Wednesday, September 26, 2012

6 Trips Around the Sun!

Today marks Z's 6th trip around the sun and at school today he took his birthday walk which symbolizes this journey.  What an amazing transformation he has made over the past year, he is so much more comfortable at school, so much more expressive and has grown 4 inches!!!  I am so proud of my baby and got a little teary this morning as I thought of how fast this time has gone.  Tomorrow we will celebrate again with his Angry Bird Bounce Party ;)  I will share that fun on Friday.  For now, let me tell you a little bit about Mr. Z and what he is into now.
-Z loves LEGOS.  If the present shakes and sounds like hundreds of pieces, he is PSYCHED.  He loves Ninjago, Star Wars, City, Dino and just building his own things.  He is getting a super hero set tomorrow :)

-Z loves nature.  He is all about being outdoors and loves to identify plants and animals.....especially birds. His brain is much better than mine at retaining information.

-Z is such a kind and caring boy.  He is always looking out for his sister (well when not teasing and torturing her) and is so good about helping her when she needs it.  He cheered the loudest when she went pee pee on the potty last night for the first time and today he introduced her to everyone on the playground, he is always thinking of her!
-Z is always on the lookout for magical things.  He LOVES building fairy houses and is always observing things in nature that most people would miss.  He has such a passion and curiosity that I hope he holds onto.  The world is filled with wonder and Z is one to remind you of that fact.

-Z is a snuggle bunny.  He loves to snuggle with his momma and is often grumpy if we miss "Morning Snuggle" in the morning.  He is big on routine, loves the comfort of home and often needs to be pushed when he is faced with the unknown.  He is so much like his mom and dad and we are so blessed to have such a special soul as our son!
Z's Birthday Breakfast with plain cupcakes (no frosting for Z)!
This year we started the four gift rule that is very popular on the web.  The four gifts are something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.  He also got a gift from his sister and a gift I he ended up with 6 :)  It worked out very well and we plan to do this from now on.

We love you Z!!!!  Happy Birthday :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Z's Birthday Week Kick Off :)

My little boy turns 6 this week and this past weekend we kicked off the celebration with a trip to Rhode Island to see Mimi and Gpa J. We started our visit off in Providence at the Heritage Festival.  It was a celebration of community and culture and there were so many different countries represented.  There was food, dancing, music and tents devoted to each of the countries.  The kids were given passports and so they walked around with Mimi and Gpa J getting them stamped, it was a well done event :)
After the festival we checked out the river.  For those of you who have never been, Providence is a lovely city (wasn't always this nice) and the river area is quite beautiful. 

After an Italian lunch out (you have to eat Italian food when in RI), we went back to Mimi and Grandpa's Farm to check out what was left of the Giant Sunflower garden (it peaked a few weeks ago), Kiki's special dahlias and have a birthday celebration for Master Z.  Check out these giant gourds below....Uncle B is growing them for instruments....they are HUGE!

Here is the giant Sunflower Garden.  The kids had a blast running through the maze of flowers.  It was hard to get them out of the maze :)
Then it was onto Z's birthday celebration.  Mimi let Z create and design his own cake out of donuts and berries!  How cool is that?!?!?  Z LOVES donuts and loves berries so it was the perfect combination and really delicious :)  It was a tasty end to a super fun day.
On Sunday we spent some time at our local Rail Trail.  The kids biked and Scott and I walked.  It was the perfect end to a wonderful fall weekend. Thanks Mimi and Grandpa for such a special time!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is Home Gardening Worth It???

This is the question I have been struggling with this all the time and money that has gone into our garden this year, worth what we get out of it??  We have been gardening for the past 4 summers and each summer we learn a little more and get a little better.  Last year was the year of the cucumber but this year we had only 4.  This year we had oodles of tomatoes but the plants were too close together and shaded out our peppers (see the albino pepper below) and we lost a bunch of them due to overcrowding. The Swiss chard never grew, the zucchinis were eaten by animals while I was away, my potted plants could not stay wet enough in our dry, hot weather and I spent $35 on a garden sitter while we were on vacation! 
So is it worth it??  Should I take the money we put into the garden (seeds, soil, plants, fence, water, sitter) and put it into trips to the farmers market??  We do get plenty of vegetables from our CSA and maybe that would be enough.  Not to mention all the time I'd save from not gardening....I am not sure what to do.
The thing is that I enjoy gardening.  I enjoy starting with a tiny seed and growing it into something that we can eat and enjoy.  Gardening is calming for me and a nice way to get outside.  It has also been a great experience for the kids too.  I love that they are participating in the growing of their own food and learning how plants grow.  Check out Lil'C's mini pumpkins from her pumpkin garden ;) We grew these from seed over the cute!
So maybe the answer is to scale back on the garden next year.  Perhaps next year we can grow Lil'C's mini pumpkins, some carrots for Z and create a small salsa garden (peppers and tomatoes) for the family.  I will get rid of the containers (other than my herb box) and spread out the rest of the plants in our bigger garden bed.   Hopefully this new plan will be easier to execute and far less expensive :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mother Nature Flipped the Switch

Well she was a few days early, but this Saturday Mother Nature flipped the switch from Summer to Fall :)  On Friday Z and I were swimming in the lake and the sunshine blessed us with an 82 degree day!  Saturday we woke up to a very different season.  The air was crisp, the sky blue and the wind was blowing fast and furious.  We turned in our shorts and bathing suits for jeans and sweatshirts (some even had winter hats on). 
The weekend marked Uncle Andy's first trip to the lake.  It was so nice to have Auntie Amber and Uncle Andy spend part of their only vacation all summer with us.  They are both golf pros and work long hours from April-September.  They love to fish and so they got weekend fishing licenses and each caught a bass! 
 Crazy Uncle Joe also came for a night too!  We had an indoor campfire (Scott, Joe and Dad played guitar and sang), went to the Country Store and we celebrated the September birthdays (Z, G, Uncle Marc and Uncle Andy) was a great weekend!!!
More Photos.....

Last Swim of Summer

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend Tales :)

We had such a jam packed, FUN weekend!  It started with a birthday party Friday night for Z's good buddy Abbey.  They have been friends since they were 6 months old and it was the perfect way to kick back after Z's first day of school :)  It was at a funland and both kids had a ball playing video games, jumping in the bouncy house and climbing in the big maze :) 
Saturday afternoon we went to birthday party number two which could have not been more different than the first.  This party was a pond dipping party to celebrate Z's good buddy M turning 8!  We went with a naturalist down to a pond at the Audubon Center and looked for pond creatures.  We saw dragonfly larvae, a turtle a frog, a water snake and Z found a leach!  So much fun, I LOVE this stuff!! 
My friend K went all out with the theme of this party and I wish I had more pictures.  She made a huge hero sandwich in the shape of a snake, her husband made a fruit salad served in the watermelon that looked like a frog, the cake was a pond and the plates even were cut to look like lily pads!!!  The goody bags were also amazing and had mini toy pond creatures, a small net, a bug box, gummy pond creatures with a clothespin dragonfly they made (we are putting them on our Christmas tree), frog blowers they made themselves and hand soap with frogs floating in it (FROG WASH) cute!!!
We had a blast at both parties.  To top the weekend off, Sunday we finally used my Christmas present from Scott and went to Canobie Lake Park.  Canobie is an amusement park 10 minutes from my house and we hadn't been since Z was 23 months old.  Z was so brave this year and went on so many rides!  Caroline went on most that he went on and they both had so much fun :)  There were NO lines and we got to ride things again and again....such a fun day!  Z rode his first flume ride and did it 3 times :) 
 More Photos :)
birthday boy ponding
dragon fly larvae
C and C looking out at a frog capture

Scott and Lil'C in the roosters
Z's first time driving!
Z's first roller coaster ride
Z's first flume ride...he went 3 times!!!