Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lola's Birthday Party


Grace and Zachary went to Lola Bennett's Prince and Princess Birthday Party today and had a great time. Zachary was the only little boy there for a bit but then several other little boys came. They had fun playing "Kiss the Frog", breaking a pinata, watching Lola open her presents and of course, birthday cake!

Zachary, Grace, Maddi and Hannah

Zachary, Hannah, Grace, Lola and Maddi

Grace and Sierra



The Princesses of the Party!

The Princesses and the Prince!

Grace playing "Kiss the Frog"

Zachary about to "Kiss the Frog"



Lara and Maddi

The Pinata!

Aaron, the birthday Dad





Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mmmmm.....Chocolate Mousse

Mom brought her recipe for chocolate mousse with her so she got the kids to help her make it this afternoon. I'm not sure that they helped though because it didn't turn out as well as it usually does. But they had fun and Zachary thoroughly enjoyed licking the bowl and spoon!






The Day of Zachary's Surgery

Zachary spent most of the day of his surgery playing with Nana. They played with blocks and cars and built the twin towers out of break the ice cubes and put lots of puzzles together.






Zachary Has Surgery to Get Tubes

Today was the big day of Zachary's surgery. He was initially scheduled for 11:30 and the nurse at the surgical center called yesterday and asked I was interested in moving him up to be the first patient, which meant we needed to be there at 6:15 this morning. I definitely said "yes" because I was concerned about how I was going to keep him from eating or drinking anything until 11:30!

So, we got up really early this morning. My Mom was still here with us thank goodness and we just got both Grace and Zachary out of bed and took them to the Surgical Center in their pajamas. We only had to wait for just a few minutes before they called us back. Grace ended up falling asleep on Mom and Zachary was such a brave big boy. The only time he was unsure of anything was when they actually were taking him to surgery and I couldn't go with him but his OR nurse, named Dave, was great with him and took him right back and had him laughing on the way.

The procedure only took about 10-15 minutes and then Dr. Milewski came and told me that he did great and he was all finished and that Zachary was in recovery. He said that his ears were filled with a thick mucous fluid and he sucked all of that out before putting the tubes in. He said we should notice an immediate difference in his hearing. The anesthesiologist came out and talked to me and said that Zachary did not make a sound when he put the mask on him to put him to sleep. He said that Zach was so easy and that he took a couple of breaths and was out. He said it was a great way to start the day!

I was able to go back to recovery a few minutes later and they gave Zachary to me. He was still asleep and kind of out of it but I just held him and talked to him. He would whimper just a little but never even really cried. When he did wake up he said that he just wanted to go home and I told him to let me put on his pajamas and we could go. He didn't want me to change him and he finally told me that he wanted the curtain to be closed around us while I changed his clothes. Once we closed the curtain, we put back on his pajamas and he was ready to go. I could already tell that he could hear better because when he was waking up, I whispered to him and he could hear me.

On the way home, we stopped at McDonald's to get breakfast. Zachary was still a little groggy but by the time we got home, he was awake and full of life and energy! He wanted my egg mcmuffin and ended up eating almost all of it. Dr. Milewski said to keep him home from school today and I thought that he would lay around most of the day but not Zach! He played all day long. I couldn't believe it!

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers!


Right after surgery enjoying an egg mcmuffin

Mmmmm....good!


Grace and Nana

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New York - Day 3

We started our morning out again at Starbucks and then walked to 30 Rockefeller Plaza to go to Top of the Rock. With the country facing economic catastrophe and the world between two wars, John D. Rockefeller’s vision for his center never wavered. Rockefeller Center and the observation deck were his gifts to Manhattan- a place for locals and visitors to marvel at the city he loved. The 67th-70th floor observation deck of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, known as Top of the Rock, recently re-opened to the public for the first time in 20 years. It offers a sweeping unobstructed open-air view of New York City, including a fabulous view of the Empire State Building.



I love this picture of Times Square. It almost looks like
night time until you look up at the sky and see daylight.

Radio City Music Hall



Dance, Drama and Song
These three large stylized decorative plaques, placed high up
on the south facade of Radio City Music Hall, represent the
theater's main activities.

View of 30 Rockefeller Center from the ground.






On my way up to the first observation deck.






View of Central Park
I loved this round building and that's the
Chrysler building right behind the Met Life building.



Empire State Building





The New Year's Eve Times Square Ball




Close up of the Empire State Building.
If you look closely, you can see people on the observation deck.

Lara and me taking pictures of each other at the same time!





Brooklyn Bridge in the distance




Looking down from Top of the Rock





After Top of the Rock, we just walked around Rockefeller Center, the outdoor plaza, the ice skating rink and NBC Studios.

An art deco icon, Wisdom famously looms over the entrance
to the main building of Rockefeller Center and can be seen from
Fifth Avenue. Created by Lee Lawrie, one of America's foremost
architectural sculptors, it is an impressive and imposing focal point.
Wisdom is considered the creative power of the universe, and the
figure's commanding slant, intimidating expression and biblical
quote help convey his strength, impact and control over man.









We decided to stop for some coffee at Dean and DeLuca before walking up Fifth Avenue and shopping. But once inside, everything looked and smelled so good that we decided to share a ham and cheese crescent and a slice of New York Cheesecake and they were both delicious!


Mmmm....good!

St. Patrick's Cathedral








Saks Fifth Avenue


Versace

Cartier


When we saw the Trump Tower, we decided to go in and have a look around. Then we saw the Trump Bar and thought "ooh, cocktails in the Trump Bar in NYC"! So we went in and relaxed and we both enjoyed a "You're Fired Bloody Mary".




Shopping at Tiffany's!



Next we went to FAO Schwarz to get some things for the kids. It was a fabulous toy store and Grace and Zachary would have just been amazed at how big everything was and how larger than life it all was. I had to take pictures to show them.



FAO Schwarz Dinosaur display
Lego Darth Vador was huge!





This is the Big Piano that Tom Hanks played on in the movie, Big.


Lego Harry Potter



After shopping on Fifth Avenue, we walked to Central Park and took a horse and carriage ride. This way we were able to see more of the park and also get a little tour. Our driver was from Ireland and was so very nice. He pointed out several things to us on the ride, including the buildings where various celebrities, such as Lance Armstrong, Sting, Diana Ross, Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld, had apartments or penthouses. I can't remember which ones were which now but I took pictures of all those buildings.


The Plaza Hotel



Side entrance of The Plaza

Building where Woody Allen lives




Central Park Carousel
A carousel had been in operation at Central Park since 1871. The original carousel was powered by a blind horse and mule. The current carousel was manufactured by the Stein & Goldstien Company of Brookyln, for a trolley terminal outside Coney Island. The carousel was moved to its present location when a fire destroyed the previous one in the in the fall of 1950. This carousel features the largest hand carved figures ever constructed. The outside horses are 3/4 the size of an actual horse, A Ruth Sohn band organ playing Wurlitzer 150 music roUs provides the music and is original to the carousel. To this day the carousel and its figures are hand painted.
I think this is where Sting has an apartment.


Dairy
At its inception the southern portion of Central Park was considered
the Children’s District. This was because it was the first area of the
park that would be reached by families traveling from the heart of the
city, most of which lay below 38th St. at the time. One critical
need of children at the time was for fresh milk, as a series of scandals,
as well as cholera outbreaks, placed the dairy production
of the city under a cloud of suspicion. To satisfy this need and
provide a place where families could find a ready supply of fresh milk
when traveling to the park, the dairy was built. The Dairy today serves
as a general visitor center with information on the design of
Central Park, as well as current park events and programs.





Wollman Rink
Wollman Rink was built in 1949 when Kate Wollman donated
$600,000 for it's construction. In the early 1990's,
it was purchased and is now run by Donald Trump.
Since its construction Wollman rink has been one of
Central Park’s most popular attractions and
more than 4,000 skaters use it daily.

As we were ending our carriage ride, I saw this van parked
on the side of the street and had to take a picture.


Jill and Lara on our horse and carriage ride!



Lance Armstrong lives here.

The Plaza Hotel



We decided to head back to Times Square and drop off our shopping bags. We had not had anything to eat since Dean and DeLuca this morning and we wanted a good authentic slice of New York pizza. On our way out of the hotel, I stopped at the security desk to ask the officer there where he would go nearby to get a slice of pizza. He barely let me get the question out of my mouth before he said "concierge on the 8th floor can answer any of your questions". He was the first and only rude person that we came in to contact with the entire weekend. I didn't want to ask conceirge on the 8th floor where to get a good slice of pizza. I wanted to ask the local security guard where he would go. We ended up asking a guy on teh street that was trying to get people in to a comedy club and he told us the best pizza in New York was juts right around the corner on 46th Street at a place called Patzeria. And boy, was he ever right! We walked in and it was this tiny place with only 4 seats. We each ordered a slice of fresh tomato and basil nad it was by far the best pizza that i have ever put in my mouth. The guys that worked tehre were so nice and told us that we needed to try this other kind also. We told them that we would come back tonight after the show and we did. The pizza was that good. If I ever get back to New York, I will definitely pay them a visit again.



We saw this on our walk back from the pizza place.
I had just never seen parking cars like this before.


ABC News

We had just a little bit of time before going to see Mama Mia so we stopped in at Toys R Us. It was unlike any Toys R Us that we had ever been in. There was a real working ferris wheel inside of the store that you could ride in. Each car was different - there was a fire truck, My Little Pony, Bob the Builder and I can't remember what all. Grace and Zachary would have loved it though!

This dinosaur looked like something out of Jurassic
Park and actually moved and roared!

Statue of Liberty made out of Legos



Lego Empire State Building (notice Godzilla at the top)
This truck was hanging from the ceiling and Superman was holding it up.

The ferris wheel


And now....what we had been waiting for. It was time for Mamma Mia!, a musical where timeless songs such as Dancing Queen, I Have a Dream, Voulez-Vous, and Take a Chance on Me, are ingeniously woven into an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings 3 men from her mother's past back to the Greek island paradise they last visited 20 years ago.

We walked to the Winter Garden Theatre and sat down in our 4th row seats and saw the most fabulous musical! Glen did an amazing job on getting our tickets and I'm not sure that we didn't have the best seats in the house. They could not have been any better! The cast was superb and the music was fantastic! At the end of the show, the cast came out and sang several ABBA songs and we were up out of our seats singing and dancing right along with them. At the end of the show, they announced that on this particular night there would be various cast members at the exits collecting money for "Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids" and to encourage people to donate, they were giving away Mama Mia! merchandise. Lara and I both donated $5 and got a set of Mama Mia! golf balls but we were also able to get our picture taken with a cast member.









There could not have been a better ending to our New York trip than this was. After the show we went back to Patzeria and had another fabulous slice of pizza, talked about how great Mama Mia! was and then went back to the hotel to pack.