Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Visit From Aunt Barbara

My sister Barbara arrived on Monday for one of her somewhat regularly scheduled visits. We were all thrilled to see her (and the delicious chocolate chip cookies that she always brings). Uncle Charlie packed a surprise for Molly and Aidan in Barbara's Jeep-a crab shaped sand box. Needless to say, they loved it and have spent many hours happily digging.

It's so great to have Barb here. Not only is she good company but also a much welcomed extra pair of hands. And she cuts our hair to boot. This trip I received an extra special treat...a day off :-) I got up on Tuesday morning and enjoyed my coffee while Barb got the kids dressed and ready for the day. I left the house as she was making them breakfast and didn't return home until dinner time. I went to the gym, met my husband for lunch, shopped and had a pedicure. What a day! I felt refreshed. Barb, Molly and Aidan had a great day. What more could you ask for? It was my turn to put Molly to bed that night. Molly said to me "Barbara said no it's too hot. I said I need that Barbara." What?? When I got down stairs I asked Barb about this. She told me that when she put Molly down for her nap she (Barb) was sweating from getting the kids upstairs. Barb covered Molly with her fleece blanket but she also wanted her quilt. Barb told Molly it was too hot for the quilt. Molly carefully placed this in her memory bank and relayed it to me later that night. Barb also said that she tried to give the kids milk with their lunch and they refused to drink it saying "Oh no Barbara milk is for night time. We drink water with lunch." So water it was. And finally, as we sat around the table laughing at these things we heard Aidan from his bedroom saying "See Barbara I'm not touching Thomas, I'm only looking." He was referring to his new Thomas nightlight that she plugged in at nap time and reminded him not to touch. Beware, they are listening/watching everything!

Aunt Barbara left this morning despite many protests and sad faces (including mine) but we'll see her again soon. Thanks so much for everything. We planning on visiting her (and Uncle Charlie) sometime in August.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Play-Doh Palooza

We had some beastly hot weather here this week and in a effort to entertain the troops I got out the Play-Doh. Molly and Aidan have played with it before but only a few times and they were restricted to their high chairs and one color at a time (I know, I have some issues). This time I decided to throw caution to the wind and got out all of the colors. Needless to say, Molly and Aidan have been having a great time. I even purchased some Play-Doh accessories that include blunt scissors, shape cutters and tools that squeeze out different shapes. Molly finds the tool that resembles a garlic press and squeezes out spaghetti like strands hysterical and cracks up every time she uses the thing. The colors have been co-mingled and started out with a cool psychedelic look but have since turned a drab olive. Molly and Aidan will sit at the table happily playing for more than an hour. In fact, I have had to break up the fun when it was time for lunch or dinner. So all in all it's been great fun and not nearly as messy as I imagined.

I'm including some miscellanous photos since the last two posts didn't have any.

Monday, July 09, 2007

There and Back Again

After the rocky start I'm happy to report that the rest of the trip was loads of fun. Molly and Aidan settled into the new routine at the hotel which included napping and sleeping at night. There were still pleas of "I want to get out" from Aidan when I put in the pack-n-play but he eventually accepted the situation and slept. Molly and Aidan also got used to the many new faces at the lake house and had fun playing with the other kids. Throw in some new toys from Aunt Sue and Uncle Grant and what's not to like?

We woke up to rain on the 4th and after a trip to Wal*Mart we spent the morning coloring and doing stickers. I had brought along some business envelopes (a new fav) and Molly and Aidan made "letters" for Uncle Grant and Aunt Sue. We headed to the lake house for a brief visit and then returned back to the hotel for lunch. Following lunch Molly and Aidan took a 3 hours nap. Woohoo! Then it was back to the lake house for a fabulous meal which included whole lobsters, steak, chicken, corn on the cob, boiled potatoes and much, much more. Unfortunately, it was still raining so there was no camp fire or fireworks but we had a terrific time anyway. I was particularly happy to see my nieces Danielle and Nicole. Nicole just completed her freshman year at UCF and Danielle flew to the lake house from New Zealand where she spent the last year studying. She will return to Stetson University in the fall. We got back to the hotel at 9pm and Molly and Aidan went to sleep after only some minor protesting. I told them that we would be going home the next day and Molly said "Hooray I can see my Daddy. Molly's so happy".

We arrived at the lake house around 10am on Thursday. Molly got her wish and went for a ride on the boat. The girl had literally been asking anyone and everyone all week if she could go out on the boat. My niece Nicole held Aidan and Molly sat with me. Molly did not stop smiling, singing and squealing the entire time. She kept saying "I love boats." The girl was in heaven. When asked, Aidan said he had fun but having seen his face on the boat I find that hard to believe. This was a first for both. After the boat ride we hung out until 3pm and then hit the road. Molly took a brief nap in the car but Aidan never shut his little brown eyes. We stopped once for a picnic dinner and arrived home around 8:30pm. Both kids were so excited to see their daddy. He received many hugs and kisses. We were treated to a clean house thanks to daddy. The carpet in the toy room had received a much needed shampoo. Not all of Molly and Aidan's toys had been returned to their designated spots which caused Aidan some concern and prompted him to ask daddy to "please bring all of my toys back". After visiting with Daddy, Molly and Aidan went to bed without a peep. You've never seen two kids so happy to see their beds.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Greetings From Canandaigua

We kicked the trip off with a stop at Dunkin Doughnuts around 10am and arrived safely at our destination around 4pm. Molly and Aidan traveled well. We stopped several times to use the potty we brought with us and enjoyed a roadside picnic lunch. We went directly to the lake house and received a warm welcome. Molly and Aidan made themselves right at home and were happy to find a stash of toys and other kids to play with. It was too cold to go swimming but we waded in the lake. Molly lost her footing and took an unexpected dip but that didn't seem to phase her. Our hostess served a lovely meal and that's when everything when horribly wrong. No naps were had on the drive up so both kids were tired. Add to that being in a new place among so many new faces and we have the perfect recipe for toddle mania. My SIL Sue had already checked us into our hotel that afternoon so we just had to head to the room. I unloaded the car while the kids explored. They helped me blow up their travel beds and then both began to cry, scream and refuse every request from Mom. Did I mention that I was exhausted too? Bad combo. I called Pat several times in utter despair. I even packed the car with thoughts of driving home (clearly I was not rational at that point since it would have been a 4 1/2 hour trip). Pat had suggested a ride in the car and I finally tried that around 11pm. After a few minutes both kiddies were zonked. But I wasn't about to get off that easy. Aidan didn't flinch when I took him from the car to put him in bed. Molly had woken up when we arrive back at the hotel and she was not a happy little girl. She kept repeating "I want to go home now". I felt terrible. I was able to rock her until she was calm and finally put her down at midnight. I passed out shortly afterward but slept fitfully all night.

So, today was a new day right?. It started as horribly as yesterday ended. I packed the car once again in anticipation of driving home after stopping at the lake house to say goodbye. However, I had a good cry upon arrival and received the encouragement I needed to stay. We had a great morning. The kids played in the sand, swam in the lake and enjoyed the company. After lunch we headed back to the hotel for an attempt at a nap. Having acted upon another brilliant suggestion from my husband, I found two portable cribs waiting for my in the room (which by the way is very nice-its a suite with separate living and sleeping areas and a mini kitchen with a not quite full size fridge). We watched a new Elmo DVD that was a present from Aunt Sue and then it was into the crib. I layed down on the bed and tried to inspire Molly and Aidan to sleep but instead listened to a comedy show and shouts of "mommy I want to get out" that lasted about 45 minutes. I finally decided to leave the room and after a few brief minutes of unhappiness they finally fell asleep. Molly coughed herself awake after only about an hour but hey I'll take anything at this point. Aidan had to be woken up and did so begrudgingly.

We headed back to the lake house and arrived just in time for a delicious lasagna dinner. Molly and Aidan had a good time again and lasted until 8pm when Molly declared that she wanted to go home. There was more unhappiness with being asked to use the potty and take in bath in a strange tub but we muddled throught. I read a story over Molly's protests, rocked both kids briefly and it was lights out shortly before 9pm. Molly crashed while Aidan chatted for a while. I don't hear anything now (10pm). Cross your fingers for a good night's sleep for everyone. Dispite the difficulties I'm glad I decided to stay.