Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stuck?! Sketches Sept 1st reveal and a yogurt rant...

...cuz those 2 things TOTALLY go together :)

First for the scrappy fun. We're a bit early, but the September 1st reveal for Stuck?! is up for your viewing pleasure. I had a lot of fun with this sketch. It's really not the direction I meant to go with this picture. These papers just kind of fell into place...not what I had in mind when I first started, but sometimes that makes for the best layouts. Here is our sketch:

And my take on it:

And now for the yogurt. Every time I go to by yogurt I am struck by just how many kinds there are. I mean, I know, variety is the spice of life, but c'mon...it's just a little too spice-y in that aisle. Almost every time I'm there I stand there just staring going over each kind...omega-3, probiotics, prebiotics, fat free, low fat, blah, blah, blah. What kind do I want to pick today? I'm a simple girl, I like simple yogurt. Simple flavours...strawberry, peach. I know I like those flavours...do I like pineapple/kiwi/acai? Or pear/vanilla bean? Or pomegranate/mango? Who knows? I don't want to risk it and be disappointed and have all the yogurt go bad on me. Oh, and I like stirred, not fruit on the bottom. I hate when I buy that by accident. Trying to stir yogurt in that tiny little container and then getting to the bottom and finding out I didn't do a very good job. There are few things that have so many choices as the yogurt...shampoo is another one. I do that same long debate in that aisle and I still haven't found a favourite shampoo. I have, after much debate found a favourite yogurt. I like Astro BioBest with the 1% M.F. Nice simple yogurt...ok, I think it has omega-3s or prebiotics or something, but I pretty much ignored that in my search. The flavours are simple, the fat content is non-existent but isn't too high. I can buy just one kind for me and the kids. So, there you go, the results of my oh so scientific search. I hope you've found them helpful. I'll keep you posted on the shampoo :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vacation days #5, 6 and 7

Sorry, between insomnia and running places with the kids and getting a puppy I've been slack with the blogging. Rest assured that the last couple of days of vacation were pretty slow :)

Last Wednesday we spent the day at Story Land. We had a big debate over Story Land or Santa's Village but thought this would be better for our kids ages. We had a fantastic time. Seven and a half hours later we still didn't see everything! We did most of the rides, saw a circus show (the magician was a BIG hit!) ate an overpriced lunch (what are you gonna do when you're stuck there?), played in the sprayground and played in a room full of foam balls shooting out of every tube and gun imaginable. So, so much fun. We loved the roller coaster and the bamboo chutes...a water ride where you fall down a big hill and make a big splash! Bridget was *just* tall enough to ride on all the rides. They even checked her at 4 or 5 of them which made me feel like a slightly bad mother (you sure you want to take your 2 year old on this ride, lady??? ok...if you're sure...).

Now, I know you are going to be disappointed that you don't get to look at hundreds of pictures of our amazing day, but I didn't carry my bulky camera around all day. We were very much in the moment having fun. I also didn't want it to get wet. Now, when a scrapbooker leaves her camera behind on a very fun day and all of a sudden is offered the opportunity to buy a picture of her family falling down the bamboo chute ride of course she is going to take it. Even if it costs $12. It helps that the picture is hilarious! The joy on Riley's face, the terror on Bridget's, me with a death grip around my barely tall enough daughter...ah, so, so good. I know, you're dying to see it right. Ok, coming right up. Now before you get all upset about my scanning this picture and posting it, I actually checked with Story Land and they said to go ahead and post it. Yay!

I LOVE it! It makes me laugh each and every time i look at it. See, my death grip on Bridget, haha. She looks scared but she would have been all for doing it again!

After our very long day we needed some supper before the hour long drive back to our United States house. We decided (bravely) to eat at a place called Joseph's Spaghetti Shed. I mean who passes up the opportunity to eat at a spaghetti shed? Heehee. Well, the sauces were all home-made and fantastic. If we had had room for dessert I'm sure that would have been amazing too. Actually, the white sauce wasn't as good at the red so if you are ever at the Spaghetti Shed, go red! I made Kevin share (it's a husband's duty, right?).

Our drive home was through the mountains at sunset. We stopped to take a couple of pictures. I think that if we had waited until the next rest stop the pictures would have been more spectacular, but oh well. It was late and we really had to get those kids in bed. As it was, Bridget woke up part of the way home and just kept saying, "Mommy, I want you." over and over and over. I think this is also the same night that we called 911 because the driver in front of us was clearly impaired. It was a slow drive home since there was no way we were passing him and I hope they actually got to him. We told them what exit he took but had to keep going since we had no idea where that exit would have taken us. Anyway, to a few more pictures...

Riley wanted to get out of the van and have his picture taken with me. Kieran didn't want out and Bridget was asleep.

Riley took this picture of us. Not bad!

It was a late night so I think the kids actually slept in the next morning until 6...maybe a little after. What a treat, haha!

Thursday we just hung out some more. Played at the pool, I did a craft and so did the kids while Kevin played in a pool tournament (and actually won! haha! we got a free movie rental...oooh. We watched 2010. Meh. There are better rentals so don't feel bad passing this one up!). Then we did a bit of shopping, well, as much as 3 overtired kids would let us do. I got a few back to school items for Riley and a hoodie for me. Big spenders that we are.

Pool fun:

This puddle jumper was worth every penny! Kieran even took turns with it in the deep end :)

Riley practicing his diving :)

Kieran apparently doing his side glide. He hasn't even learned that yet. Guess it helps to watch big brother in the pool :)

Bridget and I chased a butterfly for quite awhile outside. He kept just touching the outdoor pool and making cool water rings, but that's tough to catch on camera!

Next are Kevin's water acrobatics. Please, kids, don't try this at home. I was pretty afraid my kids were going to and I think Riley was trying a few things. Sigh, no wonder they're crazy!

My camera actually got wet on that last splash :)

Phew, ok, I think that's the whole trip. Friday was just the drive home which was pretty uneventful (thankfully, even given all the police we saw in Maine who had pulled over speeders). We had lunch at the Olive Garden in Bangor which was the only place I really wanted to eat in the States. It was so yummy! We had to wait a little for the Friday lunch crowd to settle but it was worth it (to me anyway, Kevin claims he never wants to eat out with kids again, haha. Really, they were pretty good but no meal out is ever relaxing with kids. I tried to ignore them and get lost in my pasta yumminess :).

Ok, and now it's time for bed. Our first night with Oz, our new boxer puppy. Wish us luck. We've had a pretty successful evening...no accidents, slept a little, played a little. Hope we get some sleep tonight. Pictures of that cutie to come soon ;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vacation day #4

Last Tuesday we decided to go play mini golf at Pirate's Cove. Ambitious with 3 small kids but fun nonetheless. The kids didn't play every hole, but they had fun. Especially at the hole with the pirate ship wheel and bell....they liked that :) Riley even got a hole in one! Hard to believe since on most holes he hit the ball so hard it bounced out of the green. He didn't get the whole hitting it gently thing no matter how many times he said it or how many holes we made him sit out because of it!

Then we stopped for ice cream. It was almost lunch time so this was pretty much our lunch...that and some left over pizza at the 'United States house' :) Vacation lunch of champions!

In the afternoon we visited the pool and then had a quick supper and movie night. The kids watched The Secret of Nimh and after they went to bed Kevin and I watched Valentine's Day. Both were cute. Valentine's Day was kind of Love Actually knock off. Kind of a poor knock off, but entertaining all the same.

Pictures :)


Can I get one of these with 3 holes for those days when the kids are driving me crazy?? Hmm...might be a market there :)


Look out!

Bridget taking her turn at the wheel :)

Ok, now you really have to look out! Riley at the wheel...scary!

Cooling down in the shade. It was HOT that day!

Isn't she just the prettiest little pirate ever?

Mr. Hole-in-One :)

Anyone have a napkin? Or 3?

I manged to stay pretty clean at least :) This little place had all home-made ice cream. So yummy. The vanilla that Kevin and I had was apparently featured in Yankee Magazine. We couldn't resist trying it and it was pretty fantastic! The chocolate that Kieran and Bridget had was yummy too...really cocoa-y. I got to try it because I kept having to help Kieran lick around his cone...still didn't help much. Riley had the strawberry and managed to actually keep himself clean...guess that's why we didn't get a dirty face picture :)

See you all tomorrow!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vacation day #3

I actually have confirmation that a few of you ARE anxiously awaiting my posts! Imagine. So, here it is. Sorry, took a bit longer but I was out for a run...yay me! All I can say is running in a valley is rough. The hills are many and steep! So now I am more than happy to sit on my butt and write this post while watching Buffy. What better way to pass a Monday night? :)

Last Monday morning we spent the relaxing. Reading, puzzles (and keeping kids away from puzzles!), pool, crafts (which were put on at the resort for a small fee...the kids did a few and I did one too). In the afternoon we visited the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. We got to see lots of wildlife and there were tons of hands on exhibits for the kids. Again, I wanted to read up on everything and tried to get at least Riley interested, but he just wanted to power through :) There were mountain lions, bobcats, bears, many birds of prey, otters, deer (cuz I never see those here!). It was very well done. We had fun jumping like a mountain lion, crawling into a bear cave and sliding like an otter.

The day in pictures:
Pretty berries with raindrops.

Kieran fits under a moose! :)

My dear and a deer (and a moose....).

C'mon, let's go!!!

Ready, set....


Daddy and Bridget coming out of the pitch black touch tunnel. You are supposed to crawl through and put your hands in holes brought to your attention by shining red arrows and identify what's in the hole. Only problem is that you never actually find out if you are right...at least not that I could see. The kids just liked crawling through in the dark :)

A mushroom Kevin discovered. Even though the mushroom doesn't move or smile, I think that Kevin took more pictures of this than I took of the kids on that bench in Boston. And there's only one of it! :) Again, I have spared you the rest of those pictures. Maybe if you come for a visit you'll get the joy of a mushroom slideshow!

The boys coming out of the bear cave. They loved this part. At the end there is actually a window that looks into the real bear exhibit.

I'll spare you all the pictures we took of the animals. They are ok...but you could google your own much nicer ones :)

That night we ordered pizza from a random pizza joint. Luckily it turned out to be very good even if it took a very long time to get to us. Kevin was given directions that seemed a little iffy at the time and after a stop at a gas station to ask for directions and an hour later, voila....pizza :) Luckily he took Bridget with him so I just flaked out with the boys in front of the tv. I actually let them watch Gilmore Girls, haha. It's a pretty tame show that is mostly over their heads and I couldn't watch another animated tv show :) All in all a fun day!

There you go slave drivers (you know who you are!) :) See you on day #4!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vacation day #2

I know, you've all been waiting for this post all day right? :) We've had quite a busy day with a t-ball fun day for Kieran this morning complete with pizza and medals, another birthday party this afternoon and family over for supper. Phew, I'm beat! I might need another vacation...one where I get to sleep a lot rather than get up at 5am every morning.

Last Sunday we visited the New England Aquarium in Boston. The drive took about an hour and a half. We figured we'd head in on a Sunday to avoid too much traffic but then had to suffer the crowds. It wasn't too bad but there were quite a few people.

This was one of Riley's favourite parts of the trip. If you haven't been to this aquarium, it's really cool. When you first get there, they have seals swimming around outside. You can kind of watch them while you get your tickets. Then when you go in there is a large penguin exhibit with many different kinds of penguins. I think they give talks about the penguins periodically throughout the day, but we didn't really stick in any one place too long. In the centre of the building is a HUGE tank that is surrounded by a ramp, so you kind of walk upwards around the tank and you can look in at the different animals in it and also take in smaller tanks on the outside edge all the way up. So many cool animals, fish, rays, anemones, electric eels, piranhas, crabs, sea dragons (so cool, btw!), starfish, just to name a few. There's also a really big, fun touch pool where you can pick up sea stars, crabs, clams and such. That was a big hit with the kids...we had to drag them away so the kids behind them could have a chance :) The big tank in the centre (which I actually read somewhere was put in place first and the rest of the building was built around it, cool) has sharks, rays, sea turtles, many species of big fish. It's so captivating that you could just sit there for hours and watch them. Oh, there's also a really cool jellyfish exhibit!

We had a really great day visiting there. There were only minor meltdowns. Kieran got sad a few times because he wanted to keep going back to see the penguins. They were definitely the highlight for him. All in all the kids were pretty happy and entertained. After the aquarium we had lunch at the Quincy market. It was so crowded that the kids and I just sat on the stairs while Kevin grabbed some sandwiches. I'm sure they had much better food but we had to make it quick and easy with 3 hungry kids and we couldn't keep going back. The sandwiches were ok though and we got some yummy cookies for dessert. As we were walking back to the car we kept running into walking tours of the city and I really wanted to join in, lol. Ah, someday we'll get to do stuff like that on vacation, but not anytime soon :)

Here are some (ok, a lot) of my favourite pictures from the day:


Not sure what this ray (or skate...not sure about the difference. Maybe if there wasn't always a kid or three hanging off me I could read a sign or two, but I digress) did to cause Bridget to give him the finger. Looks kinda cool all stuck to the glass like that.

Ray? Skate? Ray? Skate? I should really research before I blog so I can impress you with my knowledge. Here, if you really care, read this. This was taken at the top of the giant, centre tank.

I assume this is a lungfish since he kept popping up to breathe. Or maybe he was just having fun... No, wait, I just googled lungfish and this looks nothing like one. I have no idea what this is, but he was amusing.

Ok, this one I am *pretty* sure is a sea turtle. He kept popping up to breathe too. He is so big and amazing to watch.

Riley, about to get eaten :) I have the jaws theme running through my head, but that's hard to type so imagine it for yourself.

Token penguin picture for Kieran.

Jellies!! They are mesmerizing.

Kieran with his penguin stuffie from the gift shop. Perry for short, Perry the Penguin for long, as Kieran would say.

Can you believe this? All three of my kids looking happy at the same time! All looking at the camera! Boston must be magic, haha! I'll spare you the other 10 shots that didn't turn out nearly so well :) This was taken in the Quincy market and all the while there was a guy singing kids songs (the only one I can remember is Old MacDonald, but he sang many) just down from us. Kids like him, Mommy and Daddy, not so much. Bridget's hair is a little wild because I had pigtails in but she took them out and lost the elastics :)

And, one of the best parts of the day, my view looking into the back of the van on the way back to our 'United States house' as we took to calling the condo so as not to confuse the kids when we said we were going 'home':

Ok, Boston really is magic! A good picture of my kids and all of them falling asleep in the car! Wow! Riley NEVER sleeps in the car. He didn't doze once on the 8 hour ride to NH. I was shocked to see him sleeping. Oh, and that's his ray (skate?ray?skate?) that he bought at the gift shop. In case you were wondering, Bridget picked out a pink, stuffed, dolphin purse. Guess there's a little girl in here even with 2 big brothers.

Back in NH we stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up a few things...water, bread and we also bought a set of 8 Disney puzzles that we planned to do with the kids. Only the pieces were small and the kids not so interested, so over the course of the week I think Kevin and I did about 6 of them, often yelling at the kids to not mess them up, haha. One of them did fall on the floor but only after we had finished :) Yes, aren't we exciting, but it's not like we could go anywhere with the kids asleep. We watched a few bad movies too :) Oh, I also read Eat, Pray, Love and it was amazing! I'm heading to see the movie on Tuesday and hope it lives up to the book.

Until tomorrow....