Sunday, August 30, 2009

Summer's last hurrah

This past week, this last week of summer, I wanted to try and do fun things with the girls. We played a few games of Elmo phase 10, made homemade yogurt, went to kidspace, and had a playdate with some friends from preschool. Wednesday night we tried to have a family picnic at the outdoor pool, but the one that I thought was open wasn't. We ended up having our picnic in the car at the parking lot of the gym. We went swimming in the big indoor pool (the kiddie pool was closed, just our luck!)
But school has been on our minds. Several days ago I asked Jaide if she was excited to go to kindergarten and she said, "I'm so excited! I can't wait to ask people their name!" I found out from preschool friends' mom that we could find out who Jaide's kindergarten teacher is online. So Thursday night we got online and found out which class she is in and who from preschool was also in that class. Two of Jaide's other friends from preschool are in her class. The other three kids are in the class next door. Most of the kids from preschool are at different schools.
Friday afternoon we took a tour of the school. It looks quite a bit different since they've remodeled and expanded. We even got to see Miss. Debbie and the new preschool room. After the tour it was time to meet Jaide's teacher. She put her supplies in her cubbie and found her desk. Kiree, who was immensely bored at this point, but had great fun once she found the play kitchen area. Kiree kept saying, "my school." I think she will miss Jaide a lot. It will be 4 more years before Kiree starts kindergarten. Jaide and her friends played for a while and their teacher took a picture of each kid with their name tag. I hear that Jaide's teacher is very good and she is the team leader for kindergarten. I think that Jaide is really going to enjoy kindergarten. I just hope she doesn't have any mishaps with going on the bus (I think there are 3 different Elementary school busses that go on parts of our street)!
I'm also excited to have more one on one time with Kiree again (although she is going through some kind of phase right now that is quite annoying, I have faith that she will be delightful again at some point). And time all to myself during Kiree's naps will be awesome! Kitchen cabinet painting, here I come!
I'm looking at the positives here. I'll have to keep thinking about those on Monday morning when my little girl hops on a big yellow bus to go off to learn and to have adventures- to have a life- without mommy and daddy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Flash Back Friday Video

I believe this video is from Bob's 29th birthday, way back in August of 2006, so Jaide was 2. It starts a little slow, but ends up pretty funny. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August Jaide and Kiree-isms

J: (to Kiree) my wish is your command!

J: Halloween is going to be in one year!

K: monkey donuts! (Dunkin' Donuts)

J: I wish there was no "S" in the alphabet!

K: i sweepy (sleepy) M: yeah, it's nap time K: no!! i wanna sleep! (ie play pretend to go to sleep with Jaide)

J: Raining cats and dogs? Then I could get a pet!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Trip to Boston part 6: The Thrilling Conclusion- Sesame Place

Tuesday morning we packed it up and said goodbye to Tramily, Alyssa, and Bradley (aka the dog that licks) and headed south. After mucho, mucho traffic in New York City we made it to a rest stop just beyond the NJ border for lunch. Then we made it to Sesame Place at about 4pm. Sesame Place is right on the way to/from Boston and they sell nearly half price tickets if you get there later in the day, so that's why we decided to work it that way.
We hit the water rides right away (it was hot!) We didn't get to take a picture with Bert and Ernie, but later Kiree got to take one with Super Grover while Jaide and I were on the one rollercoaster together. Jaide was tall enough for any ride and Kiree was tall enough for many of them. Jaide and I went down this one water slide that drops you into about 3' of water. Now Jaide is 3'9" these days, but I guess I didn't warn her before hand about what happened at the end. We had been on rides that all had inner tubes before. Jaide got a little freaked out and just kept swimming around frantically, face in the water and then the lifeguard had to get her. If she just would have put her feet down she would have been fine. I probably should have gone down first, but she was so excited. We didn't go on any more of that kind of ride after that.
Other than that little issue, the girls had a lot of fun. We ended up leaving about a half hour after the park closed (Jaide and I were still in line for the rollercoaster when the park closed). We stopped at the nearby Taco Bell for some dinner and headed home. The girls fell asleep- yes!- and we drove the rest of the way home with no problem. We had thought about staying somewhere on the way home, but it wasn't all that late even by the time we got home.
All in all it was a really great trip!

These pictures were taken just a few days off of 3 years apart exactly. Kiree at 21mo and Jaide two days shy of 25mo. I think going to Sesame Place before you turn two (because you pay adult price once you turn two, bleh!) is going to be a family tradition.

Trip to Boston part 5: On Our Own, temple, Lexington playground

On Monday we headed out for a little while on our own so Emily and Alyssa could nap in a quiet house. Emily still works a couple of nights at the hospital (she's a nurse).
We drove to the temple. Our instructions were a little confusing and we ended up going a different way, but then all of a sudden we saw the temple. We had a snack, walked around a bit and took some pictures.
After that, we headed over to Lexington to this huge playground/park near a school. It was called Center Park and it had two very fun play structures in the play ground. It was nice too because it had a lot of stuff Kiree could do all by herself. The only bad thing was the lack of shade in the immediate play structure area. We played for a while until Jaide stepped in a huge mud puddle near the water fountain and got her socks very muddy.
Jaide is carrying her muddy socks (which she insisted on removing of course) back to the car.

It was nice to have some down time after doing lots of fun things in a row.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Trip to Boston part 4: Boston, the actual city

On Saturday Travis was able to join us on our adventure. We all took the T (like the el or the metro) into downtown Boston. It was a good thing too since we definitely couldn't have fit all of us plus strollers in any one of the cars.
We went to a farmers' market and had a picnic lunch on the greenway.
Jaide went a little nuts playing in the fountains and got thoroughly soaked. Kiree was a bit hesitant to step into large streams of water shooting up from the ground, so she didn't get too wet. Jaide had some time to dry off during an Alyssa fuel stop.

We went to little Italy and the famous Mike's Pastry. While we were walking there, some old Italian guy said hi to Jaide and I in Italian (at least I think that's what he said). Now it would have been quite the trick if he could have recognized the Italian genes in Kiree! After Travis got some pastries we headed over to the Old North Church (the one with the lanterns, one if by land, two if by sea). This fountain was in the park behind the Old North Church. We listened to the little presentation (did you know it's still a functioning church and that the original donation box still functions?) Then we headed to a nearby park to eat some pastry. We shared a lobster tail and boy was it good! Kiree, who I think takes more pleasure in eating and savoring food than most people was just in heaven. As often happens, she ended up wearing some of it as well. A pack of teenaged tourists passed by us and laughed at Kiree in her enjoyment and mess. Hopefully she was not scarred for life. It's one thing when we do it... She didn't seem to notice or care.
Lastly, we headed over to the harbor to see some harbor seals. The four of us misunderstood and tried to look for the seals in the harbor. Eventually we got back together with Emily and Travis and saw the harbor seals in a tank outside of the aquarium which is also at the harbor. I was very worried about Kiree getting past the safety fence at the harbor. She's at that special age where she's fearless, extremely clumsy, and also able to fit through small openings. See Bob hold her tight. I told him if she fell in he was going in after her. Fortunately no one went in the harbor. Unfortunately, the camera was being nutty and I didn't get any pictures of the harbor seals.

Trip to Boston part 3: Vermont, the Joseph Smith Birthplace

Next we wanted to visit Vermont. Vermont was farther away from Boston than I thought it was. Since it took about as long to get to the one city on the southern border of VT that we thought of going to as it would to go to Sharon VT (the Joseph Smith birthplace) we decide to go to Sharon.
It was a long drive, made longer by stupid road construction in New Hampshire. We finally were able to pull off and stop for lunch after many minutes of little girl screaming and crying times 3.
The exit we wanted to get off at was closed because of said stupid road construction, so we got off at the next one. There really wasn't a good place to stop, since it was all residential. We ended up stopping outside of a middle school. There was a picnic bench outside.
The Joseph Smith birthplace was a very peaceful place where you could really feel the Spirit (even inspite of two little girls with an excess of energy running around crazy). We even got to go on a little golf cart tour to see some of the remains of some very old homes. I rediscovered my enthusiasm for archaeology once more when we saw these untouched sites. The guide said that the church didn't have any plans at the moment for excavating or restoring the sites. I was sure there was probably lots of cool stuff in there, but repressed my desire to hop the little fence and start digging. I didn't have a trowel for one thing.
This picture does not really capture the extent of the running amok the girls were doing over this very old stone bridge, over moving water, with a bit of a drop below it. Was I the only one who thought they were going to fall?
They are planning to build a replica of the cabin which Joseph Smith was born in.
Jaide is sitting on the original front step/porch of the house Joseph Smith was born in.

Right now they have a birdhouse replica.
Maybe next time we go to Vermont, we'll have to visit the Ben and Jerry's icecream factory. We stopped at a store to get some maple syrup (they did also sell Ben and Jerry's and other stuff made in VT) but didn't end up buying any. We did see a cat in the store, sleeping on a shelf along with some sweatshirts.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Trip to Boston part 2: Mainly Maine

Isn't it the goal of every American kid with an inclination and the means to travel to visit all 50 states? We've enjoyed putting together the US puzzle with Jaide and talking about each state that we've visited or that have people we know living there. We thought that driving up to Boston would give us a good opportunity to visit all those northeastern states we'd never been to before. We drove through Connecticut which we'd never been to before. We could have gone a little out of the way and hit Rhode Island too, but it didn't happen.
Our first outing after we arrived was a day trip to Maine. We had no particular plans of what we wanted to do there, but we just wanted to go there. We ended up finding out where the nearest light house was online and planned to go up toward there and figure it out.
If you ever go visit Maine and I'd recommend it if you're around there, then I'd also recommend you stop at a visitors' center. We stopped at one between 95 and 1 (they have those roads in Maine too, funny!) They had actual people there to talk to you and give you suggestions of what you might want to do while you're visiting. People with awesome New England accents. We got to listen to the guy with the cool accent and he gave us a colorful map of York, ME with interesting stuff to go see. We had directions to the lighthouse, a playground on the beach, and a couple of icecream places. Sadly, we ran out of time for icecream.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Trip to Boston: Overview

We got home from California very late on a Saturday night, spent the next days doing tons of laundry, then packed it back up to drive up to Boston Wednesday morning. It's not too bad of a drive. We'll have to come again some time. We did not make it to Rhode Island either, so...
We did so many things on our fun-filled trip to visit the Tramily's that I'm going to break it up into a few smaller posts. Here are a few photos.
First cousins meeting a first cousin for the first time.

We played some fun games like Elmo Phase 10 (I win!) and various versions of Ticket to Ride (I had no idea there were so many variants of that game).

Cousin Photo-op
okay, no more photos!

next installment: mainly Maine

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Family Reunion

The last week of July was spent in (and traveling to and from) Bob's family reunion. This was with kids, grandkids, and great grandkids of Bob's paternal grandparents. We flew to San Francisco and drove to Shasta Dam the next day. We got to cross the dam, which not every one gets to do, to get to the ranch where we stayed. The guardhouse and barriers at the end of the dam.

We stayed in a house with Bob's parents that was far from the rest, but it had a very beautiful view. It was crazy hot! I didn't think northern California got that hot, but it was kind of desert-y so I guess it's not too surprising.
Bob's sister (and my friend and old roommate) Cindy was supposed to come up to the reunion with other sister Rosie (also my friend too) but a nasty landlord caused massive problems for Cindy, problems which didn't allow her to come. I was very sad not to get to see you guys! But we had fun with Becky and Bob's parents and various other relatives. Jaide had a lot of fun with some second cousins who were close in age.
One night they had a game where all the dads had to stand barefoot behind a sheet and the kids had to pick out which set of feet belonged to their dad. It was kind of hard, because the men of Bob's family all have very similar feet. Jaide looked all the feet over and then ran right to Bob's feet. Jaide wasn't much help with the next game though. All the wives had to stand barefoot behind the sheet and their husbands had to pick which foot (there were more of us so we had to stand sideways) belonged to their wife. Jaide and Bob both picked Aunt Billie's foot. It was kinda similar to mine.

The swimming pool was a huge hit with the girls. We all got a bit burned. The girls had floaties to play with and Jaide got back into her swimming groove. Can't believe we didn't get any pics of the pool with the amount of time we spent in there (did I mention it was crazy hot?).
After the family pic, a teeny frog was found. The kids sure liked it.

They also liked all the horses. The girls and daddy feed the horses some of the hay that had fallen on the ground.

On the last day, shortly before we left, Jaide, Becky, and I headed down to this beautiful little pond/stream thing. Jaide and I got in. It had a bunch of these little tiny gray fish in it. Some of them nibbled at my legs and it tickled quite a bit. Jaide floated on her innertube. There were slipery rocks in some places and it got to about chest deep on me in the middle. Inside the tunnel (an old railroad tunnel) the gravel made it fairly shallow. When we went in, only a small portion of the the other end of the tunnel was visible. It looked like it sometimes fills up to the top of the other end. Grandpa and Grandma (Jaide's) came down and joined us after a little while. Bob was finishing up packing while Kiree napped.
Jaide poses for a shot upstream from the pond

crossing the dam, Bob's parents behind us

We drove back down to San Francisco and made a little detour to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was kind of late and very dark by then, so my pictures didn't turn out.

Didn't go to Fisherman's Wharf, we didn't have too much time to spend in San Francisco. But I'm glad we got to see a little bit of it.

We spent the night near San Francisco and drove in to see the Golden Gate Bridge again before we left.

It was a bit foggy and cold, but there's part of the bridge in this pic and the one with Bob and Jaide.
We were a little worried about getting back to the airport in time, but it worked out alright.

We made it to the airport well before this thing did. And yes, that actually is the plane we flew home on.