a Bison.
Of course we are now due for lots of rain over the next few days. Our next sunny day isn't till THURSDAY but that's okay. I'll store her in the boys room till I can get into the city...I'm just glad she's here

Today was a good day...didn't have to use my AK...

Today I dropped the kids off at school and went right into the city to help my mother with her computer. Brisk mile walk to the PATH, sprinted up the stairs at the Christopher Street Station. Had to stop at the top to catch my breath.
Fixed the computer and decided to walk to the World Trade Center PATH because it's such a beautiful day out.
Walked down 7th to Canal Street and foolishly decided to walk down Canal. That street is always crowded and tourists are brain dead and do not move. I actually stepped into the traffic on Canal twice to get away from idiots who were stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk counting their cash and another group who I guess thought they were to cool to move fast and didn't want to hear me bellowing "EXCUSE ME" trying to get by them.
I went over on Mott Street which is a street I love. It reminds me of my dad and when I was working for his company how we would stop for Dim Sum almost every morning for breakfast. MMMMMMMMM...Har Gow...(Steamed Shrimp Dumplings) I had a moment of weakness and I stopped at a Chinese bakery and got a pork bun.
Nummy beautiful fatty, sweet pork bun...Tucked it into my bag and walked over by City Hall where the Parrot Tulips were in their last gasps of beauty. Avoided a very large, angry stupid man wearing a purple teeshirt three sizes too small and watched him pick a fight with a World Trade Center construction worker and all of his friends. Purple shirt was not a smart man. Built like an ox and clearly had the brains of one as well. As the fight swelled I zipped around them and said a quick prayer that I not get shoved down the very very VERY long flight of stairs at the PATH station.
I got home, took the Pork Bun and all of it's beautiful, fatty, glistening, breaded, non healthiness out and gave it to the dog. TADA! Diana 1 Pork Bun and Temptation 0.

I just googled a map of where I walked today and I did about 4 miles at a brisk pace. Very nice!

Tank Tops & Summertime - A bare all post

WARNING: Avert your eyes if you are timid. I am NOT timid and often not for the faint of heart or the weak stomached....you've been warned...This might be a TMI post...

Two things about me you might not know.
I don't wear tank tops or any shirts that show off my cleavage and I won't ever wear shorts.
I don't wear tank tops because I think my fat arms make me look like a white trash mother.
Seriously. Check it:
My arms are still too damn fat...My elbows make me insane. They look so bleagh and floppy and saggy and just gross to me...
The cleavage thing has to do with the dreaded stretch marks. I started developing my boobs when I was in 4th grade and it was awful. The kids used to call me Dolly Parton's daughter and teased me mercilessly. As a teenager I had HUGE boobs and I worked them to death. Boustiers, fishnet tops with a satin bra under, anything that made them pop out and say "HOWDY!" was the way to go. Without them I wouldn't have gotten into all the clubs I did. Being short (I was 4'9" most of my teen years) and having big boobs means bouncers look down at you. Show them enough and they forget to check ID...
Gravity has not been kind to my gals however and they swing low sweet chariot these days and so I keep them tucked away. The down side to developing so quick was the stretch marks. I've had them forever. However the fact that they are not as perky as they used to be and the aforementioned stretch marks the girls stay hidden most of the time...

The reason you won't ever see me in shorts:
No, that's not my ass. That's my fat thighs touching. Ignore that. That's not what we are discussing here.
Nope. We are here to talk about that  bulgy vein that runs up the back of my leg. . It starts at my knee and runs up my thigh. 
I'm going to the Dr. next week to talk about what we can do with it.I'm hoping we can remove it once and for all.

So there you have it. A show and tell of Diana's insecurities about her body. Most of the time I'm the most cocksure, self confident, self infatuated, vain chick you will ever want to meet. I know who I am and I love who I am. Everyone once in a while though I do a scan of my body and while I'm happy with the changes, there is far to go...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I will not speak of it again

Okay enough doom and gloom. Deep breath and we move forward.
I spoke to Jenna who is the director of the NY Autism Speaks branch and she is working on getting my spot on the bike team frozen for next year which would be FANTASTIC. I've got the $500 raised and I'm part of the team so she's going to have it transferred to the 2011 tour.
This makes me very happy to know all my hard work isn't in vain.
On not such fun news the school shot down my bake sale. Despite allowing me to have it last year, they are afraid if they do it for me they have to do it for all..

Here is the email I got:
I know this is last minute but I just got the response and Central Office does not want to approve it.  They feel that if we approve it the trend begins to have constant fund raisers for any anyone that asks since once we say yes to one person we cannot say no to another.  The only way to do it is if the PTO sponsors it since we cannot dictate what the PTO sanctions.  However, the PTO also should be careful because they could end up in the same situation.  If they say yes to you, how do they decide who to say yes and no to.

I understand where she's coming from. I'm still disappointed though. It would have been a fun way to fundraise and help clear my cabinets.

I'm focusing on the impending Disney trip now. I'm down to a 38 inch waist. Back in December I was a 42 inch waist so change is happening. It's my goal this trip to wear, and be comfortable in a tank top.
After swinging that 40 pound kettlebell today for a total of 40 reps (4 sets of 10) I'm feeling SO strong and really proud.
I have two or three tank tops that I've purchased but haven't even tried on. By June 5th hopefully I'll be ready for them.
I know I'll have to put on my bathing suit but for some reason that doesn't bug me. Go figure.

Bike Tour

So I'd convinced myself I was fine not doing this bike tour thing. Mad at myself for not realizing that until the boys are bigger I can't commit to anything that will take me away from them for a full day of 10 or more hours. Mad at myself for getting all excited thinking I could do something like this when I should know better.
Then of course the mailman rang my bell and what's in my mail? The package from Autism Speaks with all my goodies for the event. Teeshirt, hat, foot lotion...
I got all excited all over again.
I tried to figure out how to make it work but it's not going to.
I have to stand by my decision to back out of the event.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'll bide my time my pretty...

http://christopherstreetcookies.blogspot.com/

Tomorrow I'm going to call the Urban Kitchen and see about the cost of renting their kitchen and getting this thing going full force. I can do it. I know I can. I'm only good at a few things in this world. One is being a mom and the other is baking.

The above is the blog I started two years ago on Christopher Street Cookies. I hung it up because everyone kept patting me on the head saying "That's nice Diana. Maybe later in life"

I let that negative energy get to me and I slunk away dejected. I'm now up on my two hind legs and I'm ready to do this. NOW.

This is where I want to go

http://www.middlefieldma.us/
This is where the kids would go to school:
http://www.grsd.org/

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Christiana Cookie

This was my application to the Union Square Holiday Markets 2 years ago. I've been working on this cookie for 2 years! Wow...I can't believe it!

Christopher Street Cookies is a start up company which began in June of 2008.
I am Diana Whittles the owner, creator and wearer of many hats.
I am a very proud native New Yorker.
I grew up on Christopher Street in the West Village.
Hence the company name.
For now Christopher Street Cookies is a small one woman operation with just me, myself and I  doing all the baking and marketing and product development.
As I grow I hope to add more employees.
As a stay at home mom with two pre school boys (ages 4 ½ and 3) I found myself baking almost every day so the boys could “help” mommy with a project.
The results would go to work the following day with my husband.
The more I baked, the more I found I was energized and excited by the discovery of new recipes and the recreation and personalization of them.
In July of 2007 my oldest and closest friend was killed in a motorcycle accident.
She was one of those amazing people who lived every single day at full tilt. She always did what she wanted to do and didn’t let anything stand in her way. Life was an adventure.
Her death made me realize how short life is. It made me sit down and through my grief I asked myself what I really wanted to be doing.
The answer came to me in an instant. I wanted to bake and I wanted to sell my cookies.
When I realized my dream of going public with my cookies could become a reality I began doing my homework, pouring over cookbooks and websites looking for the best cookies I could find.
I came  up with a list of about 50 I wanted to make.
That’s when I remembered I  am  a one gal operation, a full time mommy and a wife and the days only had 24 hours in then and I only have 2 arms.
So I sat down and using the saying “Keep It Simple” as my mantra I went back over the recipes and found a small handful  that stood out.
All the cookies were good, but I didn’t just want a good cookie, I wanted an out of the world, over the top cookie.
The kind of cookie that makes your eyes roll up into the back of your head and you can’t speak till you are done eating.
After I put the boys to bed at night I’d become a sort of a mad scientist. Experimenting, swapping out ingredients and even trying different styles of the same ingredient (European butter vs. supermarket  bought butter a gourmet style milk chocolate vs. the kind in the bag)
I think after all my hard work and experimenting and tinkering and blood sweat and tears I have developed a collection of cookies I can be proud of.
At the Holiday Market we will be offering:
THE CHRISTIANA COOKIE -An everything style cookie with milk and white chocolate chunks, Walnuts, Coconut, Oats, and Raisins.
THE BERNIE COOKIE - A carrot cake style sandwich cookie with a cream cheese icing in the middle
THE MICHAEL COOKIE -A classic favorite. An ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie.
Some pictures of the Christiana Cookie & the prototype for the packaging:

I like to ride my bicycle...

I have two weeks till the TD Bank 5 boro Bike Tour.
Today I go to the bank and make the deposit from Vicious & Virtuous which will bring me to the $500 I had to raise to be a part of the Autism Speaks team. (HOORAY!)
Then I'm going to go and get my bicycle. Today is the day. It's time.
Ya know, since I have two weeks to train to ride for 42 miles of biking...
You don't have to tell me I'm crazy because I already know but if I survive the one on May 2nd I have my eye on what they call a Century Bike Tour
http://www.nyccentury.org/
This tour has different lengths. I'd like to try the 75 mile or the 100 mile but I'll see if I survive the 42 mile first.
I'm telling you, this new me is so strange. I'm still not completely adjusted to her! She likes to exercise and has stopped eating sugar and is always looking for new ways to work out and get in shape. She wants to lift heavy things all the time and wants to push herself. Very strange. The slug in me is sitting back biding her time waiting till this new me burns out but so far...
Anyway, this is my sweet bike:
Yup. She's pink. Pink and beautiful. I'd really wanted the Hello Kitty Bike but it was way too expensive.
For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that I have pink handlebar streamers and this is my helmet:
This is the saddlebag that will go on the back of my bike.
Today is the day I go and pick up my beautiful bike...I can't wait!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lofty Goals

So let me tell you how MY day went.
I woke up and started to frost the cupcakes for the decorating table.
I stopped mid frost to take a good look at my second born, the child for whom or rather because of whom I'm throwing this whole shindig.
He don't look too good folks. Actually he looks REALLY bad. Eyes are slits, arms and legs and back are all torn up and raw and scabby. Cranky beyond cranky. Snuffly and coughing up a storm.
Enough. I've given it 2 days to get better. It's not getting any better. We NEED to see a Dr. NOW.
8:30am I scoop him up and we walk to the ER. He's protesting the whole way "I fine mommy. I wanna go home! I'm not sick!" Complete with tears and wails of anguish. I scoop him up and carry him (Didn't do boot camp today. Just carried my 50 pound kid 5 blocks) We get there and wait, and wait, and wait and finally the Dr. comes in. She makes me feel like poop for the state of the Eczema. Tells me she can give him a shot of Benedryl for the allergies and a Steroid shot for the Eczema. Great.
20 more mins go by. They arrive with two shots. Lion is less than pleased. We had to swaddle him to give them complete with me holding down his legs and another nurse holding his torso and arms while a third gave him the shot.
10:30 comes and I'm getting nervous. He's out cold in my arms and we have to GO . I have 100 cupcakes to frost, I still have to shower and pull everything I need to bring together.
If we don't leave the hospital by 11 I'm not going to make it.
11:00 they finally discharged him and we galloped home. I've never frosted cupcakes so fast in all my life. Somehow I got it all done and we made it to the bar.
The event was a total blast and I think very successful.
I'd wanted to raise a huge amount and we only got $600 but that's still fantastic and thank you to everyone that came out and supported us.

Lion had a stellar time and in a strange fluke one of my bakers works at the school that a new mommy friend has a daughter starting at on Monday. Her daughter is on the spectrum and the family is brand new to Hoboken.
I was so glad to be able to connect these two women and they spent the rest of the afternoon talking.
Her daughter and PJ became serious fast friends and spent almost the entire event together. It's so amazing to me to watch PJ in action. This little girl is clearly Autistic and all the traditional signs and actions are there and yet to Patrick and Lion they didn't exist at all. She was just a new friend and they were so pleased to have her.
She's also older than them and they LOVE that.
Play dates in the future for sure!!
My judges..seriously? I couldn't have asked for a better group of folks. Doug and Bryan from The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck are hysterical and so warm and open and really good men.
Lev from the Cupcake Stop truck is a man that I envy with the heat of a thousand suns. He's got my job. He's got the first mobile cupcake bakery in NYC. I have a business plan that I wrote up about 5 years ago with that very concept. A very kind, generous and gentle man. 
Jermone Chang from Dessert Works is to me the most "serious" of my judges. He took a truck and built an empire complete with groupies and now has a brick and mortar store. His desserts are grown up and amazing.When he told me that V&V was impressive I was blown away. Coming from him that meant so much.
The lovely Sonia from Waffles and Dinges came complete with 300 boxes of waffle mix for all the guests and attendees. Anyone who has the title of executive chef for a business like Waffle and Dinges starts out super cool in my book and she only got cooler. What a smile on her!
Niko from the blog DessertBuzz is a great great guy and I was super glad to have him as a judge. After all the man has dedicated his blog to chasing down and reviewing desserts all over Manhattan. Who better than he to judge desserts?
It was just a really super satisfying good day. I'm exhausted and going to bed with visions of next year dancing in my head...

Vicious & Virtuous

Today is the day. Today we see if all my hard work pays off. Today is Vicious & Virtuous. It's my hope that we raise at least $4,000 for Autism Speaks today.
Fingers crossed people. I have to go and frost 100 cupcakes for the cupcake decorating table now...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bully & the ambush


I just got completely ambushed at school with the principal and another mother.
It seems that my son is a bully.
He's been picking on this kid something fierce. Hitting him, kicking him, shoving his face into the ground and flicking him in the head.
His mother was PISSED OFF that her son is being picked on and bullied by PJ.
Embarrassed doesn't begin to cut it on my end. I agreed with her and apologized and told her that I was shocked because I had NO idea any of this was going on. If I had known, I would have done something about it after the FIRST time.
This poor kid. I made PJ go and apologize to him and start all over again. When PJ went to talk to him I noticed that this kid is about half the size of my big son.
WHAT THE HELL KID?! You are going to pick on someone who is itty bitty? Somehow that makes it worse. 
Now I'm mad at PJ for being a jackass but I'm more angry with the school for not telling me this was going on and for letting my son torture this kid for so long.
The communication is BRUTAL in the kindergarten. This just proves it...
PJ is being punished currently and will be making an "I'm sorry" card for the other kid.

The more I thought about it the more I knew I had to write an email to his teacher and the principal:

PJ and I just had a talk about what has been going on with him and the other little boy.
He told me that he wants Austin (that's his name right?) to play with him and forgets to use his words. I'm going to sound like a mother here who's kid can't do any wrong but PJ is NOT a mean boy. He's not malicious and he's not a bully. I know that his unprovoked attacks on Austin weren't done with any intentions of harming or hurting. PJ is impulsive and very very physical. It's his one really bad area and we work on it every single day.
I'm going to have him make a card that says he's sorry and we will be giving it to Austin tomorrow.
 
I wish I'd been told about PJ's actions after the very first incident so that I could have attempted to prevent the following attacks. I'm always there at pickup and I almost always ask how his day was. I'm concerned that something this grave and this serious wasn't mentioned to me. I cannot help correct behavior I don't know about. I don't even know how long this was going on for! A week? A day? Two days?
 
Today was my second ambush meeting with another parent about Patrick misbehaving.
The first was at the start of the year with Nyle's mother.
I know the cafeteria is a bit of an insane mess but this can't happen again. I can't have another surprise meeting. 
I'm left feeling like a stammering fool, unprepared, surprised and embarrassed.
 
I'm not against meeting face to face with other parents in a situation like this, in fact I welcome it,  but a little bit of a heads up would be nice.
I'm literally 50 steps from the school. I'm always home during the day and I'm always on the computer. An email or a phone call just letting me know that something has happened and we need to have a meeting about it with the other child's parent.
I got the feeling that Austin's mother knew we were going to be meeting but I was in the dark.
Not a good feeling.
 
From here forward let's please all try to communicate better and because I know PJ I'll say when, and not if we have another incidence of him being impulsive and forgetting his words and using his hands I'd really like to be informed about it immediately either with a quick email or by taking me aside at pickup time.
As I said, I can't correct behavior I don't know about.
 
Thanks,
Diana Whittles
 
His principal wrote me back almost right away:
The parent was in to see me just this morning.  I had a chance to speak to Patrick briefly after my observation with the Spanish teacher.  While he’s in class sitting with the other students, I do not see him acting the way he does during free play or in the cafeteria.  I want you to know that I too, know that Patrick can be impulsive and physical; nevertheless, he is not malicious nor has the intention of harming any of the students.  In the near future if anything should happen, you will be notified so that you can prepare to meet with the parent.  The parent came in this afternoon wanting to speak to you regarding Patrick’s behavior.  I apologize for not having an extra minute to e-mail you, but my plate was fuller today than it has been in the past.  I don’t think we’ll have this problem again. 


 

Allergies

My poor Lion. He looks like a prizefighter. You can't even see his little eyes which are usually so huge and brown.
These allergies this season are awful!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sugar

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and all that's nice.
That's what little girls are made of.

Ya know what happens when you take away the sugar part of the equation? All that's nice gets a little cranky and mean.
Spring is officially here and that means all the beautiful food carts and food vendors are back out in full force. All of them taunting me with their tweets and facebook updates and pictures. God the pictures. I'm not above licking my computer screen I've discovered.
People's Pops.
Last year they were this brand new business and man did their stuff sound GOOD. Handmade, organic, all natural, small batch ice pops in insane flavors like Blackberry and Cream and Lemon and Thyme. I lusted for them but they only sold their pops at the Brooklyn Flea and I couldn't drag my kids to Williamsburg Brooklyn to be exposed to all those douchebag hipsters. So I read their blog and drempt and longed for the day they came to Manhattan at a time and a place I could get to.
It's happened. They are opening a storefront in Chelsea Markets TOMORROW. As in they will be there all the time, anytime I want one I can hop into the city quick as a bunny. Except I've gone and given up sugar so I can't try their pops.
The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.
Chased him all last year as well. With toppings like Nutella and CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON and Maple Syrup and Malted Milk and Olive Oil I wanted to try his stuff so damn badly. He will be one of the judges at my event on Saturday. He's started his second season early this year going full time in May. Again, another vendor I COULD find and COULD get to but I'm not eating sugar.
Waffles and Dingles same thing. Their waffle truck parks on Christopher and 7th all the time. ALL THE TIME. That's my mother's block. Hell, that's her corner. I could get there...but then there's that no sugar thing again.
I'm working on being a complete and total MILF and I know that eliminating Sugar is good for my body and will help my weight loss and my working out and even my ADD but it doesn't make it any easier for the things I have to give up or turn my back on without even trying them...
The best part of all of this? Vicious & Virtuous is this weekend. One of my competitors is making chocolate bacon baklava. I'm going to be surrounded by beautiful desserts and I can't taste any of them.  
Sad, sad, sad...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dessert

Patrick asked me tonight if he could make a dessert. Skeptical, I asked what he needed. He said "Strawberries, Cheese, Bread, Marshmallows and Pretzels"
uhhhhhhhhhhh what?
I suggested that he eliminated the cheese and the bread and go with the other three ingredients.
I asked specifically WHAT he was doing with all of these things.
I found myself instantly being negative, ready to shut his project down because it's bath time and because it seemed to be a foolish project that was going to go no where.
Then I had a flashback to myself at his age and how my mother allowed me to make desserts that never quite came out and how I would mix and stir and add and pretend I was a super cool chef or restaurant owner.
I heaved a very heavy internal sigh and told him to go for it and just please be careful. Oh and he had 10 mins before bath time.
I do that a whole lot. The word NO or the shake of the head almost always seem to be my first answer to requests. I need to cut that out. It's not fair to them. He wasn't asking for my help. Just for the green light.
He's finished now and very proud of himself.
He wants to make Veggie Soup for dinner tomorrow

Monday, April 12, 2010

EPIC FAIL

How do I forget to get food for myself?
How do I do an entire food order, get everything everyone else needs, wants and desires, make sure everyone will be happy with food for the week and fail to get even one thing for myself?
I mean, I've done it before. I've placed food orders for delivery and not ordered anything for myself but a supermarket order?
EPIC, EPIC fail.
I guess I'll be headed back to the supermarket tomorrow

Plates in the air

So, how many plates can I juggle at one time without EVERYTHING crashing to the ground on me?
Dunno, let's find out..
Right now I have my bake off event for Autism Speaks this weekend (and if you are within the sound of my voice I expect you to be there or I won't love you anymore) then I'm planning a bake sale at school, just me this time and just cupcakes also for Autism Speaks. After that I have the 45 mile 5 boro bike ride in May ALSO for Autism Speaks. In June we go to Disney World and then the Berkshires after the kids get out of school and, oh,did I mention we might be moving? Yeah. Forgot to toss that one in there. Fingers crossed but we found a great place completely by accident and we are trying to figure out how to get our grubby paws on it. After all is said and done with two cars and mortgage and blah and blah we would have to come up with about $3,000 a month which isn't completely out of our range but will force us to eliminate some things like oh, dunno, 3 of the 4 Disney trips we take a year maybe? My darling husband and I decided a long time ago, before kids that we would always rather go places and make memories than have stuff. I don't like jewelry and I'm certainly no fashion horse but I love to travel and so that's what we've done. Until now. That would have to change with this house HOWEVER this house has a huge yard and a family room in the basement and three bedrooms and a driveway with a garage it's 1/2 a mile from the school, the town has a barn with a therapy riding program which is something I feel really passionate about getting Lion involved in.
I think we would be able to do far more with the space we have and have more social things around the home but do less away from home.
Don't know. Things to think about but in the mean time I'm prepping this place either to be sold or rented. That means I'm on my hands and knees scrubbing and dusting under the radiators...
Plates in the air, plates in the air.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hello and welcome!!

So apparently the wonderful Berkshire Museum found my blog post on our house in The Berkshires and all my favorite things to do. They put it up on their Facebook page!
If you are here from that link, hello and welcome!
It's true that I'm a HUGE fan of the Berkshires and can't wait to get up there this summer. I wish my husband liked it and that we were able to get up more but our house has no cel phone reception, no internet and no air conditioning, oh and last summer we saw a bear. (NATURE! EEEEKK!) so he's not into going up ever at all.
This blog however isn't about the Berkshires though I do talk about it a lot since so many really important memories about growing up are from there. (Shopping with my dad at Sears when it was still over at the Allendale Mall, my first real serious boyfriend, learning how to drive, getting my license, getting my horse...you get the idea)
This blog is more of a place for me to vent and for me to pretend that I have folks who give a rats rear end about what goes on in my simple, insane, goofy life.
Feel free to stick around but if you are here to find Berkshire posts come back a little closer to the summer time when I am gearing up to head up there for a few weeks.
Still reading?
Okay some random info on me...
I'm a native NYer born and raised in NYC's Greenwich Village on Christopher Street.
I went to college for Equine Science but stopped riding when my horse was killed in a trailer accident (He slipped and broke his neck on the way home from a horse show.)
I have not driven a car in about 11 years.
I'm still completely stuck in the 80's and love all things glam rock and 80's metal.
I lost my best friend of 30 years to a motorcycle accident in 2007 and I still mourn her death every day and cry for her at least once a week.
I've been married to my husband who goes nameless in this blog only for my amusement for 10 years.
I'm loud, and very opinionated.
I have Attention Defect (typo and it stays) Disorder. I have the attention span of a gnat. It sucks.
I drink way too much Diet Coke.

There ya go. A few random things about me...

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Scale

Hooray! I went and got on the scale at my mom's place and I'm down to 178. Getting closer to the 170 I was before I got foolish and undid all the hard work...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Only Wednesday?!

Oh heaven help me it's only Wednesday.
PJ woke up in the middle of the night and threw up all over my bed. Everyone out of the pool, mommy now has to do laundry at 4am.
The boys went right into their beds (where they SHOULD have been in the FIRST PLACE!!!) and the grownups sat up while I did laundry and changed out the sheets.
Everyone went back to bed and PJ threw up again only this time all over HIS bed.
Up again, more laundry.
Two more bouts of vomiting and I declared this day officially toast. He's clearly NOT feeling well. This however does not stop him from whining about going out and doing something today.
It's driving me insane.
I tell him we aren't going anywhere because he's sick. He tells me he's FINEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
I tell him to eat something, he says everything is too much food.
I tell him he's sick. He tells me he's not.
He is currently taking a nap, or at least on his way to taking a nap. This kid NEVER and I mean NEVER naps.
My head is going to explode and I have two days left on this spring break...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Disney World

Here we go again! We are booked from June 5th to the 12th. That means I have to put on a bathing suit...
Heaven help us all...
Wonder if this will be the trip that I feel comfortable and confident wearing a tank top?

Husband

This morning he turned sideways and I had to grab my camera...
This is the morning of the surgery:
This morning:
Pre Surgery:
This morning:
Pre Surgery:
This morning:

Jumping Rope

All along I've wanted to try this class called Punk Rope. It's a jump rope class set to rock and punk music and is supposed to be a TON of fun.
Today in Boot Camp we used a jump rope. 50 seconds of straight jumping, and then we had to run and do a modified push up and work with kettlebells and carry this honkin big water bottle and then go back to the jump rope.
That darn limp rope kicked my rear end. I tried to do a little school girl jumping rhyme to make it go easier but I couldn't even get halfway through before I had to stop to catch my breath. It got to the point where I was muttering out loud to myself "Tank top wearing MILF. Gonna be a tank top wearing MILF..." and I kept trying to visualize our next trip to Disney..ya know, the one in JUNE where I have to wear a bathing suit...
It didn't help and my ass was romped by that stupid rope.
The worst part was that I couldn't even skip rope anymore. Every time I tried to skip I got hung up on my own leg so I went to jumping.
Punk Rope is now on hold indefinitely because 50 seconds of jumping rope killed me. Imagine what an HOUR would do?
This is Punk Rope.

Of course having said that I want to start a class like this in Hoboken:

Squeeee!!!

Last night Husband and I were talking and he said "So what are you doing differently to all of a sudden lose all that weight?"
Surprised I said "You can tell?"
He nodded and said "Oh, yeah"
I told him it was his fault. Because he couldn't eat for a month, neither could I! For the month he was home I didn't have a bagel, pizza, a burger, a hot dog, no Mexican, no Chinese.
I also admitted that I've really really committed myself to Boot Camp and to try to do all of the exercises without slacking or shaving reps or not giving 100%. He's also got us doing a lot more Cardio work these days than ever before which I think can't do anything but either kill me or help me lose the weight.
When I was at my sisters house I stepped on the scale and I'd gotten down to 181 which is still a solid 11 pounds off my my lightest weight but I'm spurred on by the scale movement.
I am however super duper pleased.
I took my measurements last night 46 40 44.
I'm getting there...I'm getting there...
48 hours with no sugar today!

Monday, April 5, 2010

No Sugar

24 hours with no sugar. This is NOT easy. The kids and I went to the mall after boot camp this morning and they wanted Burger King for brunch. Of course when you get off the escalator there is a juice bar which is always a good option for a sugar fix but it's almost right next to Mrs.Fields...::sigh::  PJ asked me for a cupcake remembering that I'd been talking about the new Cupcake place in the mall. I told him maybe later. On the way to the dollar store we passed Godiva (The Hazelnut chocolates are to die for and are my favorite) and we passed some stupid Starbucks rip off coffee place that had a huge sign for a Chocolate Caramel Turtle Coffee. Pecan, chocolate and caramel topped with whipped cream...::drool::

When we got home PJ asked if we could make cupcakes.  I told him mommy is trying to not eat any sugar and he actually looked at me with those huge beautiful blue eyes and said "What's that got to do with me?"

This is NOT going to be an easy journey.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Addiction

They say the first step to the recovery of an addiction is admitting you have an addiction.

It's taken me a long time to even realize I had a problem. I haven't told anyone and while I think I have it hidden and well under control I'm sure I haven't fooled anyone. I've never been a good liar.
Thankfully my drug of choice is cheap and easy to get. I can score it anywhere and anytime I want. I use far too often. Multiple times a day and I know it's killing me but up until now I haven't been able to, or wanted to stop. I know it's responsible for the lack of sleep, the bags under my eyes, the bad broken out skin, the jumbled, disjointed thoughts, the intense peaks and valleys that are my emotions. I know it's bad but I've been hooked so long I can't imagine my life without it.
This road to recovery will be long and it will be hard. Because my drug is so easy to get it's going to tempt me at every turn but I'm going to try so hard to be strong. Strong not only for me but for my kids and my husband.
I realized it was time when I looked deep inside of me and had a really stern conversation with myself. I'm working so hard to get in shape at Boot Camp. Sweating, aching, pushing myself so hard. I've found something new that I have a passion for. Something really good for my body, something that can help me be the bombshell I want to be and yet I'm still pouring poison into myself every chance I get.
Unless I quit the drug I'm never going to be the body shape I want to be.
I know this and I'm ready to commit to the hard recovery.
I think however, I might have picked the wrong day to start on. I'm not going to backslide. I'm going to do this but kicking my addiction when I'm surrounded by Jelly Beans and Chocolate Easter Bunnies and Peeps and (God help me) Cadbury Eggs and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs might not be the easiest start time on the calendar.
That's my addiction. Sugar. I'm completely and totally hooked on and addicted to sugar.
This week will be hard with the kids home but next week when they go back to school I'm going to go to boot camp and then take my bike out every day and ride until it's time to get the kids.
If I'm not around it, and if I keep myself occupied I won't be tempted by it.
So goodbye Snickers Bars. Goodbye Twix. Goodbye Ice Cream. So long marshmallows. I'll miss you all very much but if I'm going to get serious about this getting into shape I have to turn my back on all of you.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Berkshires

Today the weather is beautiful here in Hoboken. I asked my mother yesterday when we were going to open the house in the Berkshires. She replied whenever we wanted to. HOORAY!!! Spring is really here when that's her answer to me.
When I was a little girl, we went to the house every single weekend. Spring, Winter and Fall, we would leave every Friday after my dad got home from work drive the 3 1/2 hours up and spend all day Saturday and most of Sunday up there.
The day after school got out for summer break my mother and sister and I would pack up the car and drive up and spend the whole summer up there coming back to the city the day before school began. My dad would drive up to be with us on the weekends.
Our house is in a very rural area and our house is open field on two sides and woods on two sides. We have no internet service, cel phones don't work and we don't get cable TV.
Fun is found in galloping on our 5 1/2 acres of property, going swimming at Center Lake, picking Blueberries, taking long walks, finding frogs and lizards, seeing bears, wild turkey and deer in our field, waking up to hear the beautiful dairy cows down the road, sunrises, playing with the hose, running barefoot in the grass, freaking mommy out by chasing her with a slug, watching the bats hunt at dusk and seeing the millions of beautiful bright stars fill the sky.
Doing all the things that cannot be done living in the city.
Of course we will always head into Pittsfield which is the closest urban area and it's about 40 mins away from us. We have long long standing tradition of shopping at TJ Maxx and then going to Friendly's. Lordy how I love Friendlys. Summer is the only time of the year we go and I always always get the same thing. Fishamajig and a Reese's Peanut butter cup sundae.
I love that I can share the place I have so many amazing wonderful memories of with my own boys.
This summer I'm hoping to send PJ to camp Becket. It's the brother camp to the all girl sleep away camp I attended for 5 years and then worked at for a year. He can't go as a full time camper till he's in 2nd grade but I think if he can go to the day camp this year and next year he will be 100% ready for Sleepaway when the time comes.
Lion too if we could ever get him OUT of diapers. He's all of a sudden making fantastic strides so fingers crossed that he can go to camp too this summer!
After 3 hours on the road we know the journey is almost at an end when we see this sign on the Mass Pike.
This is our house. The barn next to it was built as a place for my dad to have his apple press (he used to make us apple cider and apple sauce from the apples on our trees in the field) and his potting wheel and kiln. A few years ago they renovated it and turned it into a guest house. When the boys and I are up over the summer my mother sleeps out there.
Our property. 5 1/2 acres with apple trees that need serious help but still draw all the deer in the fall.
This is Center Lake. When I was a little girl we would wake up, have breakfast and head to the Lake. We would spend all day there and swim all day with our friends. We still spend most of our days with those same friends who now have children close to my guys ages. One of the families keep a Kosher home and so we often go to their place for BBQ's and get togethers.
Even now 30 years later we still do the same thing. It's one of the things I love about the Berkshires. Time has stood very still up there and if it does move, it's awful slow so the changes are gradual.

As I mentioned the town our house is in is super itty bitty. Population 500. Roads stand quiet and empty much of the time and when a car drives by you always wave at the driver. We are able to let the hounds off the leashes, the kids don't have to hold hands and I've taught them to listen for cars and when they hear one we yell "CAR" and stand to the side of the road.
We have an almost 3 mile loop walk that we do and part of it is on a road that is shut to cars as it's dirt that's eroding and you would destroy your car if you tried to drive on it.
It's lots of hills and you get a good workout. It's also beautiful and I look forward to walking it every day. Quite often when you walk, you pick up a canine pal or two that doesn't belong to you. Our hounds love the company and I love that the dogs always know when to go home and how to get there.(The dogs in these photos are our hounds. Humphrey is the darker one and Georgie is the lighter gal)
Blueberry Picking. I have wonderful memories of my dad and the summer he decided to make his own jellies. Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry. He made them all. I remember him working so hard and sweating like a crazy man over the boiling jars. The end result though? Lord was that good stuff. I don't think I'll ever attempt it but I do buy fresh homemade when I see it because it's so superior to the stuff on store shelves. Same with maple syrup. As a little girl we used to tap the trees and take the sap to be made into syrup at the farm down the road. As a result I'm a Maple Syrup snob. I can't eat the fake stuff. Real or nothing for me.
Last summer we took the boys for the first time and Lion did super well but didn't understand that the berries were supposed to stay IN his bucket and so he kept dumping them out!
Carms Restaurant in Chester Ma. Another family tradition. We've been going there since my sister and I were PJ and Lion's ages.
It also hasn't changed in the 30 years we've been eating there. The boots are far too small for normal sized human beings, the food isn't outstanding but it's good and cheap. The decor is exactly the same as when I was little. They recycle greeting cards to use as checks. My mother was amused at their choice of cards for our bill.
The Berkshire Museum is a wonderful way to spend a rainy afternoon. They have an aquarium in the basement with a touch tank, the have a place where you can dig for dino bones, a gem room and a lovely art collection. After the museum we go to King Kone for Ice Cream:
We also have the  Middlefield Cemetery to explore. It's the goth mom in me that drags her children there. Actually it's really beautiful and most of the headstones there are from the 1800's some even older.
Another good rainy day activity is the new FunZone in the Berkshire Mall:
Lots and lots of time is spent at the library and then reading aloud and together the books we get:

Summer truly cannot come fast enough for me...