Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cars is BACK (and we've got a cool give-away)!!!

While they had seen bits and pieces of free Saturday morning movies in the past, in June of 2006 my youngest boys saw their first full length official movie at the theater - Cars (aren't they cute!):
Five years later...Cars 2 is coming out! I am so excited - we LOVED the first Cars movie. We have loads of Cars toys and books, and the boys really took to it. Well, Lucy too is all about cars and trucks (and has been playing with some of the Cars characters even though she hasn't been officially introduced to them yet), and now she has the opportunity to see HER first real in-the-theater movie. Lucy will just be three and the little boys were three and a half, but I'm really hoping that she'll enjoy the second Cars movie (and the popcorn, of course) just as much as her brothers did five years ago!

Between the homage to Back to the Future and the "Materhosen" in the preview below - I'm super excited!

Take a peek at this scene too:

Gotta love a movie that has this great of a bathroom scene - and gotta love Mater! This time around the gang hits the road for an international race - and mystery and intrigue follow them! Cars 2 opens June 24 in theaters across the country (and I can't wait to see it).

If your kids are big Cars fans like mine, keep reading for a cool give-away!

I'm hosting a drawing for this cool Cars 2 t-shirt, along with a few other cool prizes (See them all below). I will select ONE winner for this drawing, and the prize pack will be mailed directly to you.

- CARS 2 t-shirt in youth sizes of S, M, L, XL

- CARS 2 set of 3 bumper tickets

- CARS 2 temporary tattoo sheet (2 per winner)

- CARS 2 puzzle

To enter this giveaway, tell me about YOUR favorite Cars character! One entry will be drawn at random, and the winner will be notified via e-mail. Be sure to either sign in to leave your comment or leave it in the comment itself so I can notify you. Comments will close and drawing will be held at midnight July 5th. Winner must reply to the e-mail notification with their name, mailing address, and t-shirt size (youth only) by noon Eastern on July 7th or a second winner will be drawn.

The small print: I am hosting this giveaway because we are HUGE Cars fans. No compensation of any kind was received. The prizes are compliment of Disney Pixar, but the words and Cars love are all mine. Drawing open to residents of the US only. Thanks Disney Pixar for the giveaway!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful Dad!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Take Me Out

Aside from the catchy tune, this is a really cool video. Instruments stolen, they went to the next best thing and kept plugging away on their music:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Having a summer birthday in DC bites, unless it's at the pool.

For the past few years we have had trouble gauging how many kids will attend Max's birthday party (see below for all of my frustrations about his summer birthday, as well as ). Seems that everyone leaves the country/state/county for Max's birthday. Last year we had a good number of kids actually around, but every year he has had a blast at his party. So now we have TWO kids that have summer birthdays. Lucy's falls a month before Max's, and this year we're hitting the baby pool. We're taking a load of our little friends to our baby pool for a popsicle party. The pool is really only there to help keep the popsicle mess to a minimum. Last year we had a splash party in the back yard and nearly cooked. This year, we are hanging out at the pool so everyone can be cool. But I have no idea how many people will show up. It's a Saturday, which is typically family time for the under four crowd. And then there's the whole thing about two and three year olds can't drive, so the kids will likely have parents tagging along. But hey, the more the merrier right? Hopefully Miss Lucy will be celebrating her birthday with a load of her good buddies, all will be splashing, and all will eat way too many popsicles!

July 29, 2008

Having a summer birthday in DC bites

332945_cake_with_green_candleMy oldest was born at the beginning of August. Not a fun time for me - we were in Texas and August is WAY hot if you are 9 months pregnant. But his birthday fell at that just right spot for great back yard splash parties, and as he got older, pool parties. When we were in Texas we would have these huge backyard parties - loads of kids, food, cake, and water. There was one little boy whose family took a yearly trip to their cabin up north, but everyone else that we knew would come and celebrate with Max. We did five birthdays that way, and Max loved it. Then we moved to the DC area, and it all came to a screeching halt. You see, here in our area there's a mass vacation exodus in August.

Last year we planned one of these great back yard splash parties for the first time here in the DC area and invited lots of kids. Max had friends from both soccer and school on the list, and he was so excited about having everyone over to his house. There were about 30 kids on the list and I wasn't sure if we had enough cake, juice boxes and water, or enough candy for the pinata. Then the RSVP's started rolling in and the list dwindled from 30 to 25 to 20,then to 15, and finally 11. Out of 30 kids, only 11 were going to be in town for his birthday. Max was bummed that his closest friends weren't going to be at his party, but I was stunned that we had so few kids attending.

In Texas when we invited 20, 19 would show up. When we invited 25, 24 would show up - you get the idea. We were always in the midst of the party planning wondering if we would have enough. Now it seems that we are victims of the vacation exodus and poor Max has only three kids that have RSVP'd for his birthday this year thus far, and the party is on Saturday. He'll have fun, and he and his friends will enjoy the party I'm sure, but how much does it bite to know that most of your very best friends will be gone? Forget moving the party though - you never know which kids will be gone which weekend in August, just that a majority of them will be gone for a good chunk of the month. Thinking of suggesting that we switch the birthday party to February? Well, that's out of the question as well - his brothers have February birthdays and that just wouldn't be nice to them. So it will be another year of a smaller party than expected. But the kids will have fun, everyone will get wet, and we will all celebrate the birthday of a pretty cool little kid.

Original DC Metro Moms Blog Post. Suzie also blogs about her own summer birthday at Confessions of a Not So Well Behaved Woman.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Feeling like an Apple Dropout

I've had an iMac for well over a month now and still can't give up my PC. I think I'm tethered to it in many, many ways, and have no idea how to drop those ties. You see, I've been a PC girl for pretty much my entire life. With the exception of an Apple IIe (can we say Dinosaur?) that I had in college, I've been in PC's for my entire career. (Yes, Apple's first stab at a portable computer came with me to college in Florida and sat many, many times at the beach with me.) And back then the Apple's weren't so different from the other computers out and about.

I'm not really sure what the hold up is, but I can't download pictures from my camera, I'm not 100% sure how to create a new graphic or jpeg, and I'm not sure of how to download stuff and put it in the right spot (folder, dock, huh?). Because of all this I'm starting to feel like, well, an Apple dropout.

It's like learning a new language I guess. Of course it's been 25+ years since I've actually learned a new language. Maybe that's my trouble. I've managed to learn new phones, TIVO's, Nooks, cameras, digital cameras, and all kinds of other electronic thingamajiggies, but not so much this iMac. Huh.

You'd think after all the beatings I've put my PC through I'd let it go slowly off into the night, but this is really, really slow. So now what? I always prided myself on being someone who could read the manual and consult the help desk, but I don't think that will fly now. I'm going to have to buck up and go take some more of those Apple Store classes. Clearly I haven't taken enough. Hopefully I'm not the only one out there that's a little gun shy about my new computer.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Man it's HOT!

Seems like I've complained about the heat in previous years past right about now as well, and this week was just as hot (if not hotter). We hit 99 degrees on Wednesday, and that's just sizzling - fry eggs on the sidewalk, burn the bottom of your feet sizzling - no matter where you live. We do have a little bit of the humidity added in there as well, but I almost had to give up my Texas citizenship. You know, if you complain too much about he hot weather they disavow any knowledge of you ever being born there. Texans have their pride after all.

June 10, 2008

Man it's HOT!

SuzieOne of the things that we've really enjoyed about Northern Virginia since we moved from Texas two years ago is the beautiful weather. While some of the locals complained that it was too hot, too cold, or that the weather was unseasonable at many different times of the year, we found that it was much more temperate than the weather in Texas. We have marveled in the beautiful springs and pleasant falls, we have loved the light to moderate snow in the winter, and we have honestly enjoyed the mild summers. We are truly fans of the weather here in Virginia - until now. I'm calling shenanigans on Mother Nature here, and I'm putting my foot down demanding my old Virginia weather back.

We've recently had four soccer games rained out, tornados, earthquakes, flash flooding, and now almost record heat. Yes, almost record because we are a few degrees shy of the "records." But who is saying that it isn't dang hot here?

Not me. And the funny part of this? Well, we're from Texas where it gets REALLY hot, but after being here in the glorious Virginia weather for two years, we're ruined. The kids and I can't handle the heat - and Tom just sits there and laughs at us. After two years of mild springs and summers that are cool enough to play outside basically all summer, we're stuck inside. For the past few days the kids grab a popsicle, run outside, then come zooming back in to escape the heat. Then, after a few minutes of beating on each other / playing soccer / watching TV / I send them back out again into the heat. Normally they would gladly stay outside all afternoon and all weekend, but I can't imagine them playing out in the heat that we've had (105-110 heat index) from more than a few minutes at a time. They have huge shade trees, water bottles, water gun fights, popsicles, hats, sunscreen, and still need breaks from the heat every 15 minutes or so. It's just plain hot here, and my kids' behavior reflects that. I guess being trapped inside in the late spring / early summer will do that to you.

So, apologies to anyone who runs into me and the kiddos over the next few days. Until this cold front comes through that they are predicting (which will bring the temps down to normal temps for this time of the year), my children will be behaving like wild trapped wild animals. Let's all hope that this heat wave subsides...quickly.

Original DC Metro Moms post.

When not hiding under an umbrella, Suzie blogs over at Confessions of a Not So Well Behaved Woman.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I LOVE a good parade!

Once again I dragged my family to a parade, and once again they complained about it. But then again they still go. The kids have no choice really, but Tom, well, he must love me to indulge my parade fixation. But the Falls Church Memorial Day parade is always a big hit. This year, like last, it was wicked hot out. But we got there about five minutes before the parade started, found a shady spot with no one else around towards the end of the parade route, and plopped down. It was glorious. We saw our absolute favorites - the Bolivian dancers. There were several troupes there this year - one of them new - but all fantastic. From the wee ones to the old ladies in full garb those dancers move and groove and bring a big old smile to my face.
This year there was a stilt - walker, and a bunch of clowns. Lucy wasn't quite sure what to make of all the clowns, then again she wasn't sure why we were there in the first place. Guess to a two year old the whole world looks like one big parade.

Ian was all over that red wagon. We grabbed it to drag our stuff in, and once the chairs were out he hopped in, relaxed, and watched the parade. Can I just say - best. wagon. ever. I don't know how it handles kids, honestly, as we didn't let anyone sit in it, but it can hold all of our chairs PLUS our little cooler, and my purse in the back!
We brought freezy pops with us to keep the kids cool and happy. ;) And they did indeed do the trick. Twelve freezy pops later they were all coming off their sugar high, and Lucy sunk into the chair, and eventually rested her head on her daddy.

As the parade went on...and on...and on...Lucy totally ran out of steam. She liked the music and the colorfulness of the parade, but clearly wasn't plugged in to the absolute coolness of the whole thing. Me, on the other hand, well, I dig parades and this is one of my favorites.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Les Paul Doodle on Google today!

I've mentioned before that I LOVE the doodles that Google puts up on their search page. But this one is more than just a doodle - it's alive. The doodle they have posted today is similar to the Martha Graham doodle they had a bit ago, but this time it's actually interactive.
So go to Google today and see what tunes you can strum. And if you don't know who Les Paul is, well, check him out here: Les Paul Online. All I'll say is that he was a brilliant, brilliant man.

Edited to say: Look how cool I am! I made my very own song for you - strumming along and smiling the whole time: Gotta love Google for doing this...and for leaving it up for a bit!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Why can't the summer come sooner?

Tom looked at my today like I was a crazy woman. "I think I want to pull the kids out of school and just be done for the year." We still have two weeks of school left, and I'm good to go for the year. I told him that there are a ton of cool things to do around here, and I was done with the whole schedule thing. Apparently I do this every year (see my post below). Last year, same time, and here I was complaining that that the summer couldn't come fast enough. And it didn't help that today it was a whopping 99 degrees outside. It hovered above 90 degrees for a good chunk of the day, and all I could think about was the pool. Yes, the pool is open, but mostly on the weekends. It opens at 3pm until school lets out, and by then it's almost too hot to get out of the house. But tomorrow, providing everyone is healthy (we had one kiddo home sick today) we are hitting the pool. Hot is just hot, no matter how you cut it, and I believe that anyone will agree, even my loving husband, that 99 degrees counts as hot.

June 10, 2010

Why can't the summer come sooner?

Flip Flops I have four kids, three of whom are in school. What I really mean to say is that three of them are in school still. It seems that our summer doesn't start until halfway INTO the summer - at least it feels that way some days. It now is staying light until well past 8pm, our typical bedtime, so the kids are still wide awake well past then. The sun rises at the crack of dawn as well, so naps (for me and the little one) are definitely on tap as my kids get up way to early for my taste. But crazy hectic school, sports, and extra-curricular schedules generally prevent any late afternoon naps from happening. And all of those cool summer activities that I remember from childhood? Well, they've already started and we still have two full weeks of school left.

This means that we don't get to participate in some of those cool activities, like swim team. Granted, the little boys aren't quite ready, but my oldest might have been had there been a day (or four) for him to practice with the team. But ongoing school and extracurricular activities still occupy those precious after school slots, so there's no room for swim team. There are other things that I'd like to be doing as well with my days, but it seems that we are not quite done with our required 990 hours/180 days of school yet. (Yes, the really do count that way depending on the year and weather, and this year wasparticularly bad).

I guess the worst part about this time of year is that it feels like it should be summer break. This means that my kids are acting like it's summer break - giving up on any semblance of good behavior left in their little bodies. They did well behaving all year - followed directions, did what they were supposed to do, but their little wills to behave have finally broken. They are turning in those ugly, nasty little summer cretins - like caged animals trapped in school kid bodies. This is easily fixed with some running around, boredom, pool time, bicycles, you name it. But we can't do any of those things because we're still in school. And you know that the teachers know this too.

I'm sure it's one thing to wrap school up in May, like loads of other places do, and then deal with those end of school wigglies. But not here in Fairfax County, and we have the good Kings Dominion law to thank for that. We can't start school here until AFTER Labor Day. This means that this year, and next year, (and many other years for that matter) we start the second week of September, and run through the end of June. This law has been around since 1986 and thanks to the lovely folks at King's Dominion, some state legislators, and a bunch of people who don't have MY best interests at heart, we go to school until all 180 of those days pass. And that's late June once again this year.

So here I sit on a beautiful, albeit slightly rainy afternoon, wondering when the summer will come, or when we will all be on a year round school schedule with much more reasonable breaks.

This is an original DC Metro Moms post. When Suzie isn't mourning the loss of her favorite season, she's blogging over at Confessions of a Not So Well Behaved Woman.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Five years

Five years and almost 1,000 posts. I've been blogging since May 27, 2006, shortly after we moved to DC. Initially I started blogging to keep family up to date on what was happening in our lives, but over time it has become something much more. I can write, share, pop up pictures, or simple blather (not too much blathering so far but there's loads coming at you!). I have gotten to the point where it's a pleasure to write - no longer a chore. For years my writing suffered under my own false impression that I wasn't such a good writer. Now, I realize that I have strengths and weaknesses in my writing, and that's O.K. I write because I like to write. I have other creative outlets, but this one really lets my mind wander and explore - even for simple things like throwing up a favorite picture or sharing an amusing blog post. So, peek at my first post back in 2006, and look though the rest to learn all about our adventures in DC.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Here's to the Crazy Ones

It's been one of those years. Time and time again there have been missteps, problems, and setbacks. But all are very, very minor in the scheme of things. I realize that it's time to let go and just be. Do good, go forward with crazy plans, explore, and be ambitious. And maybe one day, even one days soon, it will make a difference.

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them; disagree with them; glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. - Apple Inc.

Now it's your turn. Think different, act, and you just might surprise yourself.

Dreaded Budget Cuts

You know that I'm a BIG fan of Lego A Day. He posts some really creative stuff. And today is no different. Budget cuts affect us all - including, apparently, those involved in the Galactic War.

So remember folks, budget cuts often have unforeseen consequences. From the big wigs to the soldiers in the trenches, or in this case on the bike and skateboards, budget cuts are tough all around.

Image from: