Monday, March 30, 2009

DAY 88: Glitter is the Debil

DAY 88 003, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I decided that, on a rainy Sunday, the best thing to do was to plan an art project. I do not know what posessed me to think that glitter was a good idea. Liam and I spent the rest of the day bespeckled like Gem.

Truly outrageous...

DAY 87: Haircut Bribery

DAY 86 and 87 013, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

The title really says it all. Apparently I only know how to do one haircut. Yup, just one. Buzz-inmate-army-cut.

DAY 86: Outdoor Girl

DAY 86 and 87 001, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Elena is going through a wonderful new phase. All day long, she craves being in the outdoors. She is almost five now (I have to keep pinching myself to believe it's true), and very self-sufficient. She dons her boots, finds her coat and helps herself to snack-sized bites of the outdoors. I think she is growing into her genes...her mother's genes... of loving the outdoors.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

DAY 85: Yes, I Know, I Cheated

Dumbo NYC 038, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I had a day 83 picture, but I hated it. So, today when I went to Brooklyn, I took 38 pics and used three of them for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday...Sorry for cheating.

This one is about how barbed wire, while not very inviting, can appear soooo dangerous looking, but can provide a sense of safety.

DAY 84: Dumbo, NYC

Dumbo NYC 034, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

This is graffitti in the Dumbo district in Brooklyn. Dumbo, turns out is not named for a cartoon elephant, but stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. It's a pretty cool, read about it...

Day 83 - What The Heck?

Day 83 - What is this all about?, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Anyone know why people throw their shoes up over utility wires? I have seen in the city, in the country, in my home town, away on business. This picture was taken in NYC. Why? Anyone?

Monday, March 23, 2009

DAY 82: P'kolino Chair and Elena

DAY 82: Pkolino Chair and Elena, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I got this chair for Elena on my business trip last week. I went to this cool furniture/toy company in the Fort Lauderdale area called P'kolino. They have these chairs called the "Little Reader" that come in animal prints. Elena's room is in giraffe and safari animal motif. This may become her new "corner" - God willing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

DAY 81: If I Had a Hammer

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Liam ran amuck in Home Depot as we picked up supplies to surprise my parents by replacing their downstairs toilet which was not working. I asked him to carry the hammer. Bad idea.

Day 80: Southern Hospitality

Day 80 037, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I'm a BIG fan of a custom that I was just introduced to in the South. It started at an authentic bbq place in Columbus, GA. At the end of our meal, I had bbq, black-eyed peas and collard greens and Caroline had the Wednesday special of a Pig Tater, the waitress came up and to ask if we wanted our check. We said yes, paid and then she came by and asked us if we wanted a "to goatee," or at least that is what we heard. She was actually asking us if we would like a "To-Go-Tea" or if we would like our beverage put into a styrofoam cup with ice to go. Heck yes, we would! We thought it was an aberration, but no, they asked us this same question at the conclusion of our meal at Outback too! I think I am going to start a campaign to bring this practice North!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

DAY 78: Land of the Lost Called...

Jetway 001, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

And they want their controller back. I think it might be time to upgrade jetway technology. I think these were designed prior to the first lunar mission. I kid you not.

I could have done without landing at the end of the longest business trip ever only to have the technician driving the jetway NOT able to manuever it into place. We were all trapped, at 11PM at night, on the plane while they tried to move the thing in place. This was after I had heard a story from a woman in the FLL airport who had almost missed her grandfather's funeral because she missed a connecting flight because of this same problem. Broken jetway. I appeal to airports everywhere, mightn't it be time for an upgrade? At least to the 90's?

DAY 77: Rue Du Maine

Rue du Maine, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Once upon a time, I was seventeen years old. I was on a trip with my friend, Caroline, in Paris, France. We got lost looking for a McDonalds (silly girls!) in the heart of Paris. Our hotel, which was on on the streets that pinwheels around the L'Arc De Triomphe. We foolishly thought that seeing the arch at the end of our street would provide a marker that would enable us to find our way back home. Our breadcrumb dropping method did not work, in truth, it failed miserably. We were lost and wandering around Paris for some time. Nous sommes perdues!!!

Due to this little slip up, we missed half of the attractions in Paris. Sacre Coeur, missed it. Louvre, missed it. Mona Lisa, missed it. Good times.

Anyhow, Caroline is the one with whom I made this Southeast trek. As we were wandering around one of the world's smallest towns in Mississippi, we spotted a sign in an antique shop window. RUE DU MAINE. Here on the other side of the planet, worlds away in geography and culture, was a street sign taking us back to the last trip we made together. Fate.

DAY 76.5: The Everglades

Everglades 004, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I just thought it was so neat to see what the everglades look like from the air. Thought I would share a few shots with you!

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DAY 76: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Hotel Spring Break, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Yup, I am now convinced I have SAD. I swear to you, the smell of freshness, the smell of summer, made me practically ebullient. The sun beat down on my shoulders. I glimpsed the future, a few months in the future, and I loved it!

DAY 75.5: Arriving in Ft. Lauderdale

Arriving in FL, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Starting off the five-day tour of the Southeast. Arriving in Ft. Lauderdale. Peering out the window at the GORGEOUS weather, scenery and sun. See the intercoastal waterway down there?

Monday, March 16, 2009

DAY 75 Cross Car

DAY 75 Cross Car, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Quoting Liam at six AM this morning.

"Mommy, mine car is cwoss."

"What, Liam?"

"CWOSS! Mine car is cwoss."

"I still don't understand."

"He wooks cwoss, mad, wike Waney (Elena - sister)."


DAY 74: Prepping for Business Trip

Getting ready for a trip down to the deep South. Over the next six days, I will be in Florida (which, I know, I know, is NOT the South), then Atlanta, Columbus GA, West Point MS, Little Rock AR and Memphis TN. It's going to be a hoot!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

DAY 73: Still Life with No Kids

DAY 73 Still life with no kids, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Recipe for heaven...
Antipasto, or any snack you love
Game, in this case Mexican train
Cheese on top of snack
No kids
Nap afterward

DAY 72: Fast Money

DAY 72: Fast Money, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

The hum and excitement of the game show channel is what keeps us company during those long winter months. How many people's kids know about Family Feud and shush the house during the "Fast Money" round? Not many, I assure you. Elena shouts out answers and Liam actually gets the concept of a game show. Another favorite around here is No Deal, No Deal...(Deal or No Deal). Their mother is so proud. I may not be, but their Boppa is.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

DAY 71: The Last Thing I See Tonight...

Most nights, actually, this is the last thing I see. It's my puter. A little window into the world of online friends, I call them my imaginary friends. Tonight I mostly did work, but managed to squeeze in the obligatory Scrabble play or two on Facebook. I think I am a techno-addict. Oh well. There are worse things I could be. Night night.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

DAY 70: Arts and Crafts Time

Day 70 016, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

The Christmas Tree Shop is such a bargain. I went there this morning when I had a half hour to kill before heading to the OB/GYN for a follow-up visit on my ovarian cyst (you can actually be grateful you are not getting a day 70 picture of stirrups or pee may say, "Oh no you didn't!" I assure you, I did and intended to post them today, but they got usurped by arts and crafts time). Anyhow, for under $10, I got three canvases, watercolor paints, and hours of family fun. Paint got almost everywhere, on everything and immediately following was a bath for Liam, but it was fun.

Liam's artwork reminds me of one of those famous dog, pig or elephant artists...I wonder if I could make some money off him?
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And, also from the Christmas Tree Shops...Bonus photo, light up duckies for the tub!
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DAY 69: Froggy Show

Day 69 70 014, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Here you see the director (Elena) in the background, directing a "show" about Froggy (Liam in the foreground). The disasterous mess with all the couch pillows is apparently Froggy's "two steps and his trampoline and then when you took the pillows off, it was his big bed, and I slept in the corner" (quoting Elena here). Basically, she made him a play area with a couple of pillow steps leading up to it. The gales of giggles coming from that room for almost an hour were worth every bit of the time spent cleaning it after.

(Don't tell Froggy, but his director SURE is bossy. He doesn't seem to notice or mind. God bless him)

Monday, March 09, 2009

DAY 68: Kiki Goes to the Hospital

(Or, How Kiki learns to love anti-nausea drugs, IV narcotics and the call button)

For the last five days, I have had a pain in my lower right side. It all started when I ovulated - the mittelschmerz pain I experience each month with ovulation came to visit and never left. Five days later, I had the startling thought that it could possibly be a low-grade appendicitis, if there were such a thing. I called the "on-call" doctor with my practice to ask him if I should make an appointment with him or my OB for the morning and he instructed me to go straight to the ER. So, packing my usual camera and BlackBerry, off I went.

I asked my cousin, who was over for Sunday dinner and heading up that way for a game of basketball to drive me and he willingly obliged. Off we went. He dropped me at the ER doors, I went in, was triaged and in a bed within a half hour or so. It was wonderful...not the pain, but I was very glad to be cared for and to be finding out what was wrong with me. Much to my chagrin, doctors and nurses did keep thinking that maybe I did have appendicitis. I was still pretty convinced it was an ovarian cyst, but was happy to have it checked.

About five minutes in the hospital bed and I was doped up on IV narcotics and anti-nausea drugs. Life was so improved already!
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Can you see it in my eyes here?
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Then, I had to drink two twelve ounce cups of weird Tang-flavored drink. This was the stuff, I was told, that would color my organs and make them visible on the CAT scan.

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It felt THIS big:
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But, soon it was all was 9:30 PM. Now I only had to wait 90 minutes "dwell time" for the meds to seep through my GI-tract.
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After the CAT scan, I was told at midnight that I did not have appendicitis, but had an ovarian cyst 5 cm in diameter. And, why this is I do not know, I instantly felt the propensity to compare it to a citrus fruit...think lime or clementine. I was told after an ultrasound to rule out an ovarian torsion, I would be able to go home. Three hours later, all was done and I headed home at 4 AM...exhausted, having slept for about an hour total while listening to the sound of coughing and vomiting people and screaming children. Before I left, they gave me a big dose of morphine in my IV...
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My friend the call button...Thanking God that my children do not have one of these to reach me...
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DAY 67: Roaming About Beantown

Day 66 67 68 113, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Woke up in our hotel on "new time" at God-only-knows-what-hour. The kids were immediately needy for things, breakfast, milk in cups and bottles, and ready to ride the T, our plan for the day's outing. After procrastinating getting up and finally taking advantage of the Holiday Inn Express's hot breakfast, we headed out to hop on the Lechmere T. We had no idea where we would go, nor did we care which direction we were heading. We merely wanted the kids to be able to experience the train ride.

We asked a nice couple on the train where we should get off with two kids and they suggested Park St. So, we did and found a Starbucks and walked around and then took the T back to Cambridge. A good time was had by all. Surprisingly, Elena was giddy with excitement over the train and Liam was more serious. All I can think was that he was trying to figure it all did this big train compare to his little Thomas and Percy. He kept asking where their "freight cars" were.

DAY 66: Nirvana

DAY 66: Nirvana, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

We took Elena and Liam to the Franklin Park Zoo in Dorchester on Saturday. The weather was fabulous (although it was mud season). The animals were spectacular and it was Elena's own version of nirvana.

Elena has loved zoo animals forever. Going to the zoo is like spotting celebrities for Elena. Catching glimpse of each new species caused her to shout out in glee and amazement., "MOM!!!! THEY HAVE ZEBRAS HERE!!!!!!!" "OH MOM! WILDEBEESTS, MY FAVORITE!"

It was worth every penny we spent there.

More Zoo pictures:
Liam watching Gorilla eat poop and licking exhibit window...BLARGH!
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Gorilla Eating Poop...pretty standard really...
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Me and Exhausted-Non-Sleeping-Boy
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Wildebeest Cheerleading Formation:
DAY 66: Wildebeests

Saturday, March 07, 2009

DAY 65: Fetch

DAY 65: Fetch, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I'm pretty sure you can't see what's going on this picture because I was too desperate to catch the moment and the horse was too excited. Yesterday was a very tough day with Liam. He decided to be up for the day at 3:30AM. He dozed a little between 5:30 and 6:00 and then was up for the day. So, by 9:00AM, it felt like it was noon. I took Elena to school and then decided I would put Liam on my back and just walk until it was nap time. I figured if we tried to do anything else it would end in meltdowns and tears. So, we walked. We walked a new route and saw new things. I am sorry to say I was not the best mother, I kept my iPod on the whole walk (and thus kept my sanity).

Anyhow, about 2 miles into the walk, we came upon some horses in their pen. When they saw us, they got all excited and pranced up to the fence. The odd thing was, the black one picked up a stick and carried it over, fetch-style to us. This is my attempt to capture that odd moment. Then, one of the other horses also picked up a stick in his mouth and tossed it around. These horses appeared to be channeling golden retrievers in spirit and behavior. Here are some more pics of our equine buddies.

Here is the other horse up close with the stick...again, too much movement, so the pic is too cropped:
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The whole experience reminded me of this ad: