Friday, April 11, 2014

My Life in Taffeta (and also finger painting)

Things have been getting crazy schedule-wise with the Taffetas.  We are only a couple weeks away now, and we've still got a lot of work to do.  But like my character says, "Performing never really feels like work for the Taffetas, because we get to do what we love most- SING!"  Yes, it is just that awesome.

But Theo and I have been trying to keep ourselves entertained and not stressed out.  He found the paints the other day, and we did a little painting.

He doesn't really like painting that much, because he doesn't like to be messy.  But we had fun for the few minutes.  I think he just liked the excuse to take his shirt off and be "nakey."

Also, I'm going to give myself a shout out again.  Look how clean my kitchen is in the background!  Small victories, my friends.  And it sure doesn't look that way right now.

Since Kay Taffeta is auburn haired, she even talks about it in the play, I decided to go for it! Emily, who is also in the show, was lovely and dyed it for me.  She endured her little daughter screaming and trying to pull her pants off the whole time she was working on my hair, and I'm glad everyone made it through.

I've never colored my hair before now.  This was a three dollor box I got at Walmart, and it turned out so great!  It has been a really nice change, and it looks really great all done up and with my costume.  Whitney took our promo photos yesterday, so some will be coming here soon.

Speaking of photos, I'll tell you about the wonderful chaos that ensued at Whitney's house. Everyone had to bring their kids, which meant that there were 8 children under 4 running around, four women trying to do hair and makeup, two extra women giving help and advice, and a lot of great vibes.

Whitney is such an amazing photographer, and I was so excited to be a subject of a photo.  I really did not like the idea of close up head shots, but she made me feel comfortable and confident.

Because there was so much to work out on juggling kids and planning hair styles, it took a while.  By the time we started  group photos, the kids were reaching the end of their ropes, and Whitney had an appointment to work at the local food bank (what a saint!!).

Then, of course, Theo walks in from the bedroom.  Remember at the beginning of the post when I said he doesn't like to be messy?  Everyone has exceptions to their own rules.  His entire face, both hands, the front of his shirt- all completely covered in bright red lipstick. All of us just paused in horror for a moment, then I ran for him, which of course made him run.

I started yelling, "don't touch anything!!" which made him hide behind the curtain in Whitney's room.  You've got to understand what she has white carpet, a beautiful white bedspread, etc.  She told me later that she envisioned the whole bedspread covered in lipstick.  Thankfully, only a little got on the curtain, and one spot on the carpet (that I know of).  I grabbed his hands and held him as far away from my costume as I could, while one of the ladies who came to help tackled him with wipes. 

Oh, my boy.  I love him.

After that episode, the rest of the pictures went quickly, and Whitney ran out the door.  The rest of us stayed to try and sort through the chaos of food and toys in the house.  By the time Theo and I got home, we both crashed for a several hour long nap. 

The things we go through for you people, our adoring fans, you will never know! If this sounded too complainy, I didn't mean it too.  There is so much humor in all of this, and I have loved being a part of this show.  It is going to be so adorable, and I hope that if any of my readers are in Ithaca on April 25 or 26, that you'll come to our performance! Check us out on the link below.

We did enjoy some quiet-ish moments, thanks to the Lion King. Oh, TV.  What a reliable babysitter.

Monday, March 24, 2014

My kids and my other stuff

Here is a picture that describes our travels back from Argentina.  Theo slept on the bus for two hours like this, snoring away.

He is such a sweet love.  I love how he is talking so much more, he's becoming my little buddy to hang out with.

We have visited the Sciencenter a couple times, and snack time is maybe my favorite.  It's usually just Theo and me in the food room, and we love the quality time together.  

By the way, I'm going to give myself a shout out because of this picture.  I look good.  With none of my clothes fitting anymore, and my hair being a strange length as I grow it out for the show, I celebrate this photo of looking cute.  Thank you.

Speaking of cute girls, here is ours in the works. I can't believe how excited I am that we're really getting a little girl! She was covering her face in the above photo, feeling a little shy. I love daydreaming about all the cute pink dresses I can put her in, and the flowery headbands I can put on her.  Plus, I have hopes that she will be more of a snuggler than Theo ever was.  

Maybe this is what all 20 week babies look like, but I think she looks like newborn Theo in this picture.

I had better not daydream too much about her though, because we still have a long wait until we get to meet her.  In the mean time, she likes to dance around, especially when I'm just getting relaxed. 

Two end notes.  1) it has been snowing for a day and a half straight. Corbin had to shovel the driveway today so I could take him and the two visiting students we're hosting to school.  When will it end?
2) The Taffetas is going great.  We choreographed another medley on Friday, and it turned out so cute! It will be an intense month of practicing, but it will be so fun and worth it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Back in Ithaca

I can't believe it has been three weeks since returning to Ithaca. It has felt much longer. We sure miss those Allisons, but it is nice being home.

Theo's and my journey back to New York was long and exhausting, but uneventful. By the time we finished our 26 hour travel day with a 5 hour bus ride, we were done.  I'd forgotten my coat in Argentina, and Theo had soiled his pants and backup pants, so we were not prepared for the below freezing weather.  Fortunately, Corbin was waiting for us, ready to receive his coat-less wife and pants-less son.

We readjusted pretty well to normal life. I foolishly scheduled my midwife appointment for the morning after we arrived, and Theo's doctor's appointment for the day after that.  It forced us to get into a routine right away, so that was nice.

As for what we've been up to, I feel like there isn't anything blog worthy.  In Argentina, we had landmark outings and adventures to make it easy to blog.  Now, the most exciting things we do are going to the store, or shoveling the driveway.  I have man-handled that driveway, by the way, despite my condition. 

Speaking of, we go to the midwife tomorrow for the ultrasound! Stay tuned for news on whether this little dancer is a Ruby or another Theo. We have a tentative boy name chosen, but I'm not ready to commit. And heaven help me if it is another Theo.  Just thinking about chasing two of him around makes me instantly exhausted.  But whatever this baby is, it's a blessing that we're excited to welcome into our family.

Tonight, Theo and I watched 101 Dalmations while Corbin was jamming with a friend. I was on the brink of tears the entire time. Poor Perdy who had her babies stolen!! Poor babies who had to trek through a snow storm away from an evil lady!  I am far too pregnant to be watching any Disney movies.  One of Theo's favorites is Up, and it's a good thing I'm usually showering for the first ten minutes, because I would be a total wreck on a daily basis.

We had rehearsal for the Taffetas last night, where we scheduled practices for the next month until performance (April 25 and 26). We'll be meeting three or four times a week until then, and I'm sure we will need all the time we can spare. I love crunch time of productions, so I'm excited for the challenge.  I just hope Corbin and I can coordinate to reduce scheduling stress. 

It is so fun to have a life outside of the house and away from Theo.  I love being a stay at home mom, but I need time to be Julie instead of Mommy, and it's great having a promise of that on a regular basis, doing something I love.

Anyways, I'll probably be posting again soon with an ultrasound photo! See you then!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bus Tour and Toddler Selfies

 The other day, the boys were preparing for the babysitter to come over by dressing in all of Shelley's most luxurious clothes.  I wish you could see Theo's exercise glove better, but one must wave it around when one wears it.

Theo wanted to see the picture, of course.  This lead to him taking numerous selfies.

Naturally, Jett had to get in the action. 

By the way, Theo's outfit didn't last long, because he dumped out an entire bottle of rubbing alcohol onto it and the floor.  At least he didn't drink it, right?

Shelley and Rick took me to a fancy stake house for our date, La Cabrera. We got so. much. food.  We  had some traditional Argentine food for appetizers- empenadas (meat pastries) and churipan (sausage sandwich). For the main dish, I got crazy huge raviolis, Shelley got a bacon wrapped stake kabob thing, and Rick got the giantest cut of stake I have ever seen!  The picture above doesn't do it justice. There were also all those little bowls filled with sauces, mashed things like potatoes, carrots, and pumpkin, potato salad and corn chowder.  And all of it yummy.  We all looked at the dessert menu, and couldn't imagine eating any of it.

On Friday, Rick came home from work early so Shelley and I could have a sister date to do the bus tour of the city.  Bless you, Rick.  And we were very impressed when we heard that he took Jett, Theo, and Mora out for a walk all by himself.  I wouldn't have dared in a hundred years.  Bravo, Rick.

A sweet tribute to Evita

Apparently Shelley has tried several times to get on these buses, and for one reason or another their plans have been foiled.  But she and I had luck, and made it on! We were on the bus for two or three hours, enjoying the sights and each other's company. 

Casa Rosada

One of my favorite things was the Casa Rosada, which means the pink house. It's their equivalent to our White House.  The voice in our headphones said it has been traditionally painted pink since it was built, to symbolize the coming together of the two political parties, who's colors are red and white respectively. I think that's pretty cool.

Casa Rosada
The tour took us through the fanciest part of town, Boca, I think it was called.  It was so clean, and the sky scrapers were so shiny and tall.  It was right along the Rio as well, which was cool. 

Inside the mall

 We finally got off at the big fancy mall.  We strolled through a little park area before we actually went in, but quickly ditched it to use the bathroom in a McDonalds. Pregnant ladies, the nerve.

On our taxi ride home, we saw the building that (we thought) Rick works in.  Shelley also explained to me that he used to work for Farmers, but now works for Zurich, who owns Farmers. I feel so in the know.  Accept he doesn't actually work in that building, but another one that's close.  It should have been part of the tour!

It was the perfect day to tour, too.  Sometimes it was sunny, sometimes cloudy, always warm and beautiful. 

After we got back to our neighborhood, we stopped at a cafe on the corner and got dinner.  Our service was really quick, because it was only seven o'clock, so obviously no one else was eating dinner.  I guess people don't eat until eight or nine on most days, sometimes later.  So interesting.  

Anyways, our food was delicious.  We had originally planned to go to a different cafe after and get dessert, but there was no way our tummies could have accommodated all that food.

At one point during the afternoon, I said, "Is it Friday, already?" And Shelley said, "I don't want to talk about it!" We've started preparing for our journey home.  So bitter sweet.  In many ways, this month has gone by in a flash. 

Today the boys and I went on the balcony just to enjoy the sunshine.  We ate ice and looked at the cars.  We laughed about Mora "rosting" in the sun. I stopped Theo from playing with the pooper scooper. And I thought to myself, "I wish I could bring some of this summertime back with me."

There are lots of things I'll miss.  Like staying up til all hours of the night and talking with Shelley.  Or being able to peace out and take a nap while Theo is still awake. The sunshine. Having a doggie to play with. Eating crazy delicious food all the time. Snuggling Jett and reading stories. 

I feel so blessed that the Allisons have been so generous and lovely to Theo and me. I don't know if or when I will be able to repay them. Maybe in a lifetime supply of cheese-its if they never come back to the US. But I will sure miss getting to be with them every day. I love Shelley, Rick, Jett, and Mora!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Evita! And other random things

On Monday, Shelley and Jett showed us a real good time by taking us to the cemetery.  Seriously, it was pretty sweet. We got to see Evita's grave, I guess you call it. 

Since there aren't any anecdotes to go along with this adventure, I'll tell random stories that I've been meaning to write down here. 

One night right after Rick left to get some McDonalds, Theo kept asking me for a hammer.  He lead me into the kitchen and pointed to the cupboard where the treats are, so I was really confused.  I even went to the toy room to get a toy hammer for him, but nothing would do.  Finally, Rick got back with dinner, and as Theo was eating his hamburger, he contentedly said, "hammer." It all came together.

Shelley and Rick have a maid that comes twice a week (which would be so nice). I guess it's the thing to do here.  She is so sweet, and exhausts her English vocabulary trying to talk to me.  She even asked how I was feeling because of the baby.  Yesterday, Theo went into the kitchen where she was working, and came back with a cup of milk.  I guess he downed a few cups before he was satisfied. She is so nice to my silly boy.

Just hanging out with Evita
 For those who don't know, Argentina uses pesos, which are about only a twelfth of a dollar.  But they use the sign for what I understand to be the dollar on price tags.  So when I saw a four pack of rolls with the tag $20, my eyes bugged out of my head for a second. I still haven't gotten quite used to it.

An enormous metal flower, which I guess is a thing here
Jett is such a sweet cousin to Theo, most of the time.  He usually tries to remind Theo of what the rules are, and has called him Sweet Baby, and Chicky Baby (one of my nicknames for him). So I've heard Jett say, "No toys on the balcony, Sweet Baby." Kills me!

Aunt Shelley was so nice to help Theo climb on this cool tree, and hold all our stuff

The people here are so nice, usually.  When we were on the subway, a girl got up from her chair so Theo and I could have a place to sit.  I guess that's the norm here, but I still appreciated it.

When we were on our way home from the cemetery, we caught a cab and started loading all our bags, strollers, and bodies into the small car.  As we were still getting settled, Jett stuck his head up to the taxista and confidently said, "Santa Fe y Coronell Diez, por favor." Accurate directions. The taxista curiously looked at Shelley as she was still ducking into the taxi and repeated the directions.  After a surprised si from Shelley, we were off.  That little man is a charmer.

This one was the most awesomely haunted looking.
 Not to be weird, but I must also comment on how handsome all the men are here.  We see a lot of people walking around on the busy sidewalks here, and I can't believe how many good looking guys there are just walking around, being good looking. And the women are so well shaped.  Who manufactured these people?

Don't cry for me, Argentina! I'm entombed in your awesome cemetery!
 Something else I've noticed is the physical contact that would be weird in the US. Of course there's the kisses for hello and goodbye. But also kids holding their parents hands, like teenage kids. Or ladies walking arm in arm. One of the aforementioned attractive young men was walking with his grandma with linked arms, being so cute.  I told Shelley I admired that.  Even though she agreed with me, she still wouldn't hold my hand when we were on our walk. Lame!

Have I mentioned that I can feel the baby kicking now? This is a lot earlier than it was with Theo, but I hear that's normal.  It's fun feeling the presence of the little human in there, especially now when it's still so small and not uncomfortable.  It's especially poigniant to me when Theo is laying on me and I can feel them both.  I'm gonna have two kids soon. Weird!

Our trip is almost over, and I can't believe how quickly it has gone. There are so many things I'm going to miss when we leave, so I'll need to soak up every minute until we do!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Zoo and Museum

This week was full of big fun things.  On Thursday, we had planned on going to the zoo. Rick took work off and everything.  Unfortunately, Shelley woke up feeling yucky, so the rest of us went without her.

My first dulce du leche experience
 I didn't mean for the first pictures to be ice cream, but here they are.  After we had a delicious lunch next to the bat exhibit, we went to the huge Munchi's a few steps away and got a tasty cold treat for the warm day.

The boys were happy and sticky afterwards.  It was a nice break from walking and sweating.

  Theo needed me to show him how to eat his waffle bowl. So I picked mine up and said, "just do this, Theo." I took a bite, and the whole thing shattered in my hand.  I thought Rick would bust a gut laughing at me.

Here are the huge scary awesome bats.  We went to watch them be "fed," which apparently meant going to watch the zoo keepers hang baskets of fruit in the trees.  They didn't even move.  We thought they'd be flying around and chittering, but nothing. Not impressive, bats.  But you are quite large, so that works.

We got to see tucans fighting, and hearing their beaks clack together was really weird and cool.

The parrots had just been given food when we got there, so there was plenty of action. (take a note from their book, bats!) Most of the bird exhibits were in enclosed spaces that we could walk through, which was cool. At one point, a parrot flew onto the hand rail next to us, saw a crumb by my foot, and flew right down to grab it.  That was pretty sweet.

Oh, when we first got to the park, we asked the boys if they wanted to see some animals, and of course they both yelled, "Yes!!" When I asked Theo what he wanted to see, he yelled with equal excitement, "Cows!!!"  The man loves cows.

It was quite an exhausting day for all of us.  I felt so relieved when Theo finally fell asleep near the end of our trip.  While Rick and Jett went to do some solo exploring, I strolled him over to the llama field and leaned his stroller back on a bench.  I got to sit and enjoy the calm of the llamas and the beautiful cloudy evening.  Not even passers by to interrupt us.  I loved that calm moment.

We got to see full-grown cheetahs wrestling and playing.  We got to see a white tiger taking a swim. We saw huge tortoises digging holes, and prairie dogs rolling around in the dirt.  

Despite the sunburns and day-long recovery from fatigue the next day, and missing Shelley, it was a really great day at the zoo! I can only hope Theo enjoyed seeing the animals as much as I did!

And here is the fattest shark I have ever seen.

For our hot date this week, we went to the Latin American art museum, Malba.  I was expecting it to be all paintings of pueblos and woven rugs (which I now realize was inaccurate anyways.) I was pleasantly surprised at all the wonderful art there.

It was especially fun going with Shelley.  She is a lover of the arts, and it's fun being able to talk about them with her.  Also, I was naughty in thinking it funny how stressed out she would get when I would get "too close" to a work of art.  My poor sister and her protective ways. Sorry for being sassy, Shelley!


And here is a Frida Kahlo.  I don't really like her art, but it's famous so I felt like I should feature it. I wonder if her unibrow was really that defined?

I'm sure glad they let me go on their weekly hot dates!  

Although, I did stay in with the kids on Valentines day so they could go out.  I have a hot Skype date with my hubby and ate yummy dulce de leche while they were gone.  Also, Shelley was a sweet heart and got me a bouquet of flowers.  She also got each of the boys a single rose.  Jett kept hugging her and emphatically saying, "thank you, Mommy!"  Theo, on the other hand, immediately started whacking things with his. What a little romantic!

Anyways... After we got back from the museum, we stopped at the cafe next door to the apartment, and got dessert.  Since they were out of each of the desserts Shelley and I wanted, we both got cheesecake. It was the only food I have been less than impressed with here, just because it was so different than what I was expecting.  It was cakey. And who wants that!  Nevertheless, I ate my whole thing, so...