Saturday, May 23, 2009

THe One With Pictures from Vacation 09

This is a partial post... I'll BBL to post more pics :)

A few from Mystic Aquarium:

A few from the rest of the week:

The Vacation '09: The Rest

Yah I totally slacked off writing about our vacation... lol! Sorry about that!!

Day 4 we relaxed a bit in the morning and then headed to an auto museum called America On Wheels. It had vehicles from horse drawn carriages to current cars. Mostly older cars tho. Tons of info and whoever started it thought of kids as they had whole areas in each room for children to play. I thought that was very creative and thoughtful. Unfortunately Sammy thought he should be allowed in ALL the vehicles and so I ended up taking him out to the car for a while. It worked out ok cause Alyssa needed to nurse then as well. He wanted to go back in and so we talked about the rules and he said he'd follow them. And he did. Sometimes he amazes me and seems so much older than 2.

After the Auto museum we headed to Lost River Caverns. They are caverns 100 ft under the ground w/ a small river flowing through them. The river comes from nowhere and goes nowhere... at least they can't find where it comes from and where it goes. THey've done a variety of experiements and still haven't figured it out! There's a "Crystal chapel" down there that has been the location for over 100 weddings! They can seat about 150 people in there, which is shocking to me. It looked too small.

After the Caverns we headed back to the hotel for an hour of swimming, then dinner, then bed. Phew!!

Day 5: This is the only day we ended up w/ rain and it worked out ok. We drove to Hershey, PA and went to Chocolate World. We went on the tour, which was a lot of fun and ocmpletely different from when I went back in 1984! After the tour we browsed the store, which is a dieter's worst nightmare! Ha ha! Ended up buying chocolate and a mug that I really liked. Then we all had chocolate milkshakes, which were SOOO yummy!!!

After Hershey we drove 3 hrs to my IL's house. We arrived about 20 minutes before my friend Jess and her hubby and children came. Once they arrived we all had dinner. My SMIL is THE BEST cook ever. Her food is sooo yummy!!!

After dinner we all went for a walk about my IL's 70 acres. It was so nice to walk and chat w/ Jess. It's been 8 years since we've seen each other! Her daughter and Beth are 5 weeks apart in age and they hit it off so well. It was like they had known each other forever... just like it was for Jess and I when we met 25 years ago. We always fall back into our friendship so comfortably. It's so nice to hang out with her. They stayed the entire weekend w/ us and it was great to hang out and visit like old times. They have a son who is about a year older than Sammy, but those 2 also hit it off really well. They were following each other everywhere. Sammy was talking about him for days after we got home.

Now we're home and enjoying being home. I'm getting the house back into order. It's amazing how much there is to do after a vacation!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Vacation 09: Day 2

(side note: these are written the day after they happen...)

Got up fairly early and headed down to breakfast. It was a very yummy breakfast, but we felt a little out of place. The hotel is attached to a fancy restaurant. You know the type: People are dressed up for breakfast, chat on cells and wear sunglasses through the meal. The waiters were very nice and loved th ekids so it wasn't a big deal, thankfully. I have to admit that when I first walked in I was a little nervous... but as usual the children did well.

We drove about 2 hrs southwest and came into Allentown area. We visited the Crayola Factory in Easton. Easton is a beautiful town/city. I loved all the old buildings and the charm of that area. The Crayola Factory was a lot of fun for the children. I missed the demonstration about making crayons because I was nursing Alyssa in a closet. Yes, a closet. They advertised there was a nursing room and whenever there is that advertisement I feel obligated to use it... so I went in search of it and discovered that it was a small closet that they keep their first aid stuff in. Weird.... but anyway... I met w/ the family again right after the demo was done and got to participate in the fun stuff. The children came away w/ a bunch of freebies: crayons, markers, model magic and so on. They got to try out different things that they had never used before. Then there was a whole play area... you could use the chalk on the floor, write on a wall, and all sorts of fun things for the kids!!! It was a blast :)

Then we headed the rest of the way into Allentown and got to our hotel and unloaded. By then it was dinner time so we headed to Ruby Tuesdays. They don't have those where we live, so it was a yummy treat. I got Asian Salmon and it was the best Salmon I've had in a long time. And their salad bar was THE BEST I've ever, ever had.

We got back to the hotel around 8:30 and got everyone to bed by 10. LOl!! Yah, the kids are staying up LATE these days... Only the 2 youngest seem affected so far, tho Beth is a bit more emotional than usual lately, so I'm sure that has something to do w/ it....

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Vacation 09: Days 1 & 2

We started out yesterday morning right on time: 8 am. We got to the bank to get out some cash & they changed the ATM so you can't get $ out of a second checking account. So we headed back home so I could transer $ online from one account to the other and then back to the ATM and THEN we were on our way about 38 minutes later than originally planned.

We arrived at my friend Rachael's house around 11:30 and hung out for 2 hrs. I had never been there before and so it was nice to finally see her house. :) Then headed off for CT. We arrived in Mystic around 5:30... plenty of time to settle in before dinner & bed.

We 'slept in' this morning until 7!! Then up for an early bfast and off to the aquarium. That was so fun!! I did 3 new things today: I petted a sting ray, held a starfish (a live one) and learned about mermaid's purses. Sting rays felt very different than I expected them to feel. They were soft... which is not what I expected. We also got to see a Sea Lion show, which was neat! I told Matt I wanted one of those instead of a dog! LOL! He said it'd probably cost a little more to feed tho....

I'll try to get pictures up and going tomorrow. It was a lot of fun!! (for the kids too! LOL!)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The One About Today

We survived the errands alone. I ended up having 4 stops, which is ok, except having to buckle and unbuckle so many times is annoying. (Not me.. the kids!) The children were so well behaved, which I was very thankful for. After we were done I took them to the playground to run off some energy. We practically have a playground in our backyard w/ a swingset, a tree house and a sandbox, but there's something fun about getting to go to an actual playground. And it gave me time to read outside. :)

Today I'm home all day, so I'll be getting ready for the vacation. I already started dehydrating pineapples, bananas and apples. Matt loves dehydrated fruit on a trip. I'm also going to make oatmeal/white chocolate chip/craisin cookies.

Right now I have to tend to a wiggly toddler and a fussy baby... she's sooo crabby lately I'm a little nervous about this trip...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The One About New Life & Losses

I'm seeing green this morning... but not with envy. I'm actually seeing green. It's beautiful and so bright! Amazing what one night of rain will bring out in the springtime. I'm so excited to see the leaves really be leaves already. It's sooo nice (Not to mention it adds extra privacy from the neighbors.) AND I'm really hoping it'll help my flowers come up. I planted a flower garden this year and I'm hoping it does well.

Today marks the fourth anniversary of my first loss. It's hard to believe it's been 4 years already!! The baby was due in December and would have turned 3 this past December. That loss was such a shock after having 3 healthy babies... but the one I had in August of that year was even more of a shock. Crazy to think about... and what a beautiful, beautiful day to remember my little one w/ all the new life around.

Today I get to go run errands alone with all 5 children. Should be fun...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The First Random One in May

So vacation is less than a week away and I need to start my usual list making. A list of clothes/toys for each child, a list of clothes for Matt & I, a list of "misc.", a list of food... and hopefully I won't forget anything. This vacation is going to be different. Usually we hop in the car, drive 12-14 hrs to our destination and stay for a few days to a week and then hop in the car and come home. This time we're stopping here and there along the way.... so we'll see how that goes. I'm a little excited because we never stay in hotels. My parents are going to be w/ us and will be staying in the same hotels with us... which means I can go swimming!!! I love to swim, but have spent a lot of time missing out on it since having kids because there's only 2 of us and 5 of them and none of them can swim yet. *sigh*

Anyway... In other news... I went to the dentist yesterday and found out that I need to have all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. That ought to be fun... or something.

Alyssa went for her 6 mo check up and is 16lbs 5 oz and 25 in tall. She is a peanut... hasn't even doubled her birth weight yet! She started solids recently and LOOOOVVVEESSS to eat. So far the only thing she hasn't liked it plain brown rice, but loves it mixed w/ applesauce or bananas. :) Right now she's staring at me whining. She has a cold & insists that she needs to nurse constantly... Fun for me. :/

So I'm off to drink my morning coffee and snuggle a fussy baby...

Friday, May 1, 2009

The One About Vacation...

We're heading on vacation in a little over a week. It's kind of crazy to think of going somewhere with 5 kids... the traveling should be a blast! Ha ha! I'm hoping Alyssa does ok in the car. The best thing about this vacation is that I get to see my best friend from childhood!! I'm super excited to see her again. I haven't seen her in almost 8 years. We were maids of honor in each others weddings despite the fact that she moved away when we were 13. We were inseperable for the 10 years prior to her moving tho... we look nothing alike, yet people used to mix us up all the time because we were always together. <3 I can't wait to see her again! We have daughters that are only a few months difference in age and are looking forward to getting them together for the first time.