I Think She's Tired

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 No comments
On our way to dinner. Looks like it's take out and not dine in. Guess she is tired after vacation and all the guests are over.

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Back to School Shopping

The family has cleared out, summer is coming to a close and its time to start thinking about returning to school. Chloe starts school next Tuesday and we decided that Oliver needs some socialization with other two-year-olds and he will start a two-day a week program on Friday of next week.

I once loved shopping for clothes with Chloe, but I've admitted before and will again, its not fun---what I would like Chloe to wear and what Chloe wants to wear are polar opposites. Chloe doesn't like dresses, except on the first day of school and Sundays. She likes high top basketball shoes as her everyday shoe and either jeans or elastic-band shorts. Tights and leggings are a NO-NO. Its her style. That's fine, I just miss my toddler who wore whatever I put on her without protest.

With that said, we had to take inventory and see what Chloe needed for the school year. That meant going through her over-stuffed drawers and her closet full of clothes. Deanna was still in town and she helped me go through Chloe's drawers and remove clothing that didn't fit or that Chloe just wouldn't ever wear---yeah, she had a LOT of that. Chloe will tell you she likes something just so you will buy her something and then she NEVER wears it. Examples would be skirts and sundresses. So, we made her help us which really seemed to bore her--ha! ha! Deanna also had to hold a plaid intervention with Chloe. Did I mention Chloe likes plaid? Really, really likes plaid.

Rejected clothing to be donated--either it was too small or Chloe admitted she would never ever wear it.

Chloe's favorite drawer. This is her "go-to" drawer. Soccer shorts and ratty t-shirts she got from a sports camp or that she tie-dyed at summer camp. She believes that  these clothes are appropriate for every kind of occasion. When we pack for vacation or trips, I let her take one outfit from this drawer. Guess what she ends up wearing the entire week of vacation? The one outfit from this drawer!!! I've tried to tell her that they aren't appropriate attire for every event in life and so has BeBe but I think when Aunt Deanna explained this to her it seemed to have more value. She explained that these are weekend/play clothes. I HOPE IT WORKED.

Chloe's favorite outfit. Guess what she's wearing today? This outfit doesn't even cool off from the dryer and she's putting it on her body. She once attempted to wear it to a friend's birthday party---it was a fancy-dress tea party at a historic mansion. And she thought it was suitable.

We set out for the mall and I was sure that would find just what we needed at our first stop---a high-end discount chain unique to the NYC metro area. She liked nothing they had on offer. Not even in the shoe department. I did manage to get Oliver all of his fall apparel including two pairs of shoes at this department store. One kid down, one to go. 

The additions to Oliver's fall wardrobe.
 Of course, when Deanna said she wanted to go to the Ni*ke store Chloe perked up at the idea of purchasing all her school apparel there. I don't think so. Deanna took the little man while Chloe and I stopped in another store. This store seems to be more Chloe's style lately and she began picking out some items. We got all we needed, minus the shoes. The shoes we purchased this morning, right when the children's shoe store in our town openend. I get the majority of Chloe's shoes there. The owner is just so nice and he lets Oliver run like a banshee and play while we fit Chloe's narrow foot. He knows her foot and what shoes will work and what doesn't. He also knows she doesn't like flowers and pink, so he never tries to go there. Its easy and we're all happy in the end.

Chloe's stylings. Two pairs of cords, a pair of jeans, a sweater, a dress and leggings (gasp!), a jean jacket, two knit shirts (one has a logo character on it which I usually oppose but it was on clearance for $2.99 and she begged and I'm a sucker) and yes, that would be a plaid shirt you see. Whatever.

I did have to set some ground rules (i.e. NO HIGH TOP ATHLETIC SHOES) with Chloe and explain that we were looking for an everyday shoe that would look good with jeans and the majority of her outfits and that she could wear on the playground and most school activities---I thought Mary Jane but she thought this--

Fine. At least I know she will wear it. I still tried to push a Mary Jane, a nicer shoe for nicer outfits but she wasn't biting. Her solution was this:
I know, I know, I'm a sucka. Yes, she got it and yes, I thought it was too stinkin' cute on her foot to say no.  
And then, she asked for these...
She liked the heel and she wants to wear them to church and to school recitals. YES!!!! Now, if I could only convince her that they don't look good with this outfit, which she has currently paired them with and has worn the remainder of the day.

An Earthquake and a Hurricane in a Week

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 No comments
Tuesday, August 23rd, while we were touring Vermont, there was an earthquake. We didn't feel anything but Matt did in his office in mid-town Manhattan. He said the building shook enough to make you take notice and to unnerve some.

As our week of vacation progressed, we became more aware of Irene's intended path and that it was heading straight for NYC and our home. We were due to check-out of the rental house on Saturday morning and we scrambled to pack, clean the house and get out of dodge before the heavy rains came. There was also word that the bridges crossing the Hudson River would be closed if the winds picked up. We didn't want to be stuck in NY in our car with a boat in tow. I had also been alerted by some friends back home that the grocery stores were picked clean in our town so Mom & I stopped and did a quick grocery store shop in New Hampshire.

We made it back home just as the rain started and managed to secure the patio furniture, boat and potted plants. We stayed tuned to the weather channels. Through the late evening into the next morning it poured rain. The winds didn't come until the rain ended and it toppled trees that were soaked and couldn't stay in the ground. Power lines were taken out and the rivers, brooks and streams flooded and poured into homes and streets.

We managed to escape unscathed. We didn't lose power, though many of our neighbors did, and we only lost minor branches on our trees. However, there was plenty of carnage all around.

On Sunday, there was sun for a little while in the afternoon before the winds came and everyone ventured out to access the damage. We went for a walk to see for ourselves and these are the photos from our excursion.

This is a street and a parking lot near the brook in our village.

Flooding on a street that ends at the brook.

More flooding. The house that sits to the left of this photo just went up for sale two days after this photo--coincidence?

Blocked streets due to flooding.

Downed trees that pulled up the sidewalk.

More downed trees.

Flooding and a car that attempted to drive through the flooding but didn't make it.

Lots of downed trees.

The high school football field.

Flooding in the 1st floor of this apartment building.

Things are slowly returning back to normal. The downed trees and branches still sit piled along the roadways and many are still without power but the water has receded and all streets are back open in our village.

Lake Sunapee

Monday, August 29, 2011 No comments

A view from our boat---one of the lighthouses on Lake Sunapee (they warn boaters at night of rock croppings) and Mt. Sunapee in the background.

A week at the lake...so nice. My parents, sister and brother-in-law all flew out and we drove from NJ to New Hampshire's Lake Sunapee. After some foul weather delayed my sister and brother-in-law in Chicago we all managed to make it in town and head out on Saturday, August 20. We rented a lake house in a quiet cove on the lake. It was private and a great spot.

A view of the deck of the rental house down to the lake.

The weather was in the 70s and it was a nice break from the 100+ temperatures my parent's were experiencing in Dallas. We brought the boat and quickly learned that Lake Sunapee can be a little tricky if you are new to it. Lots of shallow rocks. Moral of the story, stay away from the black and red poles in the lake!

Our boat moored off the dock.

We kept the boat moored off the dock of the house. The dock was lovely and we spent lots of the week there.
Matt & Chloe kayaking in the cove.
Flash relaxing after a swim in the lake on the dock.

Oliver looking at the water through the wood slats on the dock.

Deanna in her inflatable kayak.

Chloe ready to go on the boat.

Flash taking a swim.

Chloe fishing with Uncle John. They did a lot of fishing from the dock.

Chloe striking a pose on the rocks, which were part of the dock.

Shakey, Deanna and John's dog, preparing to go on the boat.
Deanna and I in the inflatable kayaks after we moored the boat. It was chilly and I didn't want to swim back to the dock. Some members of the family were hoping for a splash!
We also spent time on the lake in the boat:

BeBe & Chloe.

Matt at the helm.

Chloe, holding Shakey, and Uncle John.
 And we had some fun on the lake too:

Deanna and Chloe tubing.

Chloe and Uncle John tubing and getting fancy with some tricks.

Deanna preparing to knee-board.
 We also did some sight-seeing in the area. We went to Vermont one day and visited the cutest town--Woodstock, VT. We also visited a farm, a maple sugar & cheese maker, and covered bridges.
Shakey and Oliver at the community beach.
Chloe, Shakey, and Uncle John, who is carrying Oliver out of the corn maze at the local farm stand in NH.
Visiting the dairy cows at Billings Farm in Woodstock, VT.

Chloe at the river in Woodstock.

BeBe & Oliver watching a newborn dairy cow.

The restaurant we ate lunch at on our tour of VT. It didn't look like much from the outside but it had great, homemade food.

John, Deanna, Chloe, PaPaw & Matt getting ready to hike Mt. Sunapee.

On the hike.
It was a great vacation, but as luck would have it we had to hurry back to NJ to secure the house for the impending hurricane. There was lots of flooding in the area of Vermont & New Hampshire we were in as a result of the tropical storm. One of the covered bridges we had seen during the week washed away in the flooding.

Mom, Dad, Deanna and John were supposed to fly back on Sunday, August 28, but that didn't happen. Mom & Dad managed to get a flight back to Dallas on Monday and Deanna & John went back to Arizona on Wednesday. Thanks to Irene, their vacation lasted a little longer.

We're making plans for next year's summer vacation with the family--Finger Lakes of NY--watch out!

Chloe's Photos

Thursday, August 11, 2011 No comments
Chloe really enjoyed hanging out with Grandad at the racetrack and taking photos with my Nikon. She took some 500 shots at the racetrack. She took a LOT of the cars on the track but she couldn't see over the protective fencing placed around the course, so I won't bore you with photos of chain link. I posted some photos she took in the previous post and I'm posting some of the best she took at the track below.

Daddy's car #'s (yes, they're pink, they can be seen easily. That's all I'm saying about that.).

The engine of Matt's 944 Turbo. I think this was prior to it blowing up.

A shot of Grandad taking a shot of Matt pulling away.

A photo of Grandad taking a photo of the cars racing.

Matt sitting on his track car.

The "back shot" of me and Marie watching the cars on track.

The crest on Matt's car.

The Turbo's roll bar.