School's Out!

Monday, June 30, 2014 No comments
Finally! School is out for the summer. Chloe's last day was June 26. Yes, school gets out here one week before Independence Day. I will never be able to wrap my head around that as I am programmed that school gets out around Memorial Day.

It's all the kids, all of the time now.

It took me exactly one day of all three kids at home to write up a daily schedule, including a chore chart.

So far we've lounged around and played in the blow-up pool I purchased to entertain the kids. There are no swim clubs/town pools in our area so this is the next best thing. Some people have asked why we don't put in an in-ground pool since we have all this space and the answer is simple -- This isn't Texas and our pool water doesn't naturally heat up from summer warmth. Pools in this area are COLD unless you heat them. It costs a lot of money for something that you can use for basically 2-3 months out of the year (less for us since we are kart racing most of the summer). People who have pools here have said that you MUST heat them to swim in them and you will choke the first time you get that electric bill for heating the pool. One person told me it was their "biggest regret and waste of money ever". So, I splurged and bought this little number. For $40, its served its purpose. I also purchased a smaller pool for Emma Claire and a water sprayer for the older two to run through. So far, so good.

Emma Claire even got into the pool. Yes, she has swim suits but she usually never gets into the pool (she doesn't like baths) but for some reason she wanted into the baby pool on this day and decided to climb right clothes, shoes and all, prompting us to strip her of her clothes and let her splash in her diaper.

Pre-School Circus (Gymnastics)

Monday, June 23, 2014 No comments
It was another weekend with many things to get done around the house while having many of the kids activities competing with getting them accomplished. Oliver had a birthday party on Saturday afternoon and we had to leave the party early to go to his end of the year performance for gymnastics -- The Pre-School Circus.

This is Oliver's second year taking gymnastics. He loves it and there are many boys in his co-ed class. This next year he will be in a "boys only" class where he will be evaluated for the competition team. Most of the time in class he likes to joke with the other boys in the class. Once again, he's the "little mayor" of the class.

The gymnastics performance was comprised of several classes and there were lots of parents, grandparents and friends to cheer the kids on. So, excuse my photos, many of them contain random arms that belonged to a cheering parent or grandparent.

A video of Oliver on the bars with assistance from his teacher -

Other photos from the day -

The kid is limber. Not a gymnastics or karate class goes by that an instructor or parent doesn't say something to me about how limber Oliver is.

Being silly as always.

Apparently pink and orange were the popular colors to select for the shirts. Oliver was the only one in blue.

Oliver's Pre-School Graduation

Thursday, June 19, 2014 No comments
Oliver's last day of pre-school was today and he is headed to kindergarten in September. BeBe stayed to come see his pre-school graduation ceremony and it was very cute. The kids wore bee shirts with all their classmates names and recounted what they learned each month of the school year. Oliver's speaking part was for the month of January. They also sang songs.

The kids walked across the stage and got their pre-school diplomas and afterward we had a party/celebration.

Walking in.

On stage.

Oliver doing his speaking part.

Singing a song about a little green monster.

Getting his graduation cap from his teacher.

Walking across the stage.

And what else do you do with a pre-school diploma but use it as a spy glass?

The kindergartner.

Oliver and his pal Matteo.

Oliver with some of his best pre-school buds.

Oliver's 5th Birthday

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 No comments
Oliver's 5th birthday was Monday and I took a snack to his pre-school class to celebrate. Since he had his party on Friday, we kept the day low-key. Oliver did wonder if he was six years old instead of five since he had a party on Friday at home and celebrated at school on Monday. Nice try little guy.

Oliver and I at pre-school. I brought in Dunkin Donuts in the shape of a number 5. Ollie loves DD and half of his pre-school class has June birthdays. Oliver told me he didn't want any more cupcakes!

Having snack with some of his pre-school class.

Oliver and I reading The Three Ninja Pigs to his class.

The kids went outside after snack.
 After pre-school we took Oliver out to lunch.
BeBe & Oliver.

Oliver's Final Soccer Game

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 No comments
For Oliver's final soccer game of the season, he had quite the audience to cheer him on. Bebe, Chloe, Emma Claire, Olivia, Mom & Dad were all there to watch him play.

When he wasn't out playing, he was chasing Chloe and Olivia.

After the game was over, the team had a trophy ceremony.

Oliver's individual and team soccer photo.

Chloe's 10th Birthday

Monday, June 16, 2014 No comments
We no sooner cleaned up the barn from Oliver's birthday party then we were starting Chloe's 10th birthday celebration. Her best friend, Olivia, came over and spent Friday and Saturday night with us.

Despite having had cake and ice cream at Oliver's birthday party, the kids insisted that we go for ice cream on Friday night.
For Chloe's birthday on Saturday, we went to Oliver's final soccer game of the season and in the evening we went to Mt. Fuji restaurant and came home to have cake and open presents.

The dragon came out at the table to sing "Happy Birthday" to Chloe.

Chloe, Oliver and Olivia outside the restaurant.

With our chef.

Blowing out the birthday candle.

Oliver's Party

Sunday, June 15, 2014 No comments
Nothing inspires you to get a place cleaned up like having a party. Since we moved into the house and had the barn sheet rocked, we haven't really touched it since. The kids go in to play and the race karts and cars are housed in there, but it was generally a mess.

When we started making plans for Oliver's 5th birthday, it only made sense to have the party at the house. We finally had the space, why not use it. We ordered shelves and storage for the barn to store tools and all the other items necessarily kept in a garage. We're super-lucky to have a "party" barn so we wanted it to be presentable and usable for 4 and 5 year olds.

We scheduled Oliver's race car party on June 13 at 4 p.m. We don't really like weekend birthday parties because it interrupts the typical weekend day and we decided late afternoon so big sister, Chloe, could attend.
Oliver's invite. I had these made on Etsy. There are lots of cute race car invites you can have customized and print out. Oddly enough, the shop I ordered these from is no longer on Etsy.

But, as is typical of the weather in the northeast in late spring, rain was fore casted. Not just sprinkles, but heavy rain forcing us to alter some plans. The original plan was to have a really large interactive bounce house but with rain and thunder in the forecast, we opted to rent a simple and much smaller bounce house that would fit in the barn.

I ordered much of the party decorations on-line. The big box party store had some race car themed items but they were all Hot Wheels related. I wanted more generic race themed items and ordered it from two different online retailers.

Above: The inside set up. We raised the two garage doors into the barn. We had a table for the kids to eat at on the left, the bounce house in the back of the barn and I made a little raceway with cones and balloons for the kids to drive three R/C cars. The racetrack design lasted about 15 seconds after the kids arrived.

Above: Matt before the party started in front of the refreshment table. I had a large drink dispenser filled with lemonade and two tubs of water, sodas and juice boxes. It was hot and humid when the party started and we went through lots of drinks. The balloons on the floors were blown up and had Hot Wheels cars in them for the kids to pop and get a car. Cute idea and the kids liked it...a little too much. It sent them on a frenzy of popping all the other balloons at the party (hence the  racetrack's demise).
Playing with the R/C cars.

The bounce house was the BIG hit, but the kids often switched between the trampoline and the bounce house. If the girls at the party were in the bounce house, the boys were on the trampoline and vice versa.
The play set wasn't as popular. We tried to hide the ride on toys but they were "discovered" and caused a little ruckus amongst the kids. We had to step in and put the ride-on toys away.
Oliver had first swing at the pinata.
The pinata was also a big hit (literally) and all the kids loved having a go. I found this race car pinata online and it was perfect.

Big sister Chloe wanted to give it a whack too.
We had pizza and cake.

Oliver's cake was chocolate with chocolate pudding filling.

The party was fun and the rain held off until the last few minutes of the party. Oliver declared it "the best birthday ever!" in his long history of birthdays and that's good enough for me.