Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dutch Wonderland/Hershey Weekend

First and foremost a heartfelt thank you to Jenn Greene for organizing this trip.  It was so thoughtful of her to get all the information, collect all the money, get the tickets, get the meal information and be the liaison for the entire weekend.  So Jenn, thank you!  What a weekend!  I think the kids had an amazing time (as did the parents).  I think it may be best to let the pictures speak for themselves!


Here are the boys eagerly awaiting their fine cuisine!


Preston’s favorite part of the trip-the train ride!


“Driving” his log boat!


Here is Pres and I in front of the “spinning house.”  The house spins, you don’t and this is the one ride all my siblings remembered from when we first went to Dutch Wonderland when were were children.  Preston thoroughly enjoyed this illusion, mommy has gained a stomach that can no longer handle these types of “rides.”  After he insisted on the motion rocket ship and I spent the ride with my eyes closed I was done with anything with potential to make me dizzy.


Preston and Seamus loving the bulldozer ride.  Fred (Ethan’s dad) and I totally believed this was the lamest ride in the park but all the kids thought this was super cool.



Preston was impressed with the pony.  Destini reminded him that he could do this in West Virginia for free! We may have to pay the Davis family a visit!



This was the reaction we got after a long day of putting cameras in their faces.  I guess it serves us right. 


Preston chilling at our hotel after a long day! 


Today was Hershey Chocolate World Tour!


The Mommy picture!  We all rock!


How great was Trace to allow all the kids to play with his trucks? let me tell you about a certain kid that may not have been so willing…..


On the chocolate tour ride.




We had a great weekend!  More pics to come on Facebook!!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

American Idol-the Finale

This may possibly be my last Idol blog ever.  It’s been so much fun.  This Idol recapping gives me a chance to self express and write creatively and what you read is what you get-that’s me.  With Simon leaving the show I am hesitant to throw in the towel and not even give the show a chance (let’s be honest, I’m a nosey bitch, I’ll totally watch), but I cannot promise blogging.  Tonight was quite possibly the best finale of all nine seasons.  I leave you with…my observations of same.

1. The Idols started the night raiding the closets of St. Anthony’s High School, picking out the uniforms, rolling up the skirts (said infraction caused me many a detention) and rocked with Alice Cooper.  Who by the way does not age.  Seriously.  He still sounds the same, looks the same and you have to give a man props who at that age can still apply eye liner that well!

2.  Michael McDonald needs to find his local Pearl Vision and splurge on some new specs…and while we are on specs, the specs worn by one of the Bee Gees (don’t ask me which one) also need to be replaced.  In fact I wish I could find a picture of me circa freshman year (1992-1993) sporting those round glasses along with the following ensemble: orange short sleeved silk shirt, rolled denim shorts and a tie.  Yes.  I was that hot.

3. I really love Hall & Oates.  They occupy significant space on my iTunes catalogue. And you have to hand it to a band that still rocks a synthesizer.  You all recall my obsessions with Casio keyboards and when I see one I get slightly nostalgic and giddy (and still bitter that I got a globe and not a Casio that Christmas).

4.  What the hell was Christina Aguilera wearing?  Even for a teeny tiny girl (seriously she is the size of my thigh), that outfit was not flattering.  Like at all. 

5.  Alanis.  I heart you.  I still don’t understand why you would care that much about Uncle Joey breaking your heart. How “ironic” that after your performance they panned to Lori Loughlin?

6. Kris Allen is really kind of a weenie right?

7.  Carrie Underwood-I heard her lyrics wrong.  I thought the lyric to her new song “Undo It” said something to the effect of I wish my life were the way it was before.  And I chuckled.  (The real lyric is about her life before she met the man she is singing about). Because I am confident Carrie would not undo anything in her life.  Pretty sure rocking that ginormous piece of bling beats the hell out of plucking chickens and dodging cow pies.

8.  Let’s talk about the Ford “surprises.”  I highly doubt after nine seasons Lee and Crystal were “stunned” by Ford’s “generosity” in giving them a Ford Fiesta.  I think some mountain bikes cost more than a Fiesta. The least Ford can do after making the Idols have to perform those lame commercials week in and week out is give them a car out of their middle of the line and not something I could put together on the assembly line.  But the kicker this year was Ford took it upon themselves to magnify the “graphics” Lee and Crystal created for said Fords during one of the lame commercials and putting it one their individual cars.  I am pretty sure if they had an inkling their slapping paint around would wind up on the ENTIRE car, they would have rethought the graphics.  How awful were those cars?  First order of business would be taking that bad boy to the shop and repainting it.  Too bad the Cash for Clunkers program is over.

9.  So of course once I figured out this was a star studded event, as soon as I heard a song start I knew who would be showing up.  When I heard Casey, that fine piece of…oh sorry,  start singing “Every Rose has It’s Thorn”  I turned to my mom like a little kid on Christmas Eve and said, “You think he’s there mom?  Will he show up? Do  you think?  Huh? Huh? Huh?”  And I saw the audience rise….. and by God there he was!  Oh Brett! How I love you. What a great day in Heaven when God created those gorgeous eyes of yours.  What a masterpiece. And I truly hope God continues to watch over him because how awesome is Brett?  This may have been my favorite part of the show hands down.

10.  I laugh that My Space is trying once more to get themselves into the forefront by having Idol auditions streamed through their website.  I was tempted to change my Facebook status to reflect my lack of caring about that.  

11  Chicago.  I recall vividly the Chicago concert I attended with Mel at Jones Beach.  Her parents came too and we made them switch seats so they didn’t sit near us….because recall-in freshman and sophomore year of high school Mel and I were VERY very cool.

12. PANTS ON THE GROUND!  Preston would have KILLED this performance.  But the duet partner was William Hung.  Here’s my question, where in Heaven’s name does 19 Productions go about finding William Hung?  Really?  Oh right….probably Facebook.

13. I love when they pan to the home towns.  I think one year they should have had an Idol correspondent at a football field with like 11 people milling around.  Totally freak out the contestant.  (Why Matt Rogers by the way?  Do you remember this guy-always reminding everyone how he played one season in Division 6 football?)

14.  Paula.  I miss Paula.  I was half hoping she was announcing she would be the Idol judge again.  You know when she came out Kara wanted to kill herself.  Or maybe kill Paula.  But she was the icing on the cake to the Simon tributes tonight.  Which by the way were fantastic.  I will truly miss Simon so much. He’s like a real life Dr. House-just say it.  Who cares about the consequences.  But Simon can get away with it.  Because he is Simon Cowell.  I’m Kim Raab. There is a difference, albeit slight, but a difference nonetheless (LOL).   

15.  Speaking of tributes I LOVED the tribute to Simon with all the Idol contestants, but where was David Cook?  Interesting that he is missing considering that was the finale I missed because Chris and Anna insisted on getting married in Ireland. I mean what was he doing?  He had a better gig?  Couldn’t come and join, I don’t know… 100 of the other contestants and the other seven Idol winners?  I understand he is cooler than say Taylor Hicks who was probably home, but his absence was noted.  Even Archu-loser showed up (minus his dad because he is probably 18 now).  In the past few finales I always had hoped all the Idols would come back.  And they did…except David because he’s cool.

16. Janet rocked.  Although I may have re-thought the pants.  I don’t know what makes one look in the mirror and say, pants with a fishnet slit from ankle to belly button-fabulous. 

17.  I think Joe Cocker was confused and had no idea how it was that he came to be onstage at the Nokia Theatre.  So he just sung his song.  And that song makes me yearn for good sitcoms like “The Wonder Years.”

18.  Our Idol was crowned-Lee!!!!!!  I love Lee.  Even more than Lee I love Lee’s dad.  He is probably the coolest Idol parent ever.  He is so into his son, so unbelievably proud.  And Lee, such a humble amazing guy.  I’m not sure I understand why his single is a U2 song, but whatever.  And just in case the five tons of confetti and the huge LEE WINS jumbo tron was not enough, that would be his formal resignation from the paint store.  He is not giving two weeks notice. Congratulations LEE!  And thank you all for reading!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Preston and Mommy’s Date Weekend

My parents were at their apartment in NYC this weekend so that left Preston and Mommy alone since Thursday night. Thursday night was McDonald’s night (because they were giving away Shrek toys in the Happy Meal). I just have to pause here to show you some earlier in the week photos. Here is Pres in his glow in the dark dinosaur shirt from Grandma. Obviously, from the new signature thumb’s up, he thinks it is pretty cool.


Has anyone seen the new CarMax commercials with the animals that are watching television and when the deal for CarMax comes on the animals turn to the audience and make a surprised face? Well Preston thinks all things animals are hilarious and here is his impression of the monkey getting a great deal at Car Max:


He also wore his new shirt from Cousin Caitlin on Friday to school and thought himself super duper cool:


Friday night was Friendly’s. Preston was even more excited because halfway through his meal he realized his friend Keigan from school was also dining here and well, how cool is that when you are four? Saturday was a really fun day. We decided to finally go see How to Train Your Dragon. I figured with Shrek just opening we would have the theatre all to ourselves and I was right (minus three other people). I also learned after the afternoon show and the nodding off, to take Pres to the first show of the day. Which also works that I am not paying $11 to watch a cartoon movie. I have to say it was a really cute movie and I explained the moral of the story to Pres, even though he did understand all that was going on, besides fire breathing dragons. I was told however he’d like to see Shrek soon (as do I). We also snuck in his gummy worms as the ones at the theatre are $7 for four of them. He told me to make sure they were hidden in my pocketbook and completely zipped up! (Too much).

Later we made a quick stop at the mall to see if we could get a blazer I saw in Janie & Jack for my cousin’s wedding but they did not have his size. So what did we do----ride the train! Pres loves the caboose but a little girl wanted it, so he graciously gave up the caboose for a coach car (pretty miraculous-I was waiting for the breakdown).


Last night before bed we read stories and played with his animal puppets putting on a show. Today we had breakfast together and then watched our fine friend in Radiator Springs (Cars). Then it was his friend Ivy’s birthday party. There was a magician and the kids had a really great time. He is currently passed out from all the excitement, but it is almost dinner time. Because of privacy issues I leave you with pictures taken before the party of just Preston!



He has such a gorgeous profile! I love it! My little love bug!

And a very Happy Anniversary to my parents and Chris & Anna!!!! Many more happy years together!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Lied-This is Really Idol Week 10

Once again I am not going to do a play-by-play critique, rather I will just input my two cents. First of all, Friday night my brother Chris (who totally should start a blog as his comments were quite comical this AI season), posed the following question, "If you were the judges what songs would you pick for each contestant?" Well this was certainly a fun game and Chris e-mailed me at work oday to remind me that no matter how awesome OUR choices were, the judges' picks would be lame. Here were some of our picks:

Casey- "My Wish" or "God Blessed the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts
Crystal-"Like a Rolling Stone" Bob Dylan or mine was "Don't Come Around Here no More" Tom Petty
Lee-"I'm on Fire" Bruce Springsteen or channeling my inner Glee was thinking "One" by U2.

Now the only judge that actually picked a good song was Simon for Lee. Lee's version of "Hallelujah" was by far my favorite performance by any contestant from the entire season. It was moving, it was sung amazing and he even topped himself from "Simple Man" which he chose. Chris, Katie my mother and I really believed that perhaps Casey would pull an upset, but after tonight I am convinced if Lee loses it's akin to when Ruben won Season 2 over Clay Aiken. And perhaps not since Clay Aiken singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" have I been so moved by a performance on Idol.

So now that I think that Lee will be the next American Idol, I have a few other issues I'd like to address:
1) Randy wore that cardigan already this season. Preston would not tolerate a repeated outfit and on national television no less;
2) I've also decided that Casey to females is the equivalent to the Miss USA contestants to males. While watching said pageant last Sunday I almost vomited, project-ally might I add, listening to these women try to formulate an answer to a current events question. I was seriously waiting for, "Wait, like Bar-what? Who is the President now?" That's how painful it was. But the overwhelmingly amount of spray tan and silicone has males overlooking such trivial things such as a woman not having an opinion on some little oil spill right? Well watching Casey you kind of don't care how he sounds, he is that pleasing to look at. And that hair! I would do anything for hair that amazing in humidity.
3) Crystal singing "Amazing" by Paul McCartney was the stupidest song for her EVER. Sorry Ellen, but having her continually repeat a lyric, "I'm a man" is ludicrous. There were other McCartney songs. There was a Beatles catalogue. Would you have had Big Mike if he were still on sing Donna Summer and Barbara Streisand's "Enough is Enough?"
4) "Daughters" was a terrible song choice and Casey actually sounded better on his first song. But of course the judges thought it awesome since they picked it. Nevermind that it was not a good song choice for Casey at all.
5) My mother said she read an article how people felt this season was too much about the judges and not about the contestants. After tonight, considering the only portion of the home visits shown to the viewing audience was the front of a sponsoring AT&T store, I can see that point. There has been more commentary, more Ryan/judges banter, more Karaisms than I care to see. Perhaps the show would not lose viewers if we let the show be about the actual IDOL.
6) Every time Kara says "artist" or some variation on the theme I want to inflict pain on myself.
7) How cute was Lee's dad? He was so proud of his son. Considering I cried when my son had a pizza box on his head I can only imagine him rocking the house on American Idol (which won't happen. I have told you I love Pres more than life and Pres loves music but he cannot hold a tune). So I will cry on the day he graduates med or law school.

Lee stays and to be honest it's really who gets through on the phone lines. I would say Crystal is a shoe in, but Casey's fans may come on with a vengeance tonight.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pass the Catch Up!

All I have been doing lately is playing catch up.  Once Idol is done I can go back to updating about things when they happen. This is going to basically be a post in pictures!  Last weekend our family all participated in the Susan Komen Run in Richmond.  It was a 5K.  Katie ran it and the rest of us walked it.  Our neighborhood sponsors a team each year.  My grandmother had breast cancer along with several friends.  Watching the massive turnout (about nine thousand) was actually overwhelming and emotional.  We had not even crossed the starting line when the winner was crossing the finish line!




Last Sunday was Mother’s Day.  We went to a late lunch in Williamsburg.  It was a gorgeous day and so nice to spend with Mom.  It was awesome that my sister was down for the weekend as well.


I still cannot stop taking pictures of Preston when he is all decked out to go to school in the morning:


This week my son amazed me after I sliced a huge chunk of skin off my finger in a freak accident with the dishwasher (I am not exactly sure what my finger even caught on)!  There was a lot of blood but instead of getting upset, he went into crisis mode, tearing up the stairs as fast as his legs could take him screaming, “ Hold on! I’m getting the Band Aids!”  He then fetched some Neosporin with my mother and gave it a kiss to make it heal.  I was impressed he did not get scared or upset, but just…reacted!

My parents’ backyard looks phenomenal!  I love taking pics of Preston outside as well, although after a few shots the dude became slightly silly!





Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Idol-Week 10

Movie Night. Now I was disappointed with the song choices. Personally I have a list of songs the contestants (or artists, depending upon Jaime Foxx's mood) could have sang: "Dust in the Wind" or "Total Eclipse of the Heart" from the Old School soundtrack, "Ghostbusters" (self explanatory), "Supermodel" from Clueless (although I doubt Bowersox could pull off the knee socks and headbands), "Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta" from Office Space, anything off the Team America soundtrack, "What is Love" from Night at the Roxbury or "Just the Two of Us" sung by Dr. Evil and Mini Me. And I love that we have the return of Jaime Foxx as the mentor because after all when you have a chart smasher such as "Blame it on the Alcohol" you cannot go wrong as a mentor.

Tonight I cannot really even critique the performances individually. Mainly because I am running out of things to say at this late date and second because when I write this blog it is past my bedtime. But I have a few comments/observations.

I want to know if Casey has a bad hair day? Does the humidity reek havoc on his locks and if so what flat iron does he use? And speaking of bad hair days I think Kara's hair resembled mine when I roll out of bed in the morning. Seriously, my hair looks nicer while I am dying a slow death on the elliptical machine. Back to Casey for one moment though. Where does one procure a teal leather jacket?

Crystal cursed on TV which suddenly made her a lot cooler to me, because I would curse on TV. It's hard for me at times not to openly let a curse fly on a Facebook status here and there. I mean think about it, no one has let an f bomb slide this whole season? Please. At least now it seems real to me. But someone needs to give Crystal the memo on the Doc Martin boots. Really. Make sure it's delivered. Crystal did sing Kenny Loggins though, which is funny because I actually thought about Caddyshack for some reason when they mentioned movie night. And Kenny Loggins rocks. A friend of mine once told me if they made a movie of his life, he'd want Kenny Loggins to be the soundtrack. Who doesn't sing "Forever" really loud in their car when it comes on?

Mike sang MJ. I think I told the story of this before-when I was a camp counselor I had the 10-12 year old girls all dance to "Will you be There." Mel and Kate have never let me live down the Free Willy dance. I think I have it on video somewhere. I should totally YouTube it because it was pretty darn amazing. And anything by MJ rocks.

Finally the dumbest line of the night goes to Randy: "I don't know if I was like jumping up and down...." Yes you do Randy. You know this. You already know the answer. One would know if they actually jumped up and down. Even if he liked the performance I don't think I have ever witnessed Randy actually jumping up and down. So Randy, to answer your question, you were not, in fact, jumping up and down.

This is a tough one tonight. I think Crystal and Lee are safe. I'd like to see Mike go through because I don't think Idol has ever done a home town visit in New York. And if they do go to Astoria this will be the night my father points to every street corner and gives you a history of same. So for the hometown visit I am kind of pulling for Mike here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Another Birthday and a Wedding

Yet another year older…me.  Wedding…not me.  First off, I celebrated my birthday Tuesday.  Look at my son’s card!


Have to love the flip flips and the Spider Man sticker.  My mother put a bag of goodies together for me from Preston and when I thanked him he told me, “I didn’t get it. Grandma bought it.”  (This Melisa K. is why Preston I feel is on track to be a lawyer not a doctor as I was hoping).  My assistant made me this cake!

Cake 1 Cake 3

A few weeks ago the honour of our presence was requested at the union of Q & U. This is a program called Q&U’s Wedding and was exclusive to the Montessori program this year.  Preston was the letter P and I received his lines, “My gift to you is the letter P and its sound.  P is for pizza, P is for pan, P is for pencils in my can.”  Easy enough.  I’ll practice with him every morning until he is completely perfect. My mother even bribed him with a toy.  But then there was a pink piece of paper attached announcing to the parents that a costume would need to be MADE in accordance with the lines.

Now, I have admitted that when I walk into Michael’s/Ben Franklin’s /overwhelming craft store, I start to shake.  I never feel more like a failure than being amongst markers, beads, wood pieces, paint and pom poms and having no idea what to do.  If you have not guessed, “Ms. Type-A-Always-in-Control” was having a virtual meltdown.  Emily saved my life.  I remembered the P shirt SHE SEWED for Preston for his birthday. That’s right SEWED herself! THANK YOU EMILY!  Then I got a pizza box, a pan and a can decorated with “P”s with pencils. That was as creative as it got.  Miss Kim called me at work yesterday and asked if I minded if Preston wore a hat with the pizza box on his head?  You can imagine that at this point, an e-mail was immediately shot off to Mel along the lines of, “I can’t even that Pres is wearing a pizza box on his head tomorrow!!!  He will look beyond ridic in cuteness.” Needless to say I was excited about the pizza box on the head.  Here are some of the pics from this event.  I will have you know my son did FANTASTIC!  Lines were done perfect, into the microphone with clarity, very slow.  Mommy had a LOT of tears in her eyes.

IMG_3751 IMG_3747

IMG_3753 IMG_3748







Tuesday, May 4, 2010

American Idol Week 8

This is going to be short and sweet tonight. It's my birthday so I feel as if I have "homework" to do by blogging when really I want to watch the new episode of Glee. Frank Sinatra night. Everyone loves Frank right? Well everyone except my Grandma Raab, bless her soul. Seriously. She did not like Frank Sinatra, which I did not even think was allowed during her time. I thought you were caned for that. Besides Grandma, everyone loved Frank. Especially my Pop-Pop, my mother's father. His favorite song was "My Way" and I am pretty sure both Katie and I had him light his candle at our Sweet 16s to that song (yes we had Sweet 16 parties. And yes there were candle lighting ceremonies---it's a blog entry in and of itself). Just in case you guys had no idea, I'm a Yankee fan. (Shocker right)? After every Yankee game "New York, New York" plays at the Stadium. If they lose, Liza sings, if they win, Frank sings. Fortunately Frank sings a lot. I played this repeatedly to Preston in utero. Second awesome thing about tonight was Harry Connick Jr. He is very Dick Clark-ish in that he does not age. Seriously he looks exactly as he did Will & Grace. Second he is just drop dead sexy. So this made it an enjoyable hour of television (OK, forty minutes since I DVR).

Aaron- sang "Fly Me to The Moon." Most of Sinatra's songs are big wedding band hits. And as I explained many moons ago, I worked at a catering hall in high school. (Catering halls in Long Island equals big weddings...big Italian weddings where there is always a Frank montage). This song brings me back to those sweet high school days where my concern was serve the cake, pray to hear Donna Summer's "Last Dance" and go party with the staff that consisted of Mel, Dennis, my high school boyfriend Derek, their best friend Jim and a ton of other guys and girls. A nice thought on my 25th (*32nd) birthday. Anyway, I think Aaron is adorable and personally I'd like to see him replace Justin Vomit Beiber. Also I noticed that Randy is reading my blog and took off his awful beaded necklace.

Casey "Blue Skies" I couldn't concentrate on Casey's performance because who can handle the eye candy overload of Casey and Harry together? Is there a woman alive who really cares what Casey sings? He can sing "Elmo's World" and I'll like it. The judges, however, pulled him apart. Perhaps because big band really isn't his "thing." It's akin to asking Frank to sing Creed.

Crystal "Summer Wind" I agree she was kind of boring but once again this really is not her genre. It appears she may be growing out her dreads. But she was not a convincing big band diva with the back tat and lip piercing.

Big Mike-"The Way you Look Tonight" Mike did very well. In fact I think this is the type of music he should sing. He was suave and did a good job.

Lee "That's Life" This was interesting for me. I personally did not think it was his best performance even though I love Lee. But true to form the judges and I never see eye to eye and Lee was their favorite, so go figure.

My pick to go: Unfortunately, I think it will be Casey.
And btw: as I type this, Frank is singing tonight at the Stadium.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Playing Catch Up!

Last week Preston had a little Spring Fair at the school.  His new fave obsession is bounce houses.  The younger kids jumped for awhile but it was taken over by the bigger kids from the elementary school.  Preston begged me pretty much every five minutes for another chance to bounce.  At one point (my future lawyer) said, “Mommy, I can bounce with the bigger kids.  I won’t die.”  That was his convincing argument. It was so funny I couldn’t stop laughing for a while after that. How does one distract?  A Spongebob ice cream.  He also played the cake walk since his teacher Miss Kim was running it and won four cupcakes (my kid needs to start winning money not treats).  He also is so excited he can ride all the bikes on the playground now!


Last weekend also marked the beginning of another season of the Short Pump Mall Train and Mommy squeezing into a very small car.  The only saving grace are all the other parents on the ride-we can all look ridiculous together. 


Tuesday was school picture day and Emily will understand the following: On the menu that day at school was spaghetti and meatballs.  Preston is in a new outfit.  Are you guys understanding the dilemma?  Solution?  Only kid in the school who brought a change of clothes for after pictures.  Here are some pictures from before school-excuse the few “spots” it’s water from me fighting with Preston’s awesome cowlick.



Friday was my father’s birthday so of course Preston baked a cake.  Because my dad is a Met fan and surprisingly they are in first place, I decorated the cake with blue and orange dots.


I love this time of year.  My parents’ garden looks amazing and it’s a great time to take pics of the flowers. Have a great week everyone!