Monday, June 23, 2014

A Long and Overdue Update

This update is WAY overdue.  I’ve had only one post since the New Year (bad blogger) and to say a lot has happened since Jan 1 would be an understatement.

Besides our normal work schedule and holidays, over the past six months we’ve celebrated our birthdays (mine and hubs); Anthony turned six!! (omg); I trained for and finished another Spartan race – beating my previous time;  Anthony came to my job for his first Take our Daughters & Sons to Work Day; Anthony was chosen to have his artwork displayed in a district wide art show;  Mother’s Day;  Father’s Day;  and on June 13th Anthony graduated from Kindergarten (omg again!)  We’ve been quite the busy family that it’s left me barely any time to catch my breath, let alone time to blog about it all.

But probably our biggest news of all is that we moved!!  You may have caught it at the end of my 2013 recap post (if you read the whole thing LOL) where I mentioned that we were packing up the old house and were closing on the new house.  We sold our townhouse on December 27th and on January 6th closed on a gorgeous 4 bedroom home a couple towns over.  We are beyond excited and are in love with our new space.  We truly lucked out finding our dream home. 

taken the day our offer was accepted (November 2013)
Moving was one of the most stressful experiences of my life and to do it in the middle of snowpocalypse 2013/14 made it all the more challenging.   We were scheduled to move out of our townhouse on the day a blizzard decided to descend upon New York.  Luckily I was able to get the movers to come a day early and they kept our things stored on the truck for the weekend until we closed on the new house.   It was a good thing we were able to do that because the day after the blizzard all of the moving company’s trucks were frozen solid because the diesel fuel in the trucks had frozen!!  You seriously couldn’t have made this stuff up.  It was just insanity.  Certainly not the time to be moving, but we had no choice.  We had to go.  The day we moved into the new house it was minus 5 degrees outside.  I felt so awful for the moving guys.  I bought a few boxes of coffee and some doughnuts and that helped make for happy workers (and a faster move).  Although I’m sure the cold certainly helped them work a little faster.

So as you can imagine, a lot of whatever free time I’ve had over the past 6 months has been spent focusing on the house and doing projects.  We were lucky that the house didn’t need any renovations, but of course there were cosmetic changes we wanted to do to make it our own.  Slowly each room is coming together and it’s starting to feel like home vs a rental vacation home.  More to come on the house as we finish off rooms (and more pics too!)

For now, I’ll leave you with some picture highlights from the last 6 months and the promise that I really will come back to blogging, even if only for short quick updates.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

Friday, February 28, 2014

What’s New at LEGOLAND



Tuesday night I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by LEGOLAND on behalf of my sister blog Apple Tots in the Hudson Valley.   Representatives from LEGOLAND California, LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester were present to talk about how LEGOLAND Parks have transformed into the ultimate family destination and about the rapid expansions taking place at LEGOLAND Discovery Centers throughout North America this year.  Master Model Builder, Gary McIntire, was also on-hand to build with those who attended and present the opportunity to view exclusive LEGO Legends of CHIMA models.

You might remember that last year around this time I took a trip to Florida with my son to visit my mom.  During that trip I took my son to LEGOLAND Florida.  We had a blast and I vowed that we would one day return for a full family trip (check out that post with pictures HERE).  What I didn't know at the time is that I was only a few months early of them opening up a brand new attraction titled “The World of Chima” that my son would have gone crazy for.  Last night at the event I got a chance to view this new attraction that opened in July 2013 both in video format and as a LEGO model (how cool!).  The World of Chima offers attractions for both old and younger kids but the centerpiece is “The Quest for Chi”, an interactive water ride that offers riders a chance to fire water cannons at targets that include LEGO characters (and others on and near the ride) ensuring no one leaves the area dry.



Also happening in LEGOLAND Florida later this year is the grand opening of the LEGOLAND Hotel!!  The LEGOLAND hotel in California has been such a great success in the short time that it’s been open (it opened April 2013) that the Florida hotel is going to be opening ahead of schedule!  It will be located at the front of the park and a perk of being a guest of the hotel is that you get access to the park a half hour early before regular guests (sweet!)

My sister and her husband took my nephew just a month ago to LEGOLAND California and from the pictures & video they sent back to us my son is now begging for us to take him to California.  Last night I got a glimpse into the new 3 acre water park that is going to be opening up Memorial Day weekend 2014 entitled “Legends of Chima”.  This water park will be in addition to the current water park that is already at LEGOLAND California.  With interactive water play, water cannons, a huge wave pool and more water slides than you can count, it looks like an incredible place for a family vacation!



For those that live in the NY Hudson Valley area, you don’t have to go very far for your own LEGO adventure.  The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is conveniently located in Ridge Hill (across from Stew Leonard’s).   At the Discovery Center you can experience the 4D Cinema, take a LEGO factory tour, view New York's top landmarks made out of LEGO bricks, build and race your own LEGO racecar, ride Merlin’s Apprentice Ride plus much more.  For younger kids there is a duplo soft play area, plus kids under 2 are admitted FREE!  They also hold birthday parties for the LEGO lover in your house ;)

Thank you again LEGOLAND for the fun night of food, drinks and fun and most importantly for information on all the new and exciting attractions that are coming soon to the LEGOLAND parks!


Just like Emmet says….”Everything is awesome!!”





Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Look Back

2013 will be over in just a few hours and I have to say that I’m more than ready to ring in 2014!!   2013 brought with it a lot of personal accomplishments for me.  I lost 38 lbs and completed 3 races, including my very first Spartan Sprint!  The past 12 months have been a fun and busy year for our family filled with parties, vacations and outings, but I’m excited to start 2014 and begin a new chapter in our family’s life.

See ya 2013…..Bring on 2014!!
 

January
  • Started Weight Watchers
  • Bowling outing with Anthony & Me
  • Taylor’s Birthday party
  • Family fun day at Sport Time USA
  • Kindergarten Registration
  • All three of us got sick with the flu :(


February
  • Fun in the snow (Nor’easter blizzard)
  • Swapping valentines at school
  • (another) week with Wally (preschool project)
  • Girls weekend trip to Foxwoods & Mystic, CT
 

March
  • Tae-Kwon-Do trial lesson
  • Trip to Florida to visit my mom & stepdad
  • Easter egg coloring & hunt
  • My birthday brunch at Xavier’s on the Hudson
  • Bowling play date with Anthony’s BFF, Tyler
 

April
  • Anthony turns 5!
  • RJ’s Birthday Party
  • Anthony’s 1st day of T-Ball
 
 

May
  • Mother’s Day dinner at Restaurant X
  • More T-Ball games
  • Gavin’s Birthday Party
  • Crazy hair day at preschool
  • The pool opens!
  • Memorial Day Weekend BBQs


June
  • Anthony’s “graduates” from Preschool
  • Gilly’s graduation party
  • Matthew’s Birthday party
  • More T-Ball games
  • Swimming and outdoor fun
  • I completed my first Spartan Sprint!

 
July
  • Watching 4th of July fireworks from our window
  • Vacation with my extended family to Niagara Falls
  • Damian’s 1st Birthday party
  • Anthony gets a new pair of glasses
  • Crazy hat day at Preschool
  • More swimming
  • Birthday parties for Chase & Aiden
  • Kindergarten orientation day
  • Had family photos professionally taken at a local park
  • Put our 1st house up for sale (eeek!!)


August
  • Soaking in the final days of swimming
  • Kindergarten bus orientation
  • Fishing at the local lake with Daddy
  • Birthday parties for Gilly, Vinny & Quincy
  • Found a buyer for our house & intensified our search for a new house
  • Girls weekend trip to Hershey, PA to see Justin Timberlake/ Jay Z concert

 
September
  • Anthony’s 1st day of Kindergarten
  • I completed my first 5k Color Run!
  • Stephen & Petra’s Engagement party
  • Play date at Sport Time USA with Anthony’s BFF, Tyler
  • Attended the world’s largest picnic in NYC (a Guinness World Record) sponsored by Hellmanns
  • Hit my weight loss goal!!
  • Continue the search for a new house
 
 
 
October
  • Family apple picking trip at local farm
  • Kindergarten Halloween Parade & Party
  • Birthday party for Connor & Paige
  • I completed my first Ridiculous Obstacle Race!
  • Continue the search for a new house



November
  • Celebrating thanksgiving with our family
  • Steven & Colette’s Wedding
  • Trip to NYC to see Lion King (Anthon’s 1st Broadway show)
  • Found our forever home!


December
  • Ride on the Polar Express (Essex, CT)
  • Celebrate our last Christmas in our house
  • Continue to pack up the house
  • Close on the sale of our 1st home
 


From our family to yours.  Wishing you a very Happy New Year.  Cheers to 2014!!





Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Kindergartner – 3 Months Later

We successfully made it through the first week of Kindergarten.  And the 13 more that followed after.  There were no tears, not (much) of a fuss, and after a few funny stories later he is quite comfortable in his new surroundings and acting like he has been going to school for years. 

After completing a quarter of the year, he is excelling in his school work and it doesn’t appear that the common core curriculum has had a negative impact on him (at least not yet).  I’m still quite nervous about all the work that is and will be thrown at him between now and June, but he’s been a trooper thus far and is absorbing everything in stride.  We had our very first parent teacher conference last month and he got a glowing report.  He is (thankfully) minding his manners and listening very well, which I was both happy & slightly surprised about considering he has been completely the opposite at home recently.

Since school began in September we’ve noticed a negative behavioral change in Anthony.  He’s become much more defiant than his usual five-year-old self and no matter what we ask of him (even simple questions like “please get dressed”) are answered with “I don’t wanna” or simply “no” which ultimately leads to an argument.  In talking to some of the other Kindergarten moms who are experiencing the same situation with their kids, we’ve attributed this new attitude change to the constant listening that he is doing all day combined with the stressfulness of all the work that is being asked of him as part of the common core.  Between school and his after school program, he is following someone else’s rules from 9 am to 5 pm.  By the time he comes home he’s just had enough and is taking out his frustrations on us.

In the last 3 months we’ve seen a slight improvement in his grumpiness, but we’re hoping that it will just take a little more time for him to adjust and for our sweet boy to return.  I’m honestly on the fence on how to reprimand him for this behavior because part of me feels like it’s not his fault that he’s being overworked but at the same time I need to address it so that he knows his behavior it’s not acceptable.   Who knew Kindergarten was going to bring with it such challenges!

Kindergarten School Picture

Sunday, November 17, 2013

An Interview with a Five Year Old

We were having a little fun this weekend and I decided to interview my five year old to see what kind of answers came out of him.  The results were pretty funny.

What’s your name?   Anthony

How old are you?   Five

Who is your best friend?   Tyler

What is your favorite food?   Tacos

What is your favorite animal?   A Lion because it has big teeth and eats the Zebras

What is your favorite color?   Blue

What is your favorite tv show?  Lab Rats

What is your favorite movie?  Monsters, Inc.

Who is your favorite person?   My Mom & Dad and Layla (my dog)

What does Mommy do for work?   Works on the computer

What does Daddy do for work?   Works on the computer and they have a cooking area at his job

What do you want to be when you grow up?  A superhero (Superman to be exact)

What do you love to do for fun?  Play with my best friend Tyler

Who is your favorite Superhero?  The Avengers

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Weeks 37 Results

Pounds Lost this Week:  -1.8 lbs
Pounds Lost to Date:  -38.6 lbs

GGGGOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!

I finally made it! WOHOOOOO!!!!!  I’ve reached my goal weight (plus a teensy bit).  After almost 9 months of weight watchers I can say that I am the lightest I have been since graduating college 13 years ago!  While it’s true that I probably could have gotten here a month or two earlier if I had stuck to the plan a bit better, truth is that life sometimes happens (and it did).  But when it does you can’t let it completely derail you.  I kept working at it and continued to remind myself that if the pounds didn’t come off as fast as they did in the beginning then that was OK.  When I look back at a summary of my loss it’s quite obvious that I had a strong start with my first 4 months being great loss months and then I tapered off in the summer which was when I was searching to try and get

my momentum back.
 

January:  - 9 lbs
February:  - 8.2 lbs
March:  -4.8 lbs
April:  -6 lbs
May:  -2.4 lbs
June:  -0 lbs
July:  -3.8 lbs
August:  -2.6 lbs
September:  -1.8 lbs

Half of me wants to go for another 1.4 lbs to make it an even 40 but I don’t know if I should push my luck.  Ha, ha!  I’m pretty psyched to be down 4 pants sizes and 2 shirt sizes.  At this point, I’m just going to let nature take its course; continue to eat healthy, exercise & monitor my weight weekly.  I won’t be posting weekly updates anymore though since I reached my goal.   This whole experience has changed my eating habits (for the better) as a lifestyle change and I need to keep it that way if I want to maintain the body I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Weeks 36 Results

Pounds Lost this Week:  -0.0 lbs
Pounds Lost to Date:  -36.8 lbs

Zero is okay with me this week.  It was a tough stress week and I’m putting it behind me.  It’s a new week and I’m going back to meal planning and drinking more water.  I’m also gearing up for the start of my volleyball season so I’m excited to get back on the court one night a week.

Here’s this week’s dinner menu. 

Sunday 9/15:  Grilled Chicken Thighs with Grilled Polenta & Grilled Corn on the Cob (10 pts+)

Monday 9/16:  Leftovers (no meal plan)

Tuesday 9/17:  no meal plan (volleyball night)

Wednesday 9/18Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken with ½ cup brown rice (8 pts+) 


Friday 9/20:  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili (5 pts+) 

Saturday 9/21:  Leftovers (no meal plan)

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