Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Sesame Magic – Opening Day at Sesame Place

May 6, 2013
Maybe it was because it was Opening day, or maybe it was because I worry in my heart that Big Girl is going to look at me one day soon and be like “Mom, I’m all grown out of this stuff now,” but everything seemed extra-magical and special that Saturday at Sesame Place.
A little girl, maybe 4 years old sat next to me before the evening parade. She had a new Abby Caddaby plushy from one of the gift shops that she was very happy to show me (probably because I was wearing my Abby visor and puffs.) She asked, “Do you think she’s real?” I answered, “Of course I do, she’s right in your hands! And we’ll see her in the parade!” I swear that little girl was planted there to have that conversation with me. Sesame magic has always been really-real to me.

(She was a chatty little one, she engaged all of us.)

On the long drive home, I thought more about Sesame magic and how it might seem to my girls.  When I was 5, my favorite Sesame Street bit was Bert, doing the “er-er-pigeon”.  How could he dance like that, how could see his shoes?  How does that work?  Like how it is that no matter how crowded the park is, what part of the line we are in, this girl gets whatever horse she wants every. single. time.

…how a couple years ago the girls decided they wanted to catch an Abby poof that launches from one of the floats in the parade and since then, we’ve caught at least one for each girl every time we’ve visited.  This time we caught three, and shared one with our little friend.  She was speechless, for a second.

This time it seemed like the staff at Sesame Place was extra magical, too.  The girl at Ernie’s bed bounce played tag with the big kids when it was their turn.  It was cool to give the kids a little structure and focus instead of aimlessly bouncing (which is fine, too, but you know…).

(I think Little Girl took this pic, it was on their camera)

A whole gang of workers played Red Light Green Light and Duck Duck Goose before the evening parade – it was WONDERFUL.  Rather than just sitting and asking every 32 seconds when the parade would start, everybody got a chance to stay busy.  The time went by quickly.

The girls were lucky enough to be chosen to dance in the parade too.  I SWEAR there is no trick to this, they just get picked.  Like, fairly often.  There must be something about them that catches the dancers’ eyes.

There’s a link here:

There was a bit of a free-for-all when some streamers popped out into the crowd towards the end, lots of little kids ran into the parade path.  The dancers motioned to hold back the floats and everyone got back to their parents.  Big and Little Girl hadn’t moved from our spot, they know after all this time not step into the parade.  The “kid” that chose them to dance saw them standing there once the parade started up again and handed them a scoop of the streamers.  A simple gesture, but I think that was magic to my girls.

That look on Big Girl’s face, I want that magic forever.


Here and now.

February 15, 2013

Today is the day. The snow is clear, the pantry is stocked, no more yukko carbs and sugar, no more excuses. (Someone hold me.)

Last year after I hurt my hip I knew it was time to do something about my weight.  It was time to either go up (another) pants size, or feel better in the size I was wearing.  I stepped on the scale and the number was the same as the week I was ready to deliver Little Girl.  That right there was not acceptable.  I couldn’t exercise because of the type of injury I had, but I knew that if I changed my diet things would more in a more positive direction.  I did a modified no/low carb/sugar thing and it worked for me.  I lost 25 lbs slowly, and went down a full size (probably 2, the pants I was wearing were screaming for mercy).  I slowed up on the loss when it got to be time for my sister’s wedding and I completely went off the wagon when the dress fit just right.  And after the wedding, I never got back ON the wagon.  Where did that wagon go?


I’ve regained only a pound or two, plus or minus on any day, but it’s time to focus my energies again.  And this time, my hip is mostly better so I should get some walking in to help things progress.  You don’t need to know any of this (and probably care very little), but I feel like I need to be accountable to myself again.  There aren’t going to be any before or after shots, no celebrations for milestones hit, but hopefully *I’ll* notice, and get to wear some of the old things hanging in my closet.  Let’s go, Vanessa.

Who are these little people, where are my babies?

January 28, 2013

We all go for haircuts as a family.  This made it easier when the girls were small, one parent would watch tiny children while the other was getting beautified.  I’ve been going to William  at Hairdresser On Fire for years and years and more years than he or I would like to admit to, I think.  Hubs started coming as a convenience and the girls would get their bangs trimmed (and partake in lollipops and munchkin donut holes).  The girls decided this week they were taking the plunge into legit haircuts.  I was only slightly panicked, but I knew Will would take care of all of us.  He did a wonderful job. (Of course.)

(Her head must feel 2 lbs lighter!)

(She wanted to be the same as Kit.  I think that was achieved here!)

While looking for something else today, I found pics from William’s from 2008. OMGosh.  He takes such good care of us.

They’re growing up so much!!  (Though William has stayed exactly the same.)

Cold, Winter Crazies

January 24, 2013

Hey there, I’m not sure what I’m doing.  It’s cold, I’m holed up in my house as much as I can be, and I’m aimlessly being crafty.  I bought a scarf on etsy that I thought was super adorable, and before it even arrived in the mail, I went and bought the yarn and tool to make my own.  Good thing because the one I made went home with my boss at the scrapbook store the first time I wore it.  It was SUPER cute and everyone there wanted their own. =D

AND it matched her phone.  She HAD to have it.

So that one little scarf has turned in to a whole other side-business for Queenvanna, we’re calling Queenvanna’s Closet.  I reserved the shop name on etsy, but I haven’t listed any scarves because I keep selling them in person.  There are worse things that could happen, for sure!

The yarns are gorgeous, and one person commented that she was surprised by how soft hers felt.  They’re really soft!  So yay, scarves!!


I’ve made some really cool perpetual calendars in the past few weeks, I’ve hoarded  collected some really pretty papers recently.

I’ve run in to a small problem though, my stock of unfinished calendars is dwindling.  Usually hubs makes a couple hundred to get me through the winter, but he was having trouble finding good wood, then we had a hurricane, a freak October snow-thing, it’s 4 degrees and windy now, and blah blah blah, I’m out of calendars at the moment.  (TRY NOT TO PANIC, OK PANIC!)  Fear not, I have plenty already made in my shop.  Click this to go to there: MY SHOP!

In the meantime, I’ve been making little decorative blocks:

and I have ideas for lots more… birthday blocks, Valentine’s blocks, wedding blocks… so many possibilities until I get some more calendars made.  Good help is hard to find, I tell ya!

I’m so ready for spring…

Cupcake Birthdays and School Valentines

January 11, 2013

Coming up we have a certain girl turning 8 years old, and Valentines Day.  Nearly-8-year-old-girl is having a small birthday party with her friends at home in a few weeks.  She chose a decorate-your-own-cupcakes party.  Yay, easy!!  (Or so I thought.)  We were talking about activities and favors – I suggested aprons w the attendee’s names on them instead of treat bags, but I got shot down.  Treat bags are in, treat bags are cool.  And not to toot my own horn, but I stuff pretty nice treat bags.

*toot* *toot*

So ok, yay!  Cupcake theme, goodie bags, we can pull this idea out again:

Uh, no.  Nearly-8-year-old-girl put the kaibosh on that.  It’s been  done, that’s so my-sister’s-6th-birthday-treat-bags.  This child is NOT a repeater.  So the search continues….  or begins.  All suggestions welcome.

All suggestions are welcome for this, too:  School Valentines.  Last year we (“we” = “I”) made paperclip bookmarks for 1st grade

and the ever-famous “kid holding a lollipop picture” for kindergarten.

No one wants bookmarks this year (that’s kinda a relief, that was a lot of work!), and little girl wants the lollipop picture again.  That’s a fine idea to me, she only has one kid in her class from last year, so there will only be one repeater.  The lollipops were 10 for a dollar at Walmart, so it’s not terribly expensive, either.

So now we’re looking for some cupcake-8-year-old-birthday ideas and one set of super cool and crafty Valentines.  I’m a little off pinterest right now, I feel like there’s too much junk to weed through these days.  I guess it’s back to google and any ideas you’ve got for me!

Winter Ice Sculptures and Frozen Shenanigans

January 2, 2013

Before the photo dump I’ve got prepared for today, Have a look at this!!  Chicago Parent is arranging a community activity for local folks to make ice balloons to display in a park – and they used my picture with their announcement! Woo!


If Chicago wasn’t a 15 hour drive, I’d TOTALLY swing by with a cooler full of frozen balloons!!


Here in CT it hasn’t gotten above freezing today, so my balloons are most definitely frozen.  And so is the rest of me.


I’ve got a couple dozen more to play with, but it’s just way too cold today.  Soon.  I’ve been looking through old preschool ice sculpture pictures and just as in love with the idea as I’ve ever been, they’re just the sweetest idea and the end result is so beautiful.

It’s the “community” aspect, too that makes me love it.  I can make blocks and shapes and colors of ice, but it’s not as magical when 4 classes of 3 and 4 year olds and their parents do it together.

So special!

They can’t all be winners, part the thousand.

December 28, 2012

There’s been such a response to my ice balloons from last year, and I’ve been a little over-excited to try again.  I thought it was time.   It’s been chilly, we’ve had some snow, *I* was ready.

The weather and the balloons were not ready.

So we’ll wait a little longer…. or clear out some space in my freezer if I just can’t wait.