Sunday, August 31, 2008

Other summer highlights...

We had a very busy summer, which may have led to such sparse blog posting....or maybe that was laziness? Anyway, here are some highlights, in no particular order!

We spent a lovely weekend in Jamaica, VT (yeah, I did not know there was a Jamaica, VT either!) with Bill and his family. Michelle's family has an A-frame house there and Bill and Michelle try to vacation there once a year. Now we live in VT, so we joined them for a weekend. From left to right: Back row: Bill, Michelle and Chris. Front row: Will, Taylor, Kelly, and Jordan. I am so glad these kids will all get to grow up together!

We took a dip in Cindy and Brian's pool one hot day. Not a bad lookin' bunch, if I do say so myself.

Hey kids, I think that's a one-seater! Cousin Chase graciously shared his jeep with Taylor and Jordan. Only trouble was, they could not decide who was gonna use it first. Oh yeah, and the fact that you have to steer and push the gas pedal.

Nikki came to visit us this week, along with Hannah and Parker. We had a blast and spent the day together in Burlington. We went to the VT Teddy Bear Company, where Jordan had a blast in their huge pile of soft pillows. I did not get any pics of all the kids together, unfortunately. We also went to ECHO, a children's museum and aquarium. Nikki wants me to make sure to tell you that I got stuck in the door coming out of ECHO, thanks to the new-to-us side-by-side double jogging stroller that she gave us. Yeah, thanks for THAT hand-me-down, Nik! It was all she could do to help me get out of the door, without wetting her pants. Thanks for visiting us guys, and thanks for all the rockin' hand-me-downs you brought us (yes, even the stroller that causes one to be trapped in a building. G-d forbid there was a fire!)! We are so glad to be on the East Coast and closer to you guys now!

Taylor learned how to ride this lion this summer and just recently she learned how to push it forward with her feet, rather than going backwards. She is such a big girl!

Chris and Connie got married this summer and we were lucky enough to make it to the wedding. Well, they really had their Civil Union in January, when NH legalized it, but they had a ring exchange and a big ol' party a few weeks ago and we are so glad we got to go! We love you guys and it was so great to see you and have you meet the twinners!

One of the awesomest parts of going to this party was the LOBSTAH! Welcome back to New England, baby! It was awesome!

We were thrilled to get to spend some time with Kelly and Sylvia at the wedding, too. Oh how we miss our CA next-door neighbors! You guys are the best and we love you and miss you so much! Hard to have ya babysit when you are 3,000 damn miles away!

Penny's uncle came to visit a few weeks ago and we all met for lunch. It was nice for him to get to meet the kids and to spend some time with the family. Pictured above are also Cindy and Brian who are going to Walt Disney World with us in a few weeks.

We spent 4th of July with Jess and her family in CT. It was a mini Smith reunion, as Rajni (and Barry) and Aileen were also there. Above are Andy, Jordan, Will, Ben, and Taylor. Not pictured is Jess' newest: Jackson. Thanks for a lovely weekend, Jess. We had tons of fun!

Whew! Were we busy enough for ya? The kids are doing more and more everyday and it is all we can do to keep up with them. The biggies right now are talking and signing (baby sign language is AMAZING!) and running. We are such lucky mamas to have them in our lives, keeping us alive and on our toes!

A trip to Santa's Village in Jefferson, NH

We are headed to Disney World in Orlando, FL in three weeks for our first big family vacation. We are going to Disney more as a getaway and as an opportunity to spend time with family than we are for the kids to actually experience Disney World. We know they are much to young to really enjoy it, and we hope to have many more Disney trips in the future. Joining us in Orlando are Bill's family: Bill, Michelle, Kelly and Will and some of Penny's family: Cindy (Penny's sister) and her husband Brian, and their daughter, Heather and her boyfriend, PJ. Also, we will see my mom and her boyfriend Bob there, as well as my brother Tim. Tim lives with my mom now, but is moving to Boston the week we are in FL. It will be nice to Bill and Tim to be so (relatively) close by!

Anyway, we took a day trip to Santa's Village to see how the kids would do in a theme park environment. They did great and we had a lovely day!

Check us out on the monorail sleigh ride. Fun stuff!

This is a picture of Taylor and Jordan's very first ride they ever went on. They are a bit too young to drive and their legs do not touch the pedals, so Mama P drove and the rest of us were just along for the ride!

Jordan was such a little daredevil on the playground at Santa's Village. He seemed fearless and even went down a bigger slide than this one, on his stomach, coming down face first! Fearless I tell you!

Mama P and Taylor feed the reindeer. There were REAL LIVE reindeer here and they were quite gentle. You could hold your hand out and feed them these little crackers they sold there. Jordan even fed them out of his own hand. Again, the daredevil!

Penny and the kids pose on a freakishly large rabbit. Do you think he lives at the North Pole with Santa and Mrs. Claus and the elves?

Our last ride of the day was the carousel. The kids did great, even though the moms thought the ride went unusually fast for a carousel!

Overall, it was a successful day. We left a bit early as Taylor did not seem to be feeling that well. She was kind of sluggish and felt very warm. After a little Children's Motrin and a nap in the car, she seemed fine once we got home. As an aside, both kids slept all the way there and all the way home, even though it was a 2 hour ride each way! ZOINKS!! Guess they were tired!

We are super excited for WDW in three weeks and Mimi can't wait to see her grandkiddos. Given how the kids did at SV, we hope they will do at Disney, too. We plan on relatively short days at the park, with plenty of trips back to the condo for naps, lunch, and swimming. Hopefully there are no hurricanes or tropical storms happening while we are there!

"A weekend you'll never forget, at Farnsworth..."

We spent a weekend at Camp Farnsworth in Thetford, VT a few weeks ago. I went to this camp as a camper and Penny spent 10 years working at this camp, so when the camp turned 100 years old and we had a chance to go back for a weekend, we jumped at the chance. The weekend was exhausting, as we spent a good chunk of it chasing after our rambunctious toddlers, but we had a blast never the less! Here are a few memorable shots from the weekend.

Here's Jordan and Taylor taking a stroll with their new pal Darci. Luckily for us, she and her partner Elisha live in Burlington. Score on some new VT pals!!

Chris and Elisha pose for a pic with a sleeping Jordan. Camp just wore him right out. HUGE thanks to Darci and Elisha for loving spending time with our kids and giving us a break from chasing them around the dining hall, especially during the hail storm when we were all cooped up. These chicks are so awesome, they even offered to babysit!! WHOA!!

It was chilly in the mornings, so we were all decked out in our sweat suits.
Taylor discovered a love of sweeping during the weekend. We start training them young in our family.

Jordan and Taylor dined in style. Their little seats clip right on to the table and then kind of hang there, suspended. Pretty cool! We take them everywhere with us, so we always have a place for the kids to sit and eat. We hope Taylor attends Camp Farnsworth in the future and that we will have many picture of Taylor through the years in this very dining hall. We will have to find an equally awesome camp for Jordan to attend!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Can I get an award?

Now you are wondering what kind of award I should get. I think we might be the worst bloggers EVAH!! Is there an award for that? The time between blog posts is appalling and I am ashamed of us. What? Are we busy or something?

So, the summer is almost over and I am pissed! It has rained as much this summer as any winter in Northern Cali and now the leaves are changing (already??) and that means winter is coming. I feel like we barely took the snow tires off and now we have to put them back on. Now, what kind of racket is that? Pay to take them off and pay to put them back on? Total BS! Remind me why we moved to VT again??

The kids are keeping us super busy and we are tired moms, who basically endure 24/7 of chasing our toddlers and trying to figure out what the hell they want as they point and make versions of this sound" eh, eh" just about every hour they are awake! This is what made our summer and the fun weekend trips we made turn out to not be as relaxing as we remembered. We attended a civil union party (Congrats Chris and Connie!), a Girl Scout Camp 100th birthday weekend (Yay for Camp Farnsworth!), spent the 4th of July weekend in CT with my college friends and their spouses/families, and spent the weekend at a cute A-frame cabin in VT (did you know there is a Jamaica, VT? Neither did I!)with my brother and his family. These weekends away were great and seeing everyone definitely helped us to remember just why we moved back here. But they were also exhausting with the kids, and the amount of stuff you have to take for a weekend away with two kids is absolutely freakin' ridiculous! We have also spent tons of time with Penny's family, which has been great. We are exicited for the kids to grow up seeing the Penny's side of the family as much as possible.

We are very excited to be heading to Disney World in three weeks. It is our first big family vacation and we are psyched! We know that the kids will not remember it, but we are mostly just going to get away and be with family. My mom and her boyfriend Bob live down there, and my brother Tim is down there now, as well. (Tim is moving to Boston the same week we are in FL, and I am exicted to have him so much closer to us. I feel some big family holidays coming on!) My brother Bill and his family (wife: Michelle and kids: Kelly and Will) are also going on this vacaton, as well as Penny's sister (Cindy) and her husband (Brian) and their daughter (Heather) and her boyfriend (PJ). It is going to be great. We have adjusted our Disney expectations and plan on short days in the park, combined with trips back to the condo for napping, lunch, and swimming.

We had a great visit with my friend, Nikki and her kids Hannah and Parker, over the past few days. It was so great of them to come from NH to see us and hang out with us on Thursday, which is my day at home with the kids. We went to Burlington to the VT Teddy Bear Company, had lunch at the Olive Garden, and then went to ECHO, a children's museum and aquarium. It was a blast. Jordan and Taylor did not cry whent the giant bear came out to walk around with the kids at the Teddy Bear Factory. Jordan even high-fived the bear and hugged him! I think this bodes well for Disney!

This weekend we are headed to Santa's Village to further expose the kids to a theme park and check out how they might do and what kind of stamina they might have for a park day.

I can't believe it is Labor Day Weekend already! WOW! Where has the summer gone?

I hope to write a post soon about some things I have been struggling with, in terms of being a mom and feeling like I have lost myself as a person. I also want to talk about our housing situation and Penny's new job. Stay tuned! Hopefully I will get another post up this weekend, with the above topics and maybe even some new pictures!