Around here lately….

I have disappeared from my blog to keep things afloat at home. We are going full throttle, and I am proud to say that we haven’t missed any of our classes this week, and the girls are doing an amazing job with everything.

Our big news is that Emi started her first day of preschool, and she is doing an amazing job. Her teacher has said that she is very advanced for her age, and we are so happy to hear that….want to make sure she isn’t left behind since she is a second child. 

Love this little girl.


One more…same pose.


Here is Emi at her ballet school. Cute! Also, her gymnastics teacher is insisting we move her up a level (we aren’t), but good job Emi.


On our way to school orientation one early morning.

It’s been so nice spending one on one time with her.

  Mia has been having tons of fun at school.

She also recently interviewed at a piano sachool and was accepted! Yay for Mia. We are very much looking forward to her first piano recital.

Playing dress up and writing…would love to know what she is thinking.


We also attended the fall festival at our local Japanese supermarket, and Mia won this big bag of brown rice during the raffle. We were so excited. Way to go Mia!

A few pics of what we bought that day. Loved the curry with the fall vegetables.

Anyway, there we are. We have lots of fun things coming up this month…but just wanted to stop in and say we are doing our best adjusting to the new school year.

Our first week back…

We have started our school year, and I’m so amazed at the energy these girls have to conquer everything in their paths. We have done so much this past week. We have been to two birthday parties, checked out a bakery, danced at a kid’s rock concert, tackled preschool orientation days, and just so much more. I can’t document everything, but here is a little catch up in photos.

We try to sit down at home each day and do 40 minutes of table work.


First day of gymnastics…all on her own.


Mia ready for day one of gymnastics.


Mia has resumed swim lessons which means Emi has a whole 30 minutes to try to kill herself at the pool. Thankful for the air vents.


This little lady started dance lessons. She was so excited to wear her leotard.


First day of dance for Mia. I love our local dance school.


First day for Mia at the ballet academy. Yes…she dances at two different schools! It’s crazy…and not allowed…but here we are. Mia’s idea 100%…but next year she will have to narrow it down to one.


Birthday party one…great food and entertainment. Birthday 2 was a really laid back pool party. So much fun to see the kids have a nice time with friends.


Mia’s preschool orientation.


So there it is..

Around here…

Our back to school schedule officially starts tomorrow! We won’t be going full throttle, as not all classes start this week, but some do begin. Emi will go to gymnastics until 11:00 and then swimming at  12:30. A pretty short day….but just the beginning.

Anyway, here are a few random things we have been up to.

Emi had her first dentist appointment. We weren’t quite sure how she would handle it since she fiercely dislikes strangers, but she did a great job!

The waiting room looked like you were riding in a plane. Very cute idea.


TVs in dentist and doctor’s offices are definitely a pet peeve of mine…I usually ask that they not turn them on, but this one was already on…so I just let it be.


The jungle room.


Mia checking out the room. Mia really wants to be a dentist when she grows up and loves watching people have their teeth cleaned. She said, “mom, my office is going to look just like this when I grow up.”


How are Emi’s teeth? No cavities and perfectly straight…so perfect in fact she will almost certainly need braces. So, looks like that will be something we need to think about it.

One morning we spent at the Children’s Museum, and I somehow only took this one picture. 


 We also took the girls to an event at Lyman Orchards so that they could ride a pony among other things.         

We also got their faces painted which we never pass up a chance to get our faces painted.

Emi holding as still as possible to have her face painted.


A pink butterfly. ๐Ÿ™‚



…and Spiderman! Spidey was shooting webs at us for the rest of the day. Loved their choices!





Making some beautiful necklaces.


After a long morning out, we decided to stop at a diner for a quick bite before the long drive home.  

This chicken sandwich was so surprisingly good since it didn’t look like anything special.


Ten had a really tasty turkey sandwich and the girls had fries. They accidentally brought out two baskets, and it was just way too many fries.


Cider donut holes and chocolate chip cookies we bought to enjoy later.


Finally, a pic of Emi on our last grocery shopping trip. Shr chose the outfit all on her own. Oh, Emi. 


First Visit to Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA

 We hit PA hard this summer! We wanted to take one more small family vacation before school begins and decided on Sesame Place. The girls really, really wanted to go, so we decided to take 3 days and check out the park. 

Here are a few photos from the trip:

The girls with Honkers. I had no idea who this guy was, but the girls desperately wanted a picture with him, so we were glad to find him.

Visiting the fruit and vegetable market. We rarely (like never) use a stroller, but we decided to for this trip. Absolute lifesaver. Emi is the kid who would jump into the gorilla pen or wander off alone in the mountains if you take your eyes off of her….for even a second.

Playing with the cash register.

Hugs for the Count. Most of the characters were so super friendly. They spent quite a bit of time with the girls, and we didn’t feel too rushed. I feel like the characters here were better than at Disney in terms of friendliness.



There were some really fun playspaces in the park which was great for us since the girls don’t care much for amusement rides. We took them on the tea cups and the cutest carousel, and that was a little too much for them.



Super Grover!


 We spent most of our time in the water park. Our kids LOVE water.

Playing in this cute watering can splash pad.


The Tidal Wave pool. Once we discovered this wading pool, this is all the girls wanted to do.

On our last day, we took the girls to Dine with Me to eat with the characters. Such mixed feelings about this place. Emi loved dancing with the characters, and Mia was thrilled to meet her favorite characters. However, the venue was pretty underwhelming. I felt like we were sitting in a school cafeteria. Also, the food was plain awful. Like truly. We stayed at the Holiday Inn, and I dare to say that the boxed pancake mix and powdered eggs tasted better. 


Mia was so happy. Reserved smile for sure.


The main event.

So, I can guarantee that we will be back to Sesame Place, but probably not the lunch. Was just so overpriced.

Anyway, so that was our family vacation for the end of the summer! We are now gearing up to tackle the school year.

Muscoot Farm

 We are so happy that Mia is home from summer camp, and Emi’s classes have wrapped up as well. We can finally get some family time in before school starts.

We had gorgeous 80 degree weather today, so the girls and I decided to drive to Katonah, NY to spend the morning at a late 1800s/early 1900s farm. We decided to take the scenic route (an extra 10 minutes), and also drove through Bedford, NY which was the cutest little town.

We got to the farm, and started to explore. Emi was so excited to see all of the animals (and collect rocks), and Mia wanted to explore all of the buildings. We were able to see an ice house, a dairy barn, horse stables, and so much more

Not all of these pictures need captions, but here is a look into our morning.


We milk fake cows any chance we get. ๐Ÿ™‚


Emi has a hatful of rocks here.


The most exciting part of the day was the tractor.


Such a beautiful place. We can’t wait to come back with Ten…and my travel buddies have also told me that we need to bring a picnic next time! The girls were so hungry by the time that we left, and we had a good 45 minute drive ahead of us….so I agreed to a pit stop on the way home.

Happy Meals for two happy girls.


Have you ever been to a field of over 350,000 sunflowers? When I heard about this sunflower maze, I knew that it was going to be added to our short list of places to go. Fortunately, everyone was in total agreement. So on Friday we were going to have a day without storms, and we made the drive up to Lyman Orchards.

Stretching a little after our car ride. We got out of the car, and you could tell it was going to end up being a HOT day.


Walking to the sunflower field. The girls were immediately impressed.


These two can fight with the best of them, but they really are best friends.


Love all of the sunflowers. We came during the peak of the flowers and during a weekday. No crowds. Not many people in general.


Hi! Ten snapped this pic of us before heading into the maze. It was in the shape of a train and absolutely huge! It was harder than I thought.


We let the girls guide us through the maze. Mia had a great time figuring out where to go, and Emi collected several rocks for her collection.


Here we are at station 1. Each station had a trivia question to go with it. If you answered correctly, it would tell you the right direction to take. Answer wrong, and you may be going in loops.


Love this picture. Mia was getting really hot by this time and so thirsty, but we still had to find our way out.


Me and Emi. She never cooperates for pictures. :/


The red were amazing. Wish they had more.


Station 9 of 10. Everyone had a bit more energy knowing we were almost finished.


Yay! we made it. It tooks us 45 minutes to an hour…and we were hot amd covered in dirt but had the best time.

After the maze, we needed some down time. We headed to the Apple Barrel which is the store at the farm to have a picnic on the nice and breezy deck. First, we had to check out the inside, and we were in heaven. 

So mucu fresh fruit and veggies here. Either from the farm or grown locally. Ten and I are suckers for these farm stores. Even though we packed a lunch, we decided to grab a few things.


Mia and Emi chose these gourmet suckers. Soo many great things to choose from, and they get these mass produced suckers…haha. They got to choose though, so whatever they liked was fine with us.


Feeling much happier after food and drinks after being out in that super hot sun.


We grabbed some of their farm made pickles. We ate them in one sitting…before we even left our picnic table. Our family loves a good pickle, and these were so good.


Loved our lunchtime view. Sometimes I think maybe country living wouldnt be that bad….but I’m still not convinced it is fot us.


Nice and green. We have been having lots of thunderstorms, but we still need a lot more rain. You can’t tell by this picture, but we are actually suffering from a drought.


So Ten chose 4 fresh peaches to bring home, but I couldn’t help myself…i had to buy a …


cinammon cider donught. This thing was one of the best I’ve had! Will definitely grabbing a few when we come back.

After such a nice morning out, we decided to call it a day and head home. It took us a good hour and a half to get back with all of the Friday traffic. 

Yep, stopped at Starbucks right before we got home. The girls got a cake pop (sugar overload), Ten had a Refresher, and I had the coconut milk mocha… love this thing…and a donut as a snack.

When we got home, Ten got straight to doing yard work. I quickly put Emi down for a nap, and then asked Mia what she what she wanted to do. She didn’t hesitate for a second in saying library. We decided to walk down, and she picked out tons of books. 

Mia created a jungle with all of the animals here. I love spending time at our library. It is just so pretty and has so much light.

So, that was our day. We went home and watched the movie Rio for our family movie night. We LOVED this movie. 

In other news, on Saturday we took the girls to get fitted for ballet slippers, leotards, etc. It was so fun. Emi picked out a gorgeous leotard and tutu and sparkly slippers. Mia had to get what she had to get. Her two dance schools require specific uniforms, but we did let her choose a necklace also to make it more fun. She chose one with a gymnast wearing a sparkly red leotard. It matches her gymnastics leotard, so I thought that was sweet.

Catching Up

Hi there! Just checking in. We are winding down the last bit of summer activities. Emi successfully finished her program that she attended at the farm, swimming, and we battled through a gentle separation program. FYI the program didn’t work all that well for us. There were a lot of factors (including it being a partial mommy and me…meaning some of the moms didn’t separate…so too many factors to pin down why it didn’t work well for us). Mia finished 4 exhausting but fun weeks at day camp. She is now in her last 4 days of Camp Move to Learn. It’s a camp that integrates kids that are typical and those with special needs, and it has been a very worthwhile experience for her. Two great programs for her this summer.

Here are a few random photos from the last few weeks. Including one from our first trip to Five Guys. Seriously…why hadn’t we tried this before!

In other intersting news, this totally happened….


So, many moons ago, Ten and I were a better than average fit couple. Two kids (3 pregnancies for me…none shall we say typical), a move to a new country, and then a move to a new state/town and buying of a house, just really made fitness like 0% important. Well Ten decided to get back into shape (which means gaining tons of muscle), and he soon after dislocated his shoulder at the gym. An X-Ray and MRI confirmed the damage. Luckily no surgery needed, but he does have to go through 8 weeks of rehab. Awesome.

Also, we have an architect coming to our house this week to start some renovations that need to be done to our house. Mia has asked if we can just move the entire house to the beach and add a “tower.” I wish!

In final news, we decided to let Mia quit going to Kumon for the time being. Emi will still go. Mia is so far ahead for her age in math and reading, but has started to really hate Kumon….so we want to protect a love of learning there. We may pick it up again later, but done for now. 

P.S. I often read these super mom type blogs….and please, please…tell me these ladies are neglecting something in their lives! I have so much admin stuff I am behind on! Passport apps, insurance claims, a wedding gift to buy when the event is already over!! the list just keeps going!! Also, doing a massive decluttering and it feels like I will never be done. Maybe easier once my kids are school age? I just keep thinking….need to work harder!!

My Birthday!

 Over the weekend we celebrated my birthday. I will say it was very low key. I decided to skip out on the cake, and when Ten asked me what I wanted as a gift, I told him nothing. There isn’t anything that I truly want/need, and I’m not the type that likes to buy things for the sake of buying something. Also, my Mom did send me a gift card to Starbucks, so I felt like that was perfect and just enough.

Anyway, so we decided to have breakfast at the Hyatt. I am such a loyal Hyatt fan…one of the few brand loyalties I do have…so was really looking forward to it.

The restaurant is like being in Bali. At least that is what it reminds me of. Very pretty.


Emi’s plate. She ate almost everything on her plate! She is such a tiny thing who basically survives on air, so we were happy that she filled herself up.


Mia had lots of fruit and some pain au chocolat.


Mia enjoyed lots of fruit and some pastries.



I loved the little flowers that Mia was drawing.


Ten and I basically had the same things. Sausage, home fries, and a veggie and cheese omelet. Extra bacon for Emi. We also split a bagel with cream cheese and lots of smoked salmon.


Another view of the restaurant.

We really had a nice time having breakfast out together as a family, and the girls loves being at this restaurant….however, we had horrendous service this morning. Like truly terrible, it was so bad we cut breakfast short. I know that we will unfortunately never eat or stay at this Hyatt ever again. So sad.

   While Ten was speaking to the manager about the horrible service, the girls and I went and took some photos around the atrium.

Mia wanted her picture taken with these pretty pink flowers.



I think the best picture of Emi I could get. She seriously just would not get in the pictures.


We threw pennies into the water and made wishes. Actually, Emi threw a quarter…Ten would pass out if he knew…haha


We basically made the best out of a bad situation and then went home to change to get ready to go to the Maritime Aquarium followed by Kumon. We decided on the aquarium because the girls really wanted to go, and it was the last day of our membership.

Creating sea animals to add to the display.


Spending time touching jelly fish.


On our way to the indoor play area before watching and Imax movie. We saw Born to Be Wild…and it was so incredibly good. Even Ten thought it was great which is saying something…I wouldn’t say he is as environmentally sensitive as I am.


We let the girls play in the under 5 area for a good, long time. Usually we skip this area, but since we probably won’t be back for a while…we let them play most of the morning until the movie started.

We spent the last bit of the day at the butterfly house.  The butterflies were so active since it was such a hot day.  

A few hung out on my bag.


…and Ten was very popular with the purple butterflies.


The girls loved the butterfly house this morning. They range anywhere from terrified to love when it comes to the butterfly house.

So there you have it. 

In other news, we have been working very hard here. I have started on a few different holiday projects, Emi is about half-way potty trained, I have been decluttering and cleaning faster than everyone has been able to destroy it and lots more. Also, hoping to enjoy this last full month of summer before the hectic school schedule begins again.

Also, I see the errors and typos in the post but can’t be bothered to change them.

Emi can swim!

 On Tuesday, July 26, Emi officially swam on her own! It was so exciting to see all of her hardwork pay off! It was amazing to see her swim to the ladder, and she looked so proud of herself. 

Here are a few little clips of Emi swimming. She isn’t wearing a floatie or anything like that, just a pair of flippers to help her speed through the water a little easier since she is still so young.

We love our instructor and swim school so much. Thanks Joe!

Hershey’s Chocolate World

 This is the final place we visited during our PA trip. Hershey, Pennsylvania…and it was so much more fun/exciting than I had imagined.

The street lamps look just like Hershey Kisses. I am embarassed by how excited I was by this.

We were the first car in the parking lot at Hershey’s Chocolate World. We decided to skip the theme park since it isn’t all that age appropriate for the girls and spend the moring here rather.  

I see some Hershey chracters in the background ๐Ÿ™‚


Hi Ten! Unfortunately this is the only picture he was in. He snapped most of the pics this day because it wasn’t the easiest navigating Emi and Mia through here.


The line here got so long, so quick. It was like a flash flood of people.


Killing a bit of time before the doors opened. All you have to say is echo location, and the girls drop everything to do their best beluga whale impression.


Our first stop was the gift shop. We decided to scope out souvenirs before things got too crowded. One Reeese’s hoodie definitely came back with us.


Next we headed over to the make your own candy bar. I think each of us made something completely different.

You can tell by these smiles how excited they are.


…and this smile.


The look that Emi makes whenever she is just really happy. Love this face.


Watching the bottom half of the bars to be filled with candy.


….an after picture of the experience. The candy bars that we made were so very huge. Truth be told…I’m not a big fan of the taste of Hershey’s chocolate. We still have 3.5 giant bars of chocolate from this. Mia is the only one who tried some of hers.


Next we did a little bit of shopping while waiting for our chocolate tasting experience. Ten and I did a whiskey tasting experience once in Scotland, and it was a lot of fun and I felt like I actually learned something… we thought a chocolate one would be fun for the kids.

First, saying hi to this guy here. You are cute…but not my cup of tea…

Oh I almost forgot…we did this little tour of how a candy bar is made. Like a little amusement park ride with free chocolate at the end.    

This was Emi’s FAVORITE part of the trip, so we ended up riding itnonce more before we left.

On to chocolate tasting.    

Mia took this so seriously. She was sitting there smelling all of the chocolate and listening to the sound of the chocolate breaking. A real pro.

Emi ate all of the chocolate fr the tasting experience within minutes. She was having a little bit of a tough time sitting through the attraction, so couldn’t snap many pics.  

During the tasting experience, we did learn that this cacao tree was in fact real. i thought it was fake…but nope…all real.

Finally, we stopped by this ride one more time. Emi could not get enough of the singing cows and a little pig.  


So that was our visit to Hershey World. I was so sick of seeing chocolate by the time that we left here honestly…but it was a lot of fun.