dancerjodi: (Geek)
As our friends are off playing in the geeky sandbox that is Star Wars Celebration, I feel like I'm in an odd place.  It is kind of like those first few years that we didn't go to Dragoncon.  There are folks we've met that we only see at these big conventions, and so I'm missing them.  If the bash does end up being a big huge, fun, nerdy dance party, I'll miss that (not sure if it will this year, though).  There is always fun merch to be had, but years after prior Celebrations there are few mementos I look back on and smile about.  I'm kind of sad that we aren't introducing Mina to Disneyland, but I know that she's young and there is a lot there she can't really appreciate (plus the FL park is better).  It is hard to say how the experience would go with a Mina in tow, anyway.  Long-term overnight babysitting isn't an option for us, and so a lot of the things we love the best about the SWC experience wouldn't happen (together) or be so easy, anyway.

The Dragoncon sadness got better each year, and now I don't think much about it at all.  I like seeing costume photos and hearing stories when my friends come back home, but I don't miss it anymore.  Kind of like Manray.  I'm not the person anymore that I was in those days.  I miss those experiences and sometimes that person, but love where I'm at today.  It is a fond sentimentality, not a sad one.

Most of all, I'm excited to check out the new Spring Megafest convention this weekend (thank you for giving us a non-Celebration alternative!) and even moreso, I'm excited about our White Mountains vacation, next weekend.

I tend not to make a big deal about birthdays, but I resolved to do 'all the things I like to do' this year to celebrate my 40th year.  I'm proud of myself for sticking to it, and thankful to Brian for humoring me with my arrangements. :)
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Brian and I took last week off of work for a small trip to the White Mountains in NH, a few kid-free days, and some good family time before the Labor Day weekend.

This was our first trip away with Mina since she's crawled out of her crib, so the Pack n Play was no longer a good option for us. We had purchased the Aerobed kid's mattress, and it worked out great for us! It inflates quickly, and has raised sides to prevent the kid from rolling out in their sleep. We brought child proofing things with us to the cabin (cabinet locks, outlet plugs) and rearranged the furniture to try and make it as Mina-proof as possible. Her bed was next to ours, and for the most part we were comfy letting her roam, mostly. We alternated putting her to bed at night so one of us could get some time either on our front cabin porch or visiting a few cabins down with my parents. We spent a bit of time one night sharing our front porch together, making some rootbeer floats.

We did a mix of what usually is included with a White Mountains trip. On the way up we all needed a break around the Lakes Region, so we stopped in Tilton for lunch and then did some outlet shopping, mostly to give Mina some car-free time before strapping her in for the last hour or so leg of the drive. They had a nice little playground for her to move in, lots of little pay 'rides' for her to sit in (those things you feed quarters into and that go for a few minutes that you'll see outside of Toys R Us or some supermarkets or department stores. Mostly, she had fun running around inside of the air-conditioned stores, and coloring at the Old Navy kid's coloring table. We bought her some spooky Halloween shirts and a fleece bat hat. Oh yes, it is that glorious time of year now, isn't it?!

We checked into the Profile Motel/Cabins in Lincoln and my parents and Krista and Sean were already there. After some time to unpack/freshen up, we went to the Common Man Lincoln for dinner. Yum, yum. The bartender gave Mina a free pineapple juice. Free cheese and white chocolate. You can't argue with that. It was our biggest/fanciest meal of the trip.

Sunday was Dad's birthday and my brother, sister and their crew drove up to meet us for a small hike and picnic. After breakfast and walking/hanging aorund the Pemi in Woodstock we met up with the rest of the family at the Cabins and then checked out the Old Man Memorial. My family 'adopted' a brick with our name on last year as a 60th birthday gift to our Dad. From there we drove a tiny bit south and did a small hike at The Basin, having a picnic lunch on the rocks. The toddlers were getting cranky and needing some naps, so we returned to the cabin for birthday cookies and candles and gift giving for Dad. That afternoon we drove out to Littleton with my parents to give Mina time to nap in the car (she did not), and walking/shopping. The Italian restaurant they wanted to go to there was closed on Sundays (doh), so we got back into the truck and had Chinese food at a place near Loon that my Dad wanted to go to. It was much better than the last (crappy) time we went there. Yay!

Monday was our Storyland day. We went back and forth on whether we should go or not, given how young Mina was. We decided to give it a try, since we were excited to show it to her and Brian has never gone before. She did enjoy her time, but right now, it isn't the park for her. She loved the Tea Cups ride, but hated sitting and riding on slow things (boats, pumpkin carriage). She hated the lines. She could care less about Cinderella (doesn't know the princesses and as long as we can, we are trying to keep it that way). She didn't care too much about climbing into the little buildings. She loved the freaking creepy animatronic eyed creatures (Humpty Dumpty, Talking Treehouse). She loved any chance she had to color (putting her name on little leaves to hang on a tree near the entryway, a huge white-board wall where the old ball-pit used to be). Basically, she liked climing/moving and coloring. And live animals. And would have liked fast rides like the tea cups, if we didn't need to wait in any lines. She is your typical, overactive, moving toddler. We know this, but it was a good lesson for us to see in action compared to some other less active kids. A coworker of Brian's daugher is similar in age to Mina but loves just sitting and watching shows, riding on boats, that kind of thing. That just isn't our kid. But she is content to sit/play in water, or to interract with people or 'living' animatronic things. Good to know. I still think I want to try Santa's Villiage with her in the fall - we will be there with my family for Mom's birthday in November. I think the company of her cousins and seeing reindeer would make her happy.

On our last day we spent some more time in the rocks along the Pemi, and headed home. Brian and I had fun doing both practical and splurge stuff while Mina was in School Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday we went to a farm for animals/blueberry picking. We purchased apples/cider/cider donuts and will probably return later this fall. Mina realized that all of these blueberries were just growing on the bush and yelled "Dude!", like Brian does all of the time. So cute.

We spent some time working on closets over the weekend, and covered Mina with lotion for various rashes. More on this on separate posts.

Back to the grind, which is nice in a way. You know you have a good life when the break is nice, but you are happy to get back to the normal.

Summer 2013 Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/sets/72157634327139960/

Fall 2013 Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/sets/72157635358352751/
dancerjodi: (Geek)
We are back! I'm crazy busy but I'm putting this down for future reference, very quickly.

Brian was going to http://chefconf.opscode.com/ so we decided to make a family trip out of it. We love San Francisco and have met many awesome folks there through the 501st and Rebel Legion, in addition to various LucasFilms folks/locations. Going with a toddler was surely a different experience, but Mina did great!

Pics/Video

Mine and Terry's: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/sets/72157633401486144/with/8694774001/
Dale Tolosa's: http://s16.photobucket.com/user/Anasian_Skywalker/library/Anderson%20Visit%202013#/user/Anasian_Skywalker/library/Anderson%20Visit%202013?sort=3&page=1&_suid=1367498051652023524187947328762
A video Dale made:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG-582ethHM&sns=em
Brian's: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tk7602/

Mina did well on the plane. She got a bit bored around hour 4 or 5 heading out, and a nice flight attendant entertained her at the front of the plane and shared a clementine with her. On the way back it was a bit tougher. She just couldn't get comfy to sleep, until she ended up falling asleep on us (including, sleeping through the entire landing). Her ears had no issues with the pressure changes.

New things this trip: Japantown! Palace of the Fine Arts! Disney Museum! The Playground at Golden Gate Park! Met up with Lizzy Goat and her gorgeous daughter in the Lakeshore area in Oakland and walked around the Lake there. We got to spend more time with some of our Star Wars CA friends than in previous trips. Bought things at the LDAC office store at The Presido and had dinner with some Clone Wars peeps. Also played in parks with stranger's kids and dogs. Kids really do break down barriers.

Weekend

Mar. 6th, 2013 10:57 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
It is Wednesday and I'm posting a weekend update. Time flies and all of that. I thought it did before I had a kid, but it is so much more faster now.

We took a walk on Saturday to our library and checked out the children's room. Wow! They had a nice open area for parents to sit on a long bench seat with room for the kids to play with a toy kitchen and food, puppets, small see-saw and then of course tons of puppets, books and such. And, a bathroom in the area with a changing table. I took Mina in to clean her up and Brian got the tour from one of the librarians. They are having a free 3 week music/dance activity that I'll be taking her to.

Our timing getting out of the house was later than I had hoped, so it put her at nap time as we were leaving the library. That paired with running around with kids there and she was pooped! She was out in the stroller within 2 minutes of leaving. We strolled home and stopped at our local thrift store and comic store along the way. After taking an inventory of her clothing that morning we found that she didn't have a lot of options in the next size up. She is starting to outgrow the 18 mo clothing (yes, she is 13 months), so we picked up a bunch of things from Global Thrift in the 24 mos/2T/3T range. Each one was around $2 a piece, which you really cannot beat! I love the hunt for this kind of thing.

We ran some errands in the afternoon and had dinner at PF Changs - our first time ordering something off the kid's menu for Mina. Normally I think it is unnecessary (you get such big portion sizes that Brian and I will just share with her) but her food reactions in her skin have been so odd lately, that we wanted something kind of plain but still not the regular chicken fingers and fries bent. Thankfully they were cheap: we ordered a $2 chicken and rice dish and another $2 veggie dish that she loved, with leftovers to spare.

Lately I feel like we are hemmoraging money, between buying food and clothing for this girl, despite trying to be low cost but high quality about it. We've gone through lazy periods where we just ordered dinner or went out, and have way outspent our "weekend" budgets over the last couple of months. We do great sometimes, not so great others. I really want to challenge myself to be better about this!

In other hemmoraging money news, our flights are booked for San Francisco for April. Brian's ticket will be reimbursed, and our hotel will be paid for by his company for part of the time. As will our rental car. This is both exciting and terrifying: first time flying with Mina!

She continues to just be a joy: running around, talking more, playing more. She is a social and active kid, so I can see the terrible toddler challenges just around the corner. I've been reading the Dr. Sear's Discipline book (picked up at the library) for some tips on how to deal with this before it explodes, because winter is surely coming. The Happiest Toddler DVD is waiting for me now at the library to pick up. I may try and snag a copy there of the Toddler Whipserer. I'm not a must do it by the book kind of person, but all of these experts were very helpful to us in the earlier baby days.

Work is work. Dance is dance. Right now, we just try and get through our days. :) We had a fun celebration of Gram's birthday (complete with looking at old photos and home movies). We need to take more lengthy home movies so that we can share more than 2 minute youtube clips with our kids decades from now!
dancerjodi: (Default)
We are at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. Having a good time and it is great to see friends, but we are missing Mina. She is having a blast with Auntie C and her cousins in NH! I'm thankful for smartphone technology that makes it easier for us to keep in touch.

We arrived yesterday and took it fairly easy, checking in, setting up Jabba for tonight's big bash and wandering the convention a bit. We took in a panel on bullying, with Ashley Eckstein (Ashoka Tano's voice actress on the Clone Wars cartoon) and a woman whose daughter became an overnight internet sensation when she was bullied at school for carrying a Star Wars water bottle. I've gone to practical panels at cons before (it is kind of my thing), but it was odd to go to one that was specifically created for parents and teachers. We have a child that we need to think about this kind of stuff with. Oh boy!

We saw a bit of the exhibitor's room and caught up with lots of friends. We hit the 501st pool party at the hotel. Brian and I had been up at 4:00 to get ready to head to the airport in time, so we turned in relatively early for us at a convention. We slept "late" for us lately - I woke at 6:30 and went back to sleep, planning to get up in an hour.

I'm still breastfeeding Mina after work and over night, and first thing in the morning. Usually based on her last daycare bottle and how things work out sleep wise, it means I feed her 3-4 times a day usually. I've been planning on pumping 2x at night (once around 4:00 give or take, based on my schedule), once before bed (again, based on my schedule), and once first thing in the morning. We thankfully have a hotel fridge. I brought a couple of ice packs and an insulated lunch bag with me, but our fridge does not have a freezer. I'm going to need to talk with a hotel concierge about giving them something and asking them to freeze it for me (either my stash of milk or my ice packs) on Saturday night. We fly home Sunday. Our flight is only 3 hours and mom's milk can actually sit out at room temp for 6 hours before going bad. 12 hours is good with an ice pack in an insulated container. Freezing would keep it even longer, but you have to use frozen milk once thawed within 24 hours, and I'm sure it would thaw by the time I got home. Oh the things to think about when you are lactating and traveling without your baby. Weaning during the day made this SO much easier, otherwise, I would have been back here every few hours to pump. In some ways, it is a nice way for me to connect with her while we are apart.

I'm wearing my RSO costumes today: the new Field Uniform and the classic Dickie's shirt/black skirt later tonight for the group photo, banquet and bash. I am always so intimidated by doing the hair! The outfit is based on 40s pinup/ISO with victory rolls and all of that. I'm not so skilled at the do', and taking out a curling iron and hairspray makes me think that I'm 14 again.
dancerjodi: (Default)
Some days I'm amazed at our ability to parent and keep it together. Things go quite smoothly. Othertimes I think I'm making believe and this whole gig is a sham, and we're *this* close to dropping things and having the whole world know we're just failures. I think this is normal for parenting? :)

Our summer has been an odd mix of quiet and crazy. I feel like our days have a lot more downtime and fluidity to them. We build in a big buffer to allow for taking it slow with Mina. On the other hand, I can't manage to make plans with people I want to see because we are "busy". This may be due to one obligation in the middle of a weekend day, kind of taking over the whole day if you figure naps and errands and baby standard time. Still, life gets better and easier as Mina gets older. This is a good thing, but sometimes it is not. I miss our snuggly newborn days, even if there wasn't a lot of sleep going on and even if it was quite frantic at times.

The amount of "firsts" can be overwhelming. They are so commonplace that I feel that perhaps I don't give them their due. I know as she gets older this will occur less often. I'm trying to enjoy it and somewhat document it by iphone photo or a quick note in the baby book so that it doesn't just pass on by. Such an odd, floaty feeling.

I'm going after work for dinner with a friend and we are seeing Billy Elliot at the Opera House. On the one hand it will be awesome to catch up with her and see a show. Theater! On the other, I will miss seeing Mina after work and helping to put her to bed. But Daddy needs his solo baby time too. I have my pump at work; it has been weeks since I've pumped at the office. The boob continues, outside of work. I just take it day by day. I'm debating whether to go to a www.biglatchon.org event this weekend. I don't typically breast feed Mina during the day, but it would be nice to participate.

We're going to see Batman The Dark Knight Rises this Saturday afternoon (finally) in NH while my sister watches her, and if time allows we may hit up the Apple store. My laptop has been on the way out for quite a while. On Sunday we're taking Miss M to her first dance performance to see Lori and others bellydance! She loves music and dance and all things jingly, so I hope her mood maintains during the show so that we can both sit and watch with her.

In a couple of weeks we're doing another White Mountains weekend (armed with the new, comfier pack n play) and then she's staying for 4 days with my sister so we can go to Star Wars Celebration in Oh-lando. I really need to get that new RSO costume finished!
dancerjodi: (Default)
Brian and I spent last weekend with Mina in the White Mountains area. It was our first vacation there (of many to come) as a family!

Read more )

Our pics from the weekend are here http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/sets/72157630673050280/with/7633438042/ and here http://www.flickr.com/photos/tk7602/sets/72157630728602994/with/7633084988/

Random

May. 24th, 2012 09:15 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
Though fall is my most favorite time of year, I feel energized when these spring days return. It makes me want to go walking, to the beach, and to the farmer's market. New experiences with Mina flash through my mind. I can't wait for us to share our favorite things with her as she's older and can appreciate them.

Her eating is getting so good! I can't believe sometimes that this is the girl that would struggle. That I was the mom that would struggle. I'm so glad that we toughed it out. We still supplement 1x at night with formula, but I think I could potentially cut it on my own. Still, I have *just* enough milk for her during the day. No extra to give to build up a stash if I'm away for an extended time. I'd like to try and pack the freezer for when we're in FL in August. I've got time, so I'm going to make a concerted effort to do that if possible.

I've decided that I'm not going to let 4 days of awkward/inconvenience come August stop our breastfeeding now. I'll just bring my pump. It will be an adventure and some effort, but surely less effort than having to bring Mina with us. I will miss her something fierce - I don't even want to try and fathom it at the moment. But I know we won't be able to have the same kind of experience otherwise. Since we don't go to Dragoncon anymore, this is our one time to see our far-away 501st friends. I have some time at least to prepare for it.

She's slept well over the last couple of nights. By 8:00 she's usually asleep and wakes around 1-2 AM to eat. Last night she did fuss at around 3:30-4:00, but was able to soothe herself back to sleep without any intervention from us. Our plan was that Brian would go in, change her and get her back to bed, but he didn't need to. She woke up a bit after 6:00 and I was able to feed her after my shower, with enough time to get my things and take a Shakeology w/ milk drink in the car for my breakfast. Brian and I are a good team. Having a to-do checklist for the night before work and the morning before work helps keep me on track. We have specific definied tasks for each of us, but we can be flexible to allow for these kinds of mornings (I feed her while he feeds the animals, and made me a shake - where if she was asleep I'd be doing these things).

I'm excited to have the long weekend with him. I am enjoying our Monday play group, but it will be nice to have the day free (we're getting together with a friend, but that's a flexible/fun thing and not really a thing on the schedule).

Since booking our White Mountains trip, I am SO excited about it. It will be an adventure. Everything old is new again: I spent countless hours there with my parents and brother and sister.

We saw our first preview for the Rock of Ages movie the other day. I want to coordinate with Nana Jan for some babysitting so that we can catch the movie in her area. This will happen! It comes out only in a couple of weeks.

We were pondering trying to catch some summer blockbusters at the drive-in out in Mendon. I wonder how that would work. She sleeps in the car, so if we time it right we'd drive out, she'd sleep in the car there, during the movie and all the way home. Granted, it is not the ideal situation for her to sleep in, but it would allow us to get out and see some shows. I remember going to the drive-in with my parents when I was a kid vaguely.

Blah blah blah. Is it Friday yet?
dancerjodi: (Default)
We've all survived the weekend of dance recitals! The theater we've had the show in over the last couple of years is too small for one, so it was expanded to two shows (Saturday afternoon and Sunday night). I was away from Mina for the most time over a weekend, and Brian spent the most 1x1 time with her. I think we all did well with it. It was great to see my studio friends and I was glad that Brian was able to have special daddy/daughter time. Seeing them together just makes my heart swell. I pumped in my car with a lighter adapter for the first time during the 2nd half of both shows (I was only in the finale). It was an adventure, but I did well with it. We also walked 5 miles along the Riverwalk on the Charles on Sunday morning, so I was sore come Sunday night, oof!

Her sleeping just seemed to be getting better (she had 2 great naps yesterday) but then we went to the Pedi and she got 2 shots. The last time we did this she was Miss Crankypants for 2 nights. Ah well. She went down after some challenges (took me an hour to do it) and slept for 5.5 hours. Once she got up from there it was into the bed with us. We just didn't expect her to sleep for long after eating and putting her back down again, so feeding her in bed is just easier.

She's 15.6 pounds now, woah! That puts her in the 88th percentile (she was born in the 8th). Developmentally she's doing great - at or above the standard for 4 months old. The Pedi (and the OT that runs her Monday playgroup) both think that her restlessness at night is due to her new motor skills. She gets up because her body wants to practice her new fun things! We asked about food, and they said in no way start this until the 6 month mark. All it will do is pack on more unnecessary pounds. She suggested that we only feed her 1x over the night (after that first big sleep). She said that she isn't hungry upon subsequent wakings - that eating to sleep is probably just a soothing habit of hers. It is surely one we created, knowing it would be an issue to break out of later. It is comforting both to she and I. They gave us a couple of days before starting though - to get her through the crankiness that results from having 2 shots. After that first waking last night when we brought her into bed, she was up and looking for the boob every hour or so. She'd start eating, fall asleep, fall off and then realize an hour or so later, and fuss for the boob again. I don't think she ate too much during that routine, but it does explain how she got so chunky so fast. This should be interesting!

Though she was 2 pounds smaller than me at birth, at 4 months she's the same size I was. I remember being hung up on my weight at a young age (at Kindergarden I was aware that I was the fattest girl in the class). I don't want this to be a hangup for her. We'll do what we can to set good examples and make her surroundings healthy and active.

She's active though - rolled over back to front and front to back! Is super chatty, and moves her right arm up and down like one of those good luck gold cats at the Chinese restaurant. Blowing raspberries, sticking out her tongue and chewing/drooling on her hand (she's found and is using her mouth). She's also looking at her fingers all like "woah dude, what are those things?!". It is just fascinating to see her grow.

I did ask about weaning so that I don't have to pump come August. They suggest I drop 1 feeding (or pumping) a day for a week, then drop another, and another to gradually scale down my production. I'm starting this week, dropping my mid-day pump. This is so hard for me! I've almost started this process for a few weeks now, but 11:00 comes and I just pump anyway. I like breastfeeding her, but I would be lying if I didn't say it is a PITA sometimes. I love the connection, but it is hard, hard work. I don't want to have to bring a pump with me to FL in August when I'm away from her for 4 days. I know that I've given her (literally) of myself and that I didn't want to BF for forever. Still, it is difficult. I keep reminding myself of the liberation I'll have not having to lug pumps and pump stuff with me. Having my lunch hour back to go to the gym. Not having to worry about what I'm eating or drinking or where I can sit to leisurely feed her. I am mourning, but I think it is time to start working on it. Bear with me please on this. :)

I booked a cabin in the White Mountains in July for the three of us to have a little mini weekend vacation. We stayed there before, right on the banks of the Pemiquasset River. This time I booked one with a little kitchenette so that we can make our own food and take care of her food/bottles. Traveling with a baby: this should be interesting! We'll bring her pack and play. She's too young to really appreciate all of the things we'll enjoy when she gets older, but I know she'll love the scenery. It is so much fun to daydream about the things to come.

H O M E

Sep. 19th, 2011 09:59 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
We got home from our NYC trip yesterday around 5:00. We had a great time, despite having to deal with me moving a bit slower. I'm still fighting this cold (that I am thinking now may actually be something like bronchitis - I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon coincidentally to "check in" on my asthma, since I went to refill inhalers last week and one of them had an expires prescription). We were able to do less walking and stay out less late than usual, but that seemed to be OK with my travel partners who were also tired. I guess I feel better in that they were having a tough time, and not pregnant, with swollen feet and suffering some kind of plague.

We parked at Alewife and took the red line to South Station, where we had time enough to kill and grabbed breakfast in the financial district http://www.yelp.com/biz/scali-cafe-boston before waiting for our Acela. It was about 4:00 when we got into the city. We parted ways to check into our respective hotels, and then once settled Brian and I walked uptown to Carlos' hotel to meet him for dinner. His friend had suggested The Eatery in Hell's Kitchen http://www.yelp.com/biz/eatery-new-york which was just heavenly! I had the best salmon I've had in a long time. We walked back toward Carlos' hotel via http://donnabellsbakeshop.com/ (thanks for the suggestion Gala) and picked up desserts to have in the hotel while watching the Clone Wars Premiere. Our hotel didn't have Cartoon Network available but The Carlos' did! We had an early morning planned for Makerfaire so Brian and I decided to head back to our hotel after the show.

We were up at 7:00 AM (oof), showered and had breakfast in the Tic Toc. I know that the locals aren't nuts about this place, but it is super convenient being attached to our hotel. We've never had to wait for a table and the food is good. I had some gingerbread apple pancakes and Brian had johnny cakes w/ cheddar and bacon (not your average diner fare). We walked up to 42nd street to get the train out to Queens for the faire. Along the way a couple of mariachis got on the train, rode one stop, played one song and got off. Why don't folks do this kind of thing in Boston?

http://makerfaire.com/newyork/2011/ was a lot of fun. It was perfect weather for it, and we were there from open to close. We got to see all of the things we wanted to (minus one conflict between a musical group and a panel). http://www.arcattack.com/ was very neat, and I was so happy that they did the Dr. Who theme song! Carlos had mentioned that this guy http://www.whatiswhat.com/ was going to be there, and I'm so glad we were able to see his short performance. So inspiring! We caught the mentos + coke "fireworks" show, rode on the solar-powered carousel, got to see Bethany http://cyberoptix.com/ for what we think was the first time in 13 years (we are old), caught the life-size mousetrap http://www.lifesizemousetrap.org/ (tap dancing mice!) and checked out all of the vendors and booths along the way. I was actually not so impressed by the size and scope of the Bust Craftacular, which was what I was most excited about initially. I had been reading about the http://www.bust.com/craftacular/craftacular-home.html in Bust magazine for years and always wanted to go to one. It has nothing on SOWA! I thought I would do a lot of shopping for family birthdays and Christmas, but I ended up only getting a couple of gifts, and they were not from the Craftacular portion of the faire. By the end of the day we were both beat, and sat waiting for Carlos to get out of his last panel in the GE solar cell phone charging area. While there we met a guy from NY who is coming to Boston soon and then moving to Cairo for 2 months (he asked us if we'd want to use his car while he was in Egypt). I also chatted with a Mom who had her son in a baby carrier, and was flipping him around from front to back and asked for our assistance in re-strapping. She gave us some advice on the carriers she liked the most with each kid at different stages. It was quite a congenial/we're all nerds here kind of vibe that reminded me of my feelings at Star Wars Celebration last summer, but I digress.

We were starving, and decided to try our luck in Times Square with dinner (I know, I know) since that is where our train from Queens let us off. Yelp gave us some suggestions, and we decided to give http://www.johnspizzerianyc.com/index2.htm a try. I had remembered reading in Frommer's guide years ago that they were one of the supposed best pizza places in NYC, and despite this location being in Times Square it was good. On a Saturday night with no reservations we walked in and were seated within 5 minutes. Though it wasn't fast-food cheap, the 3 of us split an appetizer and pizza and had drinks and it came out to about $15 each for some of the BEST pizza I have ever had. This location (they have a few) is inside of an old church, and so we were surrounded by stained glass, old wrought iron chandeliers and were up high to watch the brick ovens. At first our server was the perfect level of attentive, but then when he came by to ask if we'd want dessert when we were still all eating our pizza we got annoyed. We finished up and headed out of there, all in all the best food experience I've had in the Times Square area. I'm so glad we went. We wandered a bit (Brian and Carlos wanted to get pictures with bad, fat costumed characters) but all we could find was an OK spiderman and of course the naked cowboy. I guess they had regretted not getting a picture with the fat superman the last time they were in the city for Makerfaire.

Though it was only about 10, we decided to call it a night. With being on my feet for most of the day and fighting a cold, not having gotten a lot of sleep the night before (I was coughing all night), having woken up at 7:00 AM *and* having chills (I wasn't sure if I had a slight fever or if it was due to a bit of a sunburn I got while waking around on the faire) I was miserable. Brian called it a night and told me I had to go back to the hotel. We grabbed some drinks and a black&white cookie and headed back (mmm, herbal tea). I wasn't quite ready for sleep but was just content to lay on our bed for a while and we got a pay-per-view movie, finally seeing Super 8. So good! I can see why people had suggested that it felt like Goonies and ET, I'm bummed I didn't see it at a drive-in theater. I slept OK that night - highly medicated with all things that were safe for me to take.

We got up yesterday earlier than I would have liked, but I just couldn't sleep anymore. Showered and packed but we had until noon to check out of the hotel and catch our train home, so we went wandering for breakfast. Brian wanted a bagel and we used Yelp again to find a place nearby. Again, midtown isn't the best place for food in the city but we found a decent place over between Herald Square and Chelsea http://www.yelp.com/biz/bagel-maven-new-york. The bagels were good (not as good as Cafe Bagel back home) and the cream cheese was awesome. They had some amazing looking cupcakes that we considered taking to go, but decided it was too early and we didn't need anything like that. We still had some time to kill, the weather was gorgeous and my feet were feeling good so we started walking downtown a bit. We wandered by a http://www.buybuybaby.com and headed in, our first time in one of these stores. It was good to see in person the baby bags I had put on our registry online (I haven't seen a great selection of bags anywhere else as they had in this store). We picked up some baby monster slippers as a 'babymoon' memento (from Carters). Brian found that there was a Best Buy nearby, so we were able to grab the new Star Wars complete DVD Blu-Ray set, and got some smoothies at Jamba Juice before heading back to our hotel. It was neat that we were able to make our way through a bit of Chelsea, since this is one of the areas we tend to walk a lot when we're in NYC. I knew the Chelsea Hotel had closed for now and it was just sad and strange to walk by it in this state. We chatted a bit about our weekend: how we had a good time and were ready to come home, how it was odd how little we did relative to a normal crazy NYC trip for us, how we still hadn't made it down to the East Village (we haven't managed over our last few trips). We had time to get to our room, use the bathroom, get our stuff and get over to Penn Station to grab the Acela home.

I was so glad to be in my own house yesterday! I had another night of coughing, so at least Brian could sleep on one floor and me on another. We got in and watched the Star Warriors documentary http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Warriors_%28documentary%29. It was so well done and I'm glad to have finally seen it! So many familiar faces. We don't have a lot of food in the house so we went out for dinner at Peking Garden in Lexington (Waltham is lacking in good dine-in Chinese), put our trash out for the night, and watched a bit more of the SW Blu-ray extras before bed. I coughed all night and didn't sleep much, so glad I have that appointment today! I set the alarm for 7:00 so I could shower and drop the car around the corner at my mechanic to go through and check some things out and do some routine maintenance. I'm SO GLAD I took today off, because had I not, I would have been calling in sick anyway. Brian is in the shower and we'll run some errands before my 1:30 appointment. I'm looking forward to a slow, albeit productive day at home.

Random

May. 2nd, 2011 08:40 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
We're home! We were basically traveling all day yesterday, from St. Thomas to Philadelphia and then to Boston. We grabbed luggage and went out to find our livery only to see all of the guys waiting to pick up passengers listening to the news about Bin Laden. We got in and put on the TV. Crazy!

Since we got in the house at around 11:00 and have a ton of laundry to wash and no groceries in our house, Brian and I took the day off as we usually do to get back to normal again. He's got a dentist appointment in an hour or so too.

I had a lot of fun on our trip, and we spent much less time just sitting on the beach than I expected. I did well not getting a lot of color - as I get older I want less and less sun exposure (wrinkles and cancer risk). It did remind me how much of a water baby I am and how much I love going to the beach, so I'm hoping we can do more of that this year. It also reminded me of how much I hate wearing a bathing suit for various reasons. Add to that my leprosy-like insect bites and I wanted to hide myself inside. It is very strange, that Brian is usually the one with 100 bug bites that have big, nasty, swollen reactions. The ones in St. Thomas just love me apparently (there was myself and one other woman on this trip that had these reactions).

I'm glad to be home and glad to be done with traveling for a while. It is a testament to our satisfaction with our lives when Brian and I are always happy and ready to come back.

Being out in the water and boating and snorkeling (and above mentioned body image issues) and eating fairly good, fresh food with lots of fruit and veggies has inspired me again to get back on the fitness wagon. We have a glut of Brian's Shakeology in the house due to a weird billing issue a while ago, so I'm going to start having those for breakfast. They are packed with the things that I don't often get in good quantity, despite my efforts.

Today will be filled with lots of laundry and grocery shopping and cleaning, but I'd like to get a hike along the riverwalk in there.

I cannot believe it is May!
dancerjodi: (Default)
Coral World
Shark pool snorkeling
Lunch at Clubhouse
Lounging in room
Sunset cruise in Bay
Dessert at Clubhouse
dancerjodi: (Default)
Woke up with a ton of bug bites from  balcony last night
Clubhouse breakfast
Pedal boats and wading
Lunch at Ritz mid-formality restaurant
Cab to Charlotte Amalie downtown  (shopping, kind of depressing - super touristy and all historic sites closed since no cruise ships today).
Snacks in the club lounge
Dinner at Ritz bar
Super buggy tonight, and feeling like I have leprosy, lounging in our bug-free room for evening in the comfy bed.
dancerjodi: (Default)
Flashy black Suburban Livery
Legal Seafood sit-down breakfast
American Airlines, direct
Walk off plane
Rum right off the plane
Cold towels and juice right at the Ritz/Carlton
Clubhouse: free food
Crazy fancy room
Wander resort, beach sunset
Chatting with other Innocentive folks
Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/

Masswholes

Apr. 8th, 2011 07:32 pm
dancerjodi: (Default)
Going to San Francisco was a breath of fresh air. If I wasn't so tied to this are (the people and the seasons) I could live there in a heartbeat. Brian and I have been commenting on small things since we've been back, that are so anti-California.

Right off the plane we were a bit hungry, and stopped at the Dunkin Donuts to get something small before we grabbed our luggage. It was 7:30 AM and very busy, but the cashiers were friendly enough. The woman making our food however was nasty - nasty! It wasn't that crazy, and I know from experience working the Burger King drive through for years that being a grump doesn't make it any easier. I don't know why people put in effort to be nasty - not just frustrated or annoyed but downright, I hate everyone nasty.

San Francisco's goal is to be waste neutral (iirc) in 2020, and boy are they making a great effort to that goal. Every place we ate recycled and most had bins for trash, recycle and compost. Many (even the mall food courts) gave real plates, cups and flatware. Though it may have a reputation of being hippy dippy (Haight Ashbury anyone) I loved how it was just a normal way of life for most folks. OF COURSE most of you would have your own shopping bag, or coffee mug! Many vehicles were efficient or hybrid. There was little of the "LOOK AT ME I"M BEING ALL GREEN" that you may see around these parts, i.e. the hybrid plastered with 100 bumper stickers of various green persuasions. Its like, folks just are more conservative with their resources and it's how it is.

Friendlier, more laid back, yet still getting things done. The feeling has stuck with me so when the asswhole Boston stereotype surfaces I'm a bit caught off guard. I know that stereotypes are stereotypes and all. It can be amusing to see them played out.

Whatever. We're taking our fabulous 'straight back from the Castro' selves tonight and going to see a local production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" at the Turtle Lane playhouse. I love our blue state despite it's penchant for being mean, and have hope that we'll get closer to the greener side of the street in a true, 'taking care of our property lifestyle' kind of way, rather than a PC 'look how cool I am' kind of way. Time, time.
dancerjodi: (Default)
Packed up and checked out of room.
BART to the Mission: http://www.dynamodonut.com/ and wandering
Made our way to the Castro for lunch http://ilikeikesplace.com/ and wandering
MUNI back to the hotel to meet up with the Tolosa brothers
Giant stadium, Waterfront
Dinner at http://www.bjsbrewhouse.com/ with some of the GGG crew, what a great sendoff!
The Dale and Matt dropped us at the airport for our 11PM flight (arriving 7AM Thurs Boston time)

I had such a great time, but it is nice to be home. I missed my cats and am happy to slowly ease back into normal life.

My pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/sets/72157626448250592/with/5598223662/

Brian's pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tk7602/sets/72157626432630034/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tk7602/sets/72157626432468954/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tk7602/sets/72157626283156585/
dancerjodi: (Default)
Breakfast at Mel's Diner (after finding Dottie's Cafe to be closed)
MUNI to Golden Gate Park
Japanese Garden
De Young Museum (free)
California Academy of Sciences
Bus to City Hall
Yerba Buena Gardens
Hotel to regroup
Pazzia for dinner
Caught "Hop" at Metreon
In early to pack, checkout tomorrow
dancerjodi: (Default)
Lucasfilm offices: Big Rock (first time), Skywalker Ranch, LDAC (Presidio)
Wandering from hotel in Union Square to Chinatown, North Beach, Waterfront and back again
Checked out rooftop bar in hotel: pretty but LOUD
Tired! Watched The Rite (Anthony Hopkins) in our room

2 more days with no plans to do things on our list. :)
dancerjodi: (Default)
Hotel buffet breakfast
Dr. Who panel (Gaiman, Mark Shepard)
Shopping/friends
Clone Wars panel (Peter, Dave, Ashley)
501st panel
Huge group dinner at Chevy's, chatting outside until late

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