Wednesday, July 10, 2019

NYC/New York The good, bad and ugly from the eyes of a midwestern FAQs

Welp, we just got back from NYC and it was a great trip! I was excited but nervous to go with my family. Most things went smoothly and I'm looking forward to going again someday! There is soooo  much information out there and it can be overwhelming so I will just sum up how our trip went.

Travel day or what I like to call as Day 0:  We arrived at Laguardia around 3:30. Took and took a taxi to our hotel at . I was very underwhelmed about our very basic hotel. It grew on me quickly  though because 1. It was tucked around the corner of 5th Ave. (read quiet) 2. With only 6 rooms on each floor it was cozy.  (and quiet) 3. The breakfast was great!  4. It was clean! I would give this hotel 4 stars and would definitely stay there again. We checked in and then started walking around. It was very overwhelming to get used to north, east, south, west and where do the streets go up and down. The 11 & 16 year old wanted to have fun immediately and that just isn't quite how NYC works for a midwesterner. We walked a little, got some ice cream in Bryant Park and went back to the hotel.

Day 1: Smooth Sailing: We got up and headed to the Empire State building at 9:00. We were in and out in 1 hr.! We had purchased our tickets ahead of time and we were in and done in 1 hr. Very smooth. We then met a friend at for our first sample of Korean food. It was a good way to try it because you pick what you want from a buffet and then they weigh your food. You pay by weight. It was also a way to keep cost down. In hindsight we should've tried some other ways to save money on food such as happy hours, coupons and fruit stands. We spent a lot of money on food. But this meal was fairly priced. We then had to head to the New York flute center which is one of the reasons we headed to New York. We also ran around Macy's taking the esculator to the 9th floor. We then found a brewery to eat supper at and walked around all over passing Times Square, Rockfeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York Library etc.

Day 2: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: We had a 1:00 statue cruise ticket at 1:00. It was gonna rain so we went to CVS for ponchos (not there), we then found them at a souveneir shop for $10 (we paid $7 each for 4 ponchos. We did need them though). The BAD is that we found them later at 5 Below for $1. My advice is to pack ponchos from Wal-mart or 5 below. We ubered a little late to Battery Park and decided to walk the mile to the World Trade Memorial. The UGLY is that it was hot and we wasted time walking. Why in the world didn't we uber to the World Trade Memorial first? Therefore we did not get to spend much time there because we then had to walk back battery park to catch our bag screening and statue cruise. We did pass Trinity Church and Alexandar Hamiliton's grave though! (twice :/) We did make it back in plenty of time for our 1:00 cruise though AND the GOOD is we accidentally got into the express line and did not have to wait in line. That was pure luck. You win some, lose some. We had no idea what we were doing. We used our ponchos for a short downpour when we first got to liberty island but it cleared up beautifully. We then went on to Ellis Island. Because  of our previous walking, we were pretty exhausted by this time and ready to catch the cruise back shortly. We then ubered back to mid Manhatten and did a little shopping. We discovered that OLD NAVY has cheaper prices and more inventory than in the midwest. We bought a lot but spent little. Also there is no sales tax on clothing. Say what?! Day 2 was an educational day.

Day 3: BROADWAY! We  had some sushi at a fusion restaurant and went to the 2:00 showing of MEAN GIRLS. It was hilarious and fabulous. It was all of our favorite thing. We decided that we wanted to come back and do an all broadway trip. We did more walking around, this time that included GRAND CENTRAL STATION and it is a must see!!!! I had a caramel frappe at Coffee Joe's and it was so good I went back for one the next day.

Day 4: EXHAUSTED. I have to admit. We were all a little tired and crabby on Day 4. There was so much we still wanted to do but we had very little energy left for it. We decided to go to the Intrepid (cooler than I thought) and did a little more shopping and walking.

Here are my take-aways:
*NYC is best done in 3 day concentrated spurts. I would love to do a 3 day all broadway trip, and a 3 day all lower Manhatten trip, and a 3 day museum trip, and a 3 day shopping trip, and a 3 day architeture trip. To do ALL of that in one trip it takes too much walking, too much subway (which we were scared of) or too much uber. Next time we will have more focus.
*Like I mentioned before find deals for food: coupons, happy hour and fruit stands
*Personally I like the Marriotts to stay at. We stayed at Fairfield & Inn Suites/5th Ave. It was quiet but close to busy.
*Take a lot of pictures. Here are a few of my faves

Friday, May 31, 2019

Bittersweet watermelon

So today I entered another phase of my life. I have a middle schooler and a high schooler. I think I'm in shock, or sad, or proud, or happy. I really can't tell what all these feelings are but here I am. I am cutting watermelon in an empty house because I dropped the 11 year off at the pool with a friend and the 16 year is taking a nap because she is one busy teen. My family loves watermelon. Up to this point in my life I refused to buy watermelon because it is messy and I'm too busy to cut it up. Well now my 16 year old can drive to the store and buy her own watermelon (this is the 2nd one this week). She promised she would cut it up but she fell asleep. I however am sitting in this empty house (teen is here but it still feels empty) cutting up this damn watermelon because I have just entered this very bittersweet stage where I want to cut the watermelon because I can't nap with my teen or swim with my pre-teen. So what do I do? I cut the watermelon for them because they love watermelon as tears run down my face because this is so very bittersweet. I hope someday you can cut the watermelon too.

Friday, April 20, 2018

I'm a slacker mom but that is OK because I'm doing it my way!

So M has an all day event today. I took a personal day from work before the schedule was out. Her main event isn't until 4:30. She insisted that no parent goes to the 10:30 event. She was singing a song I've heard with 150 girls. I thought sweet, I don't want to spend the entire day an hour away either. I will enjoy my day, come to 4:30 event, get some R&R AND kill the mom thing. I'm amazing.

10:45 that morning the facebook posts start coming in while I was in my recliner playing candy crush. Oh here comes the mom guilt! So many thoughts ran through my mind. Gotta love facebook. Then I realized, that I am just a mom doing the mom thing my way. Three years ago I was fighting for my life, but also learning life lessons. I am here, I am great, and THIS is a wonderful thing. I am lucky to be doing this mom thing MY way. I need R&R to do this mom thing. Everything in moderation is MY way and that is OK. My girls are great despite my slacker momming. WE are OK. I encourage you to be a slacker mom too, (IF you want to). You do you.

It's also my third craniversary! I am so blessed to be doing so well and I remember that every single day (especially when I brush my hair and bump a screw).
Here are some things I learned Apr. 15/16 2015
How to let go and let God
It is OK to skip things and say no
Basically, slow down
Time heals—for real
I love you all
#atypicalbraintumor #meningioma

AND the lesson of all, do the mom thing MY WAY I'm here and that is a gift

Did I mention that I'm doing this MY way??? 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

I hate meal planning! -UGH

Here is my brainstorming post about what I decided to do about it.

I think I have it! 
Sun.- Recipe options

Mon.- soup, sandwiches, fruit
Tues. - Teacher service Tex-Mex Chicken casserole  
Wed. - Subway
Thurs.- Frozen mac and cheese
Fri.- veggie pizza
Sat.-???? Take all day to figure this out and end up with take-out 

Friday, March 9, 2018

This is becoming a health blog -how did that happen? -Gallbladder surgery and recovery

1 week post gallbladder surgery update:

Healing is going as expected, journaling details for my timehop.

Day 1: Didn't get into surgery until 12:30, they kicked me out at 4:00. I was not ready, very sleepy and nauseated.
Day 2: Happy that I felt like eating and feeling better than Friday evening.
Day 3-5: Pain going down each day, pretty much gone by Day 5. What was left was if I stretched too far. Some sharp pains in the side but they aren't so bad.
Day 6-7: Still taking it easy, careful not to stretch too far or sneeze.
Digestion, not good but not bad either. Hopefully this continues to get better.

Most of all this just happened so fast. I went from having some sharp pains around Christmas time, ultrasound, HIDA scan (that showed chronic gallbladder disease). Sharp pains mostly went away but surgery was scheduled so I went with it. Yes, surgery was easy compared to what I've been through but I'm still wondering if it was the right thing but also ready to move on. If you ask me if I feel better the honest answer is I don't know yet. I forget pain quickly.

Thank you for all your thoughts and messages. Once again I'm feeling a lot of love!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year Resolutions 2018

New Year Resoulutions....the reason I make them is because there is no other good thing to do in January. That being said I haven't made any since 2013 and I miss them. I'd rather call it new habit January though and try to focus on one main one. This year's main habit it good for my pocketbook but not so good for many of you. My new habit is not going to any direct sales parties, especially for me. An exception will be Lularoe for my kids. They need some leggings but I need nothing. So sorry DS friends. I have to do this for me. We are saving for Florida 18, Branson 18, and New York 19. Plus you were all right, High School IS expensive. Also can I please go to the doctor less. I DO want to celebrate that I had a healthy year and did NOT max out my out of pocket insurance!! (for the first time in 4 years). I only had ONE MRI, and THREE mole removals (2 expensive ones). Good vibes for no mole removals in 2018 along with a good MRI. 
Oct. 2018! Also if we could find an affordable anti-seizure med that is compatible with me and affordable and legal that would be great.....

Here are my 2018 Resolutions in order of importance 
  • Do not attend Direct Sales Parties (this will save me 52 million dollars)
  • Attend 150 Jazzercise classes in 2018, eat some vegetables 
  • Keep up with laundry (better do some today)
  • Clean and Orgnaize with A Bowl full of Lemons (now I'm just dreaming) (Possible February focus)

~How do you save money?
~ What are your New Year Resolutions?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Extracurriculars, oh how I love to hate them

I have 2 sayings my friends have heard me say many times 1. Never say never and 2. Pick your Poison (carefully, LOL)

  1. So we are trying something new that I said I would never do. Traveling out of town to a dance studio J chose. She is ready for the challenge and I’m ready to support her. Where she leads, we will follow. She is ready, we are ready to support her. 
  2. Most extracurriculars are expensive and intense. Gone are the days of $30 6 week programs. Extracurriculars are often an entire year commitment. Gone are the days of trying everything. Everyone wants their activity to be your #1. Music, dance or sports, pick your poison. It’s all expensive. Pick two poisons, multiple it by number of kids, go crazy, see you in the asylum. :) 
Anyhow, we have no idea if this is her right fit or how this is going to go but are excited to find out!
Photo credit goes to the internet

My 2 cents on when to quit/change, when to push and when to leave alone. Quit-if the child and both parents are unhappy, then it is not a right fit. Push-if the instructors/coaches are respectful and trustworthy, they are learning and the child needs to learn to stick it out OR it is piano, always push for piano (LOL j/k, sort of, it worked for us). I feel the same way about swim lessons.  Leave alone-when all/most of you are happy, the child is learning and the instructor/coach is respectful and trustworthy, seriously, don’t mess with that.  Now, just when are we going to fit piano in……..????

Disclaimer—I know some will disagree with my opinion and that is OK. Also do I change my mind sometimes. YES! That is why I say NEVER SAY NEVER.