Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend--Eaten Alive

Just a few weeks ago we decided to go camping on Memorial Day. It was hard to find a campsite that had availability and maybe that should have been our first clue that we should have just gone out on the boat instead.

I did manage to find a campsite and it wasn't too far away from Sara*toga Springs, NY, a very nice town with lots to see and do. It was also near a lake that Matt and I had wanted to check out. We had found out that there was a private, RV resort on the lake and we had put ourselves on the wait list for next year. We thought this was a good idea since we could leave the RV at the resort and bring the boat up on weekends.

At first everything seemed to be going well. We pulled into the RV campground in early evening and were surprised at how nice the campground seemed to be. We were given our campsite location and a map. We weren't too far from the main entrance to the campground so it was easy to find, we were told. Seems whoever drew the map of the campground put our assigned campground at the wrong end of the map. We had to get out of the car and walk up the driveway to search for the site. Fifteen minutes later we found it. It was uneven and too small for our 30 ft. RV. Matt went to the office to speak to someone. It was at this time that I took note of the insects flying around. At first I thought they were gnats, but I quickly realized they were mosquitos. Chloe, wanting to know what the problem was, opened the car door, letting in 100s of mosquitos, and the screaming began. There was no escape. I unlocked the RV, grabbed a bottle of bug spray and hosed everyone down, including the dogs and the inside of the car.

In the meantime, Matt had spoken to the campground manager and got us a new assignment. Unfortunately, someone was camped there and they were moving to a site. We had to wait for them to pack up and move. It took them over an hour to pack and move campsites as a fuse blew in their RV. It seemed to take an eternity. We finally rolled into our campsite about two and a half hours after we arrived.



The next morning we arose to discover Chloe was covered in mosquito bites and her left eye was swollen. Matt's legs were covered in bites. Oliver and I seemed to fair better.

Chloe has terrible reactions to mosquito bites. You can see her swollen left eye after a bite just below.
We didn't accomplish much Saturday, we let Chloe ride her bike and we scratched our bites. We were miserable but determined to stick it out and enjoy our family time together. But, by Sunday morning enough was enough. We woke to more bites despite our spraying and campfire to ward off the pests. We packed up and went home to the local pool and made lemonade from the lemon of a weekend.
MMMMMM....ice cream at the pool (and no bugs)!
Riding her bike at the campgrounds...getting eaten alive!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why Spit?

Olie has gotten lots of compliments on the new 'do. Everyone tells us it makes him look like a big boy *sniff*.

He may look like a big boy, but lately Oliver is "full of beans". We had to leave Gym*bo*ree early today because he kept hurling balls at everyone (without their consent) and attempting to do a running leap off of the slide, head first. He was wired for sound and after some unsuccessful attempt to temper his "enthusiasm" I had to just head home.

Besides the general wild-man episodes we often see, Oliver is developing new behaviors. Like spitting. I cannot figure out where he learned this behavior. I certainly don't spit and neither does Matt and I don't recall Chloe spitting. Oliver will be playing happily when suddenly he stops and spits! Yuck! He doesn't have anything in his mouth. I can't figure it out. My only recollection is that he ate a heaping helping of dirt from the garden recently and didn't like it too much and spat it out. Since then, he spits!

Oliver's other new behavior is to question everything. "WHY?" he often asks.

I managed to capture these two new behaviors on video while I was attempting to record Oliver counting, another new behavior. Oliver doesn't perform on cue and chose to show off his spitting (he does actually spit something out in this video and YES, I know I shouldn't have laughed) and questioning authority skills. Oh, and that's yogurt all over his face.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Haircut

I did it. A month before I said I would. I had Oliver's hair cut. It was getting unruly and Matt said it was looking "very mad scientist". On Friday, I took Oliver to my hairdresser and she did a little cleanup. He went from baby to little boy and I got teary-eyed.

Overall he did very well. Big sister loves getting her hair cut and she went first---three inches off, we didn't touch the bangs as they are almost there.


The Before.

The After. Lina always styles Chloe's hair so nicely!


 Oliver did let out a few shrieks when it was his turn. But he settled in when he sat in my lap and was given a lollipop (his first ever). He loved that!

The Before. He's a little unsure as to what is going on and as to who all these strange women are.

During. The lollipop helps a lot!
The After. Handsome little man! Not to be outdone by his big sister, Lina added some green hair paint to spice things up (it washes out)!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Insta-Friday

Rain, rain go away...we want to go outside and play. Rain, humidity and dreariness all week. Yuck! That means we have spent 98% of our week indoors and being indoors just doesn't cut it for the little man. He's a giant ball of energy and he needs to be outdoors to release some energy.  He never has paid attention to the TV, but by chance Ti*Vo tuned into Yo Ga*bba Ga*bba and what do you know? Oliver actually sat still for the entire show! Whoa!


He finally sleeps! Naps have been non-existent this week. Oliver hasn't wanted to nap...that is until 10 minutes before we have to leave the house to pick up Chloe from school. Seriously?
It was rainy and cool on Sunday so I whipped up a double batch of Shepherd's Pie (one for dinner that evening and one for the freezer). I've been dieting and wasn't planning on partaking in the pie. Knowing this I added a little more butter and some cheese to the top of the mashed potatoes. Enjoy family!


And, continuing with my diet theme of making really fatty foods that I know I won't eat because I can't have them...I bought an ice cream maker this week. Chloe was a little disappointed to learn that we had to freeze the bowl before actually making the ice cream. I went to the store, spent $60 on ingredients only to find out that what Chloe wants to make is not what I bought. Back to the store again....

Chloe's school celebrated Teacher Appreciation this week. As class mom I was in charge of organizing the gifts so I had to get my crafty on with help from Chloe. We bought a gerbera daisy and used cardstock to craft a pinwheel.
 And then we gathered notes and drawings from all the students in class and put them in a crafty book. I was so proud of myself for tuning into my inner craftiness!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NO, She's NOT Colorblind and YES, I Have Discussed "Mixing" Patterns With Her BUT...

There was a time I had a well-dressed child. There was a time when I spent WAY too much money on clothes for that well-dressed child. As you can see, it has all come to an end.

My child now expresses her opinion and favors certain styles of clothes over others. I have to admit that for a while this REALLY bothered me and we butted heads A LOT. I realized that my tastes are NOT her tastes. She is an individual.

Now, with that said...what in the world is this outfit?!? I didn't say anything, I only snapped a photo with my phone as we were leaving the house (yes, she went to dinner in this outfit). This outfit represents Chloe's style and favorites. And, a few months ago I would have probably had a meltdown that she was even attempting to put this combination together, much less leave the house in it. Now, I'm not sweating it. In the grand scheme of things, does it matter? She likes it.

The Ensemble:

On her feet she's wearing her Heel*ys (you know the shoes with the wheel in the back). They're big a clunky looking and make her feet look enormous. She begged and begged for these shoes. I bought them on sale. She wore them with the wheel for 15 seconds before she removed it and never put them in again. That was about 7 months ago. She wears these shoes almost daily.

She's wearing one of her favorite pants, pink camouflage cargo pants. She's worn a hole in one of the knees. She proudly showed me that hole and told me it makes them looker better.

Her shirt is her orange Hawaiian shirt we got on the Big Island in February. It makes an appearance nearly every week (unless I hide it at the bottom of the dirty clothes---I have caught her digging in the dirty clothes in an attempt to find and wear it).

She's also wearing her purple and navy hoodie from one of my favorite children's brands (it washes well and lasts forever). This is probably one of the few "favorites" that we can both agree on.

The hair. She wants to grow her bangs out. I agreed. I clip her bangs out of her face EVERY MORNING. By lunchtime Chloe has declared the bobby pin or barrette has come out (yes, thanks to her pulling it out) and it looks like it does in the photo. This her father and I can't abide. It drives us both crazy. Its like talking to an Old English Sheepdog. We have an appointment this week with our hairstylist to get it sorted. The latest deal is that she has to wear it clipped out of her face ALL DAY or the bangs get cut. So far, so good.

Friday, May 13, 2011

InstaFriday

GRRRRR...I had this all loaded and when I hit "publish" Blogger deleted it instead. Must be Friday the 13th. This is my first participation in Insta-Friday. I think it is a great idea that gives a glimpse into our everyday. I don't carry my big Nikon around but I always have my iPhone handy to capture the everyday and mundane! So here goes....

My week started out with this package sent back from USCIS. I FINALLY got around to sending in all the documents for Oliver's Citizenship Certificate last week. All of this stuff has been sitting in the office at home for several months and after a conversation with the Social Security Administration that they wouldn't accept Oliver as a citizen of the U.S. without this piece of paper (a NJ birth certificate isn't good enough) I got on the ball and mailed it in. But, it got sent back. Seems I had printed an old form from before the fee increased. I sent in $420 and should have sent in $550----for a piece of paper (an important piece of paper, I know, but c'mon). It's all been taken care of and hopefully the next piece of mail I get from the USCIS will have Oliver's Citizenship Certificate in it.



We got the boat out of storage from our friend Paul's farm. It was winterized---that explains the blue tarp. The boat now sits in our driveway, much to our neighbors, our landscaper and the garbage men's displeasure. Chloe has been pestering me all week to go out on the boat. I tried to explain to her that it may be warm enough to wear shorts (between the hours of 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., other times its too cool) but its NOT warm enough to go swimming in a lake.


Chloe had her bridging ceremony this week. She moved from Daisies to Brownies. Her troop held the ceremony in her school's environmental center and they crossed the bridge to get their Brownie sash. Chloe was SO PROUD of her sash that she wore it to her orthodontist appointment (yes, my child is 6 and is already at the orthodontist--a post for another day). Chloe asked me to tell her about my bridging ceremony to Brownies. I had to explain that we started in Brownies and Daisies didn't exist when I was a little girl.


I came home from the nursery to find this enormous box in front of our house. It seems Chloe told BeBe that she likes to play basketball (news to me) and what Chloe wants, BeBe gets. The box is so huge & heavy that I can't dispose of it hide it easily. Chloe already saw it when she came home from school where I "hid" it on the side of the house. Looks like we will be putting up a regulation basketball goal for Chloe's birthday. Thanks BeBe!
The weather this week has been nice---mid-70s---and I've gotten to do some gardening.

Our vegetable garden is coming along.


I have been nursing our one watermelon seedling along. Chloe loves yellow watermelon, which is not something you find very easily in the produce section of your store or at a farmstand for that matter. So, Chloe demanded we grow our own. The northeast isn't really known for its watermelons for a reason. I hope this works!

We fenced off the play area and the garden from the dogs. It always seemed that our kid's shoes could find the one remaining, hidden dog poo that we missed picking up. Now, half the yard is dog poo free and the shoes thank us.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Our Special Day

Mother’s Day is not only special because it celebrates motherhood but it also celebrates the day that I actually became a mother for the first time. Yes, 6 years ago on this day, China gave me the gift of a daughter.

Guangzhou, China--May 8, 2005


Chloe gave me a special gift for Mother’s Day—a book she created at school. It’s the sweetest thing ever.



Chloe's Mother's Day Present to me--2011


Monday, May 02, 2011

What's Wrong With This Picture?




Is it possible for kids to ever use something for its intended purpose? Chloe insisted on using the baby swing and Oliver insisted on using the regular swing! And, to show just how petite Chloe is, they BOTH fit into the baby swing comfortably!





And finally, it's just another work day for Oliver on the play set.


   

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Playset Raising

It was a lovely weekend. The weather was great and it was the perfect setting for assembling the kids birthday present---a playset. We had 5 large boxes totalling some 900+ lbs. delivered and waiting for assembly. We had looked at play sets at many different vendors and on-line and decided to go the DIY route as it saved us nearly $700! It turned out to be relatively easy and well worth the savings! 

Matt and I started organizing and assembling on Saturday and then Sunday we had help from our friends, Bryan & Sue, and as always, our chief supervisor, Chloe,  was on hand to assist as she saw fit.



Unpacked and ready to be assembled.

Matt, screwing in the floor boards of the play deck.


Taking over from Dad and finishing the floor boards of the play deck.

Oliver, unpacking the screws, spreading them all over the lawn and using them to decorate the bird bath!

Sunday--Reinforcements arrive to help finish the assembly!

Oliver, watching his Godfather, Bryan, finish the rope ladder.

Chloe testing out the slide.

Not too far behind, Oliver gives it a go.

Chloe perfoming quality control on the monkey bars.
It turns out that we had one wrong piece in our shipment and we will have to have the correct part shipped out. It doesn't prevent us from using the playset, only from putting the canopy up on the play deck.

Here's to many years of play (of course, now that it is up, its supposed to rain all this week!)....
 
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