January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Max!

Today Max is one year old! Today I can officially say that I have three kids ages 3, 2, and 1. It sounds much crazier than it is. Thinking back to before I had kids, if someone told me they had three kids, ages 3, 2 and 1, I would have thought they were insane. But aside for the occasional pulling-out-your-hair moment (which I feel any parent has, no matter how many kids or what the ages), I pleased to announce that I don't feel life in general is about to put in the R-wing anytime soon. I hear people say, "I have 4 under 5" and I think...oooh, wow, that must be chaotic. It's strange how it can sound so nutty but when you are living it it is quite do-able.

At 1 year, Max is cruising furniture but hasn't ventured out for a step yet. He likes to eat pretty much anything given to him. He does the mamama and dadadada noises. He likes to "dance" in his highchair. I'd say his favorite game is clicking his tounge and is very happy when you will play along with him.

Happy Birthday Max!

January 21, 2009

Fun List

I took this off of another blog (thank you Carole) who got it from Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles.

Items in blue, I have done.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (flute, bassoon)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (it was more of a rap but it was part of chorus so I'm going to count it)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (over my dead body)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (when you are little you are so easily pleased...)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (does Justin's count?)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (thank goodness for overdraft protection)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square (did we go there with volleyball?)
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (chipped it actually)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (not super speeding, just with the flow of traffic)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

January 11, 2009

The Trip

Our trip began on Jan 1 as we loaded our three kids and friends, Erik and Laura, into our van and headed south. Justin's uncle lives in Myrtle Beach and my uncle and grandmother live on Hilton Head Island so we decided it was time for a visit. What better way to start the new year and test out the new GPS!

Day 1 - We began the drive to Myrtle Beach a little after noon. Justin drove the first leg with co-pilot Erik, Laura and I stretched out in the middle row and the kids were wedged in the back. Three car seats across is a pretty snug fit! We rolled into MB around 2 am having stopped a few times along the way.

Day 2 - RELAXING DAY. We had nothing planned and did exactly that. Justin's uncle was arriving late this night so we had the place to ourselves. Everyone took naps and got into vacation mode. Laura and I went to the store to pick up food for the week and found that wine in SC is sold in the grocery stores...for really cheap.

Day 3 - We took a trip down to Broadway at the Beach. It is a area with restaurants and shops - fun to walk around in. We brought the kids down to Ripley's Aquarium (remember Ripley's Believe it Not...this is one of their MB attractions). Alex loved the fish.

Day 4 - Justin's uncle's gated community (fancy way of saying upscale development) has a community center building with a gym, two swimming pools, and a playground. It was a little cold for the pools so we spent some time at the playground. Justin's uncle kept the kid's during their afternoon naps and the four of us headed to Barefoot Landing, an area very similar to Broadway at the Beach. We did a little wine tasting and then stopped at a seafood buffet on the way home.

Day 5 - Justin's uncle took Justin and Erik golfing in the morning then we headed to the beach. Looking like obvious tourist, we tossed off our sandals and played in the sand and water. Ok, so it was mainly Katrina who went splashing in the water with Laura and I took pictures but all of the boys seemed to get into the sand...Erik, Justin and Alex dug and made sand castles while Max snacked on sand and shells.

Day 6 - I took the kids up to Wilmington, NC to visit Kathleen Hall (NY-er turned NC-ian) and her family. She toured us around Wilmington, took us to the beach, and managed to fracture her foot showing me her new dances in the driveway. Justin and his uncle spent the day on the golf course and Erik and Laura had an afternoon out in MB to themselves - probably well needed after 5 days with all of us!

Day 7 - We packed up the van again and headed down to Hilton Head Island, a 4 hour drive south of MB. After trying to unsuccessfully wave our way past the check point into my uncle's neighborhood (the car in front of us at the entrance booth smiled and waved their way through so we thought we could as well...little did we know they lived their and visitors had to be called in. My uncle had taken care of this for us but forgotten to tell us the procedures), we got our access pass and made our way to my uncle's place. Even though it was dusk when we arrived we walk down to the beach (about a 300 yd walk) to check it out.

Day 8 - My grandmother came over to see the kids and we went to the beach again while Justin and Erik played golf. The attraction of this course was the ocean view holes which I told were pretty cool. In the evening we packed up and headed back to MB for our final day in the sun.

Day 9 - The sunny skies tried to hide the fact that today was much cooler than the rest of the week had been (we had been mid 70's but now were 60-ish). Since this was our last day, it was filled with naps, a final tour of the beach area and one last playgound trip.

Day 10 - With snow in the forcast, we loaded the car in the morning and headed for home. Shortly after Richmond, VA we found rain. In PA this rain was turning into a really fun wintry mix - snow, sleet, freezing rain. Around 8 pm we decided to call it a night knowing we were heading into mountains which meant that the unplowed, icy roads were most likely going to get worse. Wanting to get home but wanting to stay alive, we found a hotel for the night.

Day 11 - We enjoyed a nice breakfast at the hotel and then piled into the car for our final 3 hours. One viewing of Little Mermaid and a few snacks later, we arrived back in snowy Rochester.

Overall, it was a relaxing, sunny, enjoyable family vacation!