Friday, September 25, 2009

SEPTEMBER 11th: Ellis Paul

IMG00007.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Got to go see a wonderful concert this evening at the University of Hartford. Ellis Paul. Always been a favorite of mine and my friend, Caroline's. Caroline's because she knew him when she was in college and mine, embarrassingly enough because of his song from Me, Myself and Irene. Anyhow, Caroline and I try to see him whenever he comes near. He's not only a fabulous singer, but an interesting story teller and amazing entertainer as well. Check him out if he ever comes near!

SEPTEMBER 10th: Big Boy

First day of school. Big boy backpack, check. Big boy undies, check. Big boy attitude, check.

Liam seems to have been born for school. He's ready and willing to go in when we get there. He immediately shrugs off the parent pall and gets down to the business of finding every wheeled and transportation-themed toy that the school has to offer!

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Liams First Day of Nursery School 011

SEPTEMBER 9th: Not yet the 1st Day of School this was taken on the 10th, but I can't seem to find my photo I took on the 9th, so I am putting this cute pic as a stand-in. Look at how ready for school he is...little bug. Feels like he was just a teensy babe in my arms. They grow up so fast...and then next thing you know they are heading off to nursery school...and biting their teachers. :(

SEPTEMBER 8th: Cubbie Hell

So, you know how sometimes you offer to do something thinking you can knock it out in a couple of hours and then it turns into something larger than that? Something that has no established process, takes days of planning, and days of execution? Yup...that's what nursery school cubbie hole photo tags are all about. I had to think and re-think. Plan and re-plan.

In the end, they were completed, only a bit late and they weren't disappointing (I hope) for the school. Nothing like good old-fashioned Arts and Crafts stress to get you the spirit of back-to-school!

SEPTEMBER 7th: Whipped Cream Party!!!

Day after wedding. Family party at my aunt and uncle's house. My aunt, now Grandma to six little grandkids brings out the whipped cream canisters. Next thing you know, my aunt, is spraying little cousin Jack with whipped cream. FOOD FIGHT!! What a memory she created for her grandchildren this day.
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SEPTEMBER 6th: Rob and Laura Tie the Knot

Awesome wedding...beautiful venue.
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I mean, how cute are they???
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

SEPTEMBER 5th: Egg Shaped Rocks from Fort Tryon Park

IMG00831.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I have a little fantasy that someday I will have a sweet little cottagey house. In that house, I will have a fireplace of brick or stone. On that fireplace, there will be a mantle. On that mantle, I will place a collection of antique egg cups. In each egg cup, I will place one perfectly smooth, egg-shaped rock. So far, the collection consists of zero egg cups, one jigger that could potentially work as an egg cup, and many, many beautiful egg-shaped rocks. Am I just weird or do other people daydream like this?

SEPTEMBER 4th: Gingersnap Moon

September 2009! 015, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

So, this one night, it was a full moon. Poured into the sky in front of the moon, were thousands of puffs of clouds. I thought they looked like gnocchi floating on the top of a pan of boiling water. My friend Amy said they looked like a gingersnap cookie. The kind that splits and cracks, kind of like a snickerdoodle.

What do you think they look like?
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ALSO SEPTEMBER 2nd: Unflattered

IMG00800, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Can you believe how unflattering some styles can be on a person? I bought this Tahari dress on for under $50.00. Who could resist such a deal? Well, apparently I should have. Elena took this picture, so it's a little shaky and blurry, but MAN, do I look like a potato or what?

SEPTEMBER 3rd: Growing Up

IMG00801, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

When Elena was little, she used to pat her tummy, as only a two-year-old can and say, "Mommy, I getting BIGGER, BIGGER, BIGGER." And well she was. She was growing older, more mature, more independent and more feisty by the day. Sometimes, a photo, even a crappy one caught on the Blackberry, captures the future. This picture, I feel captures the fat-faced Elena saying bigger, bigger, bigger, but also the grown-up Elena. There is complexity in her eyes. I can glimpse the future, petulant, teenage Elena.

SEPTEMBER 2nd: Pretty Shoes

IMG00799, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

You know what's a way to feel really good about yourself at work? Wear new shoes that are feminine and pretty. I got some new heels. Yes, I know you cluck your tongue and say, "HEELS?" But seriously, when one lives their life in comfy shoes, these are high, high heels! In fact, I had super sore calves for three days after wearing these around the office for a day. You would have thought a hiked a gorge or something.

Anyhow, this point brings me to something I have been meaning to write about on this blog for sometime. Funny how UNCOMFORTABLE shoes would be the lead in. Anyhow, I am going through something for the last year. I fell in love with a beautiful woman and realized that I have a deep attraction for women. The shoe irony comes in my sister's first comment to me when I told her, "Ahhhhhh! This explains a lifetime of hideous shoe choices!"

Anyhow, you won't find me spouting about it here, but it's been a really confusing and challenging time for me. Suffice it to say, it's not really something that can be figured out overnight, nor is it something that is merely switched on and off. In fact, I am not really sure if there is a switch (believe me, I tried to find the one to switch it off for a while!).

So, from heels to sexual confusion, that's the kind of blogging you get from me. Yowsa!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SEPTEMBER 1st: The Bus

Elena's first day on the bus. I love how she gets on her knees to climb up the bus steps. Elena has a fear of stairs. We aren't sure where it came from, but for over a year (maybe two?) it has persisted. But, here she is, persevering, facing her phobia to ride the big yellow to school.

And, after three weeks in school, here is a picture she drew of herself getting on the bus. She's the one on the bottom right. You can't really see her because Blogger cuts her off. You also can't see the "hand turkey" she made standing at the back of the bus because it's in pencil and and cut off by the photographer (me). So, try not to think about the things you can't see and appreciate the things you can! And no, she DOES NOT ride the short bus to school!

AUGUST 31st: Parrot Feet

Parrot Feet, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Yet another one from August 31st! Liam, in the van, with his little prehensile feet wrapped around the oh-shit bar in the back seat. I looked over and thought, those like primate feet...we always call him lemur, so it fits. I told him, "Look at your little monkey feet!!"

He responded, "No Mom! Not monkey feet, PARROT feet!"

I guess he has been going to the pet store often with our sitter and noticed that the parrots have toes that curl around their perches. So observant (and not afraid to correct me either).

AUGUST 31st: Wendy's Bear

August 30 Wortleys 097, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

My aunt Wendy died when I was 11. This was her teddy growing up. It sits on my grandmother's porch because she cannot bear to get rid of it. I think she should never get rid of it. Can you imagine how many nights Wendy cuddled this bear for safety and security? Can you fathom how much of her baby love is still held in his stuffing? How many hugs can he give back? And, if you think he's old and bald and unloveable, ask a child...

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August 30 Wortleys 118

God bless you Wendy...we think about you all the time and we are taking care of Teddy!

AUGUST 31st: Trying on First Day of School Dress

Aug 30th Peaches 030, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

And very gleeful about it, too!!!!!

AUGUST 29th: These Kids Love a Party

August 30 Wortleys 085, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

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Even though they are shy and they hide out by themselves at the party, they love a good party. When they hear there is going to be one, they can't stop talking about it until it happens. I am not sure if it's the prospect of unrestricted snack intake or of seeing me happily visiting with people, it probably doesn't matter.

One theory we have is that children, like shelties, like to "herd" and they are really happiest when everyone is in one place. A party is the ultimate drawing of people to one place...especially a family reunion. So maybe that was what made the kids so fond of the idea?

AUGUST 30th: We'll Have to Settle for Peach Picking

Aug 30th Peaches 005, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Averil Farms, where we like to do our apple picking, hasn't opened up for the season yet. So, the Gill family is forced to go peach picking instead...there's nothing wrong with that! I love peaches. In the next week, I will make a peach pie, and peel over twenty-five peaches to cut up and freeze for making a peach pie at Thanksgiving time...or for making smoothies if we can't wait!
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AUGUST 28th: The Hornet

AUGUST 28th: The Hornet, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

This is Unkie...Unkie the Monkey...The Hornet...He's the most cantankerous man you'll ever meet. Sour. Mean. Fierce. But even though, he has some issues with being nice, we know that beneath the prickly exterior is a man of gold, a sweet loving, loyal, generous, playful man that has a smile that lights up the room. Welcome to town for the family reunion, Unk!

AUGUST 27th: We're Having a Party!

August 30 Wortleys 068, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

And, as the week carries on, it becomes apparent that the entire reunion will be in the midst of a hurricane. Oh joy! Fifty barely-known relatives, confined to a lake house, INSIDE said lakehouse for a weekend. Sound fun? Oh help!

AUGUST 26th: See What Happens When...

Aug 26, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

You get really hooked on walking everyday at work, but you forget your work-out gear? You end up walking in ridiculous work clothes. Thank goodness I am a proponent of comfortable shoes! The top was not so comfortable...Let's just say that polyester doesn't breathe very well in 80+ degree heat!

Aug 26

AUGUST 25th: Anticipating Apple Picking

Aug 25, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I might be the only one in my family who awaits the coming of fall with sheer joy and excitement. I love crisper weather. I love cool nights. I even love when it gets dark earlier...makes it just cozy and wonderful to tuck into bed at eight o'clock with a book. The first of the early apples, Paula Reds, were in at my local farm stand. I couldn't resist buying a half dozen of them as they were being unpacked, slightly sweaty with moisture from the August heat meeting the cool September fruit.

AUGUST 24th: Vocab Words You Won't Learn Anywhere Else

Aug 24, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Today's word is merkin. Do you know what one is? No, it's not King Arthur's lesser-known wizard! No, it's a pubic wig. Yup, I learned it from my sister recently (thanks, Sissy!) and found the whole concept fascinating. From Wikipedia:

"The Oxford Companion to the Body dates the origin of the pubic wig to 1450. Women would shave their pubic hair and wear a merkin to combat pubic lice, and prostitutes would wear them to cover up signs of disease, such as syphilis.[4] The term is also applied to decorative – typically sequinned – patches commonly sold in sets with nipple tassels or "pasties", which are enjoying new popularity as part of the costume of new burlesque adult entertainment, and, according to NSOED, is also applied to fake vaginas."

So, imagine my surprise, when I was strolling by the local used bookstore and saw this book...Merkin Enchantment...hmmmm, wonder what that's about?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

AUGUST 23rd: A Hawk and a Rainbow?

Aug 23 009, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

How often are you blessed enough to see a rainbow?
How often are you blessed enough to see a double rainbow?
How often do you get to see a red-tailed hawk?
How often do you get to see a red-tailed hawk fluffing its feathers after a short rain burst UNDER said double rainbow?
Let's just say it's very rare...
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AUGUST 22nd: Raise Your Hand If...

Aug 21 and 22 003, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

You are a worse driver than me? No hands...point taken. I am a horrible driver. I get distracted and have slow reflexes. I am uncoordinated and my neck gets instantly tense in the driver's seat. All these facts conspire to make me one of the worst drivers around. I will admit that.

What you see here is pudding proof of this fact. I drove up on an embankment which resulted in me taking a big, old rock to the passenger side wheel. You can't really see it in this picture, but the rim is destroyed, the tire is ripped in several places. I put it up on "blocks" for several weeks while I researched and gathered all the necessary pieces to get the car fixed. I found a great rim on ebay for half price. Acquired tires from at a steal. I was pretty smugly proud of myself.

When I finally went to drive the car, on it's ridiculously unsteady donut to the car fix-it guys, it hosted a revolt. Loud squeals and grinding noises heaved from under my feet, followed by the loud pop of the driver's side tire being ripped open by broken undercarriage pieces. Had it towed in. Had it inspected. Called insurance. All in all, one little rock, over $3000 in damage!!!!!!

AUGUST 22nd: Baby Photoshoot

One of the fondest memories I have of being a new mother, is photoshooting my babies. Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to be transported back to this time when one of my sister's friends brought her baby for an overnight. Staging, props, lighting...all of it. I love it! I feel like a professional photographer, but also just love the process of watching for different expressions as they come up. Thanks Mary, for the opportunity!

AUGUST 21st: Mystery

Aug 21 and 22 002, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

As I was cleaning Elena's room for a guest, I decided to clean under her bed. I pulled out one of the hospital chucks I keep under her bed in case of a nighttime wet and I found this mystery stain. Who would have vomited on a chuck and then balled it up and stuffed it BACK under the bed? A child? A drunk adult? I burned up the phone lines calling sisters and friends, anyone who might have a clue. The mystery has never been solved. The best suppositions are:

1) It is not vomit, but someone used the chuck to clean up some soup and then someone else thought it was clean and put it back under the bed. Most likely NOT the winning theory.

2) A drunk visitor vomited on it and doesn't remember...the only drunk visitors are family members who are deeply offended by this theory.

3) Lastly was a scenario my mother vaguely described in which Elena wasn't feeling well, she threw up and in complete exhaustion, Mom pushed the thing under the bed to be retrieved later. DING DING DING. We have a winner!

AUGUST 20th: Oh Sweet Freedom!

AUGUST 20, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Miya's in New Haven. Being a grown up. No kids for the evening. No parents awaiting me at home. I danced around the office in anticipation of the freedom that awaited me at the end of the day. Fabulous sushi. Wonderful saki cocktails. Excellent companionship. Life is good.

Friday, September 11, 2009

AUGUST 19th: The New Haven Line

IMG00731.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Sometimes I miss riding the train. Hand in hand with that thought goes missing being an independent to stay in NYC with friends as long as I want. Free and unencumbered. That's not what I am now, for sure I am encumbered. I don't really mind it most days, but on one particular day, when I am racing the train on my current commute to work, I think back to the days of New York City. Back to being twenty-five again. Back to working for a Canadian company in a tiny office off Union Square.

We had a corporate apartment at the Zeckendorf Towers. I stayed there some number of nights. I remember one night of way too many drinks and sleeping on the floor of the Zeckendorf on a blow up mattress.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

August 31st: Good Samaritan

September 1: Good Samaritan, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I am posting my August 31st blog entry earlier than some of the August ones I am still behind in the interest of timeliness. This is news! On September 1st, I went to the grocery store and asked for an extra $20 from the magic cash machine at self-checkout. I was all befuddled by the first day of Kindergarten and forgot to pick up my money (and apparently my receipt). I went in the next day, in a typical Kristen Hail Mary move, and asked if anyone had turned it in. They had!

So, to the Ridgefield good samaritan who returned my money to me, thank you. It's nice to know there are good people out there. Thank you for validating my positive view of humanity.

Elena's First Day of School Self Portrait

IMG00803.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Does this picture just say it all? Open arms...big smile...bright colors. She even has little squares representing the madras patches on the dress she wore. I will spare you the saccharin poem on the reverse side of the card...was it meant to make me cry as some sort of first day of Kindergarten parent therapy?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

AUGUST 18th: Bus Orientation

On the bus, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

The Big Yellow. That's what we called it in our house growing up. My sisters were too cool to ride the big yellow and so they got driven most every day. I, however, had the experience of riding the bus like the plebeian that I am (or oldest child as the case may be). This is a picture of my little shy girl heading off on her first bus trip at the school bus orientation. She seemed to weather it well.

I am told that the first year I rode the bus to school, I came home exclaiming, "MOM! Do you know what a big black dick is?" And when my mom cleverly asked me, "WHY????" I responded that people were calling each other that on the bus. Oh yikes.

Then, when I was in first grade, I remember riding the bus for weeks in terror. There was a fifth grader, who got on about ten stops after me, that would find me and sit in my seat. He would proceed to flip his eyelids inside out at me. Not only was it the creepiest looking thing, but he was a tongue-wagging asshole. He used his power to torture me. I went home and held this abuse a secret. I didn't tell anyone for at least a month. I stopped enjoying school and played sick a lot. My mother had no idea what was wrong until I finally blurted it out in bed one evening as she was putting me to bed. I have no idea, to this day why I thought I shouldn't tell anyone about this. Double yikes.

Today, as I write this blog (I am WAY behind), it is the actual first day of kindergarten. Today Elena will be getting on the real bus, the one that will take her away from me and into the world of independence. That big yellow doesn't just take them to school, does it?