Sunday, December 18, 2011

Random Acts of Kindess

It's my FAVORITE time of the year!!!  I LLLLOOOOVVVVEEEE Christmas!!!  Not just because it's fun and beautiful and sparkley ( I love sparkley) but because everyone seems a little more willing to smile at you when you walk down the street and I adore greeting people with a big smiling "MERRY CHRISTMAS"! Even if I don't get one back. It feels a little like a random act of kindess just saying it.  Speaking of random acts of kindness, the other reason I love December is because my birthday is in December.  I just turned 42. Dear lord, 42...How the hell did I get to be 42?  I still feel like I should be in my 20's and DEFINATELY not a full fledged grown up with responsabilites and a child....oh yea, I am. Wow.  Anyway, I wanted to try something out for my birthday this year that I stumbled across on a blog this summer.  A woman decided that instead of getting birthday presents for her birthday, she asked her friends and family instead to do a random act of kindness in honor of her birthday, then email her what it was that they did....She got so many beautiful messages back that day from friends and family that ranged from grand acts like baking cookies and delivering them to the local fire departmemt, to smaller ones like just not telling someone off that really deserved it.  I thought that this would be an awesome thing to throw out on Face Book and see who responded and in the mean time, maybe make someone elses day a little brighter.  I forgot all about it...on my birthday, I went about my day and totally forgot about the request!  UGH!  I will have to write it on my calendar for my next birthday in 2012.  I did, however think of it the day after and went out of my way to be extra friendly and helpful in honor of my own birthday idea....Oh well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I'll just keep smiling and wishing MERRY CHRISTMASES with wild abandon and thoroughly enjoy the season.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New England Aquarium November 2011

Carlie and Ava
Vetrans Day was probably not the best day to head to a major city and tourist location, but it sure was a lot of fun!  Besides the half hour wait in line outside in the blustery November weather, the whole trip was fantastic!  I had never been to the aquarium and have always wanted to go.  Thanks for my BFF Jen and her adventurous spirit, we headed to Boston and I finally got to see the aquarium!  I'm not sure who was more excited about it, me or Carlie but we watched YouTube videos about the animals and fish at the aquarium before we went and learned a lot about what we were about to see!  One of the things we really wanted to see was the super smart octopus!  We found a video about this guy and it told a story about how he managed to find a way out of his tank at one point, climb down the side, across the floor and break into a tank of flounder-and then proceeded to EAT every one of them up!  He got caught red handed by some of the staff early the next morning and from then on, he is in lock down!   We saw penguins and sharks and giant sea turtles and some of the most beautiful fish and coral and jellyfish, we got to touch a sting ray and sharks in the new touch tank exhibit and we all fell in love with the seals!...So much happened,I couldn't even begin to remember it all but it was awesome!  Even if every other family from New Hampshire to Cape Cod decided to show up that same day....It was still a LOT of fun!

Giant Sea Turtle

This is the face I got when I asked her if she was having fun...

Looking down into the giant tank

A whale skeleton!

Carlie's favorite gadget...Whale sounds!

Carlie and Ava at the touch tank

The shark and sting ray tuch tank

We went to see the IMAX movie "Under the Sea in 3D"!

Beautiful jellyfish!

Halloween 2011

 Of course, I have practically NO pictures of any of this for some reason, I have no idea why it didn't occur to me to take any-and that's not like me at all, but here is the story-
You'll have to use your imagination!
    My daughter decided early this fall that she wanted Halloween to be "spooky" this year. She chose a monster girl costume and we proceeded to create the spookiest Halloween decorations that this house has ever seen!  We hung ghosts and spider webs and carved disturbing jack-o-lanterns.  We cut out bats and ghouls and had our jack-o-lanterns and spooky black cats all over the house!   We even had spooky spiders dangling from creepy spider webs from the light over the table!!!  On Halloween night, we put a CD player on the porch blasting eerie haunted noises like cackling witches and thumping heartbeats and screams of terror!!!  We turned on our eerie green porch light, lit up all the jack-o-lanterns and had the best decorated spooky house on the whole block!  We had hoards of trick or treaters and many, many compliments!  Some people even came by to take pictures of the house!!!  I think I might have over done it a bit when even Carlie was hesitant to come up her own walkway on our way back home from trick or treating in our own neighborhood!   I can hardly wait for next year!!!  BWAH HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!

Pumpkin Farm and Hayride October 2011

We had a great time at the pumpkin farm this weekend! We went to Grandpas to make our annual batch of fruit cakes for Christmas and then managed to squeeze in a beautiful ride through CT and a trip to this farm for some pumpkins and a hayride! It was a beautiful day with huge billowy clowds in a very dark sky which made all the beautiful foliage pop out against it. The hayride was my favorite part. What a great time!
Carlie at the pumpkin farm October 2011                   

She wasn't too sure of this...the wind kept whipping the cat around!

I think this is where Carlie caught the Croup bug she incubated for a week after this....

Beautiful fall foliage in CT

Playing croquette with Grandpa and Daddy!

On our Hayride!

One of my favorite pictures of Carlie and Grandpa!

WPG Weekend 2011

The view from the upstairs deck
WPG Weekend...We've all been sworn to secrecy and I cannot devulge what those letters stand for.  Let's just say, they are quite fitting for our goofy group of awesome women.  There are 6 of us and we have a comradary.  We all get along great, have a LOT of laughs together and I love every one of these women for different reasons.  They are strong, free spirited, talented each in their own way and kind.  My life wouldn't be the same if any one of them werent in it.  I am extrememly grateful to call these women my "Inner Circle".
      This year, our trip to New Hampshire was a little shorter than we would have liked, but we will try and make it up there this spring and hopefully we can make it an extra day or so.  We made it up just before "Peak" foliage and it was gorgous!    We had a fire on Saturday night, each of us planned and cooked a meal and we even got some sight seeing done! The weather was amazing and we didn't do much more than laugh talk and relax. Perfect.

A farm we came across on our site seeing tour

"Navigator" "Chef" and "Toots"

Our awesome fire!

"Navigator" "Timex" and "Toots"

Where we spent most of our time...on the upstairs deck talking and laughing

3 of us were "Tattooed" with this "brand"

Looking up into the sky and watching the leaves drift down.

WPG's group shot with Kady in front!

Carlie's 5th Birthday- Under the Sea Party!

The "Octopus" for the cake.  Made out of Rice Crispies treats.

 We had to postpone this birthday party due to rain and we came very close to having to do it again because of rain...But I decided to put it in the hands of fate and press on!  I couldn't dissapoint Carlie a second weekend in a row!-Besides, planning a party is A LOT of work and I was in limbo waiting for the right weather....Just DO IT! So I did and it worked our perfectly.  It was a hot muggy day and it rained that morning...but God was watching out for us and he held off the rain until about half an hour after the last child went home.  Thank you for that!!!
We had a great turn out!  A lot of kids from Carlie's class were there and some friends she doens't see
on a regular basis. 
She was so happy to have all her friends at her house to play.
      We had a piniata, water table with extra bubbles, ring toss and of course the bounce house was up and in full swing all day!  The kids bounced, ran, played and splashed themselves silly!   My Octopus cake was a big success and everyone wanted a piece of cake with "a leg"!!  We had crab dip and goldfish crackers and lots and lots of fun and laughs!   What a fantastic day it was!   We held the party from 2-4 and it was a perfect amount of time to have fun, eat and open presents before anyone got too tired and cranky.  By the time everyone left, we cleaned up the yard and it began to rain.   We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the front porch and enjoyed a rainy summer day.  The only thing that could have made it better would have been if the Grandmothers were here.  It makes my heart heavy that they are missing all of this.  They would have just been beside themselves with delight at watching Carlie in her "pink mermaid dress" having the time of her life.  But things don't always work out the way you wish them to.   All in all, we had a terrific time! 
Happy Birthday Carlie!!! 
Double layer white cake tinted "Ocean Blue" for that Under the Sea feel

Carlie seeing her cake under construction

Adding the pink fondant and marshmallow eyes

OK-So this is a lesson I had to learn through trial and error.  Rice crispies treats are HEAVY and this big fat octopus began to very slowly squash the top layer of this cake.  Next time, I will just use the rice crispies treat for the body and do the legs completely in fondant.  Live and learn.

Everyone is arriving!  Let the fun begin!!

Carlie helping me pass out the bags for the piniata candy.

This was the busiest of all places in our yard that day....The kids jumped and bounced and laughed and flopped around all afternoon!  I hope they were all good and tired when they went home that afternoon!

Happy Birthday to YOU!!!

All that was left of that poor octopus!...LOL!!

Happy kids!

A good hot day for a Hoodsie cup!!

Opening her many presents

Now THAT'S a happy girl!

Of course Boo had to get into the middle of it all to see what was going on!!  Cricket was smart enough to stay on the porch in the shade and away from all the kids!!!
Add caption

I am so glad I got this shot!   What a great group of kids!  They were terrific!!
These were the pictures we took for the Thank You cards...Oh what fun!!!