Spring Randomness

Saturday, April 16, 2016 No comments
Random thoughts and events during the last few weeks--

It always seems spring brings a FULL calendar. Matt and I had to sit down and compile all the commitments and events that fill up one's calendar completely for the next 5 months. It seems that there is always one weekend each month in the spring that EVERYONE and their dog chooses for events. Oliver had the start of spring soccer and two birthday parties on one day only minutes apart. He had two slices of cake and 6 pieces of pizza and lots of fun. 

Emma Claire is preparing for her dance recital that will require an entire weekend of dress rehearsals and performance walk-thrus. They're three. THREE! Who are we kidding, everyone knows who steals the show in all dance recitals--the little kids. 
Emma Claire and her dance pals. It also somehow worked out that EC and the three little girls to her right are all in the same pre-school class next year too. Should be fun. 
 After putting up the winter gear because temps were in the 70s in March, we pulled them all back out because temps have been in the 30s in April.

We discovered our barn has its own Facebook page from when it was used as an exercise facility. A completely illegal, unzoned, unlicensed exercise facility mind you.

You can't "like" the page anymore, it's now defunct, though people have expressed their sadness on the page that they can no longer work out in the barn. Sorry folks, it's our house now. It's a family party barn now where this is happening on any typical day--

The kids had a dental check-up. Oliver finally has loose teeth! Chloe got a stick on mustache from the prize bin and then proceeded to take 500 selfies with my iPhone.


Wednesday, April 06, 2016 No comments
Emma Claire dressed herself this day, she even picked out her accessories. She's taken to saying "Hashtag Winning!" to her brother and sister when she does something she's proud of or get's a one-up on them. Since she was looking so stylish, I had to preserve the moment.

Spring Snow

Sunday, April 03, 2016 No comments

Winter decided it wasn't done with us yet....


Monday, March 28, 2016 No comments
It was a low-key Easter this year. We came back from the hotel on Saturday, got some things done around the house and had a nice Easter lunch as a family on Sunday before we hunted for eggs.

The attempts to get a nice photo of the kids with their Easter Baskets---

Emma Claire was excited about the "Oyster Bunny" visiting this year. "Who is the Oyster Bunny!?" demanded Oliver. Perhaps next year the word "Easter" will be a little more clear.
 Then the egg hunt began--

And then insanity ensues with the breaking of the cascarones. This is such a hit at our house. The kids love these confetti eggs and I have to thank BeBe for shipping them every year from Texas where they are in abundance and easily found during the Easter season. Our neighbors came out to see the kids throwing the eggs and smashing them on their heads and their siblings heads. Forget the candy in eggs, my kids prefer the cascarones.

Happy Easter!

Staycation 2016

Saturday, March 26, 2016 No comments
After last year's Spring Break Staycation was a hit, I promised the kids we would repeat it again this year. We made plans to go to the same resort as last year, but a different hotel--the one with the biosphere pool. We chose not to stay at this hotel last year because it has a slide and Oliver was not tall enough for it last year. To avoid drama and to ensure all had a good time we skipped it. This year, Oliver was tall enough for the slide. The hotel and the biosphere was a hit. It was a brief 24 hour stay-over but just long enough.

The kids loved the pool and especially the water slide. It takes a while for Emma Claire to come around to the idea of swimming a splashing and getting water in her eyes, but when she did, she enjoyed it. 

We spent the majority of our time at the pool and I think the kids would have opened and closed the waterslide if we let them. Matt enjoyed a massage at the spa for his birthday present and we all had a nice family dinner at a hotel restaurant with a game of pool and ping pong afterwards.

Inside the biosphere pool. Nice, warm and lush. It's like a tropical paradise in NJ!
Chloe and Oliver "hanging" at the waterfall.

Emma Claire gave the pool a thumbs up. 

Dinner out. Oliver is looking at the creepy family next to us that stared at us the entire meal. Chloe got up and asked me quietly, "What are they looking at?" I replied, "Us. Apparently this is a people aquarium and they've never seen a multi-racial family." It was awkward, enough to make us be like "eat up and lets go", I almost said something, but I thought I would take the higher ground--I told Oliver and Chloe it was their problem, not ours. 


Friday, March 25, 2016 No comments
We took an impromptu road trip with Matt to Boston during the kid's Spring Break. Matt had a meeting and we decided to tag along for fun.

What's that about the best laid plans?

It wasn't the fun day we had hoped. Car problems, getting out of the house late with three kids, and unseasonably cold weather put a BIG damper on the trip.

Not as fun as we had anticipated.

But, we did get to visit the New England Aquarium and stop on the way home at a friends house in Connecticut. The day may not have started out best, but it ended well.

The kids enjoyed the aquarium, for the most part. Oliver and Chloe loved the touch pools, Emma Claire did not want to touch anything.

Chloe and Oliver at the touch pool with the rays.

A very large sea turtle.

A grouper? that really followed us all over the tank. Emma Claire declared she didn't like it. 

Visitors to the City

Saturday, March 19, 2016 No comments

It's always nice to see visitors. My aunt and her granddaughter (my 2nd cousin), Abigail, came to NYC to sightsee. It was a high school graduation present for Abigail. Chloe and Matt were in Florida racing, but Oliver, Emma Claire and I went into the city to "visit". It was a great day. We had such nice weather and it was fun to go into Central Park and enjoy it. Little did we know that the weather was going to get much colder on Monday and would stay that way for a while. It was nice to enjoy spring with family before winter re-emerged.

Oliver, Abigail and Emma Claire in the park.

The world to Oliver is just one big parkour course.

Emma Claire really liked playing with Abigail. 
My Aunt Laura and me.

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 No comments

We celebrated Matt's birthday this weekend and today, his actual birthday, he flew to Palm Beach with Chloe for the final round of the Florida Winter Tour. Not a bad way to spend your birthday, racing in Florida, but he also got a pretty nice birthday present, a Triumph America motorcycle.

The Tank

Friday, February 26, 2016 No comments
Some 18 months after getting our saltwater reef aquarium we decided it was time to really get it going. I've spent the last year or so trying to learn the ins and outs of the tank and not much has been happening in it. So, for Valentine's, we paid a visit to the store where we bought it and made a plan to really get the tank going. We added some more live rock, sand, got a big cleanup crew of conchs, snails, starfish, crabs and shrimp and picked out some fish. I even added some corals and an anemone (that drives me nut with all of its moving around the tank)! 

The kids and Matt named all the fish, after Top Gun characters (who came up with that idea I wonder?). 

We now have a beautiful display tank with the following fish. Their names are in parantheses and the star denotes who has claimed it as their favorite fish--

Hippo Tang (Maverick) *Matt
Clown Tang (Jester)
Yellow Tang (Lotus) *Emma Claire
Tomato Clown (Goose) *Chloe
Clarkii Clown (Sundown) *Oliver

We also have 4 small damsels (one of which has always been in the tank from setup) and 2 sandsifting gobys. 

Goose, Lotus and Jester. 

Maverick (aka Dory)


Monday, February 22, 2016 No comments
We snuck away for a family vacation to Florida to watch Chloe race at the 2nd round of The Florida Winter Tour in Ocala. The weather was lovely, though it has been a very mild northeast winter this year (and I'm not complaining). 

For some reason, I didn't get too many photos, but of course, most of the time we were at the track. The kids did have fun. Oliver is old enough now that he can go and find pals to play with and Emma Claire is making her own pals too. 

Oliver and I on the plane. Chloe and Matt went down a day ahead to set up and start practice.

Emma Claire and her team BCR pals. 

At the hotel. Oliver and Emma Claire loved playing mini golf.

Big sister brought Emma Claire a cupcake from the driver's dinner and she was one happy, chocolate-covered girl. 

They're in Florida and We're in This

Sunday, January 24, 2016 No comments
On cue, Matt and Chloe head to Florida to race and Mother Nature dumps 7 inches of snow on us in the northeast.

Then the chains broke on the snow plow.

Then the heating went off.

Can you guess where we'd like to be right now?

Not here.

Oliver and Emma Claire watching the kart racing in Florida while it snows outside. 

Turbo liked it until he couldn't climb back up the steps. 
Portia's cold and wet.

Deer in the front yard.

Staying warm with a fire and a movie.