Summer Adventures: Selleck Woods

 Last summer, Mia ended up doing 6 weeks of full day summer camp. It was intense, and she came home exhausted every day. Emi and I did several mommy and me type of classes, but we had to make sure we were home in plenty of time to have dinner ready and to meet Mia’s bus. It just felt way too busy.

This summer we decided to take a different approach. Mia and Emi will attend one week of half day dance camp at the beginning of summer break and two weeks of half day farm camp at the beginning of August. So, more time together and less time (a lot less) being away from home. So out of 13 weeks, they will only have camp for 3 weeks.

With all of that being said, I want to make sure that we are having lots of adventures. I’m not a huge fan of the whole “bucket list” thing, but I do like the idea of having some different summer adventures.

Today (May 17), the three of us were going to spend the afternoon at the beach. It was going to be really hot, and it would be a perfect first summer beach day (and yes I know it is still spring…but school is out for us next week). However, we got an invite to go trail walking in a nature preserve…after consulting with the girls…we decided a “nature bath” would be a good adventure to take.

So, we packed a gourmet lunch of PBJs, and I sliced up some watermelon for all of the kids….and we hit the road. About 30 minutes later, we were at Selleck’s Woods or Selleck Dunlap Woods. 

My girls were off and running as soon as we arrived. Look at all of that gorgeous greenery.

  

  

Emi and her friend were glued together while we were here. So great to have a playdate with friends who have 2 kids of similar ages.

This place is magical. There are streams, ponds, marshes, butterfly gardens, duck crossings, and more. Also, it is only two miles worth of trails. Very manageable with kids.

 

The girls had a great time running through the woods, imagining they were dinosaurs, smacking trees with sticks, throwing rocks in streams, and just being crazy. They also fell down and got countless scrapes and cuts. Living life to the fullest as preschoolers.

Taking a break after climbing up this rock.

  

The girls loved walking along this ring of stumps. The kids looked so cute in this pic. I did crop out their friends….as their faces were a little too clear in this pic.

After about an hour, we walked back to the cars and brought out a picnic dinner. The kids all enjoyed it and ate tons of watermelon. They finished off dinner with some homemade trail mix, and we then headed back into the woods for another half hour.
 

Finally, the mosquitos were starting to get the best of us, so we called it a night. We loaded back into the car and were able to make it back to our village just in time to meet Ten at the train station. 

We got home and everyone showered. We were covered in dirt and sweat. The shower was awesome. We then did a tick check and found a big splinter on Mia. We took care of that and put medicine on all of their scrapes and cuts. After reading two books all about T-Rex, the girls fell asleep immediately. Exhausted but happy.

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. πŸ™‚

  

      

…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. πŸ™‚

    

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.

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.

Mia’s First Summer Camp Experience

I hope everyone had a really good weekend. We didn’t do anything major here. We took Saturday morning to go to Marshalls to buy Ten some work shirts. JP Morgan has recently changed their dress code and are allowing for a more casual style of clothing. This is so great as Ten has to commute over two hours a day, and the new dress code is much  more comfortable. We also went grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and then did a quick lunch at Burger King followed by a trip to the library. Finally, we dropped both girls off at Kumon while me and Ten shared a bag of jerky and each had a drink from Walgreens….so can now officially say we have been on a date without the kids as we ate food (and not at home) without them πŸ˜‰ We topped the day off with watching Totoro for movie night.

Sunday we basically made a point to stay home and do things like drive around the power wheel, ride bikes, read books, etc. We also talked a little bit about our summer vacation plans and our plans for our trip to Japan. Basically we were relaxing but also getting prepared for the weekend.

Anyway, Monday means back to day camp for Mia. She attends camp Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 4:30. She has been having a great time, but by the time Friday rolls around, she wants nothing to do with camp. It’s hard to be gone from home all day like that at her age. She has a great time doing things like rope courses, zip lining, boating, fishing, magic shows, etc. They just get to do so much. This week is bungee jumping! I am not even kidding. So she is totally worn out by Friday but is experiencing so much during the week.

I wanted to share just a few photos of her at camp. 

Very first day of camp. She was very excited.

  

Waiting for the camp bus. She was a little nervous about riding the bus on the first day, but now she has made great bus friends and loves it.

  

Bye Mia!

  

Here the kids are during theater class one day. I think they were doing Peter and the Wolf.

    
  

Mia with a group of girls pretending to be wolves.

  
  

Playing with one of her friends from preschool.

 

  
  

Everyday the kids get to swim twice. They have a swim lesson and then also have a session of just free play in the kiddy pool.

  
    

Mia’s camp also has several special events each week. They’ve had a magician come and perform, water slide inflatable days, foam parties, and so much more….plus lunch is catered every day! These kids have it extremely good. We are lucky.

Mia during the foam party last week.

    
 

Mia has two more weeks (we signed up for 4 of the 8 weeks) to enjoy this camp, and then she will be off to a swimming camp that she begged us to go to. I think next summer we may make her choose one or the other, but for this summer she gets to try out both.

PS: I have two posts left from our summer vacation, and then I will be all caught up.

PPS: Our camp has a photographer…I haven’t been some crazy mom stalking the camp. They are all via the photographer…who gets paid to stalk our kids…ha.

Statue of Liberty

 So, a little out of order but here are some pics of when Ten, Nana, PaPa, and Mia went to the city to visit the Statue of Liberty. Emi and I decided to sit this one out because she wasn’t feeling all that well and there was a heat advisory. It would have made for a miserable morning for a two year old.

So while I wasn’t there, I did get several pics and updates of their day.

They all made it to Grand Central. I love Grand Central. I feel like I’m in a movie every time I get off the train.

  

They headed straight to Battery Park to ride the ferry to Liberty Island. First, they made a stop at the Seaglass Carousel so that Mia could ride it. Looks so beautiful in pictures, but this group wasn’t impressed. I still want/need to see it in person.

  

….on the ferry…

  

….and then getting lunch immediately after. They had alreadt been gone all morning by this point.

  

Hi! Ten is clearly the photographer for the day.

  
    
  

Love this picture.

  

…but this is probably my favorite of the day.

    

An overcast day, but the city still looks so pretty.

    
  

The original torch inside of the pedestal.

  
    
    
  

Saying bye.

  
   

Intercourse, Paradise, and Bird-in-Hand, PA

 This was THE best part of our trip, at least for me. I also know my mom really liked it. I could spend time in Pennsylvania Dutch Country every week and not get tired of it.

This is me excited to be in Amish country. Posing next to two signs….yes, random.

  

One of the many, many buggies we saw this day. I was actually worried that I wouldn’t see any Amish/Menonite/Brethren before we arrived in Lancaster County which now I know is ridiculous as it is called Amish Country for a reason.


We arrived in Intercourse pretty early in the morning and first stopped into this little store where my mom bought the girls bonnets! So cute, and believe me I am finding excuses here for wearing them πŸ˜‰  

By the way, notice Emi’s clothes, it was the Fourth of July.

  

Mia also in a patriotic shirt.

 

Another buggy…these things were so much faster than what I had imagined.


We walked to a shopping area called Kitchen Kettle Village and spent the morning here sampling ice cream, cheeses, meats, etc. They also had tons of home decor that Ten loved looking at. Total tourist trap, and we loved every minute of it.  

Playing some tunes outside of the store. Thank you kind store for not caring if kids come and “play” the piano. We definitely bought a few things here.

  

Everything looks cuter in a bonnet. Emi milking a cow…btw…i cannot wait to read Little House on the Prairie with the girls…fyi, I hated that show as a child…haha

  

 After a hard one hour of shopping, we decided to get some homemade ice cream. This was so, so good and creamy. It was among the best I have tried. 

The girls sharing a strawberry scoop and a scoop of chocolate.


Next we visited several different shops.  

Hi Uncle Sam!

  

The girls didn’t care much for the meats and cheeses at this shop, but they wanted a picture with the pig.

  

We also visited a shop that made all kinds of salsas, jams, butters, etc. i LOVED this place. Ten snapped this picture before he saw the sign that says no photos. oops, very hard working Amish ladies here making all kinds of yummy things.

 
Before we arrived in Intercourse
we decided that we were not going to take a buggy ride. We just felt like it was too expensive, and we could drive through the farmland ourselves. 
However

, Mia and Emi really, really wanted to. They had been good all morning doing adult things like shopping, so Ten thought we should do it for them. I was very reluctant, but it ended up being the best part of our trip.

Emi talking to the horses. She loves animals more than any kid I know.

  

In the buggy and ready to go…and yes, Mia is sitting in the front seat.

  

Sweet picture.


And we are off. We rode through miles of farm land and Amish houses. Everyone knew our driver and we even stopped in at one house. Tourist trap to buy some cookies from an Amish family….loved it and bought the cookies πŸ˜‰
  

Our very kind guide who let Mia drive the buggy! She loved this so much. I was so impressed with this man. He fully listened to everything Mia had to say and seemed to really enjoy her company. I honestly believe this has to do with their lifestyle. People seem to come first, and I felt like we are really doing it wrong…us in the modern world.

  

Go Mia!

  

Beautiful. Amazing so see houses and land without any electric lines.


I took so many pictures of the buggy ride, but I can’t post them all here. That was just a little sample.

  Next we went to a smorgasbord in Bird-in-hand. We wanted to try some different authentic dishes and this was apparently the place to go.

They had the cutest Noah’s Ark buffet for kids. Our girls love thst story, so they thought this was really cool…amd Mia enjoyed serving herself from it.

  

Starting with a very unhealthy but really awesome salad. The local cheeses were really good.

  

While I skipped a few authentic dishes (here’s looking at you ham ball), I tried almost everything else. Tasty meatloaf, zuchinni casserole (liked), Amish shepherd’s pie (ok), sauerkraut and pork (liked), and so many more things. BTW…my mom tried the ham ball…and while not bad, not something I would choose to eat.

  

A scary leopard peaking out of the window. Mia loved being able to serve herself at the little buffet.

  

So many good desserts….a whoopie pie (way too sweet for me) and some peanut butter fluff.

  

After we were overly stuffed, we packed up and headed to Paradise, PA… PaPa and the girls on is bike.

  

Driving down the road, we saw a huge number of horses and buggies. It was a charity event for kids in need.

    
 

P.S. Typos again that I can’t fix because of the app I use….may have to use the computer in the future.