We Ventured Out

Fruday we we were still under wind advisories from the big storm, so schools were cancelled and Ten once again worked from home. I was quite happy to not have to make the half hour drive to and from school. However, we desperately needed to get out. So, me and the girls packed up and went to Emi’s gymnastics class around 12:30 pm. I received texts from friends saying they were staying inside, but we needed to go do something.

I’m happy to say even though the roads were still snow covered in areas, we made it safely to her class.

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Looks like Emi’s instructor couldn’t make it to class, so another had to fill in. Also, we decided to go with leggings and a shirt…just too cold for a leotard in my opinion.

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Mia wanted to take a selfie. Hello beautiful!

After Mia very patiently sat through Emi’s lesson, we went over to the playroom that they have for younger kids. There are a few slides, ball pit, trampoline, etc….so a perfect spot to burn off some energy.

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All smiles. The best of friends. Some much needed playtime.

The girls jumped and ran around for over an hour and a half and had a blast. They of course made a group of new friends to play with as well. It’s amazing how easy kids can make friends with each other. I in the meantime took turns watching them play, chatting with caregivers, and reading a book. The girls had such a nice time.

Next, we packed up and headed out for a late lunch/early dinner.

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Welcome to Dinosaur BBQ.

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The restaurant had some interesting artwork on the walls. Apparently, this place is a biker restaurant in NY, but CT has a more family feel.

This place smelled amazing and had the best fresh squeezed lemonade and sweet tea. Sooo good. We will definitely need to come back with Ten.

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My order was hand cut fries (Emi ate most of them), coleslaw, and a BLT (made with fried green tomatoes). Really good, but next I’m going with the BBQ

Of course, we weren’t out to eat alone. We had a whole table of friends to hang with. Adults on one side and kids on the other. This is the best group of little friends.

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…and getting ready to head back into the cold.

We had a very nice afternoon, and need to plan some more days out soon for our sanity!

 

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Bomb Cyclone

So, here we are experiencing a bomb cyclone or whatever it’s called. From personal experience and without getting scientific (because not a scientist), it has felt like living in a snow globe. It was so incredibly windy and snowy that we honestly had no clue how much snow we got until just about half an hour ago…and it looks like a lot. Of course, all schools are closed tomorrow because no one can leave their homes, and it is so extremely cold out. We have plans with friends tomorrow, and I guess we will just have to wait and see.

We haven’t had weather above freezing since Christmas (and no end in sight), so we are getting stir crazy. It’s official…I couldn’t make it on the Alaskan Frontier as much as I’d like to think I could. I also couldn’t make it through an old-fashioned type of winter like “Little House in the Big Woods” which is what we are reading now.

So….today….we worked on taking down our Christmas tree, finished an entire book of Mad Libs, got an impressive amount of homeschooling finished, played Shopkins and dolls, did magnet books, and then I finally had to cave and allow some TV time. We ended up watching “Barbie: A Mermaid’s Tale,” the second Gruffalo movie, and “Fievel Goes West.”

Ten meanwhile very wisely decided to work from home. Some of his colleagues attempted to go to the city only to have to return a few hours later since the trains were shutting down. I’m never sure why people make such a big effort to go in on these kinds of days when virtually everyone can work from home (in their line of business). Our poor neighbor triumphantly made it to the train station this morning but couldn’t make it back home….boggles the mind.

Me…I actually got in quite a bit of reading today. I was also able to update this little blog and use a Royal Jelly face mask that I picked up in Japan. I also tried a new recipe: quinoa chicken enchilada casserole and made some pico de gallo to go with it. The girls were happy to stick with a cheese quesadilla with a side of olives and sliced avocado.

So, there we have it. Here is to hoping we can break out for a little while tomorrow, but things aren’t looking promising as it doesn’t look like the clouds are going to let the sun through.

Merry Christmas 2017!

We had such a great Christmas this year. It was also our smallest Christmas to date, and we are going to keep working on reducing expectations. It made for a calmer, more appreciative morning…and then we were able to play with our gifts for the rest of the day. Even Mia made a comment about how much playing we got to do with her today, so the girls felt it.

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The girls woke up at the very reasonable time of 7:06. Yes! There were giant snowflakes falling outside, and we were in our matching PJs of course.

Ten usually hands out the gifts, but Mia hopped right in there and started passing things out, so we were happy to let her take over.

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Our presents this year were mainly things that you could make, but the real stars of the show were the costumes that the girls got. We had Wolverine and Anna roaming  the house for most of the day. I love that the girls like to use their imaginations. I will admit, several of Mia’s friends were getting handheld video games and electronics for their 5th Christmases, but I’m so happy we can still dress up and have the best time.

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We literally played board games and opened blind bags for most of the day…and after what felt like the 100th LOL doll (more like the 3rd)…Ten made our Christmas dinner. He makes the best hams (and pancakes). He always does it in the crockpot, and they are amazing….truly because I don’t even like ham. Even Emi ate her weight in ham which is saying something because she barely eats.

Dinner was followed by a few rounds of Guess Who?, baths, and stories….now if we could just get more snow…I would say the perfect Christmas.

 

A Day Full of Play

 

We needed to break out of the house yesterday. For the past four days we have all been battling a cold, so today was the day to get out and about. We got up in the morning and decided to head to the Westchester Children’s Museum in Rye, NY.  The reviews for this place are pretty so-so, but we needed a new adventure so we were willing to give it a try. Surprisingly the girls really enjoyed their morning here, and we only decided to leave because the girls were really hungry. It was a set up that was so simple and uncomplicated that it kept their attention for hours. It wasn’t the usual running around in 500 directions which made it well worth the entrance fee.

 

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Building and testing our own rollercoasters. Emi’s favorite area by far.

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Rolling around in these crazy chairs. I’ll have to give them a whirl when no longer pregnant.

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It wouldn’t be a New England play space without a proper lighthouse.

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Magnetic sculpture making.

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Free art area. Mia could spend an eternity doing free art.

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Playing very properly in the reading nook. They said look mom..just like our room…so messy you can’t get in. This is a sad truth at the moment.

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On our way out. A super quiet beach.

 

We were driving home and the girls were hungry. Like really hungry. I hadn’t planned on staying out that long, so we decided to detour to Wendy’s and grab a quick bite to eat. I hadn’t been to this place since my grandma came to visit us. Wendy’s was our “secret place” when I was a kid, so it was nice to relive that little memory of her.

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Last stop of the day was Byram Beach for a little playground action. The girls were wondering why no other kids was there….well 30 degrees by the ocean isn’t the most comfortable weather for parents….but kids don’t really care, do they?

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I’ve honestly really enjoyed this past week of no social obligations. Sometimes you need to take a step back away from all of the people that surround you to just breathe.

2017 End of Year Recital

 This weekend Mia had her final piano recital of the school year. It was held at The Palace Theater in their cafe. Fun for us since we have been to several performances at this venue.

Mia was the only student to play a hymn. Most little ones played nursery rhymes or short classical pieces. Mia said that she wanted to play Simple Gifts, and since it is one of my favorite songs….I was so happy. Here are a few pics from the recital and the reception that followed.
   

  

Enjoying fruit and pizza. Ten was nice enough to buy pizza for everyone at the reception. I ordered the day before, and we brought it over before the recital.

    
 

Mia did a really great job.

Now, we will be going radio silent for the next few weeks as we head to Japan. I still need to post about Ten’s bodybuilding competition, but I think I will scrap all of the minor posts I had planned. We are in for a big trip, but I hope to post about everything we do.

Birthday and Father’s Day Weekend

Ten is always a bit out of luck because his birthday and Father’s Day are usually only a few days apart. This year his birthday was the Friday before Father’s Day. Last year, I totally failed both gift wise and event wise, so this time around I wanted to make him feel special.

We decided not to do a cake this year, but one of his coworkers bought him a small piece of very nice cake…so Mia ran and grabbed a bunch of candles, so that we could do a proper celebration. 

We all sang Happy Birthday and Ten blew out his candles….and Mia and Emi quickly ate the cake up. I had a tiny taste of it….and oh my….it was delicious….and I immediately added “eat cake” to my Tokyo to do list.

We also gave Ten his gifts. We got him a cookbook for dads and a french fry slicer. He has been wanting this thing for a while….so I think he likes it…but we haven’t been able to test it out yet.

Beautiful princess candles on the cake.

On Sunday, we celebrated a really nice Father’s Day. We gave him a family compass and a nice book about what being a dad means. We then drove over an hour north to a Father’s Day BBQ at a local farm. We had a nice drive up and were able to buy some gifts for people in Japan there. Everything is locally made which makes it the best kind of gift in my opinion.

Once again….my phone memory was an issue so I got one photo of the setup….and it wasn’t a very good one. I absolutely need to get my phone all cleared out….it’s getting pretty ridiculous….and was in fact one reason that I stopped blogging in the past.

BBQ buffet under a big white tent.

 

They had cheeseburgers, hotdogs, watermelon, baked beans, cheesy potatoes, salad, cornbread, and just so much more. Also, there was a good breeze blowing…perfect lunch. We also enjoyed the apple cider they make there.

Ten had 3 cheeseburgers! They also had grilled chicken, brisket, and pulled pork. We didn’t try those…but it all looked really good.

 

We also had pie for dessert. I had a slice of blueberry but couldn’t finish it.

 

Ten had a slice of each…no idea how he can hold that much food.

Mia loved the food and the farm store. My little friend Emi was having the best time playing in the gravel.

 

So, that is what we did to celebrate Ten’s weekend. He really enjoyed his meal out, and it was well deserved. He does an awful lot for our family, so he deserved a day out to do something that he loves….eat and spend time with his kids 😉

Birthday Party at Kids U

On Saturday, we had our second to last birthday of the school year. I know we have finished school, but the birthday parties are stil going for Mia’s classmates.

For this party, Ten decided to take Mia, and I hung out with Emi. The party was at one of those places with inflatables, and the theme was Lego Batman. Mia asked me to buy a Batman gift for this friend, so we actually got him some Lego Batman things….she knew exactly what her friend like. 

Lego Batman cupcakes. So cute…and good job Ten for snapping these pics.


The pictures are very out of order, but here is Mia and ger best friend having some pizza.  
  

Selfie time.

 

The kids got to play in a gym space and the inflatable space. Honestly, these aren’t my favorite types of party to attend because someone usually ends up hurt….and pretty badly….but today there were no major problems. 
    
    
 

Mia had a great time seeing all of her friends from school. A lot of them will be moving to Kindergarten next year, so I feel like that this will be the final get together for this group….and btw Emi ended up getting a cupcake out of this.

Moana Dance Camp

So, I have quite a few posts that I need to wrap up. So, going to start with one of the shorter ones. Last week, the girls attended Moana dance camp and had the best time. It was a was a three hour program every day for a whole week. They practiced some hula, did crafts, and  ate snacks. However,  Mia did ask me if I would pack them a snack from home because the dance school snack was too small. So, every morning I packed up some fruit, crackers, and a few other things to send with them.

This was clearly a drop off program, so I could only snap a few pictures….also the memory on my phone is non-existent.

Here the girls were at the end of one class playing with scarves and wearing their Moana costumes.


When we got home one day, the girls wanted to show me their Moana poses….I’ve learned that everything has a pose.  
    

The girls made lots of crafts throughout the week. There were fish, boats, bags, hats….just so many ocean themed things.
  

Wind socks seem to be a popular craft in these parts.

  

On the last day, I snuck in a bit early to try and grab some video. After a total of 3 seconds, my memory was full 😦 Also, you can’t even see Emi because she was hiding in the back. I did try though.
 

The girls had a great time. They were so excited to go back every morning. Next year, we might thing of extending this camp a bit.

Ballet Graduation Gala

On Saturday (June 10), Mia was set to perform in the graduation gala at her ballet academy. Ten headed off in the morning to his competition, so the girls and I basically just had a pretty lazy morning. They played while I slowly got things ready. Around 10:00, we headed out to do some errands and then were back home by 11:30 to start preparing for the afternoon.

I got all of us looking presentable, and we headed to the theater at 1:00. We dropped Mia off at the dance studio, and then I decided to wait outside on the benches and let my date burn off some energy for the next 30 minutes.

The shoes came off as soon as she started playing.

  

Emi loves to dance and do all of the moves the older girls do. It is adorable.

    
  

After 30 minutes or so, we headed into the theater and made some small talk with some people that we know. I also looked at the silent auction baskets. They had some very nice things like a “Russian basket,” piano lessons, etc….but I knew it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to bid on anything because there would be an evening performance later in the day.

I was so lucky that one of the moms texted me a few photos from backstage. For this performance, I decided to watch the girls dance rather than help behind the scenes since Ten had to be out of town. Since we have zero family around, it is either me or Ten in the audience.

Mia is the tallest one of the group. Where she got these genes, I will never know.

  

    
  

Did I get pics of faces? Yes. But thy were just way too zoomed up of the other kids also….so decided not to share those. The performance was really beautiful. Mia’s group did a great job, and she performed very well.

A small bouquet of flowers from her teacher. We got her a small ball and bat. Ha.

She was very proud of herself. Great job Mia!

   

So, Mia has completed the earliest stages of the ballet academy and will be moving on next year to enter classes with the Russian teachers. Great job Mia!

I didn’t get video of Mia dancing, but this is just as good. Emi dancing to the music that she hears.  

Emi’s Graduation

 On Thursday, June 8, Emi graduated from her 2s program…..a sort of pre-nursery class. It was a pretty big deal because she had some major separation anxiety…..ALL. YEAR. LONG…..but we made it through….and it helped save a tiny bit of my sanity. 

When we walked in, the kids had on a little cap that they had made. SO CUTE!

  
  

She looks so sweet here.

The teacher called up each student and presented them with a certificate, sticker, and a book that she made about that student. She said that Emi loves art, science, and math….and continued on for the next several pages.
   

A mama’s girl 100%. I mean to the extent that she wakes up every morning and asks….I get to do so and so with you today, right? ….Wants to make sure she is right by my side.

   
….and here she is trying to punch Ten. Definitely our spirited child.
    
After the ceremony, the kids sat down to a very nice snack/lunch. I brought a vegetable tray that I had shaped into an owl, a pickle and olive tray, and the paper plates and napkins. It was so funny because people kept complimenting me on my pickles.  They were all like…wow these are so good. I think they thought they were from a gourmet food shop…but nope just from a jar at the supermarket.
  

We pulled a chair up for Mia. What was supposed to be a light snack turned into a feast. The parents really did a good job.

  
After snack, the kids sang their last goodbye song.”There will always be sumshine.” We then handed the teachers their gifts and said our goodbyes. 

I totally dropped the ball on gifts, so I ran to Whole Foods before and filled gift bags with soap, lip balm, bath bombs, and gift cards.

So, one year down and next year off to pre-school.