Tuesday, July 28, 2009


We took the kids bowling for the first time today and we had a really fun time. The bumpers were up and we let Richie and Sophia push their balls down the lane. Sophia's balls barely made it to the end of the lane, even with my help, and Richie was more excited to see what the t.v. screen showed after his turns than he was to watch the ball hit the pins. Sophia liked to lay on her tummy and watch her ball roll down to the pins. They both enjoyed dance breaks between their turns. I got two strikes and almost beat dad, but he pulled it out on his last frame and tied with me. It was a fun family activity and now Dad wants to take me bowling on a date, his competitive side was awakened and he wants to beat me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nap Hair!

I don't know what this girl does in her sleep, but she usually wakes up from her naps looking like this:

These aren't even the best examples of nap hair; sometimes it is sticking straight up. She is moving swiftly into the terrible two's, and as you can see, can throw a mean tantrum.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Friday Fun

We didn't have anything else to do yesterday, so we took a drive down the shore and spent the afternoon at the beach. We played in the water, built sand castles and ended the day with italian ice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A week with cousins

After spending the 4th of July weekend in DC, we headed back home and then to my brother's house in New York. My sister-in-law was going to girls camp for a week so we went up to watch their kids. We left Giselle's house on Sunday and stopped at our apartment just long enough to re-pack for the week and then got back in the car. We decided to try and avoid the holiday traffic on the GW bridge and took an alternate route that took us through parts of New Jersey we have never been before. It took us a little longer than it would have normally, but it was a beautiful drive. By the end of the day the kids were very tired of being in the car, but they were really excited about spending time with their cousins.

The kids had so much fun playing. We spent a lot of time outside in the back yard. We brought the little pool with us and all the kids enjoyed it. They used it so much that the slide ended up with a couple holes in it.

In addition to the pool there was a slip and slide to play on. Richie loved the slip and slide.

Cousin Isaac

Sophia liked the water the slip and slide sprayed. She wanted to play on the slide, but was too little.

Sophia liked playing with Stella's things, especially these glasses.

She is such a diva.

Richie and Isaac played computer games.
Sophia and Joaquin loved playing together.  They didn't always get along, but when they did, they were super cute together.
Stella and Sophia love each other.
It was a great week for the kids.  I was a little nervous about watching the kids on my own, five is a lot of kids, but it turned out just fine.  We did have some bad luck on our first full day there, though.  Someone accidentally swiped our car and knocked the front bumper off and a couple hours later we got a parking ticket.  The ticket wasn't for very much and we got the car fixed there in White Plains and it was ready on Friday when it was time for us to leave.  Richie used a rental car that the insurance covered while the car was being fixed.  Other than that, there was no trouble and I was glad the kids got to spend so much time with family.

Monday, July 13, 2009

4th of July in Washington DC

This year we spent the 4th of July in Washington DC with my sister-in-law and had a fantastic weekend.

We drove down on the third and headed to the National Zoo. Little Richie had been wanting to see the panda bears ever since he saw Kung Fu Panda last summer, and then Aunt "Sissy" told him that there were real pandas in the zoo where she lives. We got to the zoo around 4:00 and it closed at 6:00, so we didn't have a lot of time, but it was actually just the right amount of time to spend and we didn't feel any pressure to stay any longer. Plus, the weather was perfect at that time of day; it was hot, but not super hot, so we had a nice time. 

The first thing we wanted to do was see the pandas, but it looked like we were going to miss out on them, because when we went to the panda enclosure there was a super long line and eventually a zoo worker came out and said all the pandas were sleeping and there was nothing to see. So we went and saw elephants, and hippos (one regular size and one pigmy), we saw lots of monkeys, some orangutans, and gorillas, including a baby gorilla that was ADORABLE. After we saw all those animals, we headed back to the pandas and this time a couple were awake and eating. They were awesome and I think I was more excited to see them than the kids were. 

Sophia was so cute. She has been to a zoo before but was too small to really understand. This time when she saw an animal she would mimic what they were doing, like when she saw the prairie dog, she put both her hands to her mouth as if she was nibbling on food like the prairie dog. I thought she would be so excited to see the elephants, because she loves to make the elephant sound, but I don't think she realized how huge they really are, and she was a little terrified of them and clung tightly to me when we saw them up close. We got Sophia a stuffed panda as a souvenir and every time she sees it she yells, "Mannda!" and then she hugs it.

It was raining as we were heading off to the zoo so we didn't take the camera with us. It turned out that the rain stopped by the time we got to there, so the camera would have been okay. So the only pictures we have from the zoo were taken with our phones. I wish I had had my camera to get some shots of the pandas and the baby gorilla.

The morning of the 4th we headed into DC for the parade and found a great spot at the beginning of the route.

Ready for the parade.
A sample of the balloons, marching bands, floats and more.
Aunt "Sissy" and Daddy.

Getting bored.
We bribed them with gigantic popsicles that were very messy.
After the parade, Richie helped Aunt Sissy make red, white and blue cupcakes.  Sophia helped by picking off all the blueberries she could get her hands on.
While the kids napped we had a barbecue.  They ate when they got up and then played in the little pool Aunt Sissy got for them.

We watched the fireworks from the memorial bridge between the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington Cemetery.  It was the perfect spot with a great view and few people.
Richie wasn't scared of the fireworks at all this year.  He was very brave and really loved them.  Sophia was pretty scared.  She hugged me tight and I covered her ears the entire time.
It was a spectacular show!  The fireworks were amazing and as the finale was going someone on the bridge started playing the Star Spangled Banner on a trumpet.  It was way cooler than the cheesy patriotic music that is usually played during fireworks.  I mean, I am "proud to be an American", but that song is pretty cheesy.  The live trumpet was anything but.
Sophia was so happy when it was over that she clapped and cheered.  I think she liked the way it looked, but the sound was too much for her.
Getting home on the metro was a little crazy, with hundreds of others also trying to get home.  Having the stroller was an advantage, and a disadvantage.  It helped us get down to the platform more quickly, because they were limiting the number of people going down the escalators, but the elevators are slow enough that the police weren't worrying about them.  But, once we got to the platform, trying to maneuver the stroller in the crowd was very difficult.  Two trains pulled into the station that were already completely full, so no one could get on them.  Then a third train came that was COMPLETELY EMPTY. HOORAY!  We only had a couple stops before we got off and it turned out to not be too bad after all.
We really had a wonderful trip and visit with Aunt Sissy.  Little Richie was so happy with the whole day, he was actually singing "It's a perfect day", that song that I think was on Legally Blonde and now is a commercial for a Caribbean resort.  It was super cute.  A few days ago he again said to me, "We had a great day at Sissy's."  It really was great.  We had lots of fun, a really nice visit, and it was the best fireworks display I have ever seen.   

Thanks for making it such a wonderful holiday, Giselle!