Thursday, October 28, 2010

A very long day

I popped two Tylenol PM and went to bed at 9pm. Fell asleep at around 10 only to wake up at 1:30 for the rest of the day. That was it. I was up.

Needless to say by the time it was time for me to wake up the rest of the family at 4:30 I was so tired and knew it was going to be a supremely long day.

The second I got into my seat I was out cold. My sister and I have been flying alone since we were 3 1/2 and 5 so I've got no fear of planes or turbulence which apparently was a very good thing since according to Mike we hit a TON of it.

I never woke up. The kids were great the whole flight but at the end while waiting to deplane Lion spontaneously threw up all over the floor and me. He then proceeded to use my sleeve as a towel. Bleah.(and for the record, I totally owned up to it when we got to the front of the plane letting the stewardess know about it. No slinking off the plane hoping they don't notice it.)

According to the Weather Channel the heat in Disney yesterday broke all sorts of season records. It was a high of 91 with a heat index of 97.

You would think that considering we were down there in August we would shrug off the heat but the sun combined with hunger and absolute exhaustion let to two very whiny, very unhappy children which ultimately led to a large whiny angry and unhappy husband which in turn led to an exasperated Diana.

If Mike said "I need a vacation just for me" or "The kids ruin everything" one more time I was going to box his ears.

We attempted the Food and Wine festival which both he and I were really looking forward to. It was impossible with the kids and the two booths that he was able to get food at sucked. I ate nothing. It wasn't worth the high prices and long lines.

We go around World Showcase barely and made our way to Journey Into Imagination and everyone started to perk up and get their second wind. From there we went right into Captain EO and then to Soarin' and then to the Finding Nemo ride.

After that we were done and took the bus back to the hotel.

We were all seriously starving at that point and headed to the Whispering Canyon Cafe for some dinner.
PJ make it through but poor Lion  took one bite of his nuggets and waved the white flag. He came over and snuggled into my lap and fell asleep.

It's now 3:30am and I'm up transferring photos and videos that I took yesterday off my camera so I can start all over again today!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Parent Envy

I read a blog like this one, which is written by one of my friend's husbands and I find myself slightly awed that there are fathers that behave like this.
Dads who are this involved in their kiddos lives.

Not sure why really. I had one of these dads. My dad was my best pal and he and I did everything together. When I turned up as a very very broken teenager, it was my dad who "fixed" me or attempted to. It was always my dad and almost never my mother.

I wish Mike were more like this with Brian. He's a good dad and does the very best that he can but I don't think it's in his genetic makeup to be a very hands on father.
I don't think his dad was, or his grandfather before that.

I wish on a Saturday or a Sunday Mike would make plans to take his two children out and do things with them, just them and daddy.

He's done it in the past with Patrick and only once with Brian the Lion and that was just to get bagels.
Mike loves Lion. I know he does. He just doesn't "get" him. He doesn't have patience for the Autism and the quirks that come with it.

Maybe one day.


I set my alarm for 4am. The car service will be here at 5 to pick us up to go to the airport.
So why am I up at 1:50am?
Good question. I'm trying to figure it out myself.
I went to bed at 9pm only to wake up at midnight and that was all she wrote. For the life of me I can't get back to sleep.
That 3 hours I got sucked too because it wasn't a deep sleep. It was shallow and peppered with rises into and out of consciousness.
I feel really tired but I can't sleep.Sitting here, I want to go back to bed and sleep but when I go to bed, I can't fall asleep.
That means today is gonna be a super duper long day and I'm not real sure how I'm going to get the energy to get through it.
To make it all a little worse, PJ seems to be suffering the same insomnia. He's in my bed with Mike and I'm attempting to force him to stay there and try to sleep but he's restless and I can hear him flopping around in there.
Fingers crossed we all sleep a little on the plane.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Don't judge me man...

Humphrey the wonder Basset Hound is now 11 years old in dog years. We got him when he was 8 weeks old. He has been with us for all 7 apartments we've lived in and he was there pre kids.
In the past month, he appears to have gone slightly down hill. He woke up one morning and couldn't put any weight at all on his right front paw.

He also lost all of his energy and his get up and go. He wanted to sleep all day and never even gets up to greet me at the door when I come home.
His bladder isn't what it was and so he pees all over the floor.

When we sit on the couch, rather than lay next to us, he wants to be a lap dog and lay on us. (This is something he never did before and can often be found draped over Mike looking far more like a Harbor Seal than a Basset Hound.) Mike asked me if I thought he knew he was "on his way out" and that's why he was so snuggly.

I'm not a stupid blind dog mother. I know he's a step closer to Rainbow Bridge  then he was even 6 months ago. Do I think death is on his doorstep? No. I do not.
I think he's an older dog who finally has accepted that he's an older dog.

We leave for Disney World tomorrow. Usually when we go, we can put Humph in the kennel (to the tune of $400 for a week!) but this trip I knew that wasn't an option. He can't walk, let alone run around with other dogs.

Once again, I called on my mother and sister who SWORE that the last time they watched Humph was the last time they would watch Humph. (Thank the heaven's they are sweet on the hound)

My mother and sister first met our Basset Hound Humphrey on Halloween of 1999 when he was a mere 8 weeks old.
He has been as much their dog as mine for the past 11 years.
He loves them, and they love him.

I'm not sure if they thought I was being dramatic or embellishing the facts because my mother told me that often the best thing for an achy joint was exercise and they were going to attempt to take him to the run.
I informed her that I didn't think he could do it as he couldn't even go around the block. Heck, he can't even go down the stairs and to the tree outside without having to lay down and rest.

My sister came over on Thursday to help me with the kids and she attempted to take him around the block. She discovered what I already knew. Even around the block is far too much for him these days.

My mother asked me if I was going to take him to the vet. No. No I wasn't. A friend recommend Bufferin for the joint (Which I'd bet all that I have is Arthritis) and so that's what I'd been giving him.

Do I feel like a bad dog mom not going to the vet? You bet I do but it's completely unaffordable right now.
Between the blood work and the XRays and the meds we are looking at at least $500. That's $500 that I don't have.

So my mother called me today to tell me that SHE was going to take Humph to the vet. (God bless that woman) and get him taken care of.

Does the fact that I leave tomorrow for a cruise with my family but can't afford to take the dog to the vet make me cringe? Yup. It sure does.

We booked this cruise a year and a half ago when we were offered it free if we purchased extra Vacation Club Points with Disney World.

Currently, I'm far more stressed out than a woman going on a cruise should be.
Because we are broke.
The ship goes to Nassau in the Bahamas. We aren't even getting off the ship that day because we can't afford any of the excursions.

Everyone wants to know if I'm going to hit the spa hard when on the ship. No, I'm not. Why? Because we don't have a spare $150 for a massage package.

The day in Nassau will be spent not creeping around the beautiful pastel colored buildings or shopping for diamonds or gambling in the Atlantis Casino but rather on the ship, with the kids in the kids club and Mike and I hanging in the room or at the coffee bar.

Truth be told, the cost of renting the snorkel equipment on Disney's island is causing us to choke a little bit as well.
It's $30 for each adult and $15 for each kid for mask, flippers and fins.
Do I feel pathetic not being able to afford to do cruise things while on a cruise?
You betcha I do.

I'm working VERY hard at trying to not feel sorry for myself.

We are broke in the truest sense of the word and are scraping to make this trip happen and it wouldn't be happening at all if we hadn't booked it a year and a half ago.

But if you don't know that, you don't know that and what you see is a daughter leaving her aging hound dog in the care of her mother and sister allowing them to pay the vet bill while we jaunt off on a cruise.

It looks pathetic I know and it makes me blush.

So now you have all the facts. Don't judge me too harshly okay?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Every Single Weekend without fail

From the ages of 14 to 17 Chrissy and I would get ready and at about 11:00 walk out the door of her apartment and go to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
We almost never missed a weekend. You would find us
She eventually became part of the cast and that made the whole thing that much more fun.
When she died her dad asked me if there was anything I wanted . Only two things came to mind. Her Kiss pinball machine and her jean jacket from the 15th anniversary of RHPS in 1990.
Why? Don't know. Couldn't tell you beyond that I remember when she and her mother flew out to LA for it I was so insanely supremely envious. That plus a combo of all the amazing good memories we had there.
When I watched the above clip for a second I was there again. Feelings, memories all came right back to me. Love it when music and video can do that!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Food and Wine

While we are there Disney has it's food and wine festival.
We haven't attended this event since PJ's first trip when he was 9 months old and I was pregnant with Lion.
Click on the images below to see them larger

Friday, October 22, 2010


I can't wait! I'm so excited!
I just made this barrette to wear in the parks on Halloween during the day. Click on the picture to enlarge..

and then I found this:
Click to enlarge it.
I'm now super duper duper excited!

License Obtained

Yesterday was a day full of trains and travel and being unsure of where I was going (Which I HATE) but I got there and back with no serious hiicups.
While waiting for the train back home I got hit on! A very sweet guy approached me while waiting (and actually truth be told, I was sitting at the station looking at the place where Mike and I got married thinking about how far he and I have come in the 11 years of marriage) and told me he thought I was attractive and wanted to know what my status was.
I informed him he completely made my day but that I was a married lady. He said that Mike is a lucky guy and walked away.
After that how could my day have been bad?!

I was exhausted when I got home and went to bed at 9:30!
Here are some photos out of the train window.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cruising Documentation

So my clever darling husband discovered that I might need my marriage license to get on the ship because my birth certificate and my drivers license have two different last names.

Unfortunately he discovered this too late for me to have the document mailed to me.
This means that tomorrow, I have to take 3 trains and travel 2 1/2 hours one way to get the stupid license.

Depart : HOBOKEN at 9:30 AM
Board : Train 1607 toward SPRING VALLEY

Board : Train 3231 toward LONG BRANCH
Arrive : LONG BRANCH at 11:27 AM

Depart : LONG BRANCH at 11:30 AM
Board : Train 4331 toward BAY HEAD
Arrive : BELMAR at 11:49 AM

See? Hoboken to Secaucus, Secaucus to Long Branch, Long Branch to Belmar. Three trains.
Coming home I can take the 2:27pm which is a direct back to Hoboken and gets me home at 4:30. THANK GOD.

I've never had to transfer at the Secaucus Station. I have 13 minutes to find my way to a train in a station I've never been to. That is cutting it AWFUL close. I thought, well, I can go in search of a terminal map and maybe that will help me get familiar with the place and where I have to go. Nope. All it's done is raise my anxiety level.
Wish me luck tomorrow. I think I'm really really going to need it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Two Items

In an effort to consolidate I'm combining two posts into one.
I've scrapped the Princess Leia idea for something much cooler.
I found this on EBay and contacted the woman who made it. It HAD to be mine.

My grin should tell you how excited I am.

It is my plan to pair this with black and white striped stockings and my favorite skirt that I NEVER take out to wear:

 Heavy dark makeup, blood red lipstick and absolutely no smile at all whatsoever. Should be a good night!

Onto part two:
We are 10 days away from our trip and I'm doing as much homework as I can. While we are on the cruise we won't have any internet or cel phone so I won't be able to do any research or get any info.
In my paddling around the internet I found out that on Disney's Private Island called Castaway Cay they now have private family cabanas.

I watched the video a few times and everytime I watched it I lusted for this cabana more and more and more.
So I went in search of some details. Found them and almost choked.

The new private cabanas opened on Castaway Cay yesterday, Disney Cruise Line announced.
Most of the 325-square-foot beach cabanas are located on the far end of the expanded Family Beach, which can be reached with the new tram stop on the island. Three of the 2o cabanas are located on Serenity Bay Beach, an adult-only area of Disney’s private island in the Bahamas.

Each cabana is furnished with cushioned chairs, lounge chairs, a dining table, a refrigerator, a locked storage unit, outside fresh water shower and shade on the front deck. Amenities include non-alcoholic beverages, sunscreen and towels. Food and beverage packages are expected to be offered, and cabana guests can opt to add the personalized service of a cabana host.

Cruisers who have booked concierge suites for October sailings report they were able to reserve the cabanas for $499 per day as part of a “soft opening.” They were told the price includes the host, fruit, snacks, water, soft drinks, sunscreen, towels, fresh water shower, beach toys, tube and float rental, snorkel gear and a one-hour bike rental for up to six people.

Waddya think? Worth the $500?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Kiddos

This has been a good week.
So often I feel like I've been thrust in this role of mother to two little boys and really, who thought this was a good plan?

Putting me in charge of two growing humans. Asking me to be their moral compass when my philosophy on life has long been "Don't like me? Fuck off" or the more G-rated Popeye "I yam what I yam"
I was bullied and tortured as a child in school. I went almost friendless for years. I often think I'm better off as a solitary critter and feel awkward with other people.

How then am I supposed to guide these two children to be healthy, happy people?
From the day I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted my parenting to be based on the philosophy of "Kindness to all"

It was clear to me that if I left my children with nothing else in this world, I wanted them to be loving, giving, kind and patient to all around them. Even, and especially those that didn't appear to need it.
It is the one lesson I've driven home at every chance.
It appears to be paying off.

Today the school therapist approached me to tell me about a classmate of PJ's. Apparently this child visits her office but never speaks much and has a difficult time opening up or being comfortable with her. She's at an impasse with him. She witnessed Patrick and this child together and said that Patrick makes this kid come out of his shell. That Patrick is gentle and genuine and kind with this boy.

She wanted to know if it was okay with me if she invited Patrick into their therapy sessions with the hopes that if this child has Patrick there to hold his hand he might be more willing to open up.
As someone who has been in therapy since I was 7 years old this thrilled me to no end. My sweet kind son, the therapy dog.
I am elated.

This week I also got the news from Lion's teacher that she feels he's doing so well in school that if he keeps it up in a month or two we are going to put him in a couple of mainstream classes during the day.
(and Diana can now release the breath she's been holding since we stated this whole experiment)
PJ's teacher also wants to interview PJ for her Cognitive Behavior class she's taking. She had to pick a student and said PJ is perfect for it.
Dude also got a 100% on his English and an 82% on his math test he had this week.

This is a good week and makes me think maybe I'm not as bad at this whole mommy thing as I thought I was...

Boot Camp

Today in Boot Camp David had us doing these very cool suspended moves where we put our arms in these harness like things and hoisted ourselves up curling our legs up and down.
Lousy description I'm aware but try to visualize it.
I'm short. At just under 5 feet things that other folks can do, I often cannot because I don't have the longer legs. This exercise was a perfect example.
I had to stand on my tippy toes  and stretch all the way up to get my arms in the slings. Once up there I found myself swinging more than lifting because of the reach between myself and the step we were using as a base.
The sling was uncomfortable and it was pinching and grabbing my arm but I sucked it up and did what I had to do.
When I got home the area hurt so I went to check it out.
Look! Boot Camp injuries!

I should add that I'm NOT upset with these or angry or indigent at all. I'm actually delighted in a perverse way. I knew it hurt when I was doing it but I did it anyway and didn't slack off or try to back out of it.
I'm proud of these bruises! Total badge of honor and one step closer to being a total bad ass!

Monday, October 11, 2010


We had so much fun today but my feet are KILLING me.
We were invited to be on the Autism Speaks float in the NYC Columbus Day Parade.
Of course I jumped at the invitation!
We got there at about 11:00am and at about 1:00 we finally got moving.
I've attended lots of 5th Avenue parades but to be on a float on the other side of the barricade was truly thrilling. My cheeks hurt from smiling so damn much I think I've perfected my princess wave.
It took us almost 3 hours to go a mile because the parade had to keep stopping due to crosstown traffic.
By the time we were done I'd been on my feet standing for about 5 hours and the kiddos were exhausted and hungry and tired.
What a cool experience though. I hope I get to do it again but I can cross it off my bucket list now!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hall and Oates


When this song came out in 1982 I was a wee lass of 9 years old. Daryl Hall lived in my building and I'd often ride the elevator with him. I always wanted to talk to him but I couldn't ever get my lips to move! I mean it was DARYL HALL!! I roller skated to his songs!! I remember him always having a sweet smile for the shy awkward little girl that I was.

I also remember how unpopular I was and how cruel kids were to me in 5th grade. I had a sleepover party and I remember being elated that all the girls I invited came.
At one point in the evening they all got together in a huddle excluding me. They got up and all walked out of my apartment in a flock.
I chased them down demanding to know where on EARTH they were all going?!

I was informed that they were going to prove that I was a liar and that Daryl Hall did NOT live in the building.

We went to the lobby and I had the doorman tell them that he did indeed live there but we weren't to go ringing his doorbell.
I remember I took all 14 or 15 girls to the building directory and proudly showed them the name listed in one of the penthouse apartments. "D. HALL"

The girls had nothing else to say to me and returned to my apartement.

Ah the sweet memories of youth.

Memory Lane AGAIN

I went onto You Tube and did a search for Anthrax. Found the video for the song "I'm the man" and it shot me right back to a VERY specific time with Chrissy.
Spurred on by that memory I went back and found other songs by Anthrax and as I watched the video I remember how she and I used to joke that I was going to marry Dan Spitz (The 5'1" guitar player) and we were going to have dwarf children.
She used to tell me that I was PERFECT for him because I wouldn't give him a height complex. (Untill I was about 19 I stood at a whopping 4'9". I then sprouted the extra two inches that put me at my current and forever 4'11")
I started thinking about all the shows and clubs we went to and how silly we looked together. My 4'9" self and her 6' lanky bod.
I often think that part of the reason we made such a good team is because we were so different. No WAY a guy would attempt to hit on both of us. I was the short platinum blond with the huge hair and massive mammary glands

and she was the tall drink of water with pale skin and jet black hair.
Even when I dyed my hair black we still never ever competed with each other for boys.
Weird that both the people in the photo below are dead.

I was walking down 6th avenue yesterday and she popped into my head (as she often does) when I passed M&J trimming. We spent a ton of cash in that place she and I.
I realized that since we lost her in 2007 not one single day has gone by that I don't think of her and though I might not speak of her out loud as I did when she first died (poor Mike had to endure HOURS of me telling him moments and memories of she and I) I still have a major hole in my world and I still miss her as much as I did the day I got the news she had been killed.

I've said it before but without her, I wouldn't be who I am today. Not many folks have  their lives changed by a contemporary. Not many folks can name a close friend as the most influential person in their lives but I can and I do.
Her dad has put a new headstone up on her grave. I need to get out and see it before the weather turns too cold.
It makes me insane that I appear to be the only friend who has ever visited her grave.
So many people claim to have loved her and I get that you don't have to visit a cemetery to show love and loyalty, I would think that they would want to go and pay their respects to her at least once.
I just know that she would do it for me as often as she could and the fact that I've only been there once makes me feel guilty as all hell.
 But that was really the dynamic of our friendship. So often I was a shitty friend (and I often think that even as an adult I'm completely socially inept and have no idea really how to be a good friend to anyone) and she forgave and forgave and forgave me.
Another person wouldn't have given me half the chances she gave me.
I think she loved me though. I know we always had fun together. I don't suppose she would have hung with me for 30 years if I was all evil right?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Lion

Once again it's Halloween and I get to put together costumes for everyone.
When I asked the kiddos what they wanted to be, they each chose a  Star Wars character. PJ wants to be Anakin Skywalker.
Lion wants to be Darth Vader.
The only trouble is that Vader is not a "face character". Vader has a mask. I thought he would NEVER EVER put it on or wear it and so I asked him over and over and over if he REALLY wanted to be Vader. (PJ would at this point interrupt me and say "LORD VADER Mommy!") Yes, he was really sure he wanted to be (Lord) Vader.
So I decided to take a gamble and go for it. If he didn't wear it (Which I knew he wouldn't) I could just chalk it up to mommy being right (again).
The costume came in the mail today.
Apparently I don't know my kiddo as well as I thought I did. He LOVES the mask and won't take it off.
He trotted around the house all night doing the Vader breathing and growling "GIVE ME YOUR CANDY" in his best Vader voice.

I have to go and get my princess Leia costume taken in and up and we will be good to go for Halloween!
I really love when the boys surprise me...