Friday, August 31, 2012 No comments
There was something about writing a very, very large check in a 80+ degree house. It was upsetting when our AC went out and left us sweating for two days, but the cost was nearly forgotten when our repairman brought in reinforcements and put in a new unit before we had to sweat through the Labor Day weekend. Some pluses, the new unit is really quiet, blends nicely with the house and cools the house super fast. The downside, the cost! I made a point of posting on FB that we could have had two of these units for the price of this one in Dallas. But, that's the cost of living in the NYC metro area.

While it was an unexpected expense, hopefully we will be saying it was well worth it.
Nothing better stop this Tr*ane...'cause it cost a pretty penny.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012 No comments
One week and one day until school starts. But who is counting? In an effort to find something to do to fill these lazy summer days before school starts, I caved and agreed to take the kids to play putt-putt. I didn't want to because I thought Oliver would actually not understand and injure himself or someone else.

I was wrong. And pleasantly surprised.

We had fun. And it didn't involve TV.

Father & Daughter

Friday, August 24, 2012 No comments
I had to snap a few photos of these two working on Chloe's Micro. We brought home the kart to do some adjustments and Matt and Chloe worked together for a couple of hours this evening.

Chloe also started cheerleading tonight. She will cheer for the 3rd grade rec. football team. She's all about the cheerleading shoes right now. This child is addicted to shoes. And baggy shorts. Did I mention we did her school clothes shopping at the Nike store?

Her favorite cheer so far is "Victory". Its kind of a tongue-twister. "V-dot the i-curl the C-T-O-R-Y, Victory!" or something like that. She was all talk about cheerleading last night to Matt while they worked on the kart.

3rd Place County

Friday, August 17, 2012 No comments
I meant to detail that Chloe represented her summer swim team at the County Championships in the 7-8 year old freestyle relay last week. They came in 3rd in the county and they each got a trophy.

The county championships was a bit of an eye opener for me. Chloe has swam competitively for the last year and I knew there were kids out there that were super fast. But, her fall and winter swim league, while super competitive, is heavily regulated and the rules are followed by all teams to the letter. No, the county championships opened my eyes to pushy, tiger parenting, sandbagging by coaches (under-representing a kids time or not officially entering a team because they "didn't know if they would all be able to compete on that date") and kids that look like they are on steroids. And this was the championships for kids UNDER the age of 11.

Let me just first point out that Chloe's relay group,  these four girls in the photo above, won every relay by a large margin in our regular summer swim meets. So, their coach expected them to place, frankly, will all did. And, they did place in 3rd and that is fantastic and we were all very happy.

Especially when you consider the competition. They were against a team that looked like they were from the East German Olympic program from the 1980s. I had to go ask Chloe's coach to clarify that those four girls were eight years old. Wasn't this an 11 and under competition? They had to be teenagers. I taught middle school---these kids HAD to be in at least 8th grade!! One of the girls had to have worn a larger bra size than ME. Not even kidding. The East Germans came in 1st place and the 2nd place team wasn't even listed as a competitor on the roster. I learned coaches from other swim clubs pretend not to be able to get  their rosters in to the county coordinators as a way to do a sneak attack on the other swim teams. How sportsmanlike.

The county championships featured the best swimmers from all the county swim clubs in each respective category and man, were there "tiger parents" galore. It seems today, or at least in our area, that no parent wants to outwardly display being a "tiger mom" or "tiger dad". Oh, but they were there. I saw several non-chalant tiger parenting. My favorite, was displayed from one mom on our swim team whose son swam in two events. In public she acted all chill and laid back, telling her son to relax and "have fun, cause that's why we are here." But, she was displaying a totally different attitude when I slipped out to go to the car and retrieve a beach chair. She had her son by the elbow, with one finger in his face, both safely tucked near the hedge rows by the swim club exit telling him he needed to do a better start and push off and that he needed to "count the strokes to keep a winning tempo". Yea, mom, we're all here just for fun. He ended up coming in first place in the county and I had to roll my eyes when she acted completely surprised and shocked. "Wow, I didn't know he had it in him!" Whatever. She than began to name the dates and location of the state meet he would represent the county in.

I'm off to the grocery store to buy chicken laced with growth hormones and to then to sign Chloe up for private swim lessons to shave 3-5 seconds off her butterfly. {That's a joke BTW}

Bronx Zoo

Thursday, August 16, 2012 No comments
This past week has been unstructured and its getting the best of me, of all of us. I never thought I would say that I miss having swim practice everyday. It was structured. This past week has been about running errands, school clothes shopping (at the Nike Store---a sign I've given up completely) and laundry.

At the zoo entrance.
The kids have played well together, but there are a lot of temper tantrums and fights. We needed to leave the house and take an excursion. I've always purchased a family membership to the NY Zoos and Aquarium so we headed out for the Bronx Zoo.

The only request was to see the rhinoceros and the giraffe. The biggest highlight, as it seemed for 95% of the park crammed into the exhibit, was the zoo animals made from Legos. Weren't there real animals in the park to see?
Near the brown bear exhibit--all Legos.

The Lego Zebra in the Lego Wild! exhibit.
We also visited the Africa exhibit and I insisted we see the baboons from Ethiopia. We got quite a show from the male of the group. Yes, he was definitely male.

And then there was the Bug Carousel and the children's zoo. My kids were more excited about seeing goats and chickens than giraffes. And pestering me for cotton candy. And popcorn. And Icees.
On the Bug Carousel.

Lake Keuka

Tuesday, August 07, 2012 No comments
My parents, sister and brother-in-law came in for our annual family get-together and summer vacation. This year we went to the Finger Lakes and stayed at a house on Lake Keuka.

We visited wineries, the Curtiss Museum, Mackenzie-Childs on Lake Cayuga, Watkins Glen and Lake Seneca. We also shopped at Amish grocery stores and Amish bicycle shops and many local farmer's markets. And, of course, we boated on the beautiful lake surrounded by vineyards.

The lakehouse we rented on Lake Keuka.

We brought our boat and the rental house had a dock (perhaps not the best dock, my only complaint on our rental house).

Chloe "chilling out" on the deck of the house.

Chloe jumping off the deck of the house into the lake. This was a big hit with the kids.

Chloe preparing to board an inflatable boat that came with the house. We brought our dogs and Lizzie is in the background hunting a dragonfly.

Deanna, taking a photo of me from the dock as I take a photo of her from the balcony.

Deanna sitting on the dock.

A crime scene on our dock.

John looking up to the balcony.

Uncle John and Chloe love to fish. Chloe caught so many fish, they were all small and we threw them all back.

Inspecting one of Chloe's catches before returning it to the lake.

John starting the nightly fire.

Lizzie relaxing.

Matt and the kids playing in the lake.

Roasting marshmallows.

A view of the deck from the dock.

Oliver climbing back into the inflatable boat after a couple of dives.

Chloe and Oliver playing and swimming.

Matt and Oliver throwing the football.

Oliver sneaking some Twiglets.

Did I mention Oliver is a maniac when it comes to jumping and diving into water?

More dives.

Having fun with PaPaw.

Jumping to PaPaw from the dock.

Swimming in the lake.

ABC--already been chewed.

Oliver goes like a maniac diving, climbing out, splashing and climbing out to do it all again. He wears himself out.

Being silly with PaPaw.

More sillyness.

Swimming with PaPaw.

Oliver swimming to PaPaw from the "boat".

Oliver and Uncle John in the morning.

Playing in the water along the shore of the house.

BeBe and Oliver at the chicken house at Mackenzie_Childs.

Oliver hanging on the handrail before entering the tour house at Mackenzie-Childs.

Chloe riding in the bow of the boat and relaxing.

Matt kneeboarding with the beautiful scenery in the background.

Oliver in the bow of the boat. The kids love to ride in the bow and love for Matt to splash them. They also love to "jump" or cut across another boats wake. Chloe and Oliver have termed this "wake booty".

Deanna and Dad at Watkins Glen State Park.

Chloe and Oliver at Watkins Glen State Park. Oliver went half way up and jumped down every step going back down. He had fun.

Oliver and Chloe at the pier on Lake Seneca in Watkins Glen.

BeBe, Chloe and Oliver at the pier on Lake Seneca.

We drove the track at Watkins Glen.

Me and the kids at the start/finish at The Glen.

Oliver and Chloe liked this motorcycle and side car at an antique motorcycle show we attended at the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport.

The guys check out a Honda motorbike.

Oliver was taken by this little yellow motorcycle.

We bought a new tube for the lake while we were in Penn Yan. Chloe loves the new tube. We are towing her to the boat dock to take the boat out at the end of the week.

Until the next lake vacation....