Capital Region CANstruction 2014

Last year, we took the boys to the Capital Region Canstruction display at the New York State Museum and they loved it. The event raises awareness of hunger in cities across the United States. The event in Albany is sponsored by companies in the area that “compete” with their structures around a theme. This year, the theme is Story Land and once the display period is over (April 24) all of the food items that made the works of art will be donated to feed people via the Food Pantries for the Capital District.

Capital Region Canstruction 2014

Like last year, we brought cans of food with us to vote. People that visit the 4th Floor Terrace Gallery will see all of the entries for this year and be able to vote with a can donation for their favorites. The boys take this very seriously and went around several times before they selected the one that was their favorite.

Once we entered the gallery, we were greeted with two familiar Disney friends.

Capital Region Canstruction - Toy Story

Yes, Buzz Lightyear and Woody were ready to go on an adventure in dining to help those in need. I have to say, I was in love with this one and just wanted to stay and explore more of this design. Of course, the boys caught some other canstructures and we were off to catch a train.

Capital Region Canstruction - I Think I Can

I Think I Can really captured the spirit of this Story Land favorite. The colors in the food items really made the Little Engine that Could come alive. From here we were off for some Pure Imagination.

Capital Region Canstruction - Pure Imagination

You could almost feel Willy Wonka’s presence and imagine Augustus Gloop reaching into the chocolate river of cans. Of course, we did not stay here long because Sam-I-Am was right across the way.

This display of Green Eggs and Spam made the first grader in the group fall in love. He adored seeing something familiar.

Capital Region Canstruction - Green Eggs and Spam

From here, we walked back to the other side of the Toy Story canstructure. This is where NHL and TechyDad fell head over heels (pun kind of intended) for the following creation.

Capital Region Canstruction - Alice in Wonderland

This beautiful piece of art really used a lot of items to make the three dimensions pop. I mean check out the bags of marshmallows for the petticoat on Alice’s dress. Yes, I am giving you permission to look up her skirt.

Next up was another familiar Dr. Seuss character. I do believe he shall not only be hearing the Who’s, but helping the hungry.

Capital Region Canstruction - Horton Helps the Hungry

The poem of sorts on this one really stole the show for creativity and using social media in the mix.

While continuing through Story Land, we bumped into more literary classics. Check out how James is climbing the Giant Peach with the caterpillar.

Capital Region Canstruction - James and the Giant Peach

Even a picture book favorite came swimming into town to say hello.

Capital Region Canstruction - The Rainbow Fish

The Rainbow Fish helped us along to the last stop. I do believe you may recognize this funny little fellow with his feet stuck in a jar of honey.

Capital Region Canstruction - Winnie the Pooh

Poor Winnie the Pooh got a bit caught up here, but it was for a very good cause. When we finished our first tour around, the boys went back to look at everything before they placed their cans into their vote for favorite canstruction design.

Which is your favorite from glancing at the photos? I would love to know if you have been to the Capital Region Canstruction event or one in another city. If you live in the Albany area, Capital Region Canstruction will be at the New York State Museum until April 24.

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Views from Passover 2014

Both of the Passover Seders are now over, so it’s time to share a few photos from the large family event at Aunt S and Uncle M’s house. It was gorgeous and the kids loved singing the Four Questions in Hebrew for everyone.

Passover 2014

Passover 2014 snow

More Passover memories to share at another time. Now I am off to spend Spring break with the boys while getting ready for JSL’s surgery in a few days.

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Passover 2014 Wishes

This evening we will be sitting down with our extended family for a Passover Seder. We will keep traditions alive and make sure that future generations know the story of the Jewish people from long ago. TechyDad has our house practically ready for the holiday. We both went to Kosher Open House at Price Chopper to check out some products that are now available. While there we stocked up on Passover food essentials.

Passover Shopping at Price Chopper

This year we are a little distracted at Passover, so we are very thankful to be going to relatives for the Seders. I leave you with two Passover songs. The first is from The Fountainheads and a tune that many of you will recognize.

The second video is a fun twist on Dayenu by Mama Doni who is a kid favorite in this house.

To all those celebrating with their families Chag Pesach Sameach.

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Music to Motivate #VZWBuzz

It’s hard to believe, but I have a really hard time with complete silence. As a child, I always did better with a radio or television on in the background while completing my homework. When I used to stay late in my classroom, I also had to have some background noise to help me concentrate on the task at hand. Now thanks to being a Verizon Lifestyle Blogger, my music listening habits have changed dramatically. While in NYC for a #VZWBuzz event we were gifted a BOSE SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker.

BOSE SoundLink Mini

Sure I had dreamed of BOSE speakers and knew family members that had some, but now I have my own. Let me tell you it has had quite the work out in this short amount of time. Not only have I been using it all the time, but the boys ask me to play music for them to dance to. They want to hear a music mix while they do homework or play with toys inside. Now that the weather is shifting, I can see bringing this portable powerhouse outside while the kids ride bikes and play.

Listening to music while I work is not new to me, but I had stopped for a while. I used to listen to Pandora and Spotify on my computer during the day. The problem was that my little USB speakers for the laptop made a horrible noise, so I had given up on music listening. It was just too annoying. Now, thanks to the combination of my Nokia Icon phone, MixRadio, and the BOSE Sound Link Mini Speakers, I can listen to a variety of music with amazing sound. As I sit here typing, I made my own MixRadio using Train, Billy Joel, and Barenaked Ladies. For those days when I am feeling my Disney Side, MixRadio has a magical Disney mix under the kids genre. More about MixRadio coming soon.

 Nokia Icon MixRadio and BOSE SoundLink Mini

I have also downloaded mixes to take with us. The boys and I plan on taking the BOSE SoundLink Mini and the Icon with us on roadtrips and more this summer. Thanks to the size and long battery life, It will help us to pass time in the car. Of course, there has also been a lot of the Frozen soundtrack playing because we are addicted.

No doubt the boys and I will have dance parties, sing ourselves silly, and get motivated to work thanks to the portable music powerhouse. What music is your favorite right now? Always looking to make new mixes to keep things interesting.

It's Me

Disclosure: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I receive devices like the Icon and BOSE SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker to test out and share ways that I use it in my life. My trip to NYC was paid for by Verizon Wireless. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.

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Telling a Child About Surgery

There are days that I wish parenting came with an instruction manual. Today is definitely one of those days. JSL, 6, is having surgery in just over a week and he does not know yet. Actually, neither of the boys know because there has been no real reason for them to potentially worry over the last month. The plan had been to tell him tonight because the pre-op appointment was tomorrow morning. Now, that is being moved due to an emergency with our doctor. No big deal, but I still think it is time to say something. JSL has no school next week and if he’s scared perhaps he will say something to his teacher tomorrow. She knows our plan and has been wonderful and supportive the entire time.

Still, how do you tell your child that they are having surgery?

Albany Medical Center - Teddy Bear Hospital

I know that JSL is not scared of doctors, hospital, and procedures. This is my child who begged to see Nana’s wound after her foot surgery last year. Unlike his big brother who covers his eyes when there is a cut finger, JSL wants to help out. The kid gets a kick out of medical things, but this is different. This is unlike anything else either of the boys has been through. The element of the unknown will be hanging over all of us during this time.

Teddy Bear Hospital Stations

A wise friend suggested just giving basics this evening. Simply telling JSL that he will be going to the doctor to have his nose and breathing fixed. Then, asking our doctor to explain more when we go for the pre-op appointment with her. If he wants to know more tonight, I can explain developmentally appropriate things. Of course, I probably will not have some answers. I can let him know that he will be eating a lot of ice cream and pudding. Passover will not be matzoh for him after Friday. Nana also suggested telling only him first and asking if he wants to tell NHL. This may be a really good idea.

Have you had to tell your child that they will be having surgery? I would love to know your experience with this as a parent, or perhaps when you heard you were having a procedure done as a child.

It's Me

FYI – The photos are from the Teddy Bear Hospital that was about a year ago at a local hospital. The purpose was to share items with the kids to make them less scared if they end up there for something one day.

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