And the blue one too! Cookie Monster was my favorite growing up on Sesame Street, where I learned to read by the age of 3. My Savannah is crazy about both of them.
Sesame Street Live presents 1-2-3 Imagine With Elmo & Friends at Mohegan Sun Arena for several shows starting Thursday, March 1st through Sunday, March 4th. Tickets are still available, and babies under age 1 don't need a ticket.
I know this because we brought Savannah last year at age 10 months. She wasn't even walking yet, I remember walking around the arena with her in a front-carrier. We took our seats and her Daddy had her in his lap as the show started. Once the music started playing and Elmo, Abby and the other muppets came out on stage, my baby started rocking out! I yelled at her father -- I thought he was bouncing her on his knee and she was going too fast, I thought she would fly off his lap. "It's not me, it's her!" He put her on my lap, and it was all I could do to hold on! The kid was banging her head like she was at a Motley Crue show back in the day! Big smile on her face.
I can't wait to bring her back this year. We're going Sunday, the last show at 4:30pm. She'll be just up from her nap and full of energy. I hope she doesn't rush the stage!
I will be introducing Elmo and all his Sesame friends at that 4:30pm Sunday show. I've been looking forward to it. it's so much fun hanging out backstage with the actors. Click here to hear my interview with Elmo & Cookie:
WANNA WIN A 4-PACK OF TICKETS??? Of course you do! Just text ELMO to 3-4-2-3-5 and we'll enter you into the drawing at noon on Thursday, March 1st. You can use the tickets that night if you want, or for any of the other shows through Sunday.
The giant ice slide inside the barn at Crystal Cabin Fever, Route 590 in Lakeville. This weekend is your last chance to go this year.
"Slide! Slide! Slide!" My almost-2-year-old Savannah chanted in the parking lot of Crystal Cabin Fever. She had known for days we were coming here, ever since I bought the half-price tickets from NEPA Perks on this website.
Actually, she can't say "slide" yet. The chant came out like "Die! Die! Die!" I was a little concerned, I'll be honest with you. But when we got inside and saw the slide and she took up the chant again I knew what she was saying, and felt a whole lot better.
Crystal Cabin Fever is a concept attraction that's only open for 3 weekends in February, inside a barn on the property of Sculpted Ice Works in Lakeville. It's on Route 590 about 10 miles east of Hamlin Corners in a land where the data on my Verizon Droid does not function. They also warn you'll get lost if you use your GPS, so follow the directions on their website http://www.crystalcabinfever.com
I was surprised by the sheer number of people who found Crystal Cabin Fever, with or without GPS. We parked on the grass on the side of 590, which was just as well because the crowded parking lot was solid mud. Savannah loved it because she got to jump worry-free in the puddles wearing her vinyl boots and snow pants. My friend who wore suede boots wasn't as joyous -- word to the wise!
Despite the crowds the lines moved quickly, and people were in a generally happy mood, so it wasn't bad at all. Regular price for admission is $10 for adults, $6 for kids with babies/toddlers under 3 getting in free. One free cup of hot cocoa is included in your price of admission, and it's good hot cocoa, not the cheap watery stuff! For an extra $5, your little one can ride the miniature ponies in the back and spend a little time in the petting zoo with the goats and bunnies.
The animal attractions are in the muddy yard behind the barn. There's also a food tent and picnic tables, a play area with hoola hoops, and some vendors selling jewelry and bongo drums (!) and a glass blower. There are wood carving demonstrations, too -- the artiste impressively weilding a chainsaw, transforming a tree stump into a bear or a deer. But inside is where it's really cool, literally...
Savannah & her Mommy high atop the ice elephant at Crystal Cabin Fever.
Inside the barn it's cool enough to preserve several impressive ice sculptures of African safari animals, including the elephant above. There was also a cheetah, a gorilla, lion, two giraffes, a quonset hut, and a jeep. Lots of things for kids to climb on, albeit carefully! There's of course the giant slide -- 2 of 'em actually, side by side, made the line move quickly. An artist in the corner carving more animals out of ice while you watch. And a WINE BAR... HELLO! Antler Ridge Winery will let you taste their several varieties for free in hopes you might buy a glass or even a bottle or 5 to take home. We found their Chardonnay and Reisling to be excellent!
All in all I'd say we had a good time at Crystal Cabin Fever and I would recommend it to friends with kids, especially young kids. I thought it would be bigger, and judging by the crowd they had last weekend, I think expansion might be in their future. It's definitely something apart from the ordinary family weekend routine!
Shemar, you are HOT! But I just can't take your show anymore. I'll miss you!
Something has happened to my TV-watching sensibilities since I became a Mom. I just can’t stomach the violence anymore. It’s not that I’m getting all PTA on ya, the images in some of today’s very popular and mainstream dramas that I used to love now disturb me on a very deep level. One recent episode of “Criminal Minds” I walked in on my hubby watching stuck in my mind for not days but WEEKS it was so horrific. I won’t go on to describe it here, but lets just say a very cute 8 year-old kidnap victim was nearly killed in a horrific way. Saved in time, thankfully, but my God I couldn’t get that out of my mind for a long, long time. I now just flat out refuse to watch that show. And I used to love it, solving the psychological mysteries of the criminal mind. And Shemar Moore is hot! So is Matthew Gray Gubler, in a nerdy sort of way.
Other shows I’ve scratched off my Mommy list:
I especially loved how they matched the music to the era of the murder – if it happened in 1981, you’d hear Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes” and other hits as they reenacted the scenes. And how all the suspects questioned would become their younger selves for a minute while getting the 3rd degree. And the ghost of the victim would come back smiling when the case was solved. But then they had an episode where a father threw his little girl off a bridge. That was it for me. Even when her ghost showed up at the end to hold hands with her twin sister (sniff!)
CSI: Miami, New York, Nanticoke, all of 'em. Some of the murders are just too grizzly, especially that one they showed IN PROGRESS last time I watched it.
Law & Order: SVU. They specialize in bad stuff happening to kids. Forget it. And finally…
CNN. I really didn’t need the 24-hour coverage of the guy who blew up his family in the house. I was just tuning in to see if Romney beat Newt.
On the flip side, I’ve been watching a lot of Teen Mom. A good hair-pulling trailer fight is about as much violence as I can take right now!
“Hey Kel,” my husband said, sitting up in bed, smartphone in hand. “Whitney Houston died.” “What? My God, she wasn’t that old!” “48.” Damn. My first thought (and I’m not proud of this) was that crack really was whack. But then I thought, wow, even if she’d been clean for years, 2 decades of substance abuse probably weakened her heart, enough to kill her on the eve of the Grammy Awards. And that’s what really makes this so sad.
I wasn’t a big fan of Whitney, except for “The Bodyguard” stuff in the early ‘90s, and those two dance remixes around 2000 (“Heartbreak Hotel” and “It’s Not Right But It’s OK”) I found most of her other music kind of schlocky. She was the ballad queen of the ‘80s, the staple of easy listening radio. Working as a newbie DJ through high school I was forced to play too many of them, too often. But there was a reason you couldn’t spell Whitney without “h-i-t” back then. She was supremely talented. And her music meant a lot to many.
I was thinking back today about a little girl I knew back then. I can’t even remember her name, she was a kid one of my friends used to babysit after school. Some days I’d go with her to this girl’s house, and we’d always end up in her bedroom playing Whitney’s second album, the one with the blue cover. And this 8-year-old kid would just BELT out “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “So Emotional” at the top of her little lungs. My friend and I would be her back up singers, and she would just go crazy, putting her whole being into the songs.
That little girl is in her 30s today. I’ll bet she cried yesterday when she heard the news.
Time to Blog again, now that I’ve rejoined the human race. I have been deathly ill since the evening of January 26th. Yes you’ve heard me on the radio through most of that time, with the exception of the one day off I took Friday the 27th because I couldn’t wake up from my fever dream in time to get to the station by 9am. I enhanced my sickness experience that day by camping out on the couch under blankets and cats, watching a marathon of “House” on USA. Truth is, I’ve been a radio DJ so long that I literally can do a show in my sleep, or under the influence of various over-the-counter drugs. And after Geisinger Urgent Care confirmed I had nothing deadly or contagious, I dragged my sorry self back into work Monday because my boss was out sick. Being second in command, I worried disaster would strike if we were both out. Walker might decide to throw on an hour of ‘80s hair bands at 3pm, or something! But just because I was here doesn’t mean I was all that functional. It takes 7 to 10 days for the common cold virus to work its way through your system. But who can take 10 days off and rest? And have you noticed that no one who doesn’t have one takes a cold seriously? This is my least favorite time of year, for that reason. It took the whole 10 days to get over it, but I’m about 98.5% back.
And of course every Mommy reading this knows there are NO sick days away from taking care of that little one!
This chart is QUITE accurate! Especially the Muppet Appreciation cortex favoring Elmo. BTW all this week (2/13-17) I’m giving away tickets to Sesame Street Live Presents 123 Imagine with Elmo and Friends at Mohegan Sun Arena March 1-4. You’re listening for Savannah to call out for Elmo as your cue to call in. You’ll know it when you hear it, a cute little voice asking for “mah-moe?”
Which brings me to my next random thought – I am desperately seeking fun things to do with a young toddler on the weekends! A lot of activities for kids around here seem to start at age 4 and up. Please comment on this blog if you have any suggestions!
One thing we’re going to check out next weekend is Crystal Cabin Fever at Sculpted Ice Works, Route 590 in Lakeville. It looks pretty cool – pardon the pun – African safari animals, cheetahs and the like all carved out of ice. And a gigantic ice slide we can all go down as a family, she’ll love that! We’re going with another family and their 5-year-old. I’ll let you know how it went. http://crystalcabinfever.com/
I was working on a blog right before I got sick, about the passing of Joe Paterno. This is as far as I got: In the late ‘90s, before we were married, my husband Steve worked installing the interactive kiosks in the Centre County Visitors Bureau, just outside of University Park. He recalls the time Joe Paterno breezed in to check out the then-brand new state-of-the-art center. A very personable old man, given the sort of awed respect usually reserved for a Presidential visit. One of Steve’s coworkers leaned over and whispered, “if he ever stops coaching football he’s dead.”
I’ll just give you the gist of where I was going with this. I felt very sad when I heard Joe had died, losing his battle with cancer in the midst of the scandal after having lost the job that defined his life. Regardless of what he did, or did not do, in reporting that alleged child rape to the proper authorities, I feel in my heart of hearts that Joe was a good man. He may have to answer to God for what went on (and face it only he and God know what really happened) but I believe they’ll let Joe in the pearly gates. I am sad because I feel he died a very sad man, regretful of his own inaction. May he rest in peace. And may these boys find peace and justice as this case moves forward.
On now to lighter fare...Valentine's Day.
How are you celebrating? I told my husband as yet another ad for flower delivery assaulted us on TV – don’t get me any silly flowers or gifts. It’s kind of silly since the money to buy this crap comes out of our family budget anyway! I told him let’s just be home for each other Tuesday night. We’ll finish up work at work. He’ll pick up Savannah at day care and feed her spaghetti and meatballs for supper while I finish up at KRZ, I’ll be home in time for her bedtime routine. Then after she goes down, around 7:30, I’ll cook us a wonderful supper while sipping Cupcake, my favorite brand of chardonnay. He’ll rub my shoulders while I sautee the shrimp, then he’ll refill my glass as I fill our plates. We’ll have a nice dinner, sans baby, and curl up under blankets and cats with one of the box sets we got for Christmas, Alfred Hitchcock or W.C. Fields. With any luck the cats will end up jumping off the couch by the end of the night!
My one-year-old daughter Savannah (aka “Savvy” or “DJ Savvy”) has learned how to search YouTube. They say the kids who grow up on all this technology will take to it as easy as their parents took to Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo. I used to get such a charge out of that motivating music that played when Mario touched the star and started glowing, able to smash through anything and collect all those coins!
Back to my point. My young toddler has maybe six words in her vocabulary -- Mommy, Daddy, cat, puppy, up & Toot Toot (the name she gave the toy train she got for Christmas.) OK more than six, she also says “out,” “fishies” (the goldfish crackers, her favorite snack) and “nana” which can either be a banana or her grandmother. We were on our way to see Nana at Christmastime when she got fussy in the car seat. So I whipped out my Droid smartphone to entertain her with some videos. She wouldn’t stop whining until I gave her the phone – I figure I have the insurance, if she destroys it it’s no big deal. I must have left the YouTube app open and she searched and found the Gummy Bear. My baby can’t talk in complete sentences yet but she can search YouTube!
The Gummy Bear is pretty cool. Some German animator obviously had fun with this, along with some fun with AutoTune! Apparently it’s been an internet phenomenon for awhile – Nana even knew about it. But just in case you’re not hip to the Gummy Bear, you can click on it here:
The song is pretty catchy. I could hear it on KRZ next to Kesha and T-Pain easily! It’s in heavy rotation in my car. Whenever DJ Savvy gets cranky in the car seat I plug my Droid into my iPod adapter and play Gummy Bear through my system. I can see her bobbing her little blonde head in my rear view mirror!
Do you have little ones? How do YOU keep ‘em quiet in the car? Feel free to comment here, I need all the help I can get as I’m still pretty new at this!
Kevin Spacey in Horrible Bosses -- great movie! My boss is much cooler than this guy.
My boss is big on New Year’s Resolutions. And every year I can count on one of them having to do with whipping me into shape! The week between Christmas and New Year’s I prepare my inbox for the onslaught of e-mails beginning January 2nd. Memos, mandates, “Action Required,” all with that red exclamation point in the header indicating URGENT, the cc to the higher bosses above him. Boss man is taking no prisoners. Better hop to it, if I like my job!
I do like my job. In fact, I love it! But just like big fat Aunt Bertha, there’s a whole lot of it to love.
Technically, I have 3 jobs. My title has not one but two slashes in it: Assistant Program Director/Music Director/Midday Air Personality. And I fought hard for every one of those titles! I just don’t think anyone, not even my boss, realizes what that means to me on an average workday. What am I talking about, I’ve NEVER HAD an average workday!
I won’t bore you to tears with the details of what I do behind the scenes here at KRZ, but suffice it to say I haven’t had a lot of time to blog. This troubled me enough to bring it up with my boss once. Do you know what he told me? “Maybe you just need to do it from home.” Really??? That might be possible if my 1-year-old daughter wasn’t so possessive about where Mommy spends her attention. Just last weekend I was on the phone wishing my mother a Happy New Year when Savannah lobbed a rather weighty plastic toy monkey upside my noggin!
“So do it when she goes to bed!” I hear your perfectly reasonable solution. Problem is, that’s the time I indulge lazily in luxurious hobbies such as eating, bathing, cleaning my toddler-destroyed house, or passing out from exhaustion.
But my boss doesn’t want to hear excuses. Not in the New Year! His outrage justifiably screams from my inbox, “We have people going to our websites, clicking on your blog posts and they see something 6 months old. That’s a joke… I am not trying to be preachy, but these are content areas on out sites that need to be met…Please put it in your task list…”
To be fair, my last blog post was a little more than TWO months ago!
But The Man has laid down the law. Blog or Die. And so I will blog with the only time I have to myself all day -- in the studio, on the air, while the music is playing. And I will blog about whatever comes to my warped little mind. Short of giving away trade secrets or libelous character assassinations, there will be no holds barred.
The more time passes, the more appreciation I get for the boybands of the late '90s and their innovative music videos.Â
I especially have respect for a group who, after having only one big hit in the US, put up their own money to have a video made because their record company wouldn't approve the big budget.Â It would have been a shame if this video had never been made, because it's gorgeous!Â The costumes, the make-up, the set, the choreography are all stunning.Â And unlike Michael Jackson's Halloween classic "Thriller,"Â it had NOTHING to do with the lyrics of the song!Â Absolutely brilliant!Â I take back everything I ever said about these guys when I was trying to act too cool to like them back in the day.