Monday, August 3, 2009

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

I know, I should be packing and getting ready for my big trip tomorrow, but after receiving an email from the American Cancer Society today on the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, I put a lot of time and energy into starting a team and getting my "site" up and running.

Soon after my friend, Helle, died several months ago I swore that I'd try to do something to join the fight against breast cancer.

Please join us or if you can't walk, please consider donating to this worthwhile cause.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just checking in

Friday I packed the girls up and headed for Rowan University in NJ. We took a pretty good route and still ended up getting there in 3 hours 45 min. It "should" take under 3 hours. Of course, Mapquest never factors in traffic! Returning today took even longer. The girls were great and Rich made it really great by getting back first and going to The Little Kitchen for take out and Trader Joe's for some items. We actually had a healthy meal on the tail end of a weekend!

Camp was good. It's always good to reconnect with old friends we've known over our 6 years of being an adoptive family. We saw a family from our first travel group that came all the way from MI! We saw another family from our second group, too. Friends we see at home came with their 2 year old, which was great for Lola. They enjoyed being in the same group.

Grace did a great job sticking to her GF/CF diet. There were a few tense moments, but for the most part she is doing really great. I don't know if I'm seeing any behavioral improvements, though. I'll have to say that since starting this diet, Rich has started his own healthful eating plan, complete with calorie counting app on his iphone and is doing remarkably well. I think it's the fun technology that's keeping him interested. The last I'd heard he'd lost 4 lbs.

Tomorrow is cleaning lady day. That means the cleaning ladies come and I "clean" in front of them so they can actually clean. Then I've got loads of laundry and errands. We're heading out for Keuka on Tuesday morning. We're meeting up with my sister and her partner from CA and my brother, his wife and son from NJ and my parents. Should be a fun week!

I'll also catch up with one of my long-time friends that also lives in CA. We have a day planned for Thursday. Rich will come Friday and Saturday we leave for Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Canada. While up there we'll visit a friend of his from work that is from Canada and will be home for the weekend and also my aunt and uncle that have a cottage on Lake Erie.

I'm still suffering from the poison whatever that got me. I've been amazed to see it "spread" from one arm to many parts of my body, including my face and eyelids! I've been an itchy mess and wish I had gone to the doctor. I feel like I must be on the mend now and going to the doctor might be pointless. Frankly, I don't have a doctor for myself! I was thinking that if it had been one of my kids that had this kind of rash show up on them that I would have had them at the doctor's office as soon as possible! Sad how moms don't take as good of care of themselves as they do of their kids! With that, I'll give myself the gift of sleep!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Beach Day

We got up late today, which was nice. I'm still not feeling great with poison ivy covering a lot of my body! One arm just burns and my neck and jawline are itchy. I found some new spots on my shoulder/back and leg. When will this end?! I did have a headache again today and still feel tired. I guess it's from the poison in my body.

After lounging around we decided to just hit Compo beach so I could rest. The beach was the most crowded I've ever seen it, but it was still fun. We saw friends there, too. The kids had a ball with their new boogie boards. I bought them months ago when in the Poconos at Five Below. Oh, how I wish we had a Five Below around here! If you haven't been, you're missing out!

We had the food from the beach concession, which isn't the healthiest, but is convenient. I will say I got a big thing of carrots and celery and made the kids eat that before they got anything too junky!

We went home and rested through the afternoon. Then we decided to try to find a water restaurant for dinner. I had seen one in So Norwalk when I was at Klaff's recently. This is the place:

Unfortunately, it was very crowded with an hour wait for the patio and 20 minutes for indoors. We opted to leave and check out the place across the bridge that a friend had told me about. The place turned out to be Overton's and was the kind of little local place we love!

Ok, so the kids could only eat the chicken nuggets and my dinner of fried shrimp and onion rings and slaw tasted like it could have been about anything fried, it was still a fun place to eat. Oh, and the chocolate milkshake tasted like vanilla. I have to have a really chocolatey milkshake. Still, though, it's a fun place if you like fried seafood.

Here is another waterfront restaurant that is located right next to Overton's:

So, we have two waterfront restaurants that we want to try before the summer is over! The tricky part is that we're toying with the idea of trying a gluten free/caseine free diet with Grace. That's really going to cramp our eating out style!

Well, off to try to make a dent in the last part of The Ten Year Nap. Book discussion on Monday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Poison Ivy

I've really just not been in the mood to blog this week! With low energy and a nice bout of poison ivy and a broken computer, I've just sat out for several days! Of course, some days I wonder why I bother. Does anyone read this anyway?! If you do, please drop me a comment.

We went to the DE Water Gap over the weekend and had a really nice time. Somehow I got poison ivy. I walked between our campsites with shorts and don't have any on my legs. Somehow I got it on one arm. It has now spread to the other arm and to my jawline. Ugh! I hate to see where it shows up tomorrow!

I took my car for it's 30K maintenance this week. They forgot to change the thingy that tells you how much oil life you have left. If you have a Honda Odyssey (non-Touring edition) I have a trick for you! The guy told me how to fix it, which is usually hush-hush. First use the button that changes the odometer to temp and oil life and trip counters. Push it and hold it til it flashes. Once it flashes, push it once and it will re-set the oil life to 100%. This wasn't the first time this has happened. I was happy not to have to drive to the dealer for them to do this little trick!

Here is something cool that is happening this weekend:

We went to a really great pediatric dentist today. Her name is Dr. Viera and she's in Norwalk. She had three full-size old video games in her office. I played Centipede like in the old days! The doctor spoke with us through the glass to say "hello" and how cute the girls were. Then she took a long time with both of them to explain everything. She actually did the cleaning! She was very loving and nurturing. I really feel fortunate to have found her. Our old ped dentist in Allentown called a friend of hers in CT who referred us to Dr. Viera. We have issues with the girls' teeth and now I feel confident that we'll keep them under control.

I've been looking for a dentist for a year now who takes our insurance and who has been referred by someone-anyone! Rich's doctor has a patient who's late husband was a dentist. She referred two dentists and one is on our plan. So, through this most circuitous route, I've hopefully found my new dentist. I must now call to see if I can get an appointment!

Camp finishes up for Grace tomorrow. Big sigh. I'm looking for fun for the next weeks leading up to school starting. Monday we'll be at the mommy book club in the morning. Maybe hit the Westport Library storytime on Monday afternoon. Tuesday a fun children's concert at noon in Trumbull is where we'll be with Moms EMT. Here's the performer:

Wednesday I'm meeting a friend in the city. Woohoo! If you have any ideas for fun places to go or things to do, let me know!

Thursday is playgroup. I'll also be waiting for this group to pick up a bunch of donations:

Friday we're heading to Vietnam Culture Camp at Rowan University for the weekend. This will be our 4th culture camp! It's a wonderful way to be with families like ours and to learn about Vietnamese culture. The kids have a blast and learn a lot and make lasting friendships. The very wonderful group that hosts culture camp is Catalyst Foundation.

While we're talking about very worthwhile charities, did you know you can donate to Paul's Kids and send two children in Vietnam to school for a year for just $100! We've been sending kids to school for the past two years now and just signed up for a third year. It feels great!

Went to Bobby Q's for dinner tonight. We go because it's ultra kid-friendly. However, every time I go I think how the food just isn't that great. Oh well. At least I didn't have to cook!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I had a busy day trying to clean up around the house and get ready for our weekend camping trip. (We're going to Delaware Water Gap in PA.) I also had to go to Rich's work to get a paper notarized, which led to lunch.

Needless to say, dinner was an after-thought! I gave Rich the option of leftovers, take out or The Beach Cafe. He chose the cafe, but didn't get home til well after 6. We hustled over to make our reservation and found it not to be crowded at all. In fact, our kids were the first there for movie night. Finding Nemo was playing. For some reason Lola had no interest in staying upstairs with Grace to eat and watch the movie.

I should have seen it coming. The whole idea is to get a nice dinner without the kids, but that wasn't to be tonight. Not much good came out of this evening.

Rich ordered the French onion soup to start. It was very salty and featured two bay leaves. I told him at least that means he'll have good luck! Then I tried my fish tacos. The first time I was there I had them and liked them. This time they just weren't very good and I couldn't even eat it all. Rich's lobster roll was poor. He mentioned that Stew's lobster rolls he had last night were so much better. Tonight's were $20 for one vs. the $10 for two at Stew's.

By the way, even though we enjoyed last weeks' meal there, Rich said the meatballs weren't good with the spaghetti and meatballs. I don't eat meat and wouldn't know. How do you mess up spaghetti and meatballs?!

The service tonight was really poor, the food was poor and the price was double what it should have been. They even charged us $3 for the chocolate milk that Lola had upstairs when she went up briefly-after already charging for it downstairs.

So, Rich has declared that The Beach Cafe is off our list. Darn. It was a great idea!

To top it all off, Rich had to drive to Waterbury tonight to get our Airstream from the "shop." Too bad there is now a thunder and lightning storm! I hope his trip goes smoothly!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Around Town

I should really write down during the day what I plan to write at night. When it's late and I'm tired I tend to forget what I was going to blog about!

After camp drop off, we headed to Fairfield for an errand. We first stopped into the McDonald's in Westport. At 1:45 pm the place was a mob scene. Parking was a bear and the line inside was long. I told Lola I was sorry, but that we weren't waiting. In the year we've been here I have never been there because there is no drive through. I decided to treat her for her potty training efforts today. We ended up going to Arby's on the return trip because they have a drive-through.

Then we passed the Westport Inn. Turns out that Conte's will be opening there soon. They're new website is here . They used to be on Saugatuck Ave and had closed not too long ago. I have a coupon for their old location and wonder if they'll honor it.

We stopped into the car wash on the way back from our errand and I wasn't really paying attention. I always just ask for the "regular wash." They often have the $9.99 outside wash deal, which is what I want. The guy said "you want the in and out, right?" I thought he was referring to a quick wash where you get in and out fast. After we walked inside I saw them trying to vacuum over the mounds of stuff in the car. I ran out to find that the "In and Out" is the $17.99 inside and out wash. Glad I stopped them in time!

After camp we went to Stew Leonard's again. Even after the bad seafood I got from there I purchased the lobster rolls for Rich's dinner. By the way, they're 2 for $9.99 and delicious, he said. He had the lobster roll from the snack shop at Compo beach one day and it was around $14 for one. He said it was very good, too. But, you can't beat Stew's price!

Oh, another thing I learned from a friend after my fish incident, was that Fjord Fisheries has excellent fish. I saw it today behind Pho Mekong (yummy Thai and Vietnamese food) on Post Rd. If I ever get brave enough to try to cook fish again, I'll try them. I've also heard from several people that the Rowayton Fish Company is very good and on the water.

We got a lot of stuff for our upcoming camping trip and then got the requisite ice cream that is free with over $100 purchase. I got Lola chocolate ice cream, which really wasn't very tasty. Grace wanted to try the tart yogurt. She actually liked it. We enjoyed visiting the animals. It was fun to see the guy again that takes care of the animals. He was on break and had just gone over to pet the baby goat. It's apparent that he really loves the animals. Last visit we saw him feeding the goat with a bottle. He said she drinks whole milk. One tip he offered is that if you want to pet them, go to the road-side of the pen and find some hay on the ground. You can reach over more easily and they'll certainly come if you have food!

Tonight we went to Levitt Pavilion for the first time. Princess Katie and Racer Steve performed. It was a cute venue and the group was really great. The kids had a ball and had no trouble going to sleep tonight!

There were fliers in the library parking lot for Robeks. They offer a nightly special from 6-9 pm at their Westport store for a 4 oz tart yogurt with three toppings. We'll have to check it out now that we know Grace is a tart yogurt fan!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Moms in Weston

Had a nice day at Compo yesterday and today at the pond in Weston. Tonight I went to Southport Brewing Company with Mom's EMT friends. It's been a nice time talking with other moms this week.

Tomorrow night at Levitt is Princess Katie and Racer Steve. I hear they're good and just may go check them out.

Potty training is actually going pretty well. Lola has peed twice on the potty and made many more attempts. She's getting stickers, prizes, candy-whatever works!

Catherine of Bubbles n' Cups has started a mom's group in Weston. Check out the blog at . Also find them on Facebook under "Moms in Weston."

After having been pres of my MOMS Club in Allentown, I entertained the idea of starting a chapter here. Fortunately, I put it off long enough and now have someone else doing all the work! Sometimes it's nice to be a follower instead of the leader! Thanks, Catherine! I do promise to help where needed, though!