Tuesday, March 29, 2011

10 on Tuesday

Since I am still trying to figure out the new blogger and it's insane new photo posting ways, I decided to put aside the last two B-Lo trip installments and give you a list. You know the drill. Random. List. Sometimes 10, sometimes... not. Always sarcastic.

1. I stopped reading a blog I had clicked to the other day solely because the woman ended every! single! sentence! with! an! exclamation! point! I worried I could have a heart attack from all the excitement about what! cute! outfits!her! kids! wore! to! the! park! gag.

2. I played the game loaded questions last night for the first time. I love it. Lying, truth telling, guessing, competitive point keeping. I need to own it.

3. Last week, I chaperoned a first grade field trip. I learned that a 7 year old girl who shows her butt crack in her low rise jeans is just as wrong as when say, a plumber does. What? You moms think because there is princess peeking out it makes that crack cute? NO! Cover the Crackage! If I am ever the First Lady, that will be my "issue". I want t-shirts, CTC bumper magnets, and 5Ks to support the cause.

4. I gave up chips for Lent. I have eaten them, by mistake, 4 times now. (The 5th mishap was stopped by my friend Martha screaming, "NO JUDE!" Thanks Martha... I think ;)

5. Do we really need to talk about Charlie Sheen? I guarantee if you could access either his or his manager's hard drive sometime in the last six months, you would find them google searching charlie manson. Why? Because that is who is he acting like, and he knew it would sell. He may not have tiger blood, but he can smell a good news story a mile away.

6. I pulled up a calorie counter to see how many calories my favorite drink from Sonic is. A lemonberry slushy. YUM. I was elated when I saw a large only has 184 calories! Woohoo. Until I scrolled back up and saw that, no... that was the amount of carbs in a drink. The calorie count was somewhere in the neighborhood of 54,234 or so. No more happy hour for this girl.  I hate technology.

7. I started this on Tuesday and never finished it. I don't know what it says about me that I can no longer even complete a list of 10 things in a timely manner.

8. I just found a recipe for Sponge Candy. I am elated. I tried it last night, despite the fact that I do not own a candy thermometer, and you need one for this recipe. I think I got impatient, and the end result was a mass of taffy-esque type stuff that would rip the teeth out of a hippo. I think I shall buy a candy thermometer.

9. In my quest for a Sonic replacement, I bought 8 pounds of strawberries. In my defense, they were on sale.

10. Its pouring rain, its spring break, and this sad, sad post is all I am capable of...

Monday, March 21, 2011

The B-Lo, part 3, the one about the art gallery...

Our boys missed 5 days of school for our trip to the B-Lo. You can get these days "excused" when you ask, in advance, and have plans for "educational" time. Normally, I really don't concern myself with the worry of "unexcused absences." I hardly think that, when applying to college, they are going to pull Lincoln's 3rd grade report card and say, "Well, you were a shoe-in until we saw those 5 unexcused absences from 3rd grade. We just can't allow that kind of behavior in our institute of higher learning." However, since this year we had already missed days for sickness, we decided to do it.
I think next time I will risk the college rejection.
This piece of pop-art captures my feelings well.
First off, Emerson... he is NOT a fan of homework normally, so to make him stop whatever he is doing at "Gramma's House of Indulgence"... well, that just makes him all the more enthusiastic about it. All he had to do was his regular 20 minutes of reading, with a sentence about what he read, and a daily journal about what we were doing. You would have thought we asked him to read War and Peace and give a chapter by chapter summary. Typed. In french.
On the plus side, I affirmed that I should never homeschool.

One of the educational highlights of our trip was to go to the Albright Knox Gallery. I remember going there and loving it as a kid. There was this awesome room made of mirrors, and a "sculpture" of chewed gum in various colors. My mother was not appreciative when, as a kid, I bought gumballs with my birthday money and tried to replicate it by leaving my chewed gum on my bedpost at night. Some people do NOT appreciate the arts I guess...

Anyway... we took the knuckleheads. Now, here is where, in retrospect, I think... WHY? Why did I think it was a good idea to take three young boys, hopped up on sugar from Gramma's House of Indulgence, to an ART GALLERY? You know, where there are PRICELESS works of art, hanging, out in the open...
We paid roughly a small fortune to park and view the art. After informing the boys they could not, in fact, test out their "echo" voices in the long hallways, we set out. Oh, I put my best teacher foot forward, and we looked at the first few Renoir's and such. My children failed to grasp that "do not touch" also meant "do not stand so close your breath will touch". Then we entered a hallway with some sculptures. There was one of a nude, in bronze, but completely smooth... meaning, no discernible body parts. So Emerson chooses that moment to violate the no touch order, and pokes it in the crotch asking, "Hey! Where is its Unit?" Really? We are looking at priceless art, and my child is concerned with the "Unit" (or lack thereof) on a statue.

It was the beginning of the end. Here, in list form, are the rest of the highlights...
1. The awesome mirror room and gum sculpture? On LOAN to a museum in NYC. Great...
2. A new exhibit arrived, it was a series, a BIG, NEVER ENDING, series of nude drawings by Picasso. I just moved the tribes quickly through that room, because, unlike the bronze sculptor, Picasso did pay attention to detail. A lot.
3. This was our favorite display:

I had to tell the boys we were NOT allowed to borrow any spoons though.
4. A bunch of wood chunks on the floor in a circle, this does not equate "art" to a six year old. It screams, "Walk on me! I am a fun wood bridge!". (educationally speaking, after snatching him off, he did notice the AB pattern of said wood.)
5. Standing in front of a ginormous Jackson Pollack and discussing how some people either love or hate his work, will in fact prompt your 8 year old to make a paint brush swishing motion in the air and declare, with disgust, that he could paint this same thing. Please note, this will not garner happy glances from the snotty art lady with her fancy sketch pad and hand hewed jewelry.

6. A canvas covered in all red, yes, simply a totally red canvas, that will make that same 8 yr old declare, "What? This is NOT art! Its just RED!! Alden could do this!" Then while you explain that it is melted lipstick, you realize, he is right.
7. The boys were not sure why there was a "TV room" at the art gallery, and never could grasp the explanation that even video images can be art. They just thought someone put some soccer videos in to make them happy.
In the end, just admit you may not be an art gallery family (yet?), and praise God that the Cinema Mummy was not loaned out to NYC...

Here are everyone's picks for favorite piece of art...

Alden loved Cinema Man.

Lincoln liked this wire display. Perhaps his love of electronics, and disassembling them influenced his choice?

I was surprised that this was My Micah's pick. He really liked it though.

I have always loved this painting, its been my favorite since that first childhood visit. "The Marvelous Sauce."

Guess who? Hadji, of course...

My mom's choice for favorite.

And a few bonus photos, placed here because I cannot figure out bloggers new edit mode for the life of me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The B-Lo part zwei

Zwei is German for "two". It does not have the same ring to it as the french "deux"... but then, the German language is not exactly known for its ability to roll off the tongue. It is a little bit more like coughing up a hairball.

Anyway, back to part Zwei. We arrived. There was no snow. I was pretty miffed that a city known solely for two things - chicken wings and snow- was sorely lacking one of them. I should not have lost faith. Buffalo in February will see snow. And we did. We got 6-8inches overnight, which my mother called, "a dusting" and my children called "a blizzard."

So we went sledding. We went to the school where I attended high school... and middle school... and elementary school. Oh, small town living, I do miss you. You should have seen the look on my kids (and their cousins) faces when I informed them that the mountain we were about to sled down was what I had to run sprints on for soccer and field hockey. I think they were impressed, or shocked, that at some point, this floppy body they now see was once athletic enough to actually do said running.

My knuckleheads and their cousins. 5 boys+snow=fun.

I admit, I thought my little beach loving boys would shiver and whine to come in pretty quick. Um... nope. Just Alden did, and his Gramma was only too happy to oblige since it was only 18° with whipping winds. I pretty much observed, courtesy of my on-going pain from the car accident last January. At the two hour mark, I realized, we have a car just over there... with heated seats and satellite radio. Bye boys!

Alden in his super cute snow suit courtesy of my mom. Adorable. Oh, and so is that boy behind him. My Micah. Swoon.

This is me. Hiding in the warm car, enjoying the heated seats.

Micah took them a few more times, and then we all went at night. This time we went to a local golf course. I seem to remember feeling all "trespassing rebellious" as a kid going there, but now... now they have lights and it is roped off with walking lanes, tubing lanes, etc... man. I bet no one accidentally knocks over the tip jar in the lodge and steals some change. Not that I ever did that.
Anyway... night sledding, where it was a balmy 24° and felt downright warm. The sun had melted the hills just enough to allow them to refreeze and become icy catapults which we eagerly encouraged our small children to hurl themselves down, while sitting on a round piece of plastic. I sensed a disconnect with my parental safety self at this point. Alden loved it. Lincoln loved it. Hadji... Hadji luged it. Yes, he went down, repeatedly, luge style. I say we move to Jamaica so he can start training now for his Olympic career. It would be a sacrifice, but I am willing. If I have to sit on the beach and sip umbrella drinks whilst smelling of no-SPF coconut oil, and turning my skin a lovely shade of brown, reading books all day... I am willing. We parents, there is no end to what we give for our children and their dreams...
While night sledding, we saw a fox. It walked right across the bottom of the sledding hill. Lincoln wrote about it for his school journal. "We saw a fox. I wanted to kill it and eat it." First off, I hope his teacher is not a big animal lover. Second of all, I was a little surprised that it took only a few days in the B-Lo cold to turn my boys into the whole, kill-eat-survive-guy from Never Cry Wolf.

So, sledding... good. Luging Hadji... good. Eating Foxes...bad.

This is David. He lives across the street from my mom and dutifully plows her driveway every year... with his tractor. My children were nose pressed against the window watching in awe.

Stay tuned for the next installation of Adventures in the B-Lo...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Trip to the B-Lo

Well, you may have thought I entered into yet another season of blogslackedness... I did not. I was traveling abroad. Well... ok, not abroad exactly. We went to Buffalo, affectionately referred to 'round these parts as "The B-Lo." Now, for the next several days, I will wow you with exciting parts of the trip, and so that no one falls asleep and breaks their nose on their keyboard, I will do this over several days/posts. I want to include LOTS of photos, because, quite frankly, you will not believe some of what I will tell you without them...

First off, we left at o'dark thirty. We grabbed the three sleepy heads, threw them, their pillows and such in the car and hit the road. It was a joyous couple hours of silence. I think when it is still dark, they think they are not supposed to talk or anything. No one asked for food, a movie, not a peep until the sun came up. If it weren't for my love of tanned skin, I would consider moving to one of those countries where it is dark for 24 hours a day. Once they were awake, we found that a last minute decision to buy some lucky charms (ok, store brand "magic stars") was a smart one. Small hands digging for marshmallows for hours. My children had never seen the lucky charm before, and were quite enamored. Go team Sheltered Kids.)

There was coffee in the car... for Micah. I also convinced him that I read "somewhere" that eating an apple was like having a cup of coffee before we could find a Starbucks. Sucker!

Of course there was also texting. I almost didn't make it through the mountains where we lose coverage for a while. (names blurred to protect the guilty innocent.)

And, in keeping with my Project 365, I did, in fact take some self portraits in the car. Yeah, its not exactly, uh... flattering, but it is done.

There were also lots of pretty scenes along the way, and when I wasn't staring at the back of my eyelids, or texting like a 13 year old, I was zapping all of my Micah's iPhone battery taking pics. He was not nearly as appreciative when he needed to make a call, or when we got stuck with an extra $15 charge for using too much "data". Hey, what price can you put on these precious memories of my socks in the window? No one appreciates art anymore!

The best part... there were also three little sleepy boys, and my Micah and I enjoyed a blissful time of chatting, hand holding, and even the occasional smooch. (This has been perfected over years of road trips...you newlyweds, or start up roadies, you need to practice in the driveway, lest your lip locking causes an accident.)

Then, when you think you are almost about to lose your mind, and you have failed, yet again, to convince your spouse that an outlet mall stop IS a good choice, you will see this sign, and know... the end is near, and the adventure is just beginning...