Saturday, March 28, 2015

Meeting the Easter Bunny

While Chloe, Oliver and Matt were in Florida racing, Emma Claire and I paid a visit to the Easter Bunny. Emma Claire seemed excited until she sat on the bunny's lap. She didn't cry but she did act shy and unsure about this creature. Luckily, photo #14 was the winner.
 
 

Happier in her bunny ears after meeting the Easter Bunny.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

End of the Short Course Season

 
Just as the short course season in swimming comes to an end, the karting season starts and there is always a conflict. Chloe qualified for silver zone championships but was racing in Florida on the weekend of the swim meet. She qualified for a few events in the Bronze championship meet, longer lengths in strokes she hadn't swam much all season.
 
Since Chloe hadn't swam the longer lengths in breast and butterfly we didn't know how she would do. Well, she did fantastic, winning two events overall and placing 2nd in the other. Her times are all silver or better now. Pretty impressive for someone with her small frame.
 
After the event, a coach from another team came to find us and tell us he was so impressed by Chloe. He's leaving his current team and coming to coach for Chloe's swim team. He told us after Chloe competed in butterfly he got so excited and came to ask our coaches who she was because he couldn't wait to work with her.  He thought her butterfly was fantastic, complementing her on her stroke and technique and that she had a lot of potential. It was such a nice thing to hear and made her proud.
 
Chloe (purple suit) at the start of the heat. Chloe is always one of the smallest on the starting blocks--small, but MIGHTY!

Emma Claire with a ring pop.

Oliver and Emma Claire. Oliver always finds a friend at a swim meet and plays. He loves swim meets and making new friends.

Chloe swimming in competition.

Chloe pulling out a large lead in breast stroke.

Friday, March 20, 2015

First Day of Spring

Winter, PLEASE go away!!! The first day of spring brought snow. Ugh. I'm sick of cold weather and snow. The kids obviously aren't they got into a snowball fight after I took this photo.
 
First day of spring and we get a couple of inches of snow.


Snow ball fight.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Taekwondo

Chloe did Kung Fu a few years ago but we quit because it was such a trek to get to the school. Kung Fu moves at a much slower pace than Taekwondo or Karate, it can take years before you get to advance in belts, but we chose it because it is a Chinese martial art. Chloe really enjoyed it but the one hour plus drive to the school was too much. In the NYC metro area there are only a handful of schools teaching Kung Fu, but there are many Taekwondo and Karate schools. When we signed Oliver up for martial arts, we enrolled him in Taekwondo. Chloe has hinted that she wanted to go back to martial arts classes, but her swim schedule seemed to prevent it.
 
Every six months at Oliver's martial arts school, the students and parents have a meeting with the head instructor and discuss goals and progress. At Oliver's last meeting Oliver set a long-term goal of becoming a black belt in Taekwondo. This is a big commitment and one Oliver made on his own with Master Pereira. Students who make this commitment get a special ceremony and a special uniform that signifies their commitment.
 
Oliver in class on the day he made his commitment to earning his black belt.
Oliver getting his uniform signifying his commitment to study Taekwondo until he earns his black belt. He was SOOOO proud of himself and loves that uniform.
 It was at Oliver's session that Chloe declared that she wanted to take martial arts again. Master Pereira and I discussed some of the benefits for Chloe and I expressed my concerns that she couldn't commit because of her swim and kart schedules. But, Master Pereira said if Chloe committed and really wanted to do martial arts then he would help us "fill in" the gaps if she had to miss and gave us a free, extended trial period to see if we could make it work.
 
So far, so good and Chloe is loving it. Oliver is loving having his sister in class and that he is a higher belt. They even practice together and challenge each other.
Chloe in her first class.


Chloe and Oliver in class.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Matt's Birthday

We celebrated Matt's birthday by watching the first Formula1 race of the year, doing a little shopping and having a family dinner out at a local BBQ restaurant.
 
This is what happens when you take three children shoe shopping for Dad---



Dinner out. The kids LOVED the chicken wings. Our waiter couldn't believe all three kids would eat them.
Emma Claire liking her chicken wing.

The birthday Dad, Oliver and Chloe.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Gift Exchange

Our October 2006 LID group had a gift exchange our exchange pals live in Shanghai! We got lots of great items in our exchange gift package. 
 
 
 
Oliver and Emma Claire wearing masks.


The panda snow globe was a favorite.

A Chinese Zodiac wall hanging. A neighbor in NJ had one and I always loved it. Now I have my own!



Chloe reading the letter in the package and using her chopsticks.
Such a great group of people in our LID group and so much fun!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Mom/Son Night Out

Big sister Chloe is back to the racing season and she and Matt have been in Florida this past week. Oliver gets upset when Chloe is gone so I set up a special afternoon for him to get some one on one attention. He got to pick the agenda. 

First up, the SpongeBob movie. He also conned me into an Icee and popcorn. I spent most of the 90 minutes pondering why theatres show 30 minutes of previews and how badly Antonio Banderas needed a paycheck to star in the SpongeBob movie. 

I had thought we would go eat after the movie, but Oliver wasn't hungry and the mall was PACKED (Saturday at a mega-mall just outside NYC means LOTS of people). Oliver saw that there was an ice skating rink in the mall and he begged to go ice skating--he keeps telling me he wants to play hockey. I obliged, we stood in the massive line to buy admission tickets when Oliver discovered there were arcade games at the ice rink. He opted for video games instead of skates. 

We walked back through the mall, stopping at a candy store and then Build-a-Bear where Oliver confided in me that he has a goal to get more stuffed animals than his sister Chloe. This is a goal that made me cringe. Chloe has TOO MANY stuffed animals. Nevertheless, I obliged Oliver and got him Raphael from the Ninja Turtles. I discovered shortly after that Raphael was just a ploy to get the sword accessories. Its always about the accessories at BaB.

I did get a kick out of what Oliver named Raphael. He told me when we went to the computer that he was going to stick with Raphael and then he asked me how to spell Formula1 driver, Lewis Hamilton's name. Perhaps he's getting the racing bug too?
Raphael, aka Lewis Hamilton

We left the mall, headed to the season opening of the local ice cream stand. There is two feet of snow and it was 13 degrees outside. We waited in line behind five other people for ice cream. Are we insane? It made for one happy, but cold little boy.



 
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