Friday, May 28, 2010

Congratulations, Graduate!

As of Tuesday, May 25, 2010 Mr. T is a proud owner of two BFA degrees and a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology. An official toy designer looking for official toy design work. His mother, aunt Sandy, uncle Freddie and nephew Devin all came up to celebrate with us. None of them had ever been to Manhattan before, and we had a big time showing them the sites.

We had fun taking them to Italian restaurants, in Jersey of course where the best Italian resides, and our local bakery and introducing them to our daily commutes by taking them into the city. I don't think they could imagine taking two trains to work everyday, and the train travel in general kind of wore everyone out, especially since most of what we wanted to see in New York was three train rides away. But we had a lovely time in the City...

We took a stroll through Bryant Park and rode the carousel.

Later we visited FAO Schwartz and the Big piano and Tiffany and Co., where we saw the world's largest canary diamond.

We also spent some time at Central Park and had Mr. S and Mr. Devin's portraits made by a couple of street artists.

We spent a lot of time in Times Square, where we visited the M & M store and the Hershey store...

And the three story Toys R Us with the Ferris wheel and the T-Rex.

We also ran into the Naked Cowboy, and T's Mom and Aunt got their photos taken with him.

Graduation was in Radio City Music Hall, home to the Rockettes.

It was long-winded like most graduations, but we got to hear speeches by the designer Norma Kamali and the former CEO of Hasbro Alan Hassenfeld, each of whom received honorary doctorate degrees. The biggest speaker was Project Runway's Nina Garcia, who wasn't bad, but considering last year's graduates got Annie Leibovitz and Karen Allen (of Starman fame) I felt kind of gypped.

It was a big day and a big week for all of us, and Mr. S loved seeing his Tennessee family.

It's always fun bringing friends and family into the city and showing them around, especially if they've never been there. It's the only chance really that T and I get to do touristy things, and it reminds us every time that there's so much of New York that we've yet to see. This weekend we're thinking of exploring Central Park a little more. We hear there's a secret carousel there.

We had a great time with T's family and miss them already.

And I know I speak for everyone when I say, Congratulations T...we're so very proud of you!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I wish I had new and exciting news to offer regarding Mr. T’s job hunting, but unfortunately we don’t know much yet. He graduates on Tuesday, and the Toy Design department has been frantically trying to place students in the industry. However, since the economy is so awful right now most of these students will end up with temp jobs or another internship. So far only one student has landed a permanent position. Keep your fingers crossed for us…we don’t have any geographical attachments aside from wanting some nature around us. If we end up sticking around the NYC area, we'd like to find some remote NJ or NY farmland, but still be able to commute to the city, which doesn't seem likely with our budget. But since there are toy companies all over this country, in nearly every state, we could really end up anywhere. And we’re up for the adventure.

Because the end of this whole escapade is near, I’ve been day dreaming up a storm. I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up, but I’ve been keeping lists of new things I’d like to learn in a little black book that I keep by my work desk. Some of these include bee keeping, planting apple trees, moving from the drop spindle to the spinning wheel, heirloom vegetable and flower gardening, learning to can and pickle veggies, finding more time for writing, studying yoga more intensely and perhaps with a teacher, generally becoming a better cook. Of course it will be nice to have the time to do such things, but until Mr. T lands a permanent position somewhere, and we get our financial-bearings, it's back to the daily grind for me for awhile. And back to trying to make the most of my days off with Mr. S.

Now that Mr. S is in preschool and is an all-around big boy, our conversations have become more complex and interesting. Most of the time it’s like I’m walking around with a three-foot man. He’s starting using words like “afterwards” and "amazing."
And he’s constantly correcting me if I misname something like an animal or a dinosaur. He’ll say, “No, Mama. That’s a marasuchus. Not a crocodilian.” And then, “I’ll show you what one looks like,” and he’ll go off to find a marasuchus toy or picture of one in a book and show it to me. He somehow remembers every word that comes out of my mouth (even when I don’t) and every book we ever read. Everyday amazement on my part.

Since the weather has continued to remain warm and sunny, we’ve continued to enjoy nature walks and trips to the park. Here’s some of what we’ve been up to lately:

Playing baseball:

Seamus is actually pretty good at hitting the ball when I throw it to him. Still working on catching.

Feeding left-over bread to the ducks and geese:

Looking for bugs:

And on colder or rainy days...painting and planting Chia Pets:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm so lucky to have these mamas in my life. Happy Mother's Day, Mom, Mary and Nana! I love you.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Knitting on the Train

Even though Summer is on the way, and I usually find myself dropping my knitting once the weather warms up, I've had the urge to knit all the time lately. Cotton vests, cropped cotton sweaters, baby sweaters in bamboo yarn, short summery cream-colored dresses. Unfortunately, I only have time to knit on the train and during my one-hour-a-week knitting circle at work. So, I'll probably only finish one or two patterns the entire summer.

I finished up the Botanica Medallion Cardigan from last summer's Vogue Knitting a couple of months ago (took me about 9 months to finally bind off):

And now I've started the Fountain Lace Sweater published in Country Weekend Knits. Progress is s-l-o-w. My daily commute allows four rows of knitting round-trip. I've been working on this sweater for about two months now and am just finishing up the arm hole shaping on the back.

I liked this the vintage look of this pattern, reminded me of 50s high-waist shorts and pony-tails, which is exactly how I plan to wear it...if it comes off the needles before summer is over.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Big 0-3!

Long ago I should have posted pictures from Mr. S's big 3rd birthday, but better late than never. We decided to have a simple party at home with just us and my parents who came up for a few days.

Seamus requested a lion cake, and I did my best. I found another lion cake online and adapted it to something simpler that used cookies and Hershey kisses instead of fondant:

He received lots of Kung-Fu Panda toys, Monsters Vs. Aliens toys, books (Dr. Seuss and more Berenstain Bears, which he's really getting into) and T and I thought it was high time the boy had an easel. This one has a magnetic dry-erase board on one side, a chalk board on the other and a roll of paper to drape over either side for painting. It's been a big hit in our house. Seamus is fascinated with chalk and erasers and chalk dust.

Later that weekend, Grandie and Grandpa bought us tickets to the American Museum of Natural History, which we also visited for Mr. S's second birthday. It's somehow better when you're 3 and taller and able to understand more.

It was a great few days and we miss Grandie and Grandpa already. Looking forward to Mammaw and Uncle Freddie (and possibly Aunt Sandy too) coming up for T's graduation at the end of this month.
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