Thursday, September 19, 2013 1 comment
Oliver's pre-school had a field trip to go apple-picking today. It was a gorgeous day. Absolutely beautiful weather. Perfect temperature.

After Chloe got on the bus, we headed over the mountain to where the apple orchard is located. It's a beautiful area (my personal favorite in the county, but a little too difficult to commute into the city). Where we lived before, it took 45 minutes to reach the closest apple orchard. Now, it's a 15 minute drive.

The morning began with what is a long-standing tradition for the pre-school, to serenade the family who owns the orchard with an apple song the children learned at school. Then, the pre-schoolers and parents were loaded on to tractor's pulling trailers and we went for a ride through the apple orchards with stunning views of the Hudson Valley as it starts to show its fall colors. Of course, I was hauling a 13-month old and was trying to keep my four year-old from jumping off the trailer and couldn't snap any photos of the scenery.

Oliver picked a quarter peck of apples--about 10 apples total. We came home with 4 apples. On the tractor ride back, Oliver taste tested his apples, taking a bite out of each and determined they didn't measure up. I think he did eat one total apple before tossing it aside for a apple-cider donut being handed out as a snack.

Oliver in his apple-picking hat.

Mmmmmmm, apples.

I did find it ironic that we all went apple-picking, which is totally edible and sat down at the end for a snack of apple-cider DONUTS. Apparently the apples the kids picked were for show? Oliver knew a good thing when he tasted it--of course, he tasted and discarded a lot.
How 'bout them apples?
 And, my favorite photo of the day....

Bulleted Updates

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 No comments

Some updates and random photos--

  • Emma Claire has started to feed herself, which is a big step. She hasn't mastered the pincer grip yet, but it doesn't keep her from trying.
  • It was Chloe's school open house/meet the teacher. I had to bring all 3 kids to school because Matt was out of town and we don't have a local sitter yet. It was good to hear that Chloe is adjusting nicely and making friends.
  • It's getting cooler here--like cold enough that I better start looking for the box that we packed the kid's coats in cool.
  • I got an update from Oliver's pre-school teacher. She told me that she can't remember teaching a pre-schooler with a better command of English. He corrected the teacher's aide in class when she asked him if he "was good" after he fell on the playground. He responded, "No, I am well." I didn't know I was raising a pre-school grammar snob.
  • Apparently Oliver's favorite phrase in pre-school is, "I am going to have to tell my Mom about that!". He also yelled out, "Lets get this party started!" when he learned it was a classmates birthday and they were having cupcakes.
Emma Claire smiling!!

  • Emma Claire's first two word sentence---"Get Out!" and she made sure to say it with the same forcefulness that her older sister uses when telling Oliver to "Get Out!" of her room or when Oliver is telling Flash the dog to "Get Out!" of his room when he wanders in during the night and wakes him up.
  • Emma Claire is also starting to point at things, even though her "pointing" is something between a Hook 'em Horns sign and a "hang loose" gesture. I will randomly ask her where things are trying to get her to point to them. I will always point to them afterwards and say, "There [whatever I am pointing to] is!" At the track, I asked her, "Emma Claire, where is Daddy?", hoping she would point at Matt. Instead, she looked at me and said clear as a bell, "There he is."
  • Emma Claire started pulling herself up to standing this week. She is so proud of this new ability that she kept doing it over and over again this evening in her crib. I didn't think she would ever lay down and go to sleep.

  • Oliver started gymnastics classes again. He LOVES it and was so excited when he found out that there was a gym where he could take classes. It has helped make the move easier for him since he still gets to do the activities he loves. The bonus is that this new gym has a very large boys gymnastics program, one of the largest in NY state and much larger than our last gym.

  • What happens when you have two sisters and you are the only boy? You get your toenails painted by your big sister....Oliver was totally on board and told me he wanted blue toenails "like Uncle John!" (who came to visit last year guessed it, blue toenails).
  • There was a 3 foot copperhead snake sunning itself in front of our driveway last week. On the way to the bus we walked right by it---didn't even notice. A neighborhood came and warned us. It disappeared later in the morning and came out to greet me when I went to take the trash out. Luckily the landscapers were on hand and they called animal control (after one of the very large men let out a shriek when he saw the snake).
  • I opened up underneath the kitchen sink to be "greeted" by a little gray mouse. Totally waved at me. Not.Even.Frightened. It just kept on rummaging. After I got my wits about me, I sent it packing...for good.
  • I have had to learn to slow down and look for deer. They are everywhere. On the way back from dropping Oliver off at pre-school, I turned a corner and there was a doe and three babies in the middle of the road. I am also going to have to look up deer resistant plants.
  • After my encounters with deer, snakes and mice, I shouldn't have been surprised when Chloe brought home a 4-H membership flier in her school folder. It apparently rivals Girl Scouts for membership in our area. Call me surprised....

Club Racing

Sunday, September 15, 2013 No comments
Sunday was a club race at our home track. Chloe qualified on pole for the final race and came in 2nd overall. Many people at the track were cheering for her to win, but it wasn't her time...yet.
After Oliver's soccer game on Saturday, we all went to the track and after dinner Emma Claire and I headed home for the warmth of our own beds. We returned to the track Sunday morning to watch the racing.
Why both Oliver and Chloe like to sit on the footrest of the stroller is unknown to me, but Emma Claire likes to use them as a footrest.

Oliver playing on the iPad with a track pal.

The micro and mini line-up.

The final podium.

First Goal!

Saturday, September 14, 2013 No comments
Oliver had his second soccer game and he scored his first GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!! He was super excited.
Oliver practicing with Daddy looking in the background.
Oliver is hysterical and very enthusiastic when it comes to soccer.
 It was a crisp and cool Saturday. Chloe was a little miffed that she was being forced to attend an hour-long soccer game. We had to remind her that her siblings sit through hours of kart racing and swim meets and that she could give up an hour to watch her brother play. Lucky for her she found a giant mountain of mulch to keep her occupied. I, however, got miffed to see her using her brand new high tops as an ax to climb the mulch mountain.

Emma Claire had a snack with me and watched and cheered. We sat in the back of the SUV to keep out of the cool, fall wind.

First Day of School

Monday, September 09, 2013 No comments
Today is the first day of school. Both Chloe and Oliver started at their new schools. I didn't sleep well last night. I tossed and turned and prayed and hoped that Chloe would have a great day and make lots of friends in 4th grade.

I was a nervous wreck this morning. I wanted things to go perfectly for Chloe, who seemed nervous.

She disapproved of my snack choice I packed her. Her beloved seaweed. She told me she couldn't take that on the first day of school! What would the others think?

We opted for Sun chips instead.

We took the obligatory first day photos and we hurriedly packed into the car and I fretted that Chloe would be late for the first day as we creeped along at 15 miles an hour behind a driveway sealcoating truck.

Our rental "town"house is anything but in town. Its in the sticks where its hard to get cell phone reception and I had to complete a rural post delivery form in order to get our mail. Its another 10-15 minutes further from the school than the house we are purchasing.

We made it to school with time to spare. I walked Chloe to the front, saw the assistant principal and asked that he help Chloe make it to her classroom. I then ran back to the car and started crying/sobbing. I really hope things go smoothly today for Chloe.

I then drove Oliver to preschool, trying to keep my black mascara from running down my cheeks. We were the first to arrive at Oliver's class and his first words to his new teacher were, "My mom cried this morning in the car! Yea, I heard her."

As I explained why I was crying to his teacher, Oliver toddled off, happy to be back to school and didn't seem worried that he knew none of the other children. He was ready and didn't even look back! He had found his cubby, unpacked his backpack and was already playing with the other children.

I prayed things went as smoothly for Chloe.

Golden Ticket Race

Sunday, September 08, 2013 No comments
This weekend was the BIG race weekend for the "golden ticket" to the Rot*ax world's in November. Chloe has been improving her times and is beginning to challenge the leaders. In preparation for the big weekend (and since it was a holiday), Chloe and Matt went to the track to practice on Thursday and Friday. Chloe's kart was running fantastic and she had great lap times during practice. Unfortunately, when it came time to the actual race day, Chloe's kart wasn't running as well as it had previously. Chloe still managed a third place finish on Saturday.

Chloe receiving her 3rd place trophy after Saturday's race.
Saturday's podium. Some of the top micro drivers in the country.
Matt changed the motor in Chloe's kart to get the performance back for Sunday's race. Chloe qualified 4th and at the start of the race she was punted off track by another racer. Chloe fought back, passed three drivers (including the kid who knocked her off-track) and made it back to 4th, where she ended up finishing for the race. Chloe was disappointed in the outcome but during tech inspection, two drivers (1st and 3rd place finishers) were disqualified and Chloe came in 2nd.
Chloe making her way back to the front of the pack.

Oliver at the awards ceremony with TWO lollipops.

Sunday's podium.

Sunday's podium with the golden ticket winners.

Chloe didn't get the coveted "golden ticket", but a her close pal did, as was expected.

As Chloe continues to improve, its been recommended we begin letting her race in the bigger, national race events which means we will be spending a lot of time in Florida this winter racing in the winter tour.

Oliver's First Soccer Game

Saturday, September 07, 2013 No comments
We signed Oliver up a couple of weeks ago for a community soccer league. He is on a team of 8 boys ages 4-6. They are the Blue Whales. Today was their first game/practice. It's 30 minutes of soccer practice and a 30 minute game against another team.

Oliver loves soccer and was really excited to be on a team. We were a little worried about his reaction to having to "share" a soccer ball, but he did fine and even though he didn't have the longest attention span, he participated nicely, cheered on his teammates and made new friends.

13 Months Old Today

Friday, September 06, 2013 No comments

NH Regional Race

Wednesday, September 04, 2013 No comments
Chloe had a Rota*x Regional race in New Hampshire Friday and Saturday. Originally, Matt and Chloe were going to go and Oliver, Emma Claire and I were going to stay behind. But, last minute we decided to all go and managed to get Lizzie and Flash into the vets for boarding.

We left Thursday, much later than planned and didn't get to NH until very late.

Friday was practice day. We brought the double-jog stroller and Oliver, Emma Claire and I logged some miles walking around the track watching the practice sessions.

Chloe had a great weekend of racing. She managed to get the pole for the race but hit the tire wall and came in 2nd overall. She's getting faster and faster and is becoming a challenge to the top-finishers. It was a great weekend of driving for her.

Matt had planned to race as well, but his kart didn't want to cooperate. It's been touch and go with his DD2 and it looks like a motor replacement is in order.

When we weren't at the track, we could be found at the indoor pool at the hotel, which is what it was all about for Oliver.

We were going to stay through Monday, but came home a day early because the weather wasn't cooperating. Instead, we went to OVRP on Monday to practice for the upcoming regional there. Chloe was once again the fastest Micro on the track. We can't wait to see what happens at the all-important regional this upcoming weekend.

A Month Home

Sunday, September 01, 2013 No comments
She really does smile. I promise. And, she doesn't usually run around in just a diaper. Her brother "accidentally" spilled milk on her.

Emma Claire has been home for a month now. She is showing her personality more and more each day. She is still easy-going though we are discovering that she isn't a push-over. She is sleeping through the night though getting her to go to sleep at nap and night time can be challenging.

Her hair is growing and she is developing my favorite baby hair style--sticky up hair.

We are learning to point and recognize the names of family and body parts--she knows her nose and hair so far. The other day I asked her "Where is Daddy?" I expected her to point to Matt. Instead, she said, "There he is!". We were all surprised!!

She loves to stand and thinks it is hysterical if you let her try to stand on her own and wobble around and catch her.

She has yet to master feeding herself and her pincer grip is not yet there.

She has a doting big sister and her big brother loves to show her how to knock down towers and stacking cups.

She has 6 teeth with two more coming in on the bottom.

She's had some big changes the last month, not only did she leave the only home she's ever known, her nanny and come home to people who speak a different language and to a different time zone, but she also moved homes with us. Thankfully, it hasn't hampered bonding and she has been very adaptable.