Friday, June 28, 2013

Perhaps I Should Have Included...

running through the sprinklers on the Summer To-Do List.





Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer To Do List

Well, it's  nowhere near as fun as some of the past two Summer To Do Lists we've kept, but it sure is more EXCITING!!!



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Last Day of Third Grade

Today marks the last day of the school year for Chloe. It is especially bittersweet because not only is she a 4th grader (where has the time gone?) but it is her last day at her elementary school with the friends she has grown up with. 
 

I may have cried at school pick up today. Chloe on the other hand was totally fine!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lots Going On!

We've had lots to celebrate the last month and LOTS going on. We're also trying to fit in some fun time to relax and enjoy the summer. Here's a recap of the last few days---
Our current house is officially "under contract" with the buyers and we had the home inspection. Moving along....

Matt and I celebrated 15 years of marriage by dining al fresco at a new restaurant. It was a lovely evening. We had plans to go to a local drive-in movie theatre after dinner but it was such a nice night on the patio of the restaurant we lingered and then went for coffee and a walk in the cute downtown area.

We got the boat out of storage and hit the lake with the kids. Oliver is swimming now so he got to ride on the tube with big sis Chloe. He was all smiles that he was finally able to ride the tube.

Chloe's Brownie troop had their end of the year pool party.

Little brother Oliver got to come to the pool party too. Once again he was thrilled to get to be included and even secured a return invite to swim because of his mad diving skills!!


Perhaps I am developing a stroller addiction? After I purchased a single jog stroller back in May, Matt asked why I didn't purchase a double jog stroller. When I came across the "Cadillac of jog strollers" that rarely goes on sale for 30% off, I jumped on the deal just in time before they sold out. Oliver, Chloe and I took it for its first spin and it got three thumbs up!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Gift for Emma Claire

After receiving our travel approval on Friday, I took the kids to B*uild*a*Be*ar at the mall. I had promised them we would go for their birthdays a couple of weeks before. We decided to combine their birthday stuffed animals with a stuffed animal they created together for Emma Claire.
 
They unanimously decided on a panda bear for Emma Claire. Chloe asked me if I thought at 9 she was too old for B-A-B. I told her she could just make a stuffed animal for her little sister if she felt she was beyond B-A-B. She instantly picked out a racing bear for herself. I guess that answered that question.
 
Oliver had a harder time deciding for himself but eventually settled on Pa*trick Star from Sp*onge B*ob.
 
Oliver was obsessed with the sound creator. He and Chloe made a sound chip to put in Emma Claire's panda of their voices saying "Hi Emma Claire, this is Oliver, your big brother!" and "Hi, Emma Claire, this is Chloe, your big sister!"



Chloe "washing" Emma Claire's panda.


Emma Claire's stuffed panda, created by her big sister and big brother--


Friday, June 21, 2013

TA!!!!!!


Just got the phone call from our agency!!! We don't have confirmation of our consulate appointment in Guangzhou yet but we are requesting July 25, the first day they reopen after their move. If we get it, we leave for China July 13!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Still Waiting


Its been 4 months and 17 days since we first saw her photo. And we are still waiting to see her in person.

Travel Approvals seems to be coming at a regular pace now, which is good news, but we haven't received ours yet.

Also, our passports with our visas have not arrived. I emailed our agency as to their whereabouts and haven't gotten a response in two days. A response would be nice in regards to a critical piece needed in going to China.

Not going to panic yet. Just going to wait and wait and wait and wait....

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Oliver's 4th Birthday


We let Oliver open his birthday presents on Saturday morning. They were wrapped and at the bottom of the stairs when he woke. He asked where the Christmas tree was at.

I think birthdays and holidays still confuse him a little.

He got the talking Nin*ja Turt*le figures as requested and their van. He also got a watch, which makes him look very big boy, a kid-friendly digital camera and some big boy shoelace sneakers and a go-kart bike.



The go-kart bike was a hit. Somebody wants it for herself.

 She cruised all around the house. But, it's Oliver's present. Its pretty cool.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Birthday Celebrations

Our friends, Bryan and Sue, came over today to help us celebrate the kids birthdays. We went to see the new house and had dinner at a local Mexican food restaurant and then we came home and had cake.

Chloe's cake was made by a local ice cream parlor. It was cotton candy ice cream.

Oliver's cake was a vanilla cake with strawberry filling and buttercream icing.

We sang "Happy Birthday" to each and then blew out the candles.



Friday, June 14, 2013

Chloe's 9th Birthday


Matt pointed out that this is the last year Chloe will be in single digits!! There wasn't a lot of celebrating on the actual day--we did the balloons, but it was raining and we took the balloon photo inside this year. Oliver and I came to Chloe's third grade class in the afternoon to read a favorite book to her class in celebration of her birthday. I read A Bad Case of Stripes.
 
Chloe also had a swim meet in Bayonne at 4 p.m., so it was rush, rush, rush to pick her up from school and get her to the swim meet south of NYC on time on a Friday afternoon (I would personally like to "thank" the genius that planned that swim meet).
 
After the swim meet was over, Chloe wanted to go and eat Chinese so we went to eat at Pei Wei.
 
By the time we got home, it was late and we put Oliver to bed. Chloe opened her presents and cards. Her BIG present was her Micro kart and engine so the presents she actually opened were more of the practical kind.
 
More celebrating on Saturday with cake and then on Sunday as we celebrate Oliver's birthday and Father's Day.
The traditional birthday balloon photos. Unfortunately it was raining the morning of Chloe's birthday (and chilly).

Oliver's present to Chloe--running shoes. They were the most obnoxious shoe in the store. Of course, both kids think they are cool.

The 9 year old.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ready to Celebrate

Hopefully we will have lots to celebrate in the next week. That's what I am banking on anyway.
  • We have an offer on our current house and we are in "Attorney Review". Next Stop--"Under Contract".
  • One week under our belt waiting for our Travel Approval and the Dragon Boat Festival is over and everything SHOULD be back in working order (finger's crossed). Ready to celebrate our TA---ANY.DAY.NOW.*
  • Our passports and Chinese visas are scheduled to be returned. YEA! All we need is the TA to get on the plane!!!
  • We are officially "under contract" on our new house. We signed all the documents yesterday, had our inspection the day before and are lining up contractors for bids on some work we want done and for movers.
Oliver trying on Matt's sunglasses while Matt signs the contracts on the new house.

There is a little "reading nook" in what will be Emma Claire's room that the kids love to play in when we are at the new house.

The previous owners used the barn as a workout facility. Chloe had to "inspect" the chin up bars in the barn.

And, not to be outdone, Oliver had to give it a try.

  • Tomorrow is Chloe's 9th birthday.
  • Sunday is Oliver's 4th birthday and Father's Day.
  • Celebrating the kids birthdays with friends/Godparents on Saturday and hanging out at the track on Sunday celebrating.
  • Only 11 more days of school!!!!
Lots to celebrate and lots to look forward to celebrating!!!!

*If we get TA in the next couple of days, we could leave the 27th or 28th of June, but as the clock ticks that becomes more unlikely. As time passes, it seems that departure should be the week of July 14th giving us time for a week in Emma Claire's province and then be in Guangzhou for the re-opening of the consulate in the new location. Fingers crossed.



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

End of the Year Concerts

Chloe's elementary school and Oliver's pre-school manage to schedule their music performances at the exact same time on the exact same day, which means Mom and Dad have to divide and conquer.

I went to Chloe's school performance and Matt went to Oliver's.

Chloe's class got to play instruments during the performance.




Matt went to Oliver's performance at pre-school.






Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oliver's Mini-Olympics

Both Chloe and Oliver take gymnastics. At the end of the year, the gym holds a mini-Olympics where the kids show off their skills.

Friday was Oliver's Olympics. 

He's a mad man. Wouldn't sit still. But, he loves gymnastics. And the medals they give.

Normally, he wouldn't be wearing a collared shirt and plaid shorts, but it was pouring rain, we were trying to get packed for the track weekend and I was trying to clean the house in preparation for our Sunday Open House. Oliver never changed into more appropriate gymnastics wear. Ooops.




I am pretty sure he was just doing his own thing in this photo on the trampoline. His teacher kept telling him to pike and turn but he just kept trying to bounce higher.

What a ham.


 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Race Weekend ReCap

After the kids end of the year concerts on Friday, we headed to the Catskills for the regional race weekend for the "Golden Ticket" to the world finals. Lots of racers came out for this event.
It was a race weekend of highs and some lows.

  • Chloe had her best lap times ever in her new motor but she didn't make it to the podium which was bittersweet for her.

  • Chloe was involved in an on-track accident and the kid behind flipped and landed on top of Chloe's kart. They were looking right at each other. Chloe was unharmed but her steering wheel has wheel marks on it. The other kid was shaken but thankfully, fine.

  • Discovered that while the kids have made some great pals and we have become good friends with other families at the track, there are just some kids that you want your children to avoid---kids that have little supervision, manners or discipline and is just a bully.

Now, on to some weekend photos---



Oliver is obsessed with putting grass in his hair lately. He thinks it is hysterical.



Matt had some competition in his DD2 class.


Getting into starting formation.


Chloe had some great lap times and she got lots of compliments from some top karters and coaches in the country.


Ninja Oliver.
 

Racing was two days--Saturday and Sunday. Some people went to their hotels on Saturday or drove home and missed the podium awards. Can you tell who the "fill in" was? His sister may not have had a podium finish, but he certainly had the time of his life---



 
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