Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cousins in Maine

My sister, Laurel, niece, Bella (9), and nephew, Lucas, (5-1/2), came out for a visit earlier this month. We took them up to the center of Maine to Jeff's family's cabins on the lake. It's rural; the nearest grocery store is 30 minutes away and the start of the 100 miles of wilderness of the Appalachian Trail is on the mountain on the other side of the lake.

The kids had a blast swimming, tubing, boating, hiking and just playing in the woods and being together.

All of the kids had fun driving the boat:

On the really rainy day, we went into town and went shopping and had lunch. The kids collected rocks,
and Carter found another mud puddle to play in.

We went on some hikes:
Up to the "bluff" where we could see the whole lake,

And out to the trestle, which is 150 high over a small dam, a bit rickety and thankfully, no trains came by while we were on it.
It was a great visit, too short and we can't wait for them to come back next summer.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Santa's Village

Up in the White Moutains of New Hampshire is Santa's Village, which is where my Mom & I took the kids when she was out visiting. We set out really early one Sunday morning, as Jefferson is a 2-hour drive from my house. We arrived just before the park opened.

Santa's Village was beautiful. The scenery was gorgeous and the park was very well maintained. Christmas music played throughout the park, but I never heard the same song twice. It was a busy, but not at all crowded day. The weather was perfect; not too hot, or cold or windy or cloudy. A perfect 10.

I took over 200 pictures that day, but have selected a few, okay a little more than a few...

We went on rides:

Carter did not enjoy his first ride of the day:

Met Santa Claus:

Played reindeer games:

Found out how tall the kids were:

Posed for pictures:

Carter of course, managed to find some water to play in:

Played the Elfabet game and graduated from Elfabet University:

They had 26 Elves, one for each letter of the "Elfabet" hidden all over the park. Each person was given a card, which they punched when they found each elf with a letter. Once you found all the elves, you turned your card in for a certificate and a hackey sack. Another brillant idea. Kids and adults had fun finding the elves and punching their cards.

Even the trash cans were cute. You lifted the penguins' top hat to throw trash away. All the kids loved using them, so the park was spotless. Brilliant idea. I wanted to take one home with me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I didn't realize it had been 2 weeks since I last posted. My parents, sister Laurel and her 2 kids, Bella and Lucas have been out visiting us and I just ran out of time to blog about our days. We had a great time showing them New Hampshire and Maine.
Reagan is on the swim team here in town and while my parents were out, she had a swim meet. It was only her second meet, but she did really well and improved from her first meet.

Reagan swam in the 25m freestyle and the 25m backstroke. She came in 3rd in the freestyle and 2nd in the backstroke.

The cheering section:

Carter kept trying to get into the pool and I finally was able to distract him with a puddle of water he could splash in. In a few years, I think he'll be swimming with the team too.
We did a lot of fun things over the past 2 weeks and I'll try to blog about all our fun over the next few days.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Snakes, Mud and a Lost Tooth

After the big 4th of July bash, I was too tired to blog about it and there were too many great pictures from the day that I wouldn't be able to pick a few to post. So, if you want to check out the party, go to my Father-In-Law's website at .

Yesterday it was absolutely gorgeous here. Perfect summer weather: hot, a few puffy clouds in the sky and a slight breeze. After Reagan's swim practice, we went to a reptile program at our public library. It was packed, but they had plenty of reptiles to go around. Carter was not too excited to sit still for the presentation, so I took him outside the room to run. What he ended up doing was throwing a fit after he ate all of his banana and I ran out. So, there we were in the library with Carter rolling around on the floor screaming "BANANA" over and over at the top of his lungs. Luckily, I had some apple slices, which pacified him, but I digress.

Carter and I made it back inside just in time for my favorite reptiles, snakes.

Unfortunately, my children do not share my phobia of snakes, so they were more than interested in looking, touching and holding the snakes. I wasn't happy to be in the same room with them (the snakes, not the kids).

After a quick lunch at home, we set off to a park which not only has a playground, but also has a separate "spray and play" water area. It looks really cool, is really cool, but did not hold Reagan's interest for long or Carter's at all. So we went over to the playground.

Reagan wanted to take her brother down the slide, which they've done together many times before without incident. Yesterday, however, it was the slide of doom.

This is how they looked at the top.

In the middle, something went horribly wrong and they ended up rolling over one another, with Carter bumping his head and getting a bruise and Reagan losing her front tooth! Out it popped. We had no idea it was even loose. She only shed a little blood and was fine.

So to cheer up the troops, I took them down to the stream and mud at the bottom of the park.

This was a MUCH bigger hit than the failed spray and play. They were the only kids down there and they had a blast. For once, the only thing Carter tried to eat was the clover.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Curious George Day

Day 3 at Camp Rick was Curious George Day. Reagan and Alex had a great time at Nana and Grandpa's last night and got back here after lunch today.

We had just enough time to get their monkey hats made, their tails put on and off we were to Boston for the afternoon.
The 3 little monkeys provided a lot of entertainment downtown. Carter was especially entertaining; he was just too cute in his monkey ears and tail. Everyone who saw him smiled at him and he, of course, smiled and jabbered back.

We hung out and played while Alex had his doctor's appointment and then we set off for the Curious George Store in Harvard Square.
Luckily, I haven't lost my Boston-driving abilities and I was able to snag a metered parking spot without too much difficulty and close to the store.

I particularly got a kick out of the business above the store.

The kids loved the store. They had so much fun looking at all of the Curious George stuff and all of the other great books and educational toys at the store. Carter loved taking apart the store, because in today's drama, he was Curious Carter.

Everyone got a souvenir, Reagan and Alex picked out activity books to do in the car on the way home and Carter got a touchy-feely book.

I even managed to find the 7-11 in Harvard Square, so the kids (well not Carter) got slurpees and I got a Big Gulp, so all was well on the ride home.
This morning I put paper on the wall in the conservatory (while Curious Carter tried to rip it down), so the kids could all safely draw on the wall like Curious George. We got back so late from our trip that everyone feel asleep on the ride home and we weren't able to get to the rest of the Curious George day activities that I had planned (monkey puppets, monkey dancing, baked banana boats and puppy rescue). But, it looks like rain again for tomorrow, so I think we'll have plenty of time to do everything and more.