Posts from — July 2012
For the past several nights I’ve been cursing NBC. Sweet J, who is a gymnast and an Olympics gymnastics enthusiast, has been staying up way too late watching tv. We were kind of stuck: we don’t get cable at all, so we couldn’t stream online, and of course NBC wouldn’t squander this ratings-grabbing sport on daytime. I tried the BBC and Canadian TV, but I couldn’t get the videos running because I’m not, you know, British or Canadian.
I started getting bitter early, actually. An ex-pat friend in Britain gushed about the opening ceremonies, so I was irritated when they parts were cut or mocked. The commentators pattered in the same old stupid and inane way that they always do, but I’m out of practice with tolerating it. Cute W and I shut off the morning tv shows about 15 years ago, and these days we just don’t watch any of that network tv/infotainment stuff at all.
By the following evening, poor J was fighting to stay awake during the swimming events to watch more gymnastics, and I was working myself into a snit, trolling #nbcfail on Twitter, snickering at the tape-delay jokes and getting morally outraged that they skipped the opening ceremony tribute to victims of terrorism in favor of a Ryan Seacrest interview. Last night J and M were fast asleep on couches, it was 11:15 pm, and I just couldn’t stay awake any longer. Something had to change.
Enter my new favorite bear, TunnelBear. It’s a program that makes it look like you’re in Great Britain, and it’s very, very easy to do. Download and run, and then a cute little old-fashioned radio-looking thing shows up on your screen. Switch it to “On” and “UK” and you’re in business! It’s free for a little while (and free twice as long if you Tweet about it), and it’s $4.99/month if you want to use it for more than a little while. We coughed up the $4.99.
It was totally worth it. Now I can go to this comprehensive BBC schedule and watch things live or later. So right now, the girls and I are watching the gymnastics team finals. Okay, I’m a goofball, because I spaced it earlier and forgot to catch it live like I’d planned. But even on delay, the coverage is much better. Or in my opinion it is. I’ve spent some time watching both, and here’s my quick comparison:
- Switches back and forth between gymnastics and other sports repeatedly
- Focuses almost entirely on the American team
- Has a lot of commercials
- Offers a lot of commentary that focuses on mistakes
- Spends a lot of time talking about people in the audience (although that clip of Aly Raisman’s parents had Cute W and I roaring with laughter, and the #nbcfail chatterers were snarky about it, but if you’ve ever been a parent watching powerlessly as your child performs, it’s easy to empathize, I think)
- Doesn’t explain much about what’s going on
- You watch exactly what you click
- You see gymnasts from all different countries, with a bit of an emphasis on the Brits (of course) and the Americans (because they rock)
- No commercials during video replay
- Commentary is not 100% awesome, but there’s a lot more positivity–they focus more on what’s done well, which I appreciate
- Haven’t seen anyone in the stands, although they do sometimes linger on the gymnasts awaiting scores or limbering up instead of straight performances
- Gives a better general idea of what’s happening at the meet–we got to see all the gymnasts introduced, we find out at each rotation who’s going on which equipment, and there are better score updates
All in all, it’s just much better. Once in a while the streaming pauses, but it’s not for long, and it’s a sliver of a fraction of the time wasted on commercials on network tv. In fact, we were about 20 minutes into watching the program on the computer when J asked, “What would we be seeing if we were watching the tv again?” I turned it on to check, and it was mid-commercial, followed by swimming.
I don’t know if any of the rest of you are struggling with this, but I highly recommend going rogue and ditching NBC. Anyone else trying to beat the system?
July 31, 2012 2 Comments
I don’t know if any of you saw the GE commercial about intensive care babies in incubators. The link was pinging around many blogs I read because it shows a teensy bit of breastfeeding (yay). But watching it during the Olympics coverage made me sad all over again, and I realized that I’ve never shared the essay below. M aspirated meconium at birth, and she spent a week in the NICU. We were so, so fortunate that she recovered completely.
M is two days old and we have only touched her with our fingertips. We don gowns and scrub hands with vile-smelling soap on the hospital’s strict three-hour schedule, only to press ourselves against a plastic case. Each touch, they say, distracts her from her main tasks of breathing and circulating blood. If monitors show an abrupt change, access could be revoked.
For months I’d had my feisty little fish girl swimming within me, boisterous and yet such a shiny, benevolent presence that I’ll never understand how women get tired of the kicking. Now our distance is an obstacle course of heavy self-closing fire doors and reception personnel, past a nursery of healthy babies whose mothers have had their fill of them and then the sallow, listless forms in the NICU with M. Once arrived, we are spectators. The overnight nurse greets us kindly. We love her as she coos flattery, congratulating M on her high oxygen levels despite her mucky lungs. We endure the afternoon nurse, wincing as she croons a gruff “hey-hey-hey” and prods a monstrous binky between lips and oxygen tube until M sucks half-heartedly.
Visiting time again, and I’m annoyed that W is late. He’s trying to do too much. I scrub myself in with my mother-in-law. She’d hopped a plane from Des Moines at the first contraction—ignoring our entreaties to wait—and arrived breathlessly, luggage in hand, before I’d even managed to give birth. Ever since, she’s been torn between clinging to her anguished kids and leaving us to the extreme privacy of adulthood, hands fluttering, agitated with the desire to fix everything. Now I bear the brunt of her caged concern while I steel myself to face the “hey-hey” nurse.
We enter, and the nurse issues a curt directive: “The doctor said that you can hold your baby.” Sodden legs buckling, I collapse onto a waiting chair. The impact makes rippling concussions, and I wonder fleetingly if I’ll bleed again, pass another jellyfish clot.
“But. . . my husband. . . .” I begin feebly. “W. . .” A flicker of approval crosses W’s mom’s face, and my head clears. “Can’t we call?” No cell phones allowed here. But even as I fret, the efficient nurse has extracted M, removed some sensors, and encased her in institutional flannel.
“You’re wasting your time with your baby,” the nurse chides.
W’s mom mobilizes: “I’ll find him.” I watch her go, stomach churning. The nurse pushes M into my lap and bustles away.
M is warm and surprisingly light, a loaf of bread from the oven. I grip her and try to remain still through internal convulsions. Where is he?!? I should have waited, why isn’t he here? I am watching the NICU window for him, afraid that he’ll freeze, shocked at my betrayal, at the sight of us alone together. Minutes pass, each of my vertebra lifted to hurry him, like when you stand to urge an athlete toward a goal. I look at M for us both. Ruddy in spite of her Apgar, she has freed a fist from the swaddled blanket. Her mouth opens and closes, eyelids flicker. Her nose swoops with an unimaginably graceful lilt. . . .
“Okay.” The nurse again. She waits a beat, then retrieves her baby from my incompetent arms. Empty. And still no husband either. My throat aches, nose tingles. I can’t stay and watch this woman whisper to my girl, rub her scalp so coarsely. The nurse ignores me, checks baby holding off on her chart. I shuffle alone through NICU reception and down a long hallway.
The elevator pings behind me. W. Hustling like a doctor to an emergency, still believing that he has a chance. “W!” I try to yell, but it’s a defeated, tear-choked croak. I follow, call again, but he is so single-minded. He’s disappeared into the NICU. Pushing aside first-time mother fears that wide strides might cause my insides to spill away, I launch myself into a ginger and bow-legged run.
He is scrubbing with that foul soap. Hasn’t even paused to look through the window. “W–” I strangle around it, horrified by his speed and diligence, the expectancy in his movements. He turns and sees me, his face crumples, and we are together, wailing. Another nurse pokes her head out to see the commotion and discreetly backs away. There’s always drama here. We cling to each other, grieving for what we’d been waiting for: when mommy and daddy first greet baby, cuddling, examining toes. The moment, missed at delivery, that now eludes us forever.
July 30, 2012 8 Comments
I visited the downtown Schenectady library last week and the librarians were feverishly re-shelving books into the new section of the library. They said that they expect it to be open on Monday (like, tomorrow).
Here’s what else is happening this week:
- Tuesday & Wednesday, $1 Summer Movies at Regal Cinemas at Clifton Park Center and Crossgates Mall: Kung Fu Panda 2 and Rango
- Tuesday & Wednesday, Summer Kids Club: FREE Family Movies at Bowtie Cinemas in Schenectady: Shorts
- FREE Tennis Lessons for Kids and Adults in Albany, Troy, and Schenectady available from 15-Love
- Chefs in Training Italian Week at Different Drummer’s Kitchen Co.
- Free Summer Outdoor Concerts on Mondays at the Corner of Yates and South Allen: Brian Kaplan
- Free Concert at Dana Park in Albany
- Jr. Naturalist Program at Dyken Pond
- All About the Fishes at Troy Public Library
- SUMMER ART WORKSHOP—Asian Arts at the Albany Institute of History and Art
- Electric City Horns: A Free Rock & Roll/Pop/Swing Concert at Frank A. Leak Amphitheater For The Arts in Colonie!
- Pond Exploration: Salamanders, Turtles, and Frogs-Oh my! at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park
- Family Storytime at East Greenbush Community Library
- Puppet Show multiple times at the Saratoga Springs Public Library
- The Zucchini Brothers at Clifton Commons
- Rattail Jimmy w/Alan Payette: A Free Concert at Freedom Park in Scotia
- Broadway Dance Workshop – Hairspray at Lansingburgh Branch Troy Public Library
- Plant Scavenger Hike at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park
- Program Series: Discover Mediterranean Cooking at the World Awareness Children’s Museum
- Schenectady County Family Movie Night Kung Fu Panda 2 at Schenectady High School
- 2 Broads with Alotta Sound: A free concert at Niskayuna Town Hall
- Guilderland Performing Arts Center (GPAC) Summer Concert Series
- ValleyCats Baseball
- Pre-School Story Hour with Pam at the Open Door Bookstore
- Family Fun Fridays at Saratoga Race Course
- Wiggle and Giggle at The Children’s Museum at Saratoga
- Puppet Making Workshop with Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council
- ‘TUTE FOR TOTS—Pattern at the Albany Institute of History and Art
- SPECIAL EVENT—1st FRIDAY in Albany
- The Philadelphia Orchestra – Cirque de la Symphonie – Family Night at SPAC
- ValleyCats Baseball w/ Fireworks
Even some older parts of the library have new carpeting and furniture.
July 29, 2012 No Comments
You might think that after spending the morning at a farmers market, then jumping on a giant pillow, then spending six hours at an amusement park, that we would just decide it was time for bed. You underestimate us, my friend. Because we had also scored some super-cool tickets that we couldn’t possibly pass up with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
But before I tell you about that, we had to refuel before the concert, so we asked around until someone pointed us to Golden Port Dim Sum, just down the street from Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. They had a variety of Asian foods. Cute W was very excited to get the girls trying some of his favorite dim sum, like roast pork buns, and I thought sticky rice might be a hit. These arrived first, and the girls eyed them suspiciously, tasted a bit of each, and yawned. I believe at this point J crawled into my lap. M moaned that what we really, really needed was a sofa. We were tired. But they perked up considerably when two favorites arrived at our table: fried pork dumplings and Thai-style yellow curry with chicken. Yum, yum.
We were revived! It was all tasty and the server was friendly. We felt a bit bad for them because people kept showing up for sushi and apparently the sushi chef was on vacation. We were happy to stick with Chinese and Thai and ignore Japanese food altogether.
Nothing like eating way too much deliciousness to make you decide that you need a little something sweet. So between the restaurant and the theatre, we ducked into Java’s Cafe in search of dessert. Holy deliciousness. I am not even kidding. When it comes to baked goods, I’m a bit of a snob. I won’t participate in cookie exchanges, and I find that most bakeries and pastry shops don’t make anything that I feel is quite worth wasting all those calories on. Oh, but this was so very different.
We got three items to share among all of us–the girls each got a pick, and then the grown-ups picked one. J is a sucker for rhubarb, so she went for the slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie (she pretty much always swallows her Rs and they disappear, so it’s very funny when she tells people that one of her favorite desserts are my rhubarb bars and they have no idea what she’s saying); M, child after my own heart, went for the mini mint-chocolate cake, and I picked a flowerless chocolate cookie to represent the adults. Each item was delightful, from flaky crust to mint buttercream frosting to chewy and meringue-like chocolatey cookie. It was a little bit like how each of your children is so different and at the same time so very loved for his or her unique attributes. We were too full to finish entirely, and the next day, when I found a half-crumbled chocolate cookie in my backpack pocket, I didn’t tell a soul and I ate it all by myself.
By this time, we had to hurry, because it was almost 7 pm and time for Pirates of the Caribbean on the big screen with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra playing the entire movie score. Here’s a picture I took very hurriedly before the movie could start and/or an usher could tell me to stop taking pictures:
It was awesome. The girls had never seen the movie before, and this was the perfect “gateway drug” to a real classical music performance, because you could watch the movie for plot, and then between scenes the music would swell and we’d be all, holy cow, that orchestra is still playing. The music was excellent and loud and dramatic, and having it following right along with a plot helped the kids, I think, to make a connection to the narrative power of instrumental music. Does that sound silly? Beyond some dabbling in chorus, I don’t know much about music myself, so this was an excellent event for me, too. In fact, I had to chuckle when I read in the program that the Music Director said, “We have designed programs that are interesting and engaging for all people, so that even those who are not necessarily interested in music will come to our concerts.” I love that. I mean, we are interested in music, but it’s intimidating to take kids to see an orchestra, because you have no idea if they’ll be engaged with it or bored and eye-rolling or worse, borderline rude and irritating everyone else. But we love pirates! They even did a whole set of activities for little kids before the concert, and some ushers and concert-goers were in costume. The activities were for younger kids, and we were a bit too caught up in eating, but M did get a temporary skull-and-crossbones tattoo because the volunteer who offered to apply it was a girl who looked to be about four years old. “How could I say no?” M smiled, enjoying her status as gracious and compliant big girl. Altogether, it felt super-welcoming to families. They have a series of other family concerts called OrKIDstra, too.
The only problem was at the very end–the film was over, and of course the score is designed to continue through every. last. credit. And then everybody else in the theater–who clearly hadn’t spent six hours at an amusement park–was clapping through a long standing ovation while both of my children looked like they might possibly pass out from sheer exhaustion. I mean I literally was afraid that one of them would fall and smack her head on an armrest and get a concussion or something. But you can understand, right, why we simply had to go? And even though we’d sort of dragged them there (because they were voting for bed), they both agreed that going was absolutely the right choice.
July 28, 2012 1 Comment
Regular readers will know that when I go on vacation, I occasionally ask for a little help from readers. We’re heading to the beach in North Carolina on Friday, August 4th, and we’ll be returning on Saturday, August 11th. So, okay: I should have asked for help earlier. But better late than never!
If you have a favorite Capital District destination, something fun to do, or information that you think readers like you would want to have, you can email me about submitting a special Guest Post. To see some examples of past guest posts, you can click here.
A couple of notes: if you’re not sure if I’ve already covered something or if you’re not sure if your topic’s appropriate, just email me to ask. Even if it’s something I’ve posted about, a new perspective might be lovely. If you have your own blog, I’m happy to link to it. I I also like to have a photo when possible, so if you can successfully email me a photo, I can take it from there. I’d welcome contributions if you can get them to me by Wednesday, August 1st, at noon. Please email me at capitaldistrictfun [at] yahoo [dot] com to let me know so that I can plan my posts ahead of time. Thank you very much for your help!
Unlike my Lake Placid vacations, I will still have internet access, so depending on the guest posts I have and my level of motivation, I’ll probably do a mix of guest posts, auto-posts, and seaside reports.
July 27, 2012 No Comments
Twelfth Night, Star Watches, Run the Ridge, Animal Olympics, A Chinese Cultural Gala, A Blueberry Festival, and MORE This Weekend
Seriously, people, there is way too much going on this weekend. I can’t possibly keep up. My sister and her family are crashing at our house after going to see their Father’s Day Gift/Santana + Allman Brothers Band Concert at SPAC, but besides that, we’re just hanging out. I had aspirations to get us all doing the 2K Family Mud Run at Maple Ski Ridge, and I still love the idea in theory, but Cute W’s not feeling great and what with all the farming and soccer playing this week, we are just going to go into relaxation mode and possibly commute between our couch and the town pool.
But you’re probably looking for something fun, right? Well here are some ideas.
–Oh, and can I put in a little plug, please? Recently I’ve had a few different people email me recently to say that they just found this site, usually followed by a big ol’ hooray. So, don’t make your friends just randomly stumble on Capital District Fun–tell them about it! I just spent about 45 minutes struggling to figure out how to put an easy little share-the-link-to-this-post-on-all your-favorite-social-media, but tech stuff is not my strong suit, and all I got was frustrated and head-achey. I’m sorry that I can’t make it easier for you right now, but that doesn’t mean that your friends should be sitting around at home watching tv because they are deprived, not knowing where to find fun. That’s just heartbreaking. Okay, not heartbreaking. That’s an exaggeration. But it’s a bummer, right? So be a lovely friend and spread the word, and maybe eventually I’ll figure out how to make it a nifty and convenient button.–
Where was I? Oh, yes!
All Weekend/Multiple Days:
- Cabaret–Musical in Washington Park
- Twelfth Night by Saratoga Shakespeare Company
- The Big Apple Circus in Lake George–Dream Big with Grandma’s Farewell Tour!
- Run the Ridge at Maple Ski Ridge
- Children’s Triathlon at Grafton Lakes State Park
- Animal Olympics! at Wilton Wildlife Preserve
- 3rd Annual ‘Wheels in the Woods’ Car Show at Thacher Park
- Alex Torres & His Latin Orchestra: A Free Concert at Freedom Park in Scotia
- Stargazing at Thacher Nature Center
- National Dance Day at the National Museum of Dance
- Day at the Dairy at Dutch Hollow Farm
- Chinese Cultural Gala Day in Clifton Park
- 2012 Blueberry Festival at Old Austerlitz
- The Audiostars at Clifton Commons
- Route Fifty 5 ~ brass quintet: A Free Concert at Freedom Park in Scotia
- Music Haven Concert Series: Ruth Pelham & The Music Mobile With Ramblin Jug Stompers
Here’s a random picture of M and a friend bouncing J like popcorn on the giant Jumping Pillow at Wickham Farms in Rochester.
Would you believe we were doing this in the morning before heading to Seabreeze? Would it shock you to learn that after all that, we went out and had still more fun on Saturday night? We went a little nutty. Anyway, stay tuned for details . . . .
July 26, 2012 3 Comments
On Saturday, our family went to Seabreeze Amusement Park as part of our Weekend o’ Fun in Rochester. I had thought that the name was a little silly, but that’s because I’d had limited experience with the Great Lakes before. So when I actually checked out Ontario Beach, I was surprised by how ocean-y it looked, smelled, and felt. And sure enough, as we’d hit the crest of a roller coast and check out the lake, it felt like we were on a vacation far, far away.
Prior to Seabreeze, our most recent amusement park visits were Hersheypark and Disney World, so you might think that it would suffer by comparison. Nope. Don’t get me wrong: I loved those other destinations, but Seabreeze provided plenty of fun with a lot less stress. We happened to visit on a day that we’d been warned would be the busiest of the season, and we even considered changing plans. But I’m glad we didn’t, because lines were short–or at least very reasonable–almost everywhere in the park. Seabreeze includes a water park section along with the coasters, kiddie rides, and other amusement park standards. We followed a local’s advice and began in the water park section, and that worked well for us, because the water park was getting busier as we left the area.
The water park included a wide variety of attractions, with smaller kiddie activity areas with small “beginner” slides as well as twisting tunnels and fast racers.
My girls loved all of the sliding. I liked that, with climbing all the steps to the next attraction, it felt like we were getting a decent workout. There was plenty to do, but it wasn’t so huge that I was getting lost (which I do, you know, because I have no sense of direction). The longest line when we were there was for the Helix, a raft ride where you shoot out of a tube into a large bowl that the girls and I thought seemed really quite like a toilet bowl. They thought that was hilarious. For that ride, it was clear that heavier rafts were able to circle the bowl more times before going down the drain, so to speak, so plan accordingly. I loved the tube rides, but my least favorite activity was the girls’ favorite: The Wave.
The waves were huge, and the pool was crowded, so I found it really quite terrifying. There were plenty of lifeguards, and they were vigilant, holding their whistles in their mouths and pacing back and forth, alert and tense, “like caged tigers,” Cute W described it. I still thought it was scary, and I spent the whole time twisting my head between J and M and back to J again. The waves would stop occasionally to give swimmers and lifeguards a break, and each time they paused I rejoiced.
We rented a locker ($10 deposit, I believe I got $5 back), but it looked like many groups just chose a home base among the chairs and lounges, and you’re permitted to bring in your own picnic baskets or coolers, so that’s a great option. Still, the food was fairly tasty. Prices varied, though, so if you’re buying at the park, you might want to scope it out and tell the kids what they’ll be having. In the spirit of trying a bit of everything, we sampled a Boneless Buffalo Chicken Combo (a generous portion of chicken, tasty fries, and a soda) for $9.99, an Italian sausage with fresh peppers and onions for $4.99, and slices of pizza that were $3 to $4. All of the food tasted pretty good, but a slice of pizza was not enough food for lunch for super-active and hungry kids. If I did it again, I’d probably still buy lunch, but I’d bring along some healthy snacks as well. For $6.99 you can get a drink in a souvenir mug with 99-cent refills, which is a good way to keep those kids hydrated. One thing that wasn’t obvious is that at the Idaho Fresh Cut Fries place, you can get the Chicken Combo without the Buffalo sauce, so a single chicken and fries combo like I had could easily feed two young kids. Halfway through our visit we determined that we needed more sunscreen, and I was glad to see plenty of sunscreen at prices that weren’t jacked up for desperate parents like me. Which reminds me, don’t leave food unattended even for a minute. When I took the girls away from our table to re-spray them with sunscreen, a couple of aggressive seagulls almost made off with my fries before they were waved off by random helpful strangers.
After the water park, we headed to the dry section of the amusement park. Here Jack Rabbit, a classic wooden coaster that’s the third-oldest coaster operating in the country, was a big favorite. Just across from Jack Rabbit, Bear Trax is a really great option for a first roller coaster ride. Both were fun for the whole family and non-nausea-inducing. I can’t say the same thing for Revolution 360, which left me so green that I skipped the Whirlwind, which Cute W and M both loved. A favorite for all of us was The Spring, which was a vertical ride that lifted and dropped you repeatedly. For some reason it just caused all of us to giggle uncontrollably. J and I decided to spring repeatedly since there was no wait.
Just next to The Spring there were rocking chairs set up to watch the carousel or just to take in the people passing by. It’s a great example of the whole friendly and relaxed atmosphere all around Seabreeze. The place was clean, and it was fun without feeling too frenetic and overstimulating. It wasn’t one of those destinations (like, say Chuck E. Cheese) that just makes you think, “Oh, gosh, did I remember to bring Advil?” when you walk in. Maybe because it wasn’t too crowded and you could see trees and green space most of the time? It also helped that the staff were great. The lifeguards and usual teens who man the rides at parks seemed more alert and friendlier than average, and there were clearly more senior staff members, supervising and looking on in a benign way that made you feel like they could handle anything. All of which made it a relaxing (well, that’s a relative term) experience for us parents.
Oh! And there were periodic acrobatic shows, which the kids enjoyed.
We had a wonderful time. In fact, we’d heard that it was small, so we’d expected to spend two to four hours there, but we ended up at Seabreeze for a six-hour marathon. If you’re thinking of going, 2012 tickets are $26.99 for adults who plan to ride and slide, $21.99 for kids 48″ and under, and kids 2 years and under are free. Check out details here.
It’s got soft ice cream, and although I’m not an expert, I thought it was awesome. They always have chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate almond, and they’ll have one or two other flavors that rotate.
If you’re wavering at all, go for the chocolate almond. It’s not chocolate almond flavored ice cream, but the chocolate ice cream is topped with lightly salted chopped almonds. It’s really quite extraordinarily tasty. In fact, I have to stop looking at the website now.
Also right near Abbott’s and Seabreeze is Ontario Beach Park on Lake Ontario. There’s a lovely carousel and a playground there, so if you wanted to do something a bit calmer before or after the amusement park, it’s conveniently located. When I stopped by, though, the beach itself was closed to swimmers. I chatted up some lifeguards and they suggested their two favorite local beaches, Durand Eastman, which is just a few miles east and still within the City of Rochester, and Hamlin Beach State Park, which is farther out to the west.
July 26, 2012 4 Comments
We decided that we just weren’t busy enough this summer, so we took a little road trip to Rochester. Actually, I caught a ride with Adrienne from Albany Kid on for a meeting on Wednesday (remember my car trouble/luck?), and then Cute W and the girls joined me on Friday. We went hither, thither, and yon and generally had an unbelievably awesome time, but I’ve still barely recovered, so stay tuned for the details over the next few days.
Hey, you know what sucks? When you’re just minding your own business writing a blog post and you realize that your Fla-Vor-Ice knock-off is leaking from the bottom all over your keyboard and thighs. But enough about me.
The family’s good.
Actually, little J isn’t feeling great. It’s either a summer cold and/or allergies. I am trying to be patient, but it is difficult when she is completely asymptomatic while at a water park or sitting in front of the tv, but when she’s supposed to eat dinner, change her clothes, or take a shower, she is suddenly Suffering Terribly. I think that she might be allergic to something at the farm, but the headache and stuffiness started last week. Again, it’s difficult because she’s a total hypochondriac, but she also tends to get all kinds of crazy ailments, like skinned knees that become infected in spite of proper first-aid care, crazy bug bites that make me fumigate my entire house, and hives. Today she took an afternoon nap, and then she and I stayed in while Cute W and M went out with friends. She and I watched the Little House on the Prairie “Sweet Sixteen” episode together while snuggling on the couch. We decided to watch this pivotal Manly-and-Laura episode because J and I really can’t get enough of “the love stuff” while M actively groans if a couple kisses.
M is loving soccer camp at Union, but she slammed into the house today, outraged because all three of the other girls in her carpool were going home together and she wasn’t invited. I listened sympathetically, and it turns out that one mom, who usually watches two of the girls, needed last-minute childcare, and that’s why they were all going. “So, it’s only for a little while,” M fumed, “But they still could have asked me!” I nodded while she kept talking. “Actually, it was Mr. [So-and-So] who dropped us off. So he probably just didn’t think about it because he’s a man and they’re not very good at that stuff. A woman wouldn’t do that because women are awesome.” I laughed and thought, I’m glad she feels that way, and I hope she doesn’t get proven wrong in middle school.
So, that’s what’s up with us. Here’s some stuff going around the wonderful world of the internet.
Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids offers us a Safety Quiz. Which you know is going to be crazy-silly. So it’s good for a chuckle, until you realize that half of them are based on actual advice, and then you weep for American Culture Today.
Have you heard about this ridiculously thoughtful graduation gift? The parents got every teacher to sign a copy of Oh, The Places You’ll Go each year all through school so that they could present it at a graduation gift? Wow. That’s thoughtful. That’s exactly the sort of thing I would try to start now, desperately working to catch up on the years I missed, and then when M or J was in 8th grade I’d spill something sticky in it, and then sometime in the summer between 10th and 11th grade I would just lose it without a trace. I’ll just give them each a check, I guess.
Jezebel has a hilarious Olympics Opening Ceremony preview that has me fairly giddy with anticipation. Here’s a piece:
Friday night’s spectacle will involve famous British literary characters kicking the everloving Olympic shit out of each other, finally culminating in an epic battle between Mary Poppins and Voldemort. Probably don’t drop acid before you watch the London opening ceremonies.
Read more here.
July 24, 2012 1 Comment
We’ve been doing Farm Camp at Vinewood Acres for the first time this year. M went last week with some of her friends, and J’s going this week. The person who runs the camp is a kindergarten teacher, and most of the animals are rescued in one way or another. Like the brown horse, below, who was a racehorse who was worked too hard.
The kids help out around the farm, feeding the animals and doing farm tasks. They also focus on a different animal each day, and they do little crafts in a small classroom space.
The best part is that the kids get to do plenty of hands-on stuff, petting and holding baby pigs, chicks, rabbits, and other animals. It’s a fairly small group and the ages are mixed, with some middle-school aged former campers to serve as helpers.
M loved-loved-loved her week of Farm Camp. J came home today saying that it was fun but also very hot. So I’ll be interested to see how the rest of the week goes for her.
July 23, 2012 3 Comments
Hey everybody. I’m completely exhausted by a jam-packed weekend of fun in Rochester with the family, so I’m slacking a bit and not listing as much. Click on the days for a more complete list:
All Week/Multiple Days
- If your kids are early risers, you might want to try Breakfast at the Track.
- On Tuesday & Wednesday, Summer Kids Club: FREE Family Movies at Bowtie Cinemas in Schenectady and $1 Summer Movies at Regal Cinemas at Clifton Park Center and at Crossgates Mall
- FREE Tennis Lessons for Kids and Adults in Albany, Troy, and Schenectady available from 15-Love
- Power of Masks with the World Awareness Children’s Museum
- The Big Apple Circus in Lake George–Dream Big with Grandma’s Farewell Tour!
- Jr. Naturalist Program at Dyken Pond
- Stories and Crafts with WMHT at the Lansingburgh Branch Troy Public Library
- $1 Summer Movies at Regal Cinemas at Clifton Park Center
- Dr. Marmalaid at Clifton Commons
- Pond Exploration: Insect Transformations at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park
- The Joey Thomas Big Band ~ 20th Anniv Celebration: A Free Concert at Freedom Park in Scotia
- Science Discovery Demos: Physics @ Schenectady Museum
- Jazz on Jay and I don’t have a link because I’m too tired. But it’s going on now, right?
July 22, 2012 No Comments