Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New York State of Mind

Things I learned from our trip to NYC....

1) New York City has the best PICKLES ever. No idea why and no idea why they are so good.

2) New Yorkers are as wimpy about cold weather as I am. And I do admit that I am a wimp about cold weather. I walked the streets in a ski coat, scarf, knee high wool socks, gloves, and a hat. I was still freezing. Adam was usually in a t-shirt and coat. New Yorkers were dressed like me, no one was dressed like Adam.

3) People do NOT dress up for Broadway shows. No one except Adam and me. (very embarrassing)

4) New York City has interesting smells. One mintue your walking down the street and smelling delcious fresh bagels, roasted peanuts, pizza. The next block all of a sudden you get a whif of death or puke. It was weird. Especially after miles and miles of good to bad to good smells.

5) Everyone does honk in New York. And we've decided no one has any idea why. (I would never drive in New York City) I've also concluded that no one knows how a crosswalk works that includes walkers and drivers. I almost saw 4 people get hit by cars. #crazy

6) New York City is Carbohydrate heaven. Bagels, cupcakes, fresh bread, cake, cookies, churrios, pizza, pasta, etc. It was delicious! (And I will pay for this week at the gym)

7) Everything in New York is straight up. We went to the movies twice and both times we traveled straight up to the theaters. One time we went up 5 escalators and the other time 7!!! It was crazy and made me wonder what would happen if there was a fire alarm?

8) I want to speak another language and New York gave me the bug. Everyone there was speaking something other than English and most times had me paranoid that they were talking about ME!!! Hmmmm which language would you learn?

9) I only saw about 20 kids the whole time we were in New York. New York is not a kid friendly town and that did make it easy for me to not think the whole time "Oh I wish the kids were here."

10) In conclusion, I loved visiting New York. But I couldn't make it my home in this stage of life. Have you visited New York, what was your favorite part?

My New York Trip Favorites:

1) Spending time with my Adam.
2) Meeting Annie and seeing Andy again. Good company, good conversation, and good drink/food.
3) Seeing Broadway and the musical Memphis. (I'm officially hooked can't wait to see another musical live)
4) Seeing the City on top of the Empire State Building at night and during the day on top of The Rock.
5) Spending time exploring a new place with my Adam.

Friday, March 25, 2011

New York: Day 4

Today was our last full day/night in New York. Which means I get to see my babies tomorrow. (I'm so excited about that) So we headed out to the last couple of touristy spots. We headed down to the tip of the island to see Lady Liberty and visit Ellis Island.

It was the first day that we witnessed TOURIST crazyness. And the first time we stood in line all week. And man did we stand in line. 40 minutes to buy tickets. Then another 40 minutes to get on the ferry. It was cold again, but clear and beautiful.

On the ferry towards the islands

So cold on top of the ferry, because we had get to "best shot" of the pretty Lady.

And here she is.....

Inside the building at Ellis Island
Looking up information about immigrant families on the registry.

We headed to Ground Zero next. You couldn't help but remember that day. Where were you?
Incredible seeing the new towers already being built.

It was our last night in NYC and we could have gone anywhere. But we grabbed a quick bit at the diner next to our Hotel. (It is good) And took off to see the movie Sucker Punch. Funny because this is exactly what we both wanted to do. We love going to the movies. And it was on the IMAX and opening night. It reminded us of the "early days" over 8 years ago. We went to the movies every weekend. I know that we will be judged for this decision. That we should have gone to some fancy NY restaurant, but at the end of the day that is just not us. And we had a blast.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New York: Day 3

Today I woke up with one thing one my mind; BROADWAY DAY. I've had a secret and sometimes not so secret LOVE for musicals since I was a little girl. (Thank you, Mom.) But sadly I have never seen a Broadway play. Not even those traveling Broadway kind that come to your city. NOTHING. So when I found out that we were heading to New York the first thing on my to-see list was a BROADWAY MUSICAL.

But Day 3 was full of other adventures before our evening on Broadway. (man, I feel like I should make you do jazz hands every time I mention Broadway) I hit the gym this morning while Adam was doing work stuff. (and it was an awful workout my legs felt like lead. We have been walking everywhere in New York. Partly because we are cheap and mostly because we don't want to miss anything. But my whole body is SO SORE) After some lunch, we headed out towards Central Park on 5th Ave.

First stop was Radio City Music Hall. Tried to get Adam to do a picture of us doing a couple of kicks but he didn't want to.

Seeing the NBC studios. Sad that we didn't see Kenneth or Tina Fey or Alec Baldwin. Guess you have to pay for the studio tour.
At the gift shop we found this beauty in the clearance section. #SHAME Needless to say we had to buy it and I can't wait to see it on Adam's desk at work.

Then we went to the top of The Rock.

The view was perfect. No obstructions just glass all the way around. 360 degree view of the city.

Here's my adorable Adam humoring me. I don't love pictures without someone I care about in them. (Got that one from my Dad) He was being a good husband for this shot.

Seeing the famous Rockefeller Ice Stating Rink

We had to stop in this beautiful church and snag a couple pictures (which felt weird). We just don't build churches like this anymore.

We then walked and walked and walked down 5th Ave. We walked by Cartier, Coach, Tiffany and Co, and other richy richy places. We saw Trump Tower, the NYC Downtown Apple Store, and visited the big toy store from the movie "Big". But we were too tired to take pictures. I know shameful, huh? It was late and we needed to head back to get ready for our BROADWAY (jazz hands?) night.

We went and saw the muscial "Memphis" It was FANTASICAL!!! Seriousily so great! I couldn't have imagined going to a better show for my first one.

Here's a discription of the musical:
TURN UP THAT DIAL...From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes a hot new Broadway musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Inspired by actual events, MEMPHIS is about a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Come along on their incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves -- filled with laughter, soaring emotion and roof-raising rock 'n' roll.

It was everything a Broadway muscial should be. Great songs, dancing, a story that tugs at your heart, characters that make you laugh and cry, and plot that is inspiring!!

After the show we got to do the UNTHINKABLE and meet the cast!!! Here I am with the two leads. They chatted with me for awhile, signed my playbill, and took pictures. I was in heaven! Seriously, I might have pee'd in my little cute dress, but I tried to act cool.

Chad Kimball played Huey, the DJ with a soul for a forbidden music. (After finding out Chad was not on twitter I tried to convince him that he should be, he wasn't sold. Ha it was a funny conversation)
Montego Glover played Felicia a soulful beauty with a voice of gold.

Seriously, if you have a chance to ever see this show, you MUST! By the end everyone in the audience was on their feet, wiping tears from their eyes, and clapping, dancing, and singing along. It was a muscial with a fantastic message about love and acceptence for everyone. Truly beautiful!!

And now everyone one last time. THROW some jazz hands up!! HOCKADOO!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New York: Day 2

We woke up to an ugly snowy cold day in New York. Adam had work stuff all morning so I headed off to the American Museum of Natural History. I forgot my camera so I had to snap shots with my phone.
Here I am all bundled up ready to go out.
At the Museum

That evening we went out to dinner and then went to a movie in Times Square. We had to go up 5 escalators to get to the theaters. Adam and I used to be big movie goers, so it was really fun.

Had to get this picture for my father in law, he loves Fox News. I've heard a rumor that he is getting my kids to like it too.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New York: First 24 Hours

We made it to New York City got settled into our super awesome hotel and took off exploring.

We walked a couples of blocks to Time Square and had a blast.

Playing at Toys R Us

Then headed to the Empire State Building. Which turned out to be the greatest idea, because there was no line and we've heard that it can be as long as 4 hours. It was BEAUTIFUL.

On Tuesday, I was on my own while Adam worked and so I headed back to Times Square to do a little shopping. I ran into this famous man and knew that my Mom would kill me if I didn't get a picture with him. Unfortunately, while I was trying to get my picture taken with him he changed the rules. He said that I had to "grab a body part" for a picture. I won't tell you what my choices were but I went with chest. He was hilarious!

Then we headed south to Greenwich Village to meet up with Andy and Annie (Gowalla peeps) for drinks and food. On the way there, we saw a crowd gathered around a street basketball court. Found out Chris Brown (who had a busy day on Good Morning America) was playing. I had to get a picture.

Sweet and beautiful Annie

WHEW! What a busy 24 hours!!! Will continue to keep everyone posted.

SXSW recap

Meeting Jen with her kids: This is how most people see me, since I usually have all 4 kids running around me at all times. I try my hardest to act like I have my head on straight, but many times that is just not the case. 4 kids can be pretty hard to do. I can’t imagine doing anything else, but it is hard sometimes. So when you do find a moment to catch my attention it’s probably going to be a Jen who is a little frazzled and distracted. I will have make up on, but I only had about 5 minutes to apply it so it might be a mess. My hair is most likely in a ponytail. And it’s a good day when I don’t have spit up or snot on my shirt. I’m a Mom and you’ll realize that VERY quickly. I might be a little shy or quiet because I’m still learning this Mom-thing and to be honest I’m a little self-conscious.

Meeting Jen without her kids: WOW this does not happen often, so take advantage of it people. Because quick frankly Jen without her kids is a freaking HOOT. She is confident (probably more the high of having no kids that you are seeing). She most likely took more than 10 minutes to get ready so she’s pretty hot. And might even have a cute outfit on. She’s witty and fun and very friendly.

Last week Jen without her kids made an appearance. She hasn’t been out in a long time. Actually not since the Gowalla Christmas party in early December for a few hours. But last weekend she was out quite a bit. You see SXSW was this last week and it was a crazy week of fun, work, and no sleep. Adam’s parents came to town to help watch the kiddos while Adam worked his butt off and I did the same. (It also gave us some time to go downtown, to concerts, go to the Gowalla party, and hang out with friends) And it was good “practice” for everyone since the grandparents would be watching the kiddos while Adam and I went to New York the next week. SXSW starts off with a bang because the beginning of SXSW is called Interactive. Since Gowalla is such a big player in that world, all Gowalla employees and family are hard at work. This year was different and fun in a new way because Gowalla had a super sweet, super hot, super cool AIRSTREAM all Gowalla-fied. We had the beauty set up right downtown by the convention center for all the geeks and later the music and movie lovers to come visit and experience all the things Gowalla has to offer.

I worked at the airstream for 3 days in a row, while Adam made sure everything in Gowalla-land stayed up and running smoothly and fast-ly. I met with Gowalla fans. Introduced people to Gowalla for the first time and took lot’s of photos. We had a deal that if you checked in to the Gowalla Airstream you got a super cool t-shirt, a free taco, and even a sweet leaf tea. It was fun meeting everyone and working alongside some fun coworkers.

I also got to go to the Gowalla party and had a great time dancing to Matt and Kim and eating at 4:00am at a cool (and expensive) little diner downtown. Another couple nights I went out and had some great food, danced, and hung out with Adam and other good friends.

It was so much fun and made me look forward to seeing Jen without kids more often. I realized that I don’t let her get out much. So little in fact that it took a while to find her the first time I went out. Which is pretty sad because she is the woman my husband fell in love with and to be honest is a pretty fun chick. We do plan on having more nights when Jen without kids and Adam without kids go out together. And I’m also going to work on getting Jen with kids a little bit more confident and not so scared or worried all the time.

Have you ever met either Jens, if so which one?

Some Pics:

Foster Update

Little M has been with us for almost 5 weeks now. Wow times flies. So I thought I’d give everyone an update. She is a great little baby. I’ve got her on a perfect schedule right now and adore watching her learn more and more each day. She’s rolling over now, laughing, talking, and grabbing things with her hands. (she didn’t do any of that when we first got her) She loves being held and talked or singed to and can get pretty upset if someone (especially Mom) doesn’t pick her up when she wants you to.

The kids are doing great with her too. My favorite thing is when Alexis tries to convince Little M that she should have a binky in her mouth at all times. Little M doesn’t want it, but Alexis (who can only have one in her bed) doesn’t understand why not. Bryce “wubs” her and wants her to stay forever and still insists on introducing our “new baby” to everyone he sees. Connor is stepping up as a “helper” especially if it means he can earn another minute or two of Wii time.

Her case seems pretty calm. I take her to visits each week and have actually started picking up her Bio Mom too. And we’ve heard that CPS is still aiming for reunification in late May. Who knows what that means though. I’ll continue to keep everyone updated as much as I can.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What the heck is GOWALLA?

Ever heard me talk about Gowalla?? Ever wondered what the heck I'm talking about???? Well, it's the company Adam works for and to us one of the coolest things ever.

It's an experience on your smart phone or iPad or computer. It's a community of YOUR friends and a network that lets you share your experiences, places, cool spots, and deals in your area (and really around the world). You simply sign up HERE. And hook up your Facebook/Twitter to find friends who are using Gowalla. Then you go out and EXPLORE! Find your friends favorite places, parks, concerts, and events. You can search for new places, see pictures, read YOUR friends reviews, and learn about places around you.

It's fun to connect with friends. We've changed our dinner plans because we saw that our friends had checked in to another place down the road. We hooked up with them because of Gowalla and enjoyed a fun evening that wasn't planned. We've found new resturaunts. Kid friendly parks. Festivals. There is also a great feature that lets you leave notes at places for friends. How cool to be able to leave a little note for my husband that he can read when he gets to work. OR, leaving a note to REMEMBER to get toothpaste at your local grocery store. Next time you are there it will remind you about that STINKIN toothpaste (and yes right now my kids are out of toothpaste).

Did I mention that you can get deals??? Oh yes, check in to places and you might get 10% off, a free coffee, a t-shirt, heck people have even won iPads, bikes, trips, and more. (Who doesn't love free stuff??) OH and DISNEY loves Gowalla too.

Gowalla is like a social travel guide, and it syncs up to your facebook and twitter so GO SHARE where you are and what you are doing. (If you don't want to share it then just don't click share and it stays private.)

HERE is a SUPER cute video showing a fun day using Gowalla in Austin, TX.

Where Will You Go? from Josh Williams on Vimeo.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Let's go fly a.....WAIT!

Today was Austin's Kite Festival. Problem was there was NO WIND! (Which is SO funny cause in AUSTIN there is ALWAYS WIND) But we promised the boys that we would go and they bought super cool kites for Adam's birthday.
We still had a blast even though our super cool kites would not fly. And we've promised that we'll go back to the park and fly them another day.
This one is me catching Alexis sneaking cookies out of her brother's bags.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We love to jump!

So we found out last week that the State of Texas has decided that foster families can now HAVE trampolines in their backyards. When we got certified last year is was a very big NO-NO. So last FRIDAY Daddy stayed up late and put our new "backyard attraction" together. We been enjoying this weird summer weather(sunny and 80 degrees) and jumping ever since.
After hours of jumping the boys decided to make a fort
watching the stars!

I can't write a post about trampolines and NOT put this video up again.

Hopefully more videos of PURE AWESOMENESS are to come!
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