Wednesday, June 20, 2012

She did it!

Let me just tell you that Elizabeth is loving the nice weather.  She doesn't watch TV and she doesn't have too much imaginary play so winter gets her a bit stir crazy.  She wants to come home and go right outside.  She wants to play until it gets dark.  Many a nights there are arguments about coming in for dinner!  She wants to run, throw the football, ride her bike ~ doesn't really matter much to her as long as she is outside.Learning to ride a bike has been elusive to her.  She certainly has the coordination and core strength to do it but not really the confidence in herself.  We bought a new bike last fall thinking that would help.  We bought some kind of handle to help train but that didn't really help.  She had no drive to make it happen.  When we were camping at Easter, I noticed how much she was riding her bike without using her training wheels.  She still would not give it a try!.  Tonight she was in a great mood so I decided to give it a whirl.  I noticed when she would try it, she would try to put both feet on the pedals and then start.  That works well with training wheels but not with 2 wheels.  We started on the hill of the driveway where gravity would help her build steam so she could get the other foot on the pedal.  She tried without much success about a dozen times and then she wanted to quit.  She got the mommy lecture about winners never quit and we tried again.  JACKPOT.  Down the driveway she went!!!  In a sheer couple of minutes, she took off down the street with Daddy in tow and rode all of the way to the end!!!  She was so proud of herself.  I was so proud of her.  Not only because she accomplished this elusive goal but because she didn't give up!!!

Disclaimer, we got caught up in the excitement and lost the helmet along the way but be certain she is the best helmet wearer!  She puts in on with out a reminder every time!  Except the time I video her! 

Good Job Baby Doll!!!  I love you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Camping FUN!!

We are not very spontaneous people. I mean, if you call us to go to dinner and dinner is in the oven, we will put it in the frig and head out. If you have a cool place to go and we are cleaning or doing yard work, we are happy to drop our mops and rakes and head out but that is usually the extent of it. But we went crazy this weekend and decided to go camping less than 24 hours before our departure!!! We have heard that Halloween Camping is fun so we decided to give it a try. To add to our pleasure, Elizabeth took her best buddy, A!

As soon as we arrived we realized we were camping next to her Pre K friend Emily. Quickly they became reacquainted and the fun began!!!

Saturday morning after an outdoor breakfast of eggs and bacon, we headed to the craft shop to do ceramics. Who ever said pumpkins needed to be painted orange??

After ceramics we went to the playground and then headed to the pavilion for a magic show.
Best Friends waiting for the show to start!

Then there was more fun playing together.

Then there was Trick or Treating. Sam was Luigi, Elizabeth was Mario A! was Jesse and Emily was heading to the sock hop!

Watching what other people were doing, I pulled my chair up to the road and handed out candy. WOW, I gave out 4 bags of candy in about 40 minutes!!

Check out my haul!!!

After our candy gathering, we took a hay ride. This was the activity that both girls said was their favorite part of the trip.

Saturday night there was a beautiful sunset of the bay.

Sunday morning the girls piled into my bed and the giggles started!!!

And more time playing on the bikes!

By the time we were on the road home, the girls were fast asleep~ the sure sign of a great weekend!

This trip was certainly one that reminded us about the importance of making memories for Elizabeth. We hope this will become a yearly ritual. Having Anna along just made the fun that much better!

Friday, September 16, 2011

How could it be the middle of September?

Oh where did the summer go??? Our summer ended rather abruptly with the arrival of Hurricane Irene. Our last weekend was spent getting ready, enduring and cleaning up. Luckily not too much damage. The first week of September brought the opportunity to visit E!'s new school. She loved it and is so excited about what it might bring. So are we!!!

We got to visit her classroom, find her desk and leave all of her supplies. Her class seems warm and inviting. She was excited by the books, the computers and the words she COULD read!!!
Mrs. Sanzo seems like a wonderful teacher. She listened to some of our concerns and some of E!'s story. She sat down and E! read her a book ~ cover to cover. It was a simple book but it was a first for her in a classroom setting. We left with a huge feeling of relief. Hopefully it will last for a little while.
Instead of going somewhere and feeling exhausted we stayed home and did some fun things around town. Sunday we went to the bounce house but Saturday, we decided to RIDE THE TIDE ~ our new light rail system. E was excited to head out. We were picking up her friend A for our adventure.
Everyone got their ticket and eagerly awaited the arrival of the train. A had never been on a train so her eyes got huge when it pulled into the station.

We went to mall as our train destination. We enjoyed lunch at Max and Erma's.
We went shopping a Claire's for everyone to pick out one special treat.
We played for a good long time on the playground before heading back out to the train for the trek home. By the time we pulled into the station everyone was exhausted. We ran to 7-11 for a refresher Slurpee and then the girls proceeded to pass out in their car seats!! Fun was had by all!
Tuesday brought the first day of school. When we woke E up at 5:45, she declared it was still "relax time". She informed us that she doesn't get up until "the sunshine is up". Well kiddo, that is about the change!!!! I had to take picture inside because it was still kind of dark outside when they left at 6:30 to catch the bus. I am thrilled to report that Daddy took her to the bus. She was nervous but there where no tears!!! She has loved getting on the bus each day and has adjusted well to our new wake up time. Honestly, I am a bit surprised. It has been easier to get her up at 5:45 than it was at 7:30 last year. We haven't had one morning fight yet!!
I am not big on character things but she so very much wanted the Mario backpack so I had to give in!
The very next weekend we had the honor to be involved in the VA Freedom Festival. In part, it raised money for Special Olympics but it also was in incredible tribute to the 10th anniversary of 9/11. This fire truck is from the NYFD. All of the men assigned to the truck perished in the towers on that day.
This is a 5.5 ton piece of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
This is a piece of the granite from the site of the PA crash.
This is a piece of the Limestone from the Pentagon.
Theses pieces will be permanently housed in Chesapeake. What a magnificent tribute!

Life is good as we enter a new phase with a first grader!!! How lucky we are!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gotcha Day Reunion

We were so lucky to travel to China with the most wonderful 4 families. Sharing such an intimate moment as your first moments as a new parents builds bonds that we didn't expect but we are SO thankful for. We have been blessed that each year,around Gotcha Day, we have been able to get together. Of course, it wasn't complete because Doddlebug and her family couldn't make it all the way from Texas but we hope to see them next year!

The weekend started out a bit rocky. Sam had been gone all week in California and got home just hours before everyone arrived. It made alot of work for me to get ready but I was so excited, I didn't mind. I slipped into the shower about 15 minutes before arrival and my shower came to an abrupt end when the shower water was pouring out of the light fixture on the first first floor.

An emergency call to the plumber and we were assured we would have water for the big weekend just no master shower. That was ok. I was too busy to primp to much!!

Friday night was spent reconnecting with everyone. Everyone enjoyed the nice weather and played outside and chatted it up on the deck. I got a special cake made with the American and Chinese flag. I was a little disappointed that the flags decoration was mostly on the side of the cake but it was one of a kind, none the less.

Saturday morning we all met over at Bluebird Gap Farm for some fun together.

The foursome at the Wishing Well

Sam's job was to keep the pet food coming!! They all enjoyed feeding the animals.

Our four beauties!

The Baba's and the Gie-Gie's

Our Extended Family (minus the O's :))

After Bluebird, the K family had to head out. We will miss you Jilly!! We went back to our house for lunch and then headed to Buckroe Beach for some beach time fun.

The girls follow big brother M into the water!

The rest of the time was spent running, digging and laughing!

Big brother MT was a great sport about making it a weekend for the under 6 crowd.

The S mama and baba

The T mama and baba

It seems like there might be a plan hatching!

Just before we were chased home by the raindrops!

For dinner we made Frogmore Stew. The ladies were inside preparing the food and table while sipping a little vino while the men folk were out under cover boiling water and keeping time. It was a great dinner and everyone seemed to enjoy the eating off of newspaper!!

Menfolk hard at work watching water boil and their watches at the same time!


All that was left of that big pile!

After dinner there was more playtime. They disappeared into E's room where "no boys were allowed". They were up there for over an hour and quiet as church mice. They came down with "makeups" and dress up clothes on and performed a dance for everyone. It was wonderful to see them work together as a team. Sunday morning everyone came back (well the T family just came in from the driveway, they were staying in our camper) and we had a final breakfast together. Conversation quickly turned to next year's plans. We are so lucky to have each other on this journey as our girls grow and their questions change. They are so lucky to have each other. Someone else who situation is about as close to their own as they will find.
May god bless each of these "China Sisters" with a life of love, togetherness, and happiness. We love all of you!