Monday, September 28, 2009


I feel like I have so much to blog about that I don't know where to start, so I have just shut down. But I want to post something so that the eight of you who actually read my blog, and the two of you who actually comment, (thanks Karyn and Alissa), will continue to come back and read my blog. So with that in mind here is a preview of blog topics to come:

1. Paper cranes that are being dutifully folded for a bridal shower for which I am in charge. Bleh. I am SURE there will be more to talk about than just the cranes, but that will be the start.

2. Natalie's desire to decorate the house Clark Griswald style for Halloween. I nipped that one in the bud as I am really a less is more kind of gal. But she is persistent and I am thinking we may be crafting some of them ourselves (always interesting), so Halloween/Fall decoration blog to come.

3. I owe my good friend, Alissa her own blog entry, which I actually have like three drafts of. And then she was here on Friday with the bro's BFF and I was reminded yet again why it is that I want to blog about her.

4. I have a new baby cousin, Brett who needs to be introduced via blog because there is a super cute photo of Natalie holding her little cousin.

Stay tuned...please.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

An Hour Late and a Day Ahead

On Monday, I sleepily rolled over to see that 1. there was a tiny version of myself laying next to me and 2. it was 8:50. 8:50! This is unheard of. The last time I slept that late was very early in the bro's life when I woke up, along with Natalie, at 6am to feed him and I made Dan get up and take care of the big sis so I could go back to sleep. I slept until 9am that day, and obviously will never forget that joy. We definitely needed the sleep after a weekend of traveling to New Jersey and Manhattan and to New Jersey and back to Massachusetts, but man did it throw our entire morning off! We rushed through breakfast to be able to go to the dry cleaner and the grocery store before we had to eat lunch and then take Natalie to school. I had no idea how essential that morning hour was to our lives.

Today I woke up and for the better part of the morning believed it to be Thursday rather than Wednesday. It was until we were racing against the clock - again - this time because I thought I had library duty at Nat's school which required packing a lunch for me, packing a little extra something for the bro, making sure I have a book to read since there would be a collective hour and a half of me waiting, that I was informed today was only Wednesday. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and thanked Izzy for giving me a day of my life back. However, I should have known today was Wednesday for the following reasons:

1. Yesterday we went to story time with Karen, which is our equivalent to Sunday Mass for religious churchgoers. Yes, my daughter and I worship the written word.

2. We watched our friends across the street leave for work/Nana's house and if it were Thursday, Natalie's BFF would have already been at school.

3. Dan did not put the garbage bins out for collection. (Which I actually spent much of my morning silently cursing for missing the garbage day again, because it's not like the man works 80 hours a week or anything...)

I must blame my current scatterbrainedness on the minimal amount of caffeine that I am currently allowed to consume. Clearly, I had no idea how essential that was to my entire functioning.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pride & Joy

I used to work with a woman who is the mother of two girls and she would always refer to them as her, her pride and joy, and then continue to explain to me how one was her pride and one was her joy. Of course in listening to her, I understood what she was saying, but I didn't really get it. But now that I have two of my own, I TOTALLY get it.

I have this little man who is happy 98% percent of the time. No joke, he cries only when he is tired. (Having said that publicly he is guarenteed to cry all day tomorrow for no reason whatsoever.) And he is super chill. Saturday, we spent the afternoon in Manhattan, and he was content to sit in the high chair and eat borscht and spanikopita. And when he isn't trying ethnic delights, he wakes up with a smile and his happy to watch his kooky sister dance around the house all day. Joy.

And Thing 1, well, she is certainly my pride. We spent this past summer learning a new "SAT" word each week. Now that she is back at school, we do more playing at home and less hardcore learning. But this past weekend, as I was reading her Little Red Riding Hood, there was a phrase of words which all began with "w". I asked her, "Natalie, what is it called with you have a few words in a row that all begin with the same letter?" She ummed for a little, and with a big smile on her face, "Aziliation!" It was good enough for me. And when she isn't being a four year old English prodigy, she is just being a good, nice, fair kid. Pride.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's All Greek to Me Revisted

Ha ha on me. Just so I don't seem like a complete idiot who pays attention to nothing. For those of you interest Fage Greek style yogurt has the phonetic pronunciation right on the packaging. Perhaps this detox is harder than I thought and it is taking its toll on my powers of observation.

Fa-yeh... in case you were wondering.


It's All Greek to Me

This past weekend my neighbor hooked me up to some machine that sends an electrical current from my right arm down through my right foot. The purpose being to test my basal metabolic rate (Dan for some reason loathes when I say this), toxicity, intra and extro cellular something or get the idea. I was just glad to have it printed on paper that I am actually not morbidly obese. I breathed a sigh of relief when she told me that I would have to weigh 232 at least before I would be considered obese. I have a ways to go, not that that is my goal. Quite the opposite. She works for a chiropractor who offers classes and consultations on how to detox you body. So since Monday I have eaten no processed sugars or preservatives. Other than the fact that I can only have one cup of coffee in the morning, which she begrudgingly allowed, it really isn't that difficult to follow.

I need to consume one serving of dairy a day and the plan suggests Greek style plain yogurt. So I packed the kids up and we headed to to grocery store to stock up on beans, veggies, and Greek style yogurt. Now I have used Greek style yogurt in recipes, but I have never actually sat down and eaten 6 oz of it. So there I am, standing in front of the case of yogurts and there are four choices: Stoneyfield Farms Oikos, which the fact that the name sounds similar to "oink" would normally turn me off, but I put it in the cart anyway, Brown Cow's aptly named Greek Yogurt, straight and to the point, I like it, in the cart, Chobani, who by far has the prettiest packaging, in the cart, and Fage, which I don't think anyone who is not Greek actually knows how to pronounce. Is it fah-hey or fahsh, I don't the cart.

I am like America's Test Kitchen now and doing the taste testing for anyone who thinks they may be interested in consuming Greek style yogurt.

The first one I tried was the Stoneyfield Farms, the container was quickly recycled which is why it is not in the photo. But it was find. Heavier than a Dannon plain yogurt and tart, if I were allowed any sugar a little honey would go a long way.

I wanted to save the Chobani for last since I had decided it would taste the best because of the packaging. NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER! Bleh! I shouldn't say bleh, if you are looking for a sour cream alternative, this is your plain yogurt. Literally, I ate 6oz of pseudo sour cream. It was gross!

After my Chobani experience, I decided to just use the Brown Cow as sour cream and paired it with half a sweet potato (my category 2 vegetable) Much like the Stoneyfield Farms, it was very much a more American yogurt consistency, BUT I think that Greek style yogurt as sour cream is a much better way to consume it.

So that leaves on the unpronounceable Fage. Again, I had a mouthful of sour cream, which when you know you are consuming sour cream is much better that eating yogurt only to find that it tastes like sour cream. However, with that said, I had gained wisdom from the Chobani debacle, so I didn't make the same mistake twice and I mixed it will berries.

There you have it my eight faithful readers. Spare your taste buds and buy some Yoplait Whips.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nostalgia and Natalie's First Day of School

I know that it is January 1st that is supposed to bring the new year, but for me I have always measured this year and last in terms of a school year. So when the mornings started below 65 degrees and the evening darkness started creeping up on us around 7:15, I felt the pang in my heart of school years past. I remember the anticipation of being able to wear those special, brand new clothes that were purchased just for that year, which really weren't going to be weather appropriate until maybe mid-October, but I would try them all on the week before school started anyway.

There is something about the smell of early September that takes me right to the start of every school year, and I breath deeply and remember them each like a little movie in my mind. This time of year makes me miss high school soccer nights at La Trenta Field, college hikes to drunken frat parties, and they were hikes out of the woods into the civilization of campus and beyond...and they were certainly drunken in an effort to convince our bodies they were warm. It reminds me of my first year teaching, the best year teaching, that which I miss the most.

For the time being, it would seem that my school days are done, sort of. This week marked a new school year milestone and my baby girl began her first week at Oak Meadow Montessori School. And it was when I watched my all too well adjusted four year old trot off with a boy, a boy! Wearing a Pats jersey, no less, that I was actually saddened that our loooooonnnnnngggg summer days together would be ending. But on the flip side, it is a whole new wardrobe to look forward to.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Keep Your Friends Close

At our impromptu Chinese/apple picking bbq on Monday, over pureed peas and carrots, Izzy and I were talking, well I was talking and Izzy was listening, about the dinner Dan and I had the previous night.

Sunday evening was a great first, of I hope more to come, dinners with our neighbors from across the street. We had, what I thought, was great conversation over candlelight and wine, but I drank a lot of wine, so my memory of the whole night could be fuzzy. Anyway, my new friend and neighbor was sharing with me her spiritual beliefs, which I always find interesting, because I don't really know what mine are. I like to be in the know. I like to understand that which is unfamiliar to me and as I was sharing with Iz about our dinner, she interjected to say, "I just see you there Kristen, sitting at the table, swirling your glass of wine in one hand, saying with true sincerity, 'Tell me more about this spiritual path you are on." (That is totally not a quote, but a definite paraphrase.) I had to laugh, because Izzy hit the nail on the head. That was EXACTLY what happened.

I think my new friend and neighbor may have thought I was patronizing her, I am not sure, as I mention, there was a lot of wine involved. But when I recapped to Iz, and she could perfectly vision the night, I felt very lucky to have this new friend across the street to share her life and this old friend with whom I have already shared so much life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Sometimes the best plans are the plans that aren't planned at all. I feel like there is a lot of pressure to have plans for holidays such as New Year's Eve, Memorial Day, Fourth of July... Somehow, I have been brainwashed to believe that I am supposed to be at or hosting a fabulous gathering that people will talk about for months, and if I am neither invited nor have enough invitees, I am a loser. I expressed this to Dan who quickly responded, "You aren't a loser, you're a parent." Hmmmm. I am pretty sure at some point these two words will be synonymous to if not both, at least one of my children.

As of last Thursday, we had no plans, which quickly turned into not enough time to do everything. We went to a country fair on Saturday, and by country, I mean cattle and chicken contests, with ribbons, and bake-offs and the like. It was Charlotte's Web in real life. Sunday brought a family hike at our local drumlin, Mount Pizka. (I don't actually know if that is how you spell it, but I do know that a drumlin is some sort of glacial formation. I know this because Dan told me.) Our hike was followed by an outdoor dining and drinking in the backyard with our neighbors.

Sunday brought a last minute get together with the girls, the kids, AND the husbands. There are never husbands. But they trekked to good ole Hudson from the far regions of Rhode Island and New Hampshire and we ordered Chinese food. This may have been one of the best BBQs ever. There was no cooking, no cleaning, no responsibilities for anyone to bring anything. It was, in short, fabulous. And it gets better! After we had Chinese food, we headed up the road, about five miles, and did some early apple picking, cider drinking, donut eating, and goat petting. No losers here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mosaic House Revisited

Today on the back end of our walk, European neighbor lady was hard at work tiling her chimney. Natalie and I stopped to stare at work. I stared because I am bizarrely mesmorized by its weirdness and Natalie stopped because she thinks it is cool. I know this because she asked if we could tile the front of our house.

Since Neighbor was outside, I asked if it would be ok if Natalie took a closer look at what she was doing. She was delighted to show us an up close view of her tiling work and I learned the following:

1. She is from Vienna, Austria
2. Her tiling is inspired by an Austrain artist, whose name I don't remember, who does this to entire apartment buildings in Austria.
3. She began tiling the front of her house, because she tiled everything inside that could be done, kitchen, bathroom, et al, and her patio, which she was more than happy to take us to see.
4. She is fully aware that all the neighbors think her tiled house is crazy, and she doesn't care. The artist in me respected this, even though, I do think it is crazy.
5. She is also aware of the fact that nobody will buy her house now.
6. She has two cats, Giocomo and Leonardo, and they are skittish.
7. She is into orange in a weird way.
8. She has two daughters, one in college the other a junior in high school and they bought a car together.
9. She is embarrased by her husband's Toyota Tacoma, which I found amusing since I now know that not only is the front of her house tiled, but the entire patio and inside is as well.