Saturday, August 30, 2008

Summer Reflection

At the beginning of the summer S and I made a list of the things we wanted to do for summer fun. Here was our list:

-go to an amusement park (did this)
-go to Story Land in NH (never happened)
-beach in Maine (not yet but hopefully in September)
-clam cakes and chowdah (yup..did this)
-go to a beach in Massachusetts (did this)
-water slides (haven't done this but I am the only one who really wants to)
-Lobstah Dinner (yes for my birthday)
-Rhode Island Beach (yes did this)
-Fireworks (not really, we saw amateur on the 4th)
-Mini Golf (yup)
-go out for Breakfast (not yet but we can do this in Sept)
-visit S's Parents and go to the beach and pick blueberries (yup)

It looks like we did about half of the things on the list :) Not bad and I believe that in September we will be able to complete a few more. Over all I think it was a great summer. Z and I packed in a lot of fun activities and also had some great down time ;) Once again, the weather could have been better but I feel we made the best of it. Here are some highlight photos from the summer :) Now it is time for my favorite season of all!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Z's Latest Obsession

Maybe I should have gone with a train birthday theme instead! Oh well :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Rememebered Christmas Gift

Well Z and I were playing with his trucks the other day and I realized how cute his imaginative play is becoming. He makes sounds for the different cars, has words and mumbles for the is really cute. While we were playing I remembered the puppet set I had gotten in the Family Christmas Yankee Swap (we have a $50 limit). I ran upstairs and found the box under our guest room bed, dusted it off and brought it downstairs.

When I had first gotten it (fought tooth and nails for it so Z could have it) Z could care less. He looked at the animals for a minute and then walked away. Discouraged, I put it under the bed and figured I would wait until he was a little older. When I showed him the box this time, he was very intrigued. We opened the lid together and he "oooohhhhhed" when he saw the contents. He started to handle each of the puppets and I showed him how to put them on his hand. We then built the cute little stage and I put on a little show for him.

He was so fascinated by the puppets! I think he thought that they were really talking. He did get a little frustrated when he put the puppet on his hand and it didn't do the same things that it did on my hand :) but overall he loved it. When S came home he asked Z what he did that day and Z mentioned the "show" and the elephant. We then told him all about the different puppets and what they had done in the show. It was so much fun :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birthday Planning

I can't believe that in one month, my little Z is going to turn 2! I know everyone says this but time truly flies by! It seems like just yesterday I was pacing the hallway with a newborn baby in my arm. Crazy!

I have to admit that I have been thinking about Z's birthday party and presents for months (obsessing might be a better word). I can't help it, that is just the way I am......I love holidays and parties! I am one of those people who starts their Christmas shopping way early (started in May this year) and if I see something for someone and their birthday is months away, I still pick it up :) I started shopping for Z's birthday back in June and all of his presents are ready to be wrapped (I can't help it!!).

Themes are very important to me when it comes to party planning. Every party I have ever thrown has had a theme :) For Z's first birthday we had two parties (one with my family and one with S's). One of his parties was a Fish Theme and the other was Curious George. At the time, these were his two favorite things.

If you asked me back in July what Z's birthday party theme was going to be this year, I would have said The Red Sox. I was going to have foods from Fenway Park (franks, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream bars, sausage and peppers etc.), baseball decorations (wouldn't have to buy a thing), a baseball cake and give the kids Red Sox stuffed balls as favors. It was all ready to go and my mom said she would go and get the Red Sox paper goods.

Well luckily, she didn't buy them because now we are going a whole new route. I decided last month (When Z's Bob the Builder obsession started) that we would throw a Construction Truck Party. He has loved trucks since he was 15 months old and again we would not need to buy many decorations (we have a fleet of trucks) and this theme has endless I decided to switch themes.

S and I decided to wait until Z turns 3 before throwing him a kid party. His two year old party will be family only so we do face a bit of a challenge.....what do you do with 5 small children and a bunch of adults??? I am still trying to work out all of the logistics (any tips would be welcome) but I am thinking of throwing a "Builders Lunch" (booze included) with a few small activities for the kids. There are a lot of great ideas out there for this party theme and I have been going through and borrowing the best. I think it is going to be a lot of fun!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Trip to the Farm

Last weekend we spent two days down at S's parents house. We had a blast visiting both their farm and the beach. Z got to pick his first blueberries, sat on their bulldozer and tractor, explored all of the instruments in the music room and best of all got to play with his grandparents and great grandparents. Z loves being on the farm, it is such a special place!

Here are some photos from our trip!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Dentist....

It was no shock to us that Z hated his trip to the dentist :) We read the book that they sent us to prepare him for his first visit (it has a dinosaur in it) and told him that he was going to visit the "dinosaur dentist". He was very excited about this and kept saying, "diosaur denis". The excitement soon died down and was replaced with fear as we walked into the big brick building. I checked in and S brought Z over to the waiting room.

Z's fear melted away when he saw the "Disney" like waiting room. There were many video game systems, a flat screen TV playing cartoons, games, puzzles, books and best of all a castle! You could climb in the castle and either go into a lookout tower or slide down a carpet slide :) Z was in heaven.....well until he saw the lady with the blue scrubs.


Z freaked out the minute he saw her. Crocodile tears were rolling down his little cheeks and he squirmed from me to S and then back again asking to go "Way". We tried to have a conversation with her over his tears (so hard to do) and she gave us a kit to test our water for Flouride. She then told us that the dentist would be right with us (and left the room). Well it took a bit to get Z calmed down but we did it. As soon as his tears had dried, the dentist walked in and he started to wail again. S laid in the chair with Z on his chest while I held down his arms. All this so the dentist could count his teeth.

When it was over Z got two prizes and a toothbrush, which he would not take from the lady in the blue scrubs...but loved them later when I gave them to him in the car :) We then went back to play in the waiting room, the tears dried up and Z was happy once again. We repeat that torture in 6 months and you better believe I booked the appointment for another Saturday so S can join us for another fun filled trip to the "dinosaur dentist".

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We're Back....

Well I went two weeks without the internet!!! The local library does have internet access but I promised S that I would take a vacation from my computer and I have to admit that it was nice. Yes I had 350 emails when I got back and I am not even close to catching up on reading all of my favorite blogs.....but for 2 weeks my computer sat under the bed and I spent my time doing other things :)

Last month after her vacation, A Buns Life split her vacation summary into two parts :) She started with a blog all about the good things that happened and then shared all of the "bad" things. I loved this approach and thought about doing something similar but then decided to get the bad over with in one sentence and then focus on all the GOOD that happened. I think this will work a lot better for me :)

Before I start with the bad, let me preface my one sentence with RAINED for 10 out of 14 days!!!! So what happens when you put 9 adults and two small children in a small space in the rain? The BAD.....It was cold and rainy for much of the vacation, people went a little stir crazy, we had too many people in a small space, babies were crying, adults were crying, there were few places to relax in the rain, feelings were hurt and there were many arguments over stupid things.

Aahhhhh....I feel a little bit better after that ;) So now on to the good :)

Despite one of the worst summers, weather wise, that I can remember....we had a great vacation at the lake. The lake has always been a place to kick back and relax. We are a little more go go go now that we have Z but we still have a more laid back approach to life when we are there. Many friends have come to the lake and asked, "What do we do now?" and we answer with..."This". That is what we do...nothing! We swim, read, play games, eat, drink and occasionally go out and do something. It is very low key...the way we like it!

We spent a lot of time on the beach over the two weeks. We played in the sand, built castles and played with trucks. There were some good swimming days and we even swam when it wasn't so nice. We had lots of water fights, jumping competitions and just plain splashing around. S and I took many rides out on the Jet Ski (he loves to hear me scream in terror as he turns really quickly) and Z and I took a nice boat ride with my dad and some friends to get ice cream.

We are a very competitive family and so there were many games and competitions played throughout the vacation. Our mini-golf game was played in the rain (I won!!!), we played lot's of card and board games (this game is awesome and this adult game got ugly!), we watched lots of Olympic coverage and even organized our own family Olympics (I got the silver). Z loves the lake and did not let the rain stop him! He played basketball, t-ball and his first game of bocce and he really enjoyed being with the older kids (there are some older boys in our community who Z loves!). S and the guys got out to play golf 3 times and my two brother in-laws enjoyed some fishing. We even had one night of stars so we let Z stay up until after 9 to help us count them :)

My sister, mother and I felt the best thing to do in the rain was shop :) We went to the country store a few times and even hit the outlets twice :) The second time was without kids and I have to say that was one of my best days! I actually got to try on clothes :) It was fun being with my mom and my sister and I got some really good bargains for Z and myself!

And then there was the food and drink! We ate really well over the two weeks (so much ice cream). We shared the cooking responsibilities and even went out to eat 5 times (I got to have my favorite mac and cheese in the world). My sister, brother in-law and I went to a wine tasting and came home with lots of fun treats. We had a few margarita nights, rum punch, lots of beer and wine and bmy brother in-law enjoyed this. Thankfully I joined a gym and kept up my running to help combat all of this eating and drinking. I came away the same weight as I went in (not sure how that happened).

Over all it was a great vacation with the family. We had a lot of laughs, made some great memories with the kids and I actually completed a book! Z and I are off for one more week on Saturday (S will join us on the weekends):) This time there will be less people and we are hoping it will be a little more relaxing. We shall see.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Toddlers and Tooth Brushing

Z goes for his for his first trip to the dentist this weekend and I am so scared! I scheduled the trip for a Saturday so that S could come with us. Z hates the doctors, the hairdresser and the the chance of him liking the dentist is very slim. I asked them if they would let him just sit in the chair and not go near him. They said they would do as much as they could this visit :)

So far I am very happy with the dentist I chose. They seem like they are very kid friendly and know what they are doing. They sent a book to Z all about the dentist and it has his name in it! It has a place for autographs so he can get the receptionist and dentist's autograph when we go.

One of the dentists I looked at doesn't even let the parent go in with the child. Are they kidding? Talk about scarring a child for life! "No sorry sweetie I am going to wait here in the waiting room while these strangers take you into a room with all of these strange instruments and bright lights...have fun!" I am so happy I found the dentist that I did.

I guess we are late in getting Z to the dentist, he is 22 months. From what I have been told, he should have gone between 12-18 months. We do try to brush Z's teeth at least once a day. We got into this routine when he was 5 months old (back then we would use our finger). Every night at bedtime we go into the bathroom and sing this song while we brush. I usually brush my teeth at the same time to show him what to do. He brushes for awhile and then we brush. We have tried to start brushing in the morning (when I brush) but he is much less cooperative at this time of day. There is too much to do/play and he fights me pretty hard when I try to brush his teeth.

I bought him a special sink stool, he has fun toothbrushes with characters and a toothpaste that he loves but he still fights me. I might have to start doing it while he is distracted (watching TV), that is when I cut his nails. Another tip I heard was to buy a child's electric toothbrush. I am not sure if this will help or scare Z but it is worth a try. I will let you know :)

As for fluoride, my doctor recommends it (I am sure the dentist will too)...but S is against it. He never had it and has beautiful teeth. I did have it and didn't have my first cavity in my late 20's. The fluoride did discolor my teeth but it made them hard as rocks. We have the prescription filled but it has never been used. I am hoping we can talk with the dentist about the pros and cons of using it. S is afraid to put any unneeded chemicals in Z's body. I agree with his feelings and from the little research I have done on the internet, there is a debate out there about whether or not flouride helps or hurts.

Well I am sure I will have lots to share after our trip to the dentist :) Wish us luck!!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Momma Hoe"

Z loves to play with his shovel and rake in this small patch of dirt in our driveway. He spends so much time out there moving very small piles of dirt while his beautiful sandbox sits all alone in our backyard. S has nicknamed this spot "Z's Construction Site".

As soon as we get home from being out, Z runs to get his lawn set and drags me out to the "site". He grabs his shovel and hands me his garden hoe and says in a very loud and forceful voice "Momma Hoe". This always makes me chuckle...probably because I taught third grade and so I appreciate third grade humor (although that might be more like 5th grade humor). It's the simple things in life that make me smile!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Honey!

Today is a special day...not only is it S's 31st birthday, it is also my parents anniversary. They have been married for 34 years!!! They started dating when they were just 15 years old :) In honor of these two special occasions, I have written two little limericks....I know it is not St. Patty's day but I haven't taught in two years so it has been awhile since I wrote a limerick :) Enjoy!

There is a great daddy named S
whose job always brings him stress
He loves his family so much
His relatives were Dutch
We are so glad he does not wear a dress

There was a great couple who wed
34 years they have shared the same bed
They raised 3 great girls
The oldest with curls
And the father in-law was named Ted

Wow...I forgot how hard it is to write a limerick :) Sorry these are not award worthy but it is late!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fire Safety in the Home

Okay, so I was reading this book to Z the other night and got so freaked out! I feel the book is a bit scary (especially for someone scared of fire, like myself) and I started to panic about what we would do in case of a fire. I couldn't believe that in the two years I have lived in my house, I have never made a Fire Safety Plan!!!

Fire has always been something that I have feared. As a child I had nightmares about it, couldn't watch the episodes of Happy Days or Webster when they had they had the big fires, made sure my stuffed animals were away from electrical outlets and always feared that my house would be burned to the ground when we returned from vacation.

After tucking Z into bed I went downstairs and immediately started my research on Fire Safety Plans. Most plans recommended each 2 story home have a fire ladder. I researched them all and chose the one that makes the most sense for us. Ideally, you would have one in each room but since I was about to make a hundred dollar purchase without telling S, I thought I would only order one for now.

When S got home I told him of the purchase I made on Amazon and we figured out our plan. S's parents gave us the blue box from Suzie Orman for Christmas and I told S that we had to get the box ready and keep it under our bed with the fire ladder. That way we can grab it and have our important papers, computer files etc. I asked if I could also keep the wedding album under the bed (I worked so hard to get that thing together) but S said no. I might keep it there anyway and if I have room in my arms after grabbing Z and my blue box, grab it too :)

If you don't have a Fire Safety Plan, I suggest you make one. You can check out this site to help you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Vacation Time

Well we have waited all summer and now vacation is finally here! Z and I will be away for 2 weeks, home for a week and then back away for one more week :) I can't wait. S will be joining us on weekends and for one of those weeks. It should be so much fun (hopefully the weather cooperates).

Z and I have plans to swim, play trucks in the sand, build castles, go mini golfing, go in the boats, read books, play bocce and just have FUN! We will spend lots of time with my niece G (hopefully she will master walking), my sister, my parents and my grandmother. There are so many board games to play, puzzles to put together, marshmallows to roast, stars to count and of course trips to the General Store for penny candy (it costs 5 cents now). I can't wait!!!!!!

I d0 have a few blog posts that will be coming out over the next few weeks so check back here and there if you want. Happy August everyone!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Picture Catch Up

Here are some photos that I finally downloaded off of my camera. I am just too tired to say much else :)

the beach last weekend

ocean Kindermusik class :)