Monthly Archives: April 2015

What My Kids Learned in NYC!

Posted On April 21, 2015| Leave a reply

NYC with kids

My extremely intelligent kids chose NYC as our Spring Break destination this year. Perhaps they were tired of me traveling there without them….

They planned our week by researching what they wanted to do and see. I took their requests and organized our days. We left the hotel before breakfast and returned after dinner each day and we still didn’t complete our list! A perfect excuse to return! Noah and Nat loved the city and embraced it from the moment they spotted Miss Liberty from the airplane. I am beyond thrilled that they love my favorite city! Here’s a snapshot of what they learned on their first trip to THE BIG APPLE!

Spotting the Statue of Liberty from the plane is priceless.

NYC with kids

LaGuardia is quite welcoming.

NYC with kids

That a douche bag is not a new type of backpack.

Selfies with Mama are non-negotiable.

NYC with kids

Avoid making eye contact with very angry Italian men dropping the f-bomb while screaming at  cabbies in the middle of the street.

Subways are awesome and Columbus should get some.

NYC with kids

Lady Liberty has a huge nose!

NYC with kids

The lobby at the Waldorf Astoria is a prime cartwheel location.

Mama’s fear of heights is real and she should never go to the Top of the Rock again.

NYC with kids

Always ask ‘how much’ before taking a rickshaw ride back to your hotel.

NYC with kids

The fish on the streets of Chinatown are real and they stink.

Too many New Yorkers died on September 11th.

NYC with kids

Pedestrians don’t have the right away.

The Wicked Witch wasn’t really wicked.

NYC with kids

Times Square is cray!

NYC with kids

Manhattan is breathtaking.

NYC with kids

FAO Schwarz is a slice of heaven.

NYC with kids

Say ‘no thank you’ to the aggressive Elmo in Times Square when asked for a photo.

Brooklyn has the best pizza in the world.

NYC with kids

The bull on Wall Street has large balls (you said balls!).

Mama will make you jump at the “Friends Fountain” in Central Park.

NYC with kids

Pretzels from a street vendor are scrumptious.

Watching ice skaters wipe out is always good entertainment.

NYC with kids

Milk with breakfast costs $4, you better drink it.

The Museum of Natural History has two doors for a reason….just act like you know where you are going, keep your head down and don’t stop. Crazy long line avoided.

NYC with kids

The Ghostbusters firehouse is real!

NYC with kids

Teenagers like to kiss with their tongues.

The rocks in Central Park are better than any playground in Ohio.

NYC with kids

Homeless people make Natalie sad.

NYC with kids

Men can wear dresses, high heels and carry a purse.

Ron from Harry Potter likes to eat at The Sugar Factory too.

NYC with kids

If you lean over the yellow line to look at the subway tracks you will get your butt swatted.

NYC with kids

Grand Central Station is totes amazing.

NYC with kids

Never exit your cab into traffic, always use the curbside door.

Graffiti is cool.

NYC with kids

When Daddy says “Go” at a crosswalk, MOVE IT!

The piano from the movie Big is not overrated.

NYC with kids

Broadway performers are mesmerizing.

NYC with kids

Houston is pronounced Howston.

Having breakfast at the counter in a diner is very entertaining.

No entry, means no entry.

NYC with kids

Serendipity 3 has the best frozen hot chocolate and is a great place to play I Spy.

NYC with kids

Larry, Rexy, Dexter and Sacagawea do not currently live at the Museum of Natural History, but Dum-Dum does!.

NYC with kids

The shakes at The Shake Shack really are worth the wait.

Swatch watches make telling time way more fun.

NYC with kids

The macaroni and cheese at Juniors is not that great but the ginormous hotdog is.

NYC with kids

Magnolia Bakery makes the YUMMIEST cupcakes.

NYC with kids

Everyone in NYC has a selfie stick (except us).

NYC with kids

Hand sanitizer is your friend.

The “Ga” in Glinda is silent.

NYC with kids

Getting on the #loveison cam in Times Square is worth the crowd.

NYC with kids

Taxis honk. A. Lot.

If you watch the dancers in the Subway have some cash for their tip jar.

We look good dangling from a steel beam.

NYC with kids

Not all trains make every stop on Saturdays.

The black spots all over the sidewalk are gum.

The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory only takes cash.

NYC with kids

Pack comfortable shoes.

Spray paint art is totally worth $20.

NYC with kids

NYC at night is beautiful.

NYC with kids

Walking blocks north and south is way faster than west to east.

NYC with kids

If a taxi light is on, it is available, so start waving and whistling.

The Naked Cowboy isn’t totally naked, thank goodness.

NYC with kids

It’s actually Radio City Music Hall,  not Radio City Musical.

NYC with kids

A cute box of candy can most definitely cost $24.

NYC with kids

Little Italy is not so little.

NYC with kids

The Empire State building is our new fave.

NYC with kids

We are counting the moments until we can return……

NYC with kids

Live Creatively,

mamaSig

 

 

 

 

 

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Someone Called Me Chubby…

Posted On April 13, 2015| 9 Replies

A few days ago someone in my family called me chubby. It was not my husband. He would never do such a thing….he does not want to take the chance of getting punched in the throat while he sleeps! 😉

It was someone I love dearly and it was said in complete honesty with no intention of hurting my feelings.

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Therefore I continue to love this truth-teller. Because let’s be honest, I am chubby. Please don’t be a hater, and think I am some crazy woman who thinks I am fat. I am not saying that. I don’t suffer from poor self esteem, but I am only 5’3″ and when you add extra pounds to that sized frame…..it’s hard to hide it! I’ve been chubby for a couple of years now. I don’t really like it, but it hasn’t bothered me enough to stop avoiding the T-25 DVD’s we own (Shaun T is evil) or quit eating Thin Mints. I buy workout clothes to wear, well, to wear for everything but working out. Someone who shall remain nameless loves to ask, “did you fake work-out today?”, Grrrrr! I live with a man who is super in shape, makes time to work out EVERY. DAY., eats well and looks hot in a pair of jeans. This same person quietly encourages me, never shames me and would do back flips if I entered our work out room to, well, actually work out!

Growing up I was skinny. I didn’t care. I don’t remember ever thinking about weight, mine or anyone else’s for that matter. I had friends of all shapes and sizes. And why wouldn’t I? We ate Reese Cups by the bag load and chugged Coke for fun. My daily lunch in Middle School and High School consisted of a bagel with butter. REAL butter. A bag of cheese puffs and a Little Debbie peanut butter bar. I am sure I drank milk, whole milk because bottled water wasn’t invented yet! Michelle Obama would be shaking her head for sure!

For your viewing pleasure…….a peek at my curve-less, skinny high school body. And please take a moment to appreciate the ‘natural’ Sun-In highlights.

Atlantic City, NJ

Apparently I wanted to look taller, hence the tippy toes!

My mom served us a balanced meal for dinner. Sliced bread was our staple side dish. I was ‘encouraged’ to clean my plate and was often left at the table alone staring at a pile of green veggies. Breakfast was a different story! Our cereal cupboard, yes, we had an entire cupboard dedicated to cereal, consisted of Honeycombs, Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms and Mini Wheats. Most mornings I had two bowls because choosing just one was too difficult. If my dad was home there was a large pile of bacon readily available, most likely fried in Crisco! We didn’t have a pantry, who did? Instead, our snacks lived in the lazy susan under the counter. We always had Fritos. The pretzel rods were stored on the counter in a cool old Mason jar and the Lays potato chips were kept in a Charles Chips tin. You simply grabbed a basket off the wall, yes, off the wall…….there were various sizes available, each hanging on their own nail, lined it with a paper napkin, filled it with your snacks and carried on. And when you needed something a little sweet you just opened the cookie jar (on the counter) and helped yourself! My mom still uses the same cookie jar and my kids think it is the coolest thing ever! It is never empty. Never! We always had Pepsi, lots of Pepsi. And when Kroger came out with Big K, well the Dortmund family expanded their flavor options! In college I survived on Raman Noodles, Taco Bell, Bud Light and Hot Pockets. Obviously I had a rocking metabolism, because my weight never changed.

I really had no idea how much I weighed until I got pregnant with Noah at age 31 and had the constant weigh-ins at the OB-GYN. I gained 20 pounds with Noah and actually weighed less after he was born, I thank breastfeeding for that little gift! Two years later I gained 24 pounds while preggo with Natalie. Once again, thanks to breastfeeding and chasing a 2 year old, I lost that weight quickly. Yay me! Enjoy these belly shots. So fun! Thank goodness I switched colors, because my belly looks identical in the two pictures. I guess that’s why EVERYONE told me I was definitely going to have another boy…..NOT! And don’t let Noah’s sweetness fool you, he was not a fan of my belly. It made it too difficult for him to snuggle me!

Belly Picture     Belly Picture

Flash forward seven and a half years….I wouldn’t be caught dead in a bikini, I strategically place a child in front of me for family pictures and worship the creator of Spanx! Have I loved my body lately? No. Have I obsessed over it? No. Have I done anything to change it? No. I am loved, surrounded by dear friends and healthy. Who cares if my jeans are a bit snug! Unfortunately, they are more than a ‘bit’ snug these days. I have back pain, which according to my doctor/husband would go away if my core was stronger….damn core and even though I rarely sit down and play as much tennis as I can I am out of shape. There, I said it. I. Am. Out. Of. Shape. And it took the honesty of a loved one for it to finally sink in. I’m ready. I don’t need the con-caved stomach of my teens or the bony little arms. I am not aspiring to fit into an XS. I want to stand beside my kids in family pictures, to ditch the ass-covering blardigans and MAYBE wear a tankini to the pool!

Christmas, 2014

Christmas, 2014….child in front of me, check. Blardigan, check. (The Spanx stayed home, it was Christmas!)

I am choosing healthy, not skinny. My goals are reachable. I can do this. Ready. Set. Go! #worthy

Stay tuned for how this all works out!

Live Creatively,

mamaSig

 

Families For A Cure’s Experience Grant

Posted On April 6, 2015| Leave a reply

By now you know that my favorite charity is Families For A Cure.

Families For A Cure

www.familiesforacure.org

You can check out my previous post; The “C” Word… to learn more about it.

A week before my son was to begin 4th grade we found out that his teacher was battling cancer.  The news was devastating. When Noah found out he had been assigned to Miss Deck’s class he actually shouted for joy and fist pumped the air. He was thrilled. He was certain that all of the rumors were true and that Miss Deck was going to be the greatest! His enthusiasm was contagious. A couple of days later I had to break the news to him that she was fighting for her life. My little boy’s heart sank. He knew all about cancer.

We prayed. A lot. I reached out to Miss Deck a few days before Open House. I just wanted her to know that we were excited to meet her and that she could count on us to pray for her and support her throughout her journey. We met her a few days later. When she realized who I was, she hugged me. The rumors were indeed true, she was the greatest!

That was in August. Within the first month of being back to school a group of parents rallied together and put on a fundraiser for Miss Deck. It was beyond amazing. The fundraiser, “All On Deck for Deck” raised over $5,000.00 in one evening. The money was given to Miss Deck to use for expenses as she traveled to Texas with the hope of being accepted into a trial to fight her very rare form of thyroid cancer. You can check out the Facebook page here.

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Noah & Miss Deck

Miss Deck traveled to Texas in early September and returned home without great news. She was not a candidate for the trial and three new cancerous nodes were found in her neck. I remember reading the news and literally freezing. I handed to phone to my husband and left the room to cry. How was I going to tell Noah? We all truly believed that God would answer our prayers by admitting Miss Deck to this study. Now what?

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Noah all “Decked Out” for Miss Deck’s first day back.

We had only known Miss Deck for about a month, but we were totally smitten. In less than 30 days she had restored Noah’s love of learning and solidified a place in his heart. We needed to do something for her. Jeremy and I chatted, it was all we could think about. We kept coming back to travel. Travel is a huge part of our lives so we began thinking of how we could “gift” Miss Deck a trip. We couldn’t. She is our son’s teacher and there is a $25 cap on gifts from students. Unless the trip we would gift her was a trip to the Dollar Store, well, we were out of luck!

Thank goodness for Families For A Cure. It only took a few conversations with our friends and a plan was in place. We (the Mathis family) would nominate Miss Deck for the Experience Grant. The Board of FFAC would vote, and fingers crossed she would be chosen.

The Experience Grant through Families For A Cure….. in a nutshell is awarded to a Cancer Warrior who is currently battling the disease. The recipient works with a representative of FFAC to plan their experience.

We nominated Miss Deck and she was chosen as the recipient of the very first Experience Grant! I was lucky enough to be one of the reps from FFAC to work with her to plan her experience. She chose a weekend in NYC….right up my alley! Her experience was planned in a few short weeks thanks to the help of many folks who hate cancer and wanted to give Miss Deck a weekend to remember forever.

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FFAC and Miss Deck

Click here to donate to Families For A Cure Experience Grant and make a difference in a cancer warrior’s life.

Miss Deck’s Experience will be detailed in a upcoming post. Stay tuned!

Live Creatively,

mamaSig

 

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