Monday, August 31, 2009

My Daybook

For today...Monday, August 31, 2009, Tucker's first day of school!

Outside my is partly sunny and a little cool, almost feels like fall!

On My Mind...How is possible that Tucker is in 2nd grade already?!?

What we're reading...I finished My Sister from the Black Lagoon and am halfway through Lucky by Alice Sebold. With Tucker, we finished Mercy Watson: To The Rescue by Kate DiCamillo and also read 17 Things I'm Not Allowed To do Anymore by Jenny Offill, The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg, Wink! The Ninja Who Wanted To Be Noticed by J.C. Phillips, and If You Take A Mouse To School by Laura Numeroff. Last night we started Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride by Kate DiCamillo.

What we're listening to...I finished The Alchemist's Daughter and started The Lady Elizabeth by Alsion Weir. with Tucker , I listened to Micawber by John Lithgow.

I am hoping...Tucker has a good year in 2nd grade!

Quotable Quote
...Live as if you were to die tomorrow; Learn as if you were to live forever - Mohandas Gandhi

In the kitchen...maybe McDonalds as a treat tonight for the first day, pork chops, ham steaks, and pizza Fri.

Around the House...laundry to be folded and more to be washed...other than down here in the family room, it's actually not too bad!

Coming Up This Week...Soccer practice Tues and Thurs nights...Tucker's friend William is sleeping over Sat...Back to School Demolition Derby at Speedbowl Sun night.

Some Picture Thoughts...
We walked to school from Tucker's daycare and I got this picture of Michael and Tucker walking together!

First Day of School

Yes, it's true...Tucker is now a 2nd did that happen?!

Believe it or not he was anxious to get going (although if you know Tucker, you may not abe surprised!) Apparently Michael and I weren't moving fast enough so he wanted to speed things up and took it upon himself to take his own picture!

Of course, you know that I wasn't going to let that here are the official first day pictures!

His friend Andrew is starting kindergarten this year!
His friend Cole was happy to see him (left) as was Freddie (right) even if Tucker didn't look as excited. He is very serious at school!

It was shortly after this that Michael and I were told "you can go now"! I can't imagine why, I was behaving myself and everything!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Challenging Myself Through Reading

I am still participating in the Take A Chance Challenge but have decided to challenge myself some more by participating in Lost in Book's Colorful Reading Challenge, in which you read books based on the following required six colors: Blue, Red, White, Black, Silver, and Gold. My three optional colors are Purple, Green, and Orange. These books need to be completed by December 31, 2009. My choices are:
-Blue: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
-Red: Red River
-White: White Ghost Girls
-Black: My Sister from the Black Lagoon
-Silver: Silver Bells by Luanne rice
-Gold: Timbuktu: The Sahara's Fabled City of Gold by sheila Hirtle and Marq de Villiers

-Purple: The Color Purple by Alice walker
-Orange: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
-Green: Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson

I'm also doing a variance on the A to Z Challenge. Instead of reading authors, titles, or countries of the alphabet, I'm going to read biographies. Since I am challenging myself for this one, I have not set an end date. Here are a few of my tentative choices:

A: Muhammad Ali, John Adams (I've been wanting to reading the David McCullough book!)
D: James Dean
F: Michael J. Fox
G: Judy Garland
L: Abraham Lincoln, Charles Lindbergh
R: Teddy Roosevelt
T: Harriet Tubman
X: Malcolm X (only 'X' biography in my library; I checked before I "committed" myself LOL)

That's about as far as I've gotten! I'll let you know if when I come up with more! And of course, keep you updated as to my progress!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where Were You?

I just found this on Julie's blog, and like her. I had to stop everything that I was doing to play along (I love this kind of stuff!)...I hope you will play too!

.…when 911 happened? pregnant with Tucker, working in a nursing home, watching it on a resident's TV

….when Kennedy was shot? Not born yet.

….when Elvis died? don't remember (yes believe it or not, there is something I don't remember!!)

….when Princess Diana died? I had slept over my mom's and woke up on sunday morning to the news that she had died

….when OJ Simpson verdict came down? working at the AIDS facility

….when Michael Jackson died? I was actually out to dinner with Dawn and Maria and didn't hear about it until I got home at 9 pm

….when John Lennon died? not really sure

….when Waco Branch Davidian cult complex burned down? again not sure

….when Challenger space shuttle blew up? In Spanish Class sophomore year in high school...Julie was there too!

….when JFK Jr.s plane went down? oh boy this is bad, not sure either!

But I will add one I do remember:

...when John Hinckley shot President Reagan...came home from shcool, my dad was painting the ceiling in the livingroom and all the furniture was in the middle of the room

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Michael's 41st Birthday

Sunday was Michael's 41st birthday! He started off by opening his presents from me and Tucker--
A new drill

A new Yankees hat and t-shirt

(And no, I didn't cook breakfast for him; I'm not allowed to cook breakfast! He made our usual Sunday breakfast: pancakes!)

We headed to my mom's to celebrate his birthday with the family! (His birthday is always the last hurrah for the pool; she usually closes it around Labor Day!) As usual, our moms enjoyed a cocktail (they polished off the Jose Cuervo Margarita bottle from the fourth of July!

and of course, we have to take pictures of people eating. This is our niece Cassandra and her boyfriend, Eric

Here I am attempting to light the candles (we have number candles and the wicks were pretty shot on these two!)

Tucker always helps with blowing out the candles (note the birthday hat on Michael!)

Michael attempting to cut his (melting) ice cream cake!

One of three Yankees shirts he got from our family. (He also got a Wii game which he squirreled away!)

Tucker and Eric always have a good time in the pool!

What's On Your Nightstand?

It's hard to believe it's that time of the month again! 5 Minutes for Books is sponsoring its monthly What's On Your Nightstand? where you can share what you're reading (or plan to read!)

On my nightstand this month:
-A Day At The Beach by Helen Schulman
-The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
-Red River by Lalita Tademy
-The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts
-Great Books About Things Kids Love by Kathleen Odean

To check out others' nightstands, click here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Daybook

For today...Monday, August 24, 2009

Outside my is dark out and thankfully the humidity has gone away for now!

On My Mind...Thanks to the wonders of digital cameras, I had a rude awakening this weekend when looking at pictures we had taken and I have decided, enough is enough! Weight Watchers here I come!

What we're reading...I am currently reading My Sister from the Black Lagoon . With Tucker, we finished Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes by Kate DiCamillo and also read Ice Cream Larry by Daniel Manus Pinkwater, Tornadoes by Gail Gibbons, An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni, and Mayday! Mayday! A Coast Guard Rescue by Chris l. Demarest. Tonight we started Mercy Watson: To The Rescue by Kate DiCamillo.

What we're listening to...I'm halfway through The Alchemist's Daughter. With Tucker, I listened to Minnie and Moo Save The Earth.

I am sleep well tonight. Last night, not so great.

Quotable Quote..."Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you."- Carl Sandberg

A funny thing...we took Tucker and his friend Isaiah to the Roger Williams Zoo and as you drive in through the park, there's a huge pond. On the pond was this large duck family floating (there were probably 7 or 8 babies!). Tucker says: "Look , Mommy, a whole fleet of ducks!"

Coming Up This Week...Soccer practice Tues and Thurs nights...Tucker's going over Isaiah's house Thurs...a birthday party for Tucker's friend Maddie at Chuck E. Cheese on Sat...Tucker's going over William's house Sat after the party...a reunion meeting Sat afternoon...maybe letterboxing on Sun (I found the stuff finally!)

Some Picture Thoughts
Tucker and I finally got to meet my cousin Kristen's twins, Chelsea and Adam, on Saturday. Adam slept most of the time we were there so these are pictures of Chelsea. I call this one "who are you and why are you taking my picture?"

"Oh,'re related...that makes me laugh!"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New York City-Day 4

This was our last day in New York and we headed to Bronx Zoo. It's Donation Day on Wednesdays so we paid $15 for the 3 of us instead of $15/person. Of course, this reduced rate apparently also applies to groups because there were only 80 million summer camp kids there (I'm estimating on the lower end! LOL)

After taking the train and walking 10 blocks, we finally arrived!

Thankfully we arrived early enough to get a stroller for Tucker because otherwise we would have never done as much as we did if Tucker had had to walk!
We headed first to the Monkey house (which we enjoy at any zoo because of the MonkeyBoy name for Tucker). Some of the monkeys

These were carrying their babies on their backs! So cute!

I'm not sure why but I am fascinated by flamingos and though you can't really tell in the picture, these were the pinkest I had ever seen!

Now it was time to see the animals in the "wild"! The bison (which we learned at AMNH were saved from going extinct by Teddy Roosevelt when he brought some to Bronx Zoo) Tucker actually "reminded" me of this when we were looking at them!
Always love the giraffes

We only made it halfway through Africa because it was just so darn hot and crowded! So we decided we were done and made our way by bus and train back to the hotel to relax!

All in all, it was a great trip and we definitely did a lot of great things!

New York City-Day 3

For those who thought we did a lot on Day 2, Day 3 had even more crammed into it!

We started off the day with the Empire State Building! We got tickets on-line so avoided the lines of people buying tickets and only had to make it through the security lines!
The view from the top was AMAZING!

Micahel points out the Statue of Liberty to Tucker

After some technical difficulties involving which direction we needed to be going in (thanks to an extremely nice man, we got on the correct bus
and made it to the Intrepid Museum!

This boat was massive and we had a good time exploring it
As usual, Tucker had to try things out
We wandered around the flight deck with all the planes

Next we headed over to The Beast (thank goodness, rright next door!!) and waited in line (we already had our tickets) to board. Here Tucker checks out the boat we will get on
The Beast was so much fun! 45 mph down the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty! They play great music and the guys walk around with water guns, water balloons to get you wet (if you weren't already!)
He also came around and took pictures of your group

We stopped by the Statue of Liberty for some pictures
and also stopped at Ground Zero to appreciate where the buildings had been. Then back we went! This was by far one of the best things we did!

From here, I was determined to go to a restaurant called Mars 2112 in Times Square and because I am apparently directionally-challenged in NYC, it was a a longer walk than we expected but eventually we made it there!
Inside you take a simulator-ride to Mars, complete with bumps and turns and eventually you are on Mars

they have staff who walk around in cool Martian costumes. Tucker didn't want to pose with any of them but I took one of their pictures
The food is simiar to an Applebee's/Friday's kind of place and in the end, the walk turned out to be worth it because when I asked Tucker what his favorite part of the day was, he said "Mars!"

We had talked about staying late enough to see Times Square lit up by we were just too tired and headed back for our last night in our hotel!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New York City-Day 2

We were up and out today for our next adventure in the city! Today we started in Central Park on our way to the American Museum of Natural History

We found a playground in our travels

and of course, rocks to climb

Taking a break

and down the other side, (and yes I did go this way, too!)

It was a beautiful day for exploring the park

This is Belvedeere Castle which Tucker was really excited to see but it turns out it is closed on Mondays (which I didn't remember reading anywhere!)

Then on to the museum

Michael and Tucker pose with Teddy Roosevelt and his horse

The dinosaurs greet you as you come in

By this time, we were starving so we went to eat and then went on a free tour. We moved quickly and saw a lot! Tucker also made a few souvenir pennies

Eventually we tired of the tour and went to find the "gum, gum guy" from Night at the Museum. He was actually hidden pretty well and it was funny to hear all the kids saying "get me gum, gum dum, dum" on the way in! (I wanted Tucker to pose with him but he wouldn't!)

Having found him, it was time to move on to Times Square. We took the subway this time and then walked. There were a lot of things to see

including these lounge chairs set up for people to just hang out in

And then we found it: Toys R Us!
When you come in, you come face-to-face with a four-story ferris wheel!
We paid our $4/person and got in line. It moved pretty fast and we went around 6 times! So it was definitely worth the money (I actually think they forgot us!)

After the ferris wheel ride, we wondered around the store. Through the Star Wars stuff
the legos (Tucker really liked the Yankees hat made out of legos!)

and past the giant, animated dinosaur

We were exhausted by this point so we headed back to the subway to eventually make our way back to our hotel!