Thursday, March 31

NYC and a body search

This morning began at the ridiculous hour of 4am. It's been a long time since I have seen that time of day; okay, maybe it's only been a week but it felt like forever. I'm too old for four am.




The drive to the airport was uneventful, and all seemed well until we got to the security section of the airport where I was "randomly selected" for the full body scan and pat down.
I must admit I was looking cute in my lulu pants, I just did not realize how cute.
Ma'am can you come with me, you have been "randomly selected" for a body scan.
Ooh, umm okay. Where do I go?
Can you step over here with me?
Sure.
You can choose, would you prefer a body scan or a pat down?
Well, I said, I am rather picky about who puts their hands up my shirt.
He blushed, a little shocked at my answer.
Is the body scan... ummm, does it show everything?
He assures me it won't show "everything" but it didn't matter as... another guy comes over and whispers something to him.
He returns to me and says, we are too backed up for the pat down and scan, so you just get the swab today.
I cough/choke and say, That does not sound like a better option!
He laughs at me, it's just your hands we swab ma'am.
What a relief!
Lesson learned, do not look cute while flying!


The rest of the day was exciting and a bit of a blur. So here is the day at a glance.


YEG (Edmonton) at 5:00am.


The long and exciting walk to our first of two planes.  After my assault with the swabber.


Plane #1 (Edmonton - Chicago).


I don't even really have words to describe how beautiful it was to finally reach above the clouds where the sun was bright and the sky was a perfect blue.  It's been so dreary for weeks now that I almost forgot it could be nice again. It was so peaceful and wonderful and the perfect scenery to my music selections.


I got the window seat; listening to my music. 


I want to address a text from my friend that I got earlier asking if I had any intention of joining the mile-high club while on this trip.  Here's what I have to say to those who claim to be members of the mile-high club.  YOU ARE LIARS. There is no physical way a human being could adequately maneuver such a small space let alone two human beings with the accuracy that would be required. The idea of it is so ridiculous that it is just annoying. I had to use the washroom on four separate occasions on the airplane; and one time the plane encountered turbulence while I was hovering and I banged my head on the wall.  I completely discredit the claims of the mile-high club. To you; I say pft!


The windy city! Oprah was supposed to come and take me to lunch but my plane was running late and I wasn't able to meet up with her.  Even as much as she begged, I couldn't make it happen.


Chicago.


In the Chicago airport they have these completely flat escalator things?? Perhaps they are there if walking is too difficult? I didn't really understand them but for fun Drew and I ran on them which was fun until you get to the end and you hit a complete stoppage of momentum and jar yourself. Next time we'll walk on the normal ground.


Beautiful neon lights across the top of the moving floor between the two concourses.


The only picture of Chicago that I got from the ground.  For the record, the lady that sold the salad to me at the airport was exceptionally rude.  I had been prepped ahead of time before going down on this trip I might encounter a few rude people, but I was shocked how rude this woman was.  I started to play a game where I smile at people and see how many smile back; most people gave me the stink eye, and only one person gave me a little half-smile...
Until I got back on the airplane headed from Chicago to New York and a blond haired man sat down beside me and started chatting me up, telling me about how excited he was to go to New York and yada yada yada.  Finally - one nice person.  He asked where I was from and when I said "Edmonton" he says "That's crazy! I'm from Sherwood Park!" (on the other side of Edmonton).  


Also while boarding this flight Drew and I almost witnessed a fight between two passengers over a suitcase location in the overhead compartment.  Our experience so far has been that people are pretty intense down here.


Also on the flight (Chicago-NY) was this group of guys .  I swear they looked so familiar to me - I knew I had seen them before and was pretty sure they were a Canadian musical group.  After passively staring at them the majority of the flight and with a little encouragement via text from the Brit to talk to them, I got up enough nerve and introduced myself and asked them where they are from. Sure enough they are the Canadian group "City in Colour".  They chatted me up for a bit, told me they were playing in NY tomorrow - and became my official first celebrity sighting!
Back on the airplane, flying to NY.

New York, New York! 

Me telling the Brit's we were in New York.


Our very high end cab.  
The driving was psychotic - like a mixture of NASCAR and a demolition derby! All you could see was a sea of yellow cabs out the window - inches away from each other, horns blaring.  It was kind of frightening.


Every picture that I took of New York so far is amazing; there is texture and depth in each one! They all look great.  I can see why so many movies are filmed here.


Drew's clenched teeth smile while driving in New York.  He said that any cab fair is worth his sanity not having to have rented a car ourselves.




This was cool - we drove past all of these basketball courts like I had seen in movies like "White Men Can't Jump".  It was amazing the sheer numbers of children out playing on the run down courts.


More beautiful pictures of the apartments in NY.


This is the edge of Central Park.  Again, more beautiful architecture and space.


This is our hotel (the Hudson).  


This is the lobby of the hotel.  A beautiful huge chandelier with all of the walls and ceiling covered in ivy and greenery.  Absolutely gorgeous.


The other side of the lobby.  In the back is a private park for the hotel guests with outdoor seating.


This is our sardine can, AKA our room.  Thankfully we were prepped ahead of time to expect rooms in NY to be very tiny and people were not joking! This room is so small when you sit in the bed you can touch the walls on the side. Presently as I am writing this blog people in the room right beside us are opening their door and the rooms are so small and walls so thin it sounds like they are opening our door and it's giving me a heart attack.  If you could hear what I hear out our window, you would be serenaded with sirens and screaming and constant traffic and noise. Thankfully we won't be in the room very much, so it's not really that big a deal. It's exactly like they say in the movies.


This is when we went out exploring before dinner.  It's a huge roundabout before you cross the street into central park.; the big statue is of Columbus and I loved Crowfoot's picture of Columbus that he took when he was in NY, so I took the same type of picture (wink wink Crowfoot).  


These are the amazing fountains (and seating area) right before Central Park on the SW side.  


More lovely statues.


There is a cobblestone area as you are entering Central Park - it's quite substantial and it's where people that are offering rides on trikes and horse drawn carriages pick people up.  


Also on the cobblestone area is a man who makes huge works of art  out of coloured sand. It is amazing! No chalk or brushes, he simply pours out the sand into these elaborate designs. Not minutes after he was finished I saw him sweeping his work up into a garbage bin. 


There was a little grass and a few flowers in Central Park.  Most of the trees have little buds on them, but even without they are so structurally fantastic. And it was nice to be somewhere where there was no snow.


The pathways were filled with joggers and bikers.  Every time you turn your head there is another beautiful bridge.


Even Drew was impressed with Central Park.


This is the bridge that Drew took a picture of me on and after some strange guy started following me around.


My favorite picture so far!


I can't even express what it feels like to be here.  This city is electric. Today was so overwhelming that I'm grateful I have many more days so I can take it all in and not have to rush.

For dinner we walked around the block and found this little place called Moonrock Diner.  I had the grilled portabello mushroom salad with vinaigrette dressing and feta cheese.  It was delicious.


Drew had a NY Striploin steak sandwich on garlic bread, which was fantastic.  Just as a side note, this is a pretty impressive food review from Drew who only ever thinks things are "meh, OK". 



The piece de resistance! To the naked eye this might look like a humble and simple piece of plain cheesecake on a boring plate, but please do not be fooled my friends.  The only word to describe this is the "O" word.  Sorry... I'm a G rated blog so I can't spell the whole word out. But I'm pretty sure you know what I'm saying. The outer layer was a tiny bit denser than the inside, but not by much and not unpleasant at all.  The inside was so rich and so creamy and so smooth that when I put it in my mouth I smudged it all over my mouth with my tongue so that every inch of my mouth would have equal opportunity to enjoy this culinary genius. I have never been tacky enough to lick a plate until tonight.  We are currently in negotiations with Transport Canada on how to bring back one of these cakes. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Today:

I am grateful I did not have to have a body cavity search today.  

I am grateful that I did not get a headache from flying so much today, nor did I throw up.

I am grateful for this experience.

J


Lastly, I am grateful I had the forethought to prepare ahead of time some April Fool's day jokes on some friends of mine.  They begin tomorrow and I can't wait to tell you about them.  

Wednesday, March 30

Empire State Of Mind!!!!

Today Is The Day!!!!
I can not believe I am doing this, I am actually going to the Big Apple, the city so nice they named it twice, home of fashion, music, food, sports, 9-11, Liberty, Power & Dreams....


This is the day one of my longest dreams comes true. I have no idea what this week is going to involve, but I am excited to find out. I can't believe the day has come. My heart is beating double time, and I feel like a child at Christmas, no not Christmas, because it feels better then Christmas. It feels Euphoric. 


I can't wait to tell you all about it as I go!







Today:


I am grateful for dreams, small and simple as they might be. They keep me going. 

I am grateful for In-Laws that are the best in the entire world!


I am grateful and overjoyed!


J


Funny Story before I go and finish packing: My sister in law Kelly leaves for China today too, so I called yesterday to say good bye and wish her luck. After it was my turn I gave the phone to each of the children to say goodbye. 
When Nora was on the phone I could her chatting away as she took the phone with her to her room. After a few minutes Nora gives me back the phone and Kelly is laughing hysterically. I asked what happened. 
She says she told Nora she was leaving.
Nora asked where?
Kelly says I am going to China.
Nora says back all excited, "I have a vagina too!"
She makes me giggle!

Tuesday, March 29

My kleptomaniac daughter

Today I got to watch 8 children.... not too sure what made me think it would be a good idea to take them to an indoor play place on the first day of spring break when the weather was horrible, which meant that there were 50 other children there, but I did.

It started out well. I got a discount on the admission because I brought so many children and everyone seemed to be playing well with each other.
About an hour in the chaos started.
Nora stole an ice cream, the owner brought her over to my table and showed me the chewed drum stick (still completely wrapped - she hadn't even unwrapped it) and asked me to watch her.
I felt horrible, "I am so sorry sir." I correct Nora and she assures me she won't do it again.
The boys are all off playing in the big gym area.
The little girls are playing in the small ball area; Nora leaves the play area to go over to where the boys are.
A few minutes later the owner returns with Nora and another chewed ice cream... ooh no.
Lady, your daughter did it again. "I am so sorry."
I want to spank Nora, but it's socially unacceptable to spank now, so I scold with the very angry face.
The man is hardly impressed.

Then all the children return STARVING for lunch.
I order food, put it on the table and it is like a hurricane of fingers. It is gone so fast. They devour the food and run off to play more.
The girls stay with me and seem to be having a good time until one hurts herself, then the crying begins.
Then one of the boys returns asking for more food,
Shortly the owner returns for the third time with Nora in one hand and another chewed ice cream in the other.
Give me strength...
Then the injured girl has lost her socks and the manager returns again to tell me that socks are a mandatory thing and if they don't have socks they can't play. (I have already bought two pairs so far)
I have ZERO cash left for socks.
More boys return STARVING and wanting money for games.

Finally English Sam has returned from work and has arrived at the play place (it's her children that were with mine)!!!!
We start collecting the children up because I have to get to physio and Nora goes missing again. I am running around looking for her, and guess who comes up to me with her in a football hold...
Yup the owner! And he's looking mighty unimpressed.
"Lady" he says to me in a rather annoyed voice. "I have asked you a number of times now to keep socks on your children and for them to stop stealing ice cream, and if you are not going to respect the rules then you need to leave."
I assured him I meant no disrespect and I told him I am leaving right now. What I really wanted to do was drop kick Nora or make her stay and do child labour cleaning their kitchen for all the stolen ice cream.
Getting the children out of the building felt like herding cats.
My heart was pounding and I felt sick because he was so angry with my children.
Why does Nora have to be so hard??

Excellent thing that happened today - I left the play place without hitting anyone.

Not so excellent thing that happened today - When the owner kept coming over with my daughter and the chewed ice cream, the other moms that were all sitting together (and their friends) who only had one child each all still in baby buckets were all whispering and looking at me and my horrible children who were doing horrible things.  I'm sure I could hear them saying with a gasp, "My child would never do anything like that!"

It was so humbling.

Nora is so humbling.

Today:

I am grateful that the owner didn't call the police on my klepto daughter.  And I'm actually grateful Nora was so trying today - I've had some anxiety about leaving on my trip and with her being as precious as she was today I'm super excited to get out of here!

I am grateful for the visit with friends that I got to do today.

I am grateful physio guy was easy on me tonight so my back won't hurt too much for my trip.

I am grateful for my friend Renae who called tonight out of nowhere to check up on me.  It is always so good to talk to her.

I am grateful for the families that were able to play basketball tonight for family night and I'll have the whole world know I beat the Brit 10-3.

I am grateful that NY is almost here!

J

Monday, March 28

The soundtrack to my dreams!

The time is almost here, I am starting to get excited and am having a hard time with sleep. I am filled to the brim with excitement and anxiety all jumbled up inside my stomach.
I leave for NYC in a few days and the anticipation is almost more then I can handle. It has helped me drop another 4 pounds last week!


So for this MM I am putting up a few tracks that I am loving right now, and will be accompanying  me on this trip of a life time. These are a few of the songs that will be the background music while I am fulfilling one of my life's biggest dreams. 


I can't wait to tell you all about it!




Over the Rhine-Im On A Roll



Jem-Crazy



Guster-Do you Love Me



Marianas Trench-All To Myself



As well, some old favorites will be making the trip with me too ....


Plain White T's-Rhythm Of Love



Train-Hey, Soul Sister



Paolo Nutini-Pencil Full Of Lead



Colbie Caillat-I Do



U2-Mysterious Ways







Today:


I am grateful for the wonderful restaurant we found this weekend. A friend of ours recommended it and it did not disappoint!  (Thanks Keira!!)
It is called Pampa, it is a brizillian steak house. When you go in there is a huge salad bar with every type of vegetable. When you have your plate of veggies and salad you sit back down and then guys walk around with huge skewers with all different types of meat.






They come up to your table and you have a coaster sort of thing that is green and says yes on one side, and red with no on the other. When you want more meat you flip it to green, if not red.










So delicious and fun!  I was even brave and tried this!




I am grateful for my little work horse Cinderella  Nora. I am grateful teh children are still at the ages where they like to help out around the house.
I am grateful for love.


Have a wonderful week everyone


J

Saturday, March 26

One more time

I am really grateful for all the responses I have gotten concerning this blog post both public and private. I am going to re-post for the weekend to give my dear friend a little more help.

Women helping Women


Today :

I am grateful for prayer. I have faith my prayers will be answered.

I am grateful for date night.

I am grateful that we are not left helpless in this very confusing and sometimes trying life.

J







Friday, March 25

Breaking tradition yet again

I have done this two times now this week, but both times/songs have been completely worth it. This song by Adele is AMAZING!!!
I love it so much I printed out the words to study so I can learn it faster.
She has such a fantastic voice, the song deserves an entire post dedicated to it. It is a stand alone for sure!
So turn up the volume and enjoy.
Have a great weekend.
J

Adele-Rolling In The Deep


Today:

I am grateful it is spring break for the boys. They are so excited.

I am grateful for my red nail polish. My fingers and toes are done ready for date night tomorrow.

I am grateful for the firefighter who told me he reads my blog last night...thank you for the complement! *blush*

I am grateful for friends to visit and laugh with.

Thursday, March 24

Tag you're it....wretch!

The game of vomit tag has been going around my house all day today at an astronomical rate.  It started with the oldest man in the house today waking up feeling like complete garbage and then each of the children throughout the day either developed a fever, vomited or both.  It's been a pretty fun game to watch and thankfully I have not been tagged yet.  If I'm going to be tagged soon, I'd appreciate it if it happens quickly as I leave for NY in 6 days!  I am going to be PISSED OFF if I am sick for NY.  The stomach flu could have come last week when I needed to drop a few extra pounds.

All in all, today was not a total waste; I did get the opportunity to babysit 2 little girls this afternoon.  The oldest one (a smidgen older than Nora) is at a bit of a cheeky age and make me laugh all the time.  After I asked her to do something for me, she replied "I don't have to - you're not my mom."  I told her she was correct; I wasn't her mom but I was the woman cooking dinner for her right then, to which she replied "you're right - I should do it because I'm awfully hungry."  During my stint as a babysitter today I also had the miniature child (AKA my favorite) have the biggest diaper full of dried, crusted on poo that I had the pleasure of cleaning without any baby wipes.  All in all, it has been a glorious day and night.

If by chance you didn't get a chance to read my Sunday post, today is your day!

Today:

I am grateful for a half empty bottle of massage oil and super soft skin I have now, after a bit of a trying day.

I am grateful for my dear husband who helped with the vomit tag game.

I am grateful for my accent lesson this evening.  I'm going to nail this British accent sooner or later.  Thanks Brits!

I am grateful for a cold bowl of cereal at 12:40am - honestly there is nothing better to me as a snack than cereal.

Lastly, I am grateful for whoever invented this:
They clearly have a very good sense of humour - there is not way I could take any mall security seriously if they pulled up to me using this.  And by the way?  How is this at all faster than actually running in a busy mall like West Ed?  Way to go Blart!  I wonder if the lights flash red and blue?!

J

Wednesday, March 23

Mid-week music

I know this is not what I normally do, but I found this song and I really wanted to share it and I couldn't wait until Monday. It makes me so happy. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Mindy Gledhill-Whole Wide World


Today:

I am grateful for good parent teacher interviews. The kids teachers are great.

I am grateful for the language of music.  That it moves my soul.  And says what I feel and the things I wish I could.

I am grateful for a truck that has an excellent stereo so I can blare my music and sing along as loud as I want.
J

Tuesday, March 22

Bond, James Bond

The boys have decided that the best look for church now will be the "Bond look"
Drew spent Sunday morning getting boys reading in their suits and pocket squares. Each has decided that undercover work will be where they put their focus and attention. Seth says its a good job because he will look cool. Obviously an excellent reason to pick any profession.Can't argue with that!


J





Today:

I am grateful for March madness. It is a nice distraction from this crappy weather. 

I am grateful for clean towels. 

I am grateful for a good nights sleep, and the clarity of thought that is its reward.