Introducting Flash

Saturday, June 27, 2009 2 comments
...also known as Ku*jo. I just love this photo of him nibbling on Matt's ear.

We rushed back from the shore today to go to the Gordon Setter breeder's home to see the puppies. Suzanne, the breeder, and I first spoke at the beginning of the year. We were the first to tell her that we wanted one of the puppies from her litter and she allowed us first pick of the males puppies. She reserved one for herself, "Jimmy", but we got to choose from the three other males. Matt picked from the three since the dog is/was his birthday present. He chose the puppy they call "Jasper" and is now called Flash. We get Flash for real on Monday, July 6, but we came to pick him out today so the others getting puppies can know which ones they have to choose from.

We have another action packed week this week. On Monday, we get to find out who Chloe's kindergarten teacher will be and which friends she will have in class. We also have Matt's brother and wife and our two neices and nephew coming to spend the week and the 4th of July!

Camping at the Shore

Chloe on the beach at Long Beach Island in NJ. It was cold this day at the beach and we didn't get to enjoy it like we had hoped.

Celebrating the start of summer, Chloe and I spent a week camping just north of Atlan*tic City near the Jersey *shore. Since we began the adoption for Oliver, we canceled plans to attend our annual Outer Ba*nks trip with friends. Chloe wasn't happy about this so we decided that I would take her nearby for a week at the shore.

Matt came down with us on Saturday, June 20 and returned home by train through Philadelp*hia on Sunday. Chloe and I stayed on until today. We had a great time and we only got two days in at the beach thanks to the monsoon summer we are having on the east Coast.
On Tuesday, I took Chloe to Storybook* Land in a nearby city. It is an amusement park geared for kids ages 2-7 years old. I thought it would be a good introduction to amusement park rides for Chloe. Little did I know that all children's rides for that age require some sort of spinning. Chloe loved the rides and insisted on riding them all 3-4 times each. I thought I was going to spew! After our day at the amusement park we went into Atl*antic City and walked the boardwalk and ate at the Rain*forest Cafe. Chloe loved the tropical rainforest storms.

Chloe's absolute favorite, the Old Tymers cars. She wanted to drive them herself and didn't want me to come along. Of course, this would be the only ride that didn't spin and that she didn't want me on with her!

Later in the week, on a rainy day, I took Chloe through the drive-through safari at Six Fla*gs. I had a great time. Chloe seemed to become bored towards the end of the drive and had a "seen one seen them all" mentality. I let her take photos with the camera so she wouldn't keep asking when it was going to be over. I, on the other hand, thought it was awesome how close you could get to all the animals.

At the end of the week, Matt came down on Friday and the sun came out! Yea! We headed back to Long Bea*ch Island to enjoy the sand and surf. It was a great way to end our week at the shore.

Some trip side notes: While we were gone, the first Son*ic in northern NJ opened. I've said for the past 3 years that a Son*ic should open in northern NJ, I've even blogged about it. While we were at the shore camping, the traffic report on the south Jersey radio station discussed how there were 2-3 mile long back ups on the highways intersecting the opening of the Son*ic in northern NJ because people were lined up in their cars to try it. If I had only bought the franchise!
During most of the week, our campground was deserted. There were only 3-4 other campers in the middle of the week. On Thursday, the campground began to fill again and we had some "seasonal" campers next door to us with their 5 and 3 year olds. They looked sweet enough. Little did I know that the parents just let them run wild over the campground with no supervision. Chloe made friends with them and wanted to play with them every waking moment. The kids had no supervision and would just walk into our RV and start opening the cabinets. They were unbelievable and Matt and I couldn't wait to escape them on Saturday even though Chloe wasn't too happy about it.

Graduation Party

Friday, June 19, 2009 No comments
Chloe's preschool class celebrated their graduation to kindergarten with a pool party at one of her classmates homes. The kids had a great time swimming and playing and it was a great way to end the year. Best of all, the rain held off!

Camping Excursion

Thursday, June 18, 2009 2 comments

When Chloe and I visited my parents back in April, we decided when my mom and sister came out to camp in Am*ish Country in Pennsylvania. Its beautiful, convenient to a lot of sites and would be a good camping location. It was my mother and sister's first time in an RV so I wanted them to have a nice experience at a nice campground. I was familiar with the area and new a good location to camp.
Chloe loves camping and as long as they have a swimming pool, she is fine with anywhere.

We set out on Sunday after Chloe's Sunday School performance at church. I drove the RV and Matt rode behind on his motorcycle. Matt had to return to work during the week and rode down with us because I cannot back up the RV to save my life. Deanna wanted to get in a 80-100 mile bike ride and had plotted a route from NJ to Delaware that wasn't on busy streets that she could bike on. About an hour and a half into our trip we dropped her and her bicycle off at her starting point and away she peddled.

During this "drop off" we lost the whereabouts of Matt on his motorcycle. We spent the better part of the afternoon making cell phone calls and waiting in a Wally World parking lot to meet up. In the end, we got set back a couple of hours on our journey and Matt got a speeding ticket on his motorbike by a PA patrolman who thought he had caught a younger man on a faster bike!

We finally made it to the campground after quite an expedition. Deanna had not made it to the site yet, so we set up camp and Matt rode his motorcycle back home to NJ. Around dinner time, when our camp cook had not shown up (aka Deanna), we placed a couple of phone calls to locate her and found out she was still some 30 miles away. Starving, we took it upon ourselves to load into the car and find her on the GPS.

We finally found Deanna, got something to eat and were set to camp in Pennsylvania. We toured Am*ish country, went to the outlets and to Hershe*y. It was a great camping trip and Chloe even got to squeeze in a swim. Best of all, we missed the rainstorms in northern NJ.

The Party

We celebrated Chloe's 5th birthday with a party at a local gym that had a rock climbing wall. Chloe had been rock climbing last summer when we went to the Catskills and she enjoyed it. So, at her request, we decided to invite her friends to try their skills on the rock climbing wall.

Some kids didn't even want to attempt the wall, which was fine, and others showed no fear in climbing the structure. It was a great party and really zapped the kids of their energy, including me.

Happy 5th Birthday Chloe!

Sunday, June 14, 2009 2 comments

Today is Chloe's 5th Birthday. We had her rock climbing birthday party yesterday (more on that to come) and we are going camping in Pennsylvania with BeBe and Aunt Deanna for a few days (more on that too).

Happy Birthday Chloe!

Kindergarten Here She Comes!

Thursday, June 11, 2009 3 comments
Today was pre-school graduation. I'm not going to inflict the cuteness that was pre-school graduation on everyone in the world wide web, just this little tidbit. I hope Chloe doesn't have the same mortar board fate at her high school and college graduations....

Cuppa Tea Love

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 No comments
I love the weather this time of year, when it's not raining, and lately it's been raining--all but 4 days so far in June. But it seems every minute of every day is booked. Chloe has her 5th birthday party this weekend and I am trying to get it all organized. Getting Chloe to commit to a cake or any presents she may want has been difficult. She finally said she wanted a tie-dyed cake and we got that ordered. Other than a trip to the beach in Mexico, she has made no other present requests...and I don't think that we can squeeze that request in right now.

Tuesday was my last day to coop at Chloe's preschool. I brought in every kids favorite, Dunki*n Donu*ts and we celebrated Chloe's birthday after the kids spent 2 hours practicing for their graduation. Chloe will graduate preschool this Thursday and it appears to be developing into quite an event. Since it is a parent-run school, that means that all the mom's of the graduates have been assigned tasks to perform for this Thursday's event. Several moms spent the morning working on props for graduation. I had to pay $40 for the graduation presents for the kids and was assigned to buy 8 bouquets of flowers for the paid staff. I am sure that all the costs and work will be well worth it on the day.

Chloe's first teacher at the coop invited her for ice cream today. She was Chloe's 2's preschool teacher and Chloe loves and adores her. She is the nicest lady and I am certain that Chloe will never forget her. Even now, Chloe still goes into her classroom to visit her and never a day goes by at preschool without Chloe popping in to say hello to Mrs. Emmett. So, after preschool let out today, Chloe and her best friend went to meet Mrs. E at the ice cream shop. I was driving them and listening to the conversation. Gianna, Chloe's best friend was telling some story about her parents and said that her father calls her mother "sweetheart". Chloe interrupted to share, "My Dad calls my mom, 'Cuppa Tea Love'." She even said it with an English accent. I nearly wrecked the car laughing so hard. Needless to say, after telling this story to Matt, I am no longer, "Pookie" but "Cuppa". This is priceless.

Besides graduating from preschool, Chloe has begun to read. Quite randomly she went and got some of the B*ob books that have been sitting on the book shelf and wanted to read them to me. She sat in my lap, opened one and read! She had never looked at the book before. We haven't pushed her to read and I don't want to push her now but since last week she has brought me a book daily so she can practice "reading". I have been very impressed with the words she can read and find it a little humorous that there is one word that hangs her up everytime--the word "the". I am certain that once she keeps seeing "the" she will just know it, but it does make me chuckle a little when she points to it and says, "what's that word again"?

Kindergarten Orientation

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 2 comments
Chloe begins kindergarten in September. Our school district has the incoming kindergartners come to an orientation in May/June. Today, Chloe's elementary school held its kindergarten orientation. The children come to the school at pre-set times in groups of 10 kids. They are escorted in to one of the kindergarten classroom's, make nametags, meet the two kindergarten teachers, color a picture and then have story time. The parent's go on a tour of the school with the principal.

Chloe was very nervous going into the school, especially when she saw all the bigger kids. She asked me, "This is my school? These kids are too big!". I reassured her that it was her elementary school and explained that she would be going to a bigger school with kids 5 years to 12 years old. She got very quiet and held my hand tightly.

I walked her to the kindergarten rooms and there, coming out of their orientation was Chloe's pals, triplets and two other friends from pre-school. Chloe came out of her shell for a few minutes until she realized that her pals were leaving. I walked her into the kindergarten classroom and she squeezed my hand tighter. One of the teacher's approached her and asked her name to which Chloe replied in the most faint voice I have ever heard. She then spelled it for the teacher in the same quiet voice, all the while holding my hand. I didn't want to leave her and thought I might break out in tears.

I think the principal, who witnessed all of this thought I might snatch Chloe and make a run for it. She touched my arm and said, "Lets go on a tour mom!". I was swept up and taken on the tour with a few other parents.

The entire process took about 15 minutes total. When we returned to the classroom, Chloe ran to me and said, "Lets leave here and go to the playground!" I am glad she set the tone that she is a real academic! Unfortunately we couldn't visit the school playground as a class was at recess when we left.

I walked Chloe outside and asked her what she thought about kindergarten. "I'm not used to it yet," she said. I assured her she would get used to it. I then asked her if she liked the teachers and Chloe said, "only one of them I liked". It was the teacher who asked her name and made her nametag. I told her I am sure she will like both teachers and that she will get used to them.

I can't believe she is starting kindergarten. As my friend and neighbor told me today, I better wear dark sunglasses on the first day of school. I am going to need them.