Friday, November 30, 2012

1st Annual 10 Favorite Things

I'm sure you are already looking forward to the 2nd annual....

I'm not a crafty gal, but I do love to shop and know super places to find cute things. I'm not the good girl who always has a deal or a coupon, but I  love finding unique gifts to give. (Having said that, I just bought iTunes cards in bulk for our cousin exchange...not very creative).

#1- Strolling through Hip and Humble, I came across these. I bought myself one so that Bill and I won't mix up our contact cases. About $5.95.

#2 Yuuuummm! After I drop my kids off at school, I pass a Starbucks. When I'm feeling weak, I will stop for their super hot chocolate. Pricey, but good. So, strolled into Costco and saw this! Yum. It's mixed with milk and it tastes just like it!

#3- It tasted even better if you have one of these! A cheap Ikea frother. It's like $2.00 or something like that. My kids love it. 

#4- Also from Hip and Humble is this cute kids quote book. I have half-heartedly have kept a notebook with my kids funny quotes, but not too cute. This is way funner to write them down. Macy is so very quotable right now, so it's perfect. $14 or so. Great gift for moms and grandmas.

#5-Last year, I found this spray at Thistle here in Draper. It's yummy smelling on your counters. There are several scents, but I like pomegranate the best. They can't keep it in stock there, but I've ordered it online for the same price. $14.95 I believe, but a little goes a long way.

#6- Some little girl in our house is in love with piggies. This was on clearance at Pier One. I sure hope Santa sees this. 

#7- My stockings I got last year from Red Envelope. My only regret is that our initials don't spell some great Christmas word. 

#8-We've always had Han Solo on our tree (thanks Stacey), but we now have a talking Darth Vader. It's pretty funny. It must be if I allow it to grace my Santa tree.

#9-My awesome short boots. I love these because I feel like I really have to commit to an outfit to wear long boots. These, I can throw on with anything. I love them.

#10-Pirate-O's: I'm so lucky to have this place close. I love the great samples of appetizers, but mostly I really love the cute, unique candies. I'm pretty sure Santa shops here to get stocking stuff.

Anyways...happy shopping! What are your favorite things right now?

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I've wanted to write this post for about 3 weeks, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. My poor kitty died after a long and generally happy 13 years with us. I had no idea how much this was going to affect me, but it really has torn me up inside. 

Fosse was a great cat. He was so sprite and silly as a kitten. We got him right after we moved into our house. We had no furniture, and we would entertain ourselves for hours with a laser pointer on our bare walls. This cat could leap. 
Sadly, the years went by and he got older and more tired. About 5 years ago, we had to remove several of his teeth and then proceeded to spend a fortune on smelly wet cat food. He about lost his life when (as a kitten) clawed up Bill's favorite leather chair. That's when he got his nickname, Fuzzbutt. Fosse had several traumatic car rides and pulled tails. He was also strange in the fact that he would only drink from a bowl of water in my bathtub. 

 But mostly he survived the arrival of 4 kids. Fosse definitely had his nose pulled out of joint each time another one appeared. He always looked up at us and sighed like "really...another one?"
He tolerated the kids, but never really accepted them. He knew he was our first baby, and was not willing to spend a lot of time on them. Macy was kind of the exception. He had given up all pride by then. 

But, me and Fosse....we were tight. He cuddled up to me every night. He would spend most the day in my room, and waltz out every night as the kids went to bed. He'd nuzzle his head on mine on the couch. I've always been a cat person, and I really just feel that a cat is a calming presence in a home. Heaven knows my house needs a calming presence. He was very comforting to me, especially after a long day and always when Bill is gone so often. I need that. We were close. I still expect to see him every time I go in my room. It's hard.

So, the last few weeks of his life, he was throwing up all food he ate and really lethargic. For about 2 1/2 days, he was curled up in my closet and didn't move much. I would bring food to him, but to no avail. On Monday, I just laid down with him for awhile. It was strange. I knew he was in pain, and his eyes were dilated so big (a sign of the end) and I feel like we both just came to peace with what was going to happen. It was a sweet moment. I'm glad we had that time. Bill took him in to the vet that night ( I could not do it), and he had several major issues that would've been too much to fix. He just was so old, we couldn't do it. Fosse had an excellent life. 

(right before he died)
 The kids took it hard and it was a rough night. If you ever lose a pet, there is a great book called "Cat Heaven". It made me feel better too, though I still cry reading it. Bill even took it hard. 

As much hassle as pets can be (I can't say I miss the fur everywhere), they are such a presence in your home. I feel like Fosse was such a huge part of our home and daily life. It is so weird without him. I miss him so much. 

I know...I sound very "Crazy Cat Lady", but oh well. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

New York Part 4....THE END

Really, this is the end! I take way too many pics!

After the Brooklyn Bridge, my brother took all the boys home and the girls were off for an adventure at the American Girl store.

 So back up to 5th Ave
 Caroline knew exactly what she wanted and where to find it and had it done within seconds. Emi (having an early birthday gift card from Grandma Newman), just kind of had to soak it all in. She was in heaven. She finally decided on this cute little green pull out bed for her doll and a couple outfits. How was I going to put this in my carry-on luggage, but oh well. Once again, the mega-bag they gave us was awesome! It's all about the bag. 

Again, so nice to be with locals. Kathryn introduced us to the personal shopper room. It was free to anyone, but no one else was there. It had couches and they rang you up in there. So very fun AND they give you a little AG bag for your doll. My kind of shopping.

Off to the cafe. This is our second time, but Emi was quite young the first time and truly appreciates it now. The funny thing, there is always these big, manly waiters there serving these little girls. They must pay well. 

  Drinking our Shirley Temples.

Sunday morning, we jaunted over to the NY Botanical Gardens, on the last day of their Monet garden exhibit. So beautiful.

A great time! Then off to church and hanging out at home. 

Thanks to Mark and Kathryn and the bunch for a fabulous few days. We couldn't have done it without you.

 Bye, bye NYC!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New York Part 3

Wow...this was going to be the final chapter, but there's just too much! I guess that is the sign of a really good trip.

Saturday morning, I took P and E into the city on the train. We walked to Rockefeller Center, but first Parker had to show off his Rockette kick in front of radio city.

I don't remember a big Lego store in Rockefeller before, but here it was. Someone was pleasantly surprised. 

I love the "Yellow Man Group"

After enjoying that, I did come across the shoe ferris wheel at Sax. Love it.
Stepped into St. Paul's Cathedral. I forget how amazing it is. 
Had to take a "Breakfast at Tiffany's" shot for Grandma. I can't tell you how fun it was to stroll down 5th ave with my kids. So fun.
We rolled into FAO Schwartz to see the fun. They are super friendly, as they should be. They were letting kids make their own Lego soldiers to keep for free. 
You can have a Muppet commissioned for a few hundred bucks. 
Emi had her only "teary" moment in FAO as we were leaving. She really wanted to buy something with her allowance, but couldn't decide. So she found a small adorable stuffed monkey. Hallelujah. I talked the sales guy into giving her the big FAO bag. She really wanted to have a shopping bag on 5th Ave. I may love her more now than ever and it's nice to see my genes pop out on this kid. 

Then we headed over to Central Park, stopping for some "dirty dogs" and pretzels for lunch. Oh yes...and a red gatorade. Remember this.
The leaves were floating down from the trees, the sun was shining, perfect temperature, not too crowded......Yum! One of my favorite New York moments ever ( I have a whole bunch, though). The kids spent a long time climbing rocks. Emi's got her hands up at the top.

I really wanted to get them up to Bethesda Fountain, but knew we were short on time and had to conserve our walking energy. So, I hailed over our new friend the "Serbian Pink-Shirt Pedicab Man" to help us out. Expensive, yes, but I could add that to our transportation list.

It's about now where the red gatorade hits Parker, despite my warning that there was no bathroom in the park. We had tickets for the 9/11 memorial and had to get down there. We exited the park and found no restroom. Hit the subway, no restroom. I could have sworn the kid was going to lose it right there on the train (probably wouldn't be the first). The train had to stop for awhile as well because of a problem at the end of the line. Luckily, we got off the train in lower Manhattan and found a coffee shop. He made a little bit of a scene getting to the bathroom. Oh well. 

Lower Manhattan makes NO sense streetwise, but we found the 9/11 memorial. It's hard to get the free tickets, but I luckily got 3 for us. Major security, as you can imagine, but it was worth it.

 It's extremely peaceful.

 I thought this was sweet.
 This tree survived and they've nursed it back to health.

So, after that, thinking it would be a quick jaunt to the Brooklyn Bridge to meet my bro's family, we started walking again. It wasn't so short and we were late, so I hailed myself a cab. Woohoo! Another transportation!

The Newman's...the perfect hosts.

 Walking across the bridge.

 from the bridge.

Believe it or not, day 3 ain't over yet, but I'm too tired (as are you if you are still reading these)

Transportation used: Commuter train, subways, pedicab, and cab. And a crazy amount of walking.