Hey guys...

Sunday, October 28, 2012 No comments
want to wake up, a hurricane is coming!!

Regional Race Weekend

Saturday, October 27, 2012 No comments
Matt and Chloe went to south Jersey for the Rot*ax Regionals. The national rankings came out last week and Chloe is ranked #63 in the nation in Micro. The majority of kids ranked in the top 100 on the list come from the east coast, primarily from our home track. So the regional race this weekend would be a premiere race with some of the best kid karters in the country.

This was Chloe's first race not at OVRP and at a much longer racetrack, so we were a bit nervous on how she would do. She did great.

Oliver and I stayed at home. Oliver had his fall concert at pre-school and we had to prep for Hurricane Sandy. Since the regional race was at a track about 30 miles from where Hurrican Sandy would make landfall, the two-day race was condensed into a one-day race on Saturday so everyone could leave the area on Sunday. This meant Chloe had to drive twice as many races in one day as normal.

I was able to check in with Matt on how Chloe was doing via cell phone and a race app that shows live timing and results at participating tracks.

The micros raced with the minis, that's why the times are combined.
Chloe came in third and got a cool plaque/trophy. She pulled out a great pass on one of her fellow racers to take 3rd place. It was awesome driving.

We are eagerly awaiting the national rankings as we expect Chloe to jump into the top 50 micro drivers in the nation.

Pre-School Fall Concert

Friday, October 26, 2012 No comments

Oliver had his pre-school fall concert and bake sale this morning. I was super excited as the children get to dress in their Halloween  costume and sing songs about fall and Halloween. It was going to be too cute...or so I thought.
It was also the start of race weekend and Matt and I decided to allow Chloe to race in a regional in south Jersey. Matt and Chloe had left early on Friday morning to get to the track.
Somebody wasn't pleased about big sis and Daddy leaving without him.
When it was time to get dressed and put on the Halloween costume, I thought Oliver would be all about his race driver suit, complete with BIG muscles.
I was wrong. Like really wrong.
It was temper tantrum central.
Oliver didn't want to go to pre-school, he didn't want to wear the costume and he didn't want to sing.
It wasn't a good morning and my patience wore thin. When Oliver is having a tantrum, patience is key.
We did make it to pre-school in our costume. But, we weren't happy and we were clingy. Oliver hung to me in his classroom and told me he didn't want to sing, he didn't want to wear his costume and he just wanted to play.  I held Oliver in the classroom until it was time to line up. Here's how he entered the auditorium where the parent's were waiting.
He doesn't look very happy does he?
 When they lined up to sing, he still wasn't happy. I thought, "Oh no".

But, then the music started and the music teacher, who is a delight and was Chloe's music teacher in pre-school (even though Chloe went to a different pre-school than Oliver), started dancing. Oliver smiled and joined in. Yes!

It was darling. They even sang some of the same songs Chloe sang in pre-school, which made me want to cry.

Oliver was all smiles at the end of the concert and back in the classroom he was happy and ready to play (what he wanted to do all along).
Oliver's pre-school class.
 The kids got to play in the classrooms for another hour and the parent's went to the bake sale and raffle. What began as a no good morning ended pretty well, especially since we won the raffle for a front row parking spot and front row seats for the Christmas concert in December!! Thankfully, Oliver won't have to wear a costume at that one and big sister will be in town!

Chloe's Turn at the Pumpkin Patch

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 No comments
First, Chloe has been arguing with me that pumpkin is spelled "pumkin" and she swears her teacher spells it that way too. We've entered the stage where Chloe thinks I know nothing. So, I made her look it up. Oh yea! Now, I have to sneak into the school to see if Chloe's teacher is really spelling pumpkin as "pumkin", though I highly doubt it.
Chloe went with her Brownie troop to another farm/pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins. I had to come and pick Chloe up early to take her to the orthodontist but I managed to get a few photos while I waited. 
I found this photo so amusing. The farm sits right in the middle of a huge industrial park and traffic is heavy all around as it sits off the Garden State Parkway. It doesn't feel like a day at the farm, but it definitely fits a day at the farm in NJ, the most densely populated state. This farm just sold off half of its acreage so a giant gourmet supermarket can be built. Kind of sad.

Chloe's Brownie troop.

Cheer & Swim

Sunday, October 21, 2012 No comments

Chloe had both cheer and swimming on Saturday. We had to be at the football field at 8 a.m. and afterwards, we headed to Chloe's first team swim meet of the fall.

 Of course, Chloe tried to con me into letting her squeeze a playdate in between cheer and swimming. It didn't happen.

Chloe swam butterfly, breast stroke and on the relay team. The last photo was taken by a professional photographer who emailed the photos out to the team parents. You can definitely tell a difference between my terrible point and shoot photo and his.

Chloe did great at the meet considering her competition was twice the size of her. Seriously. I thought of demanding to see a birth certificate. She was three times the size of any other kid at the starting block.

Pumpkin Patch

Friday, October 19, 2012 No comments
October means the annual pre-school visit to the pumpkin patch and Oliver had his first pre-school field trip. We went on a hay ride and then "picked" a pumpkin from the patch.

**I didn't notice at the time I took some of these photos that Oliver had wanted to use the camera and he attempted to make a grab for it and placed a big fingerprint smudge across the lens of my point and shoot so some of the pictures are blurry.**

Oliver is pretty decisive. He walked right out, picked up a pumpkin at was done.

The pumpkin is picked, its time to socialize with pal (they were trying to convince me to let them have a playdate--they are three and it has already begun).

Another pal from pre-school with Oliver on the hayride.

Oliver with the remains of this apple-donut from the pumpkin patch.

We had a beautiful day and Oliver and I spent a lovely afternoon at the park.

The Race Breakdown

Monday, October 15, 2012 No comments
It was a race weekend, a double-header. Races both Saturday and Sunday. Matt and Chloe spent two nights at the track, camping in the RV. Oliver and I made the back and forth each day. It was 25 degrees in the Catskills on Saturday morning. No thanks.

Everything went as planned at the race on Saturday....
But, coming in first place was second-fiddle to the other exciting things going on at the track---lots of Wooly Bear caterpillars crawling all over the place.

Oliver could spot one a mile away. I didn't notice them, but Oliver could always point them out.

Besides the caterpillars, there was lots of playing with friends and general goofing off. Oliver took to riding Chloe's scooter around the track (at very slow speeds and with me beside him) and he also enjoyed putting on a show.

This was completely staged by Oliver. He knocked the scooter over (he wasn't even on it), laid down, made this face and yelled, "Mom, get the camera and take a picture!".
Sunday's race was a different story. Chloe dominated during qualifying of kid kart and before the final race, Matt asked her what her strategy was for the race. Her response, "Strategy? This is going to be easy."

So she thought.

Here's the story of Sunday's kid kart race in photos:

The starting lineup--getting in formation to start the race. Chloe is starting in the second row on the left.

The first lap. Chloe is in 3rd.

The second lap--Chloe has passed one racer and is now in 2nd.

3rd lap and closing in on 1st place.

Making the pass on the straight and taking 1st place.

And the kart stops just after the pass. Matt is running on the track to see if he can help get the kart going.

And she's back off. She's now in last place by about 1/2 a track.

And, the kart quit for good and she gets trailered off.
It didn't prove to be that easy, especially when your chain won't stay on and turn the motor. It was Chloe's 1st DNF of the season.

Halloween Decoration

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 2 comments
In the past I have assembled "pumpkin people" that resemble each of us as our Halloween/Fall decorations for the front yard or some big hay bale/mum decoration. I have even decorated the yard during the "great pumpkin fiasco" when Oliver believed pumpkins were balls and tried to throw them all over the yard. But, this year our village is cracking down on lead removal and making it harder to dispose of hay bales and pumpkins. As a result, I decided to skip the pumpkin people and the hay bale.

I opted to plant mums in the usual pumpkin people spot. It was colorful, it was bright. I was happy.

Then, several people asked why I didn't decorate for Halloween this year.

No one ever really commented, well, the first year I did the pumpkin people, our house was in the local paper, but for the years afterwards, no one commented. Until I didn't put it up anymore.

I decided to switch things up. I saw this Halloween decorating blog post and decided that the spider pumpkins were cute and went with the theme.

Making the spider pumpkins wasn't as easy for me as she described. I found the correct pipes at our home improvement warehouse, but they didn't have any elbows that would join the two pipes of the legs together in black, so I had to spray paint white ones. It was an easy fix, but an extra step.

I changed the eyes up, but may go with larger, plastic eyes. I hot glued the pipes together and ran out of glue sticks in the middle of assembling the legs and had to go to the craft store to purchase more. All Halloween items were half off and I found the transfer spiders and spider webs for the white pumpkins. I thought it was cute.

I also made the door mat, which was super easy. However, it rained all today and it is totally wet and dirty now. Perhaps when it dries off I will include a better photo. You can make it out from the top steps .

The finished product....

Deco mesh pumpkin wreath on door from Etsy, pumpkin mums from the Home D***ot, pumpkins from our local gardening center and the pumpkin spider and cob web door mat completely copied but assembled by me and Chloe. (Ignore the extra pansies I have yet to find a home for on the right of the photo and our silver, obnoxious milk delivery crate on the left)

The No School Photo Session

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 2 comments
I took the kids to have their photos taken at the mall. Trying to prep for the Holiday's and order cards early.

Not to brag or anything, but isn't this the cutest little boy in the world? He was so good and cooperative during the photo shoot. (I should have known it would go to hell in a handbasket afterwards)

I call this "Mr. GQ, Jr.". I could eat him up. He had a matching blazer for this outfit and I nearly cried he looked so darling.

Do you see Oliver's signature stance here?

The kids were only supposed to wear one outfit for the photo shoot, but Chloe was distressed that her original outfit didn't have a necktie and she threw in the navy outfit. I had to scramble to find something Oliver could wear to match.

She likes the blazer, but didn't care for the rest.
Now, I am off to order Christmas cards--the early bird gets the worm and they are all on sale now.

Something Different

Monday, October 08, 2012 No comments
We had no kart racing this weekend, only cheer on Saturday morning so, at Matt's request, we decided to do something different and take the kids to a professional soccer game.

The NY Red Bulls were playing an afternoon game, and tickets were only $22 each with a $20 concession voucher, so we thought it a good opportunity to see if Oliver the kids could handle it.

It didn't look like it was going to go as planned. Oliver was super grouchy as we headed to the soccer stadium and he fell asleep about 10 minutes before we arrived. It didn't look promising.
Going into the stadium from the parking lot. Oliver is asleep and Matt is carrying him in.

But, as luck would have it, Oliver got into the game and lasted about 55 minutes of the 90 minute game before getting antsy. He even got into the cheers, revising some of the old classics. He thought the team name was Red Balls, so the the cheer went, "Lets go Red Balls!!" and he even decided to cheer for the other team, which was in blue, and cheered, "Lets go Blue Balls!", which elicited quite a few laughs.
At our seats before the start of the game. Oliver is obviously awake at this point.

Chloe did fabulous and enjoyed the game (especially the trip to the Red Bulls team store afterwards).

The start of the game.

One of the 96 photos Oliver took during the game. He really liked the goalie because he gets to kick the ball and touch the ball with his hands. He was also in a different colored uniform---bright pink for Breast Cancer month--which Oliver thought was cool (he liked the other teams goalie who was in green too).

Big Sis Saves the Day

Friday, October 05, 2012 No comments
Sorry kid, I don't care how cute you are, you lost my vote when you colored on my walls! I have no photographic evidence of the coloring--it was green, by the way, because big sister came to the rescue.

"Mom, stay here so you don't get mad, " Oliver told me as I was folding clothes in my room before taking the kids to school. "Stay here mom," he stressed. "Don't go into Chloe's room, the bathroom or my room," he told me, putting his hand out in front of me.

"Why will I get mad Oliver?" I asked, concerned.

"I painted them," he told me.

I walked into the hallway to discover Chloe, with a magic eraser sponge wiping the last remaining marks of crayon off her door.

It seems Oliver has a big sister that looks out for him. He had taken crayons to her door and the bathroom. She caught him before he made it to his room to "paint" it and attempted to remove the evidence without my knowing.

And, this incident so gets their personalities right now. Chloe cleaned it all up, trying to avoid me seeing the colors, not because she's sneaky (well, maybe a little), but because she didn't want me to get upset and she didn't want Oliver to get in trouble. She wanted to avoid the conflict. Oliver, well, we are taking bets that he will be a color analyst for sports some day because everything in life right now is a play by play. This kid doesn't leave anything out. He tells all.

Chloe's  a sweet big sister.

And, I'm thankful I don't like flat paint--eggshell or semi-gloss all the way---it cleans better.

***We are in the process of restyling Oliver's room to a big boy room and I have been patching and cleaning his walls in preparation for painting. He has been asking when we are painting his room and telling me he wants to paint it NOW. I guess he couldn't wait any longer.***

If You...

Thursday, October 04, 2012 No comments
take your daughter to buy new shoes, she's going to insist that you buy her high top basketball shoes. If you try to take her to a high-end department store to circumvent the high top basketball shoes, they are going to have a pair of $115 Air Jo*rdan's that she will insist she needs. If you grab the salesman at the high-end, prides themselves on customer service department store and tell him in no way shape or form are you purchasing said Air Jo*rdan's for your non-basketball playing daughter and he needs to get you out of this, then he will tell her that the Air Jor*dan's don't come in her size and will appease her with neon green and black high top skater shoes. If you let her try on the shoes next to the children's department of the high-end department store, your daughter will see a hoodie that would be "perfect" for her little brother. If you tell her the hoodies are too big for her little brother, then she will tell you that they are the perfect size for her. If you let her try on the hoodie, then you will buy it and your grand total for both items will equal the amount of the original Air Jor*dan's she desired.
Moral of the story: go to a shoe store that doesn't carry Air Jor*dan's or clothing.