Sunday, August 30, 2015

Camp 2015

This is a very belated post- but all 3 kids had a great summer, and that included camp. The boys went to the same camp they attended last year, but this year loved it much, much more. They adored their counselors, made new friends, and learned to swim!  We had 5 weeks (camp ran 6 but we were on vacation for one of them) of no complaints and happiness to go.  Each boy chose a favorite counselor who they hugged and loved everyday.

Their summer ended with a camp "show" where each bunk did a choreographed dance.  Benjamin was totally into the dance and did an amazing job. I have been begging him to sign up for dance class ever since, but he's not biting.
Benjamin on the right. Asher is at the end of the line vaguely waving his hands. He said he couldn't dance because he'd hurt his pinky.

The boys with their beloved counselors
They loved camp so much that when we drove past it a few days later on our way to Sesame Place, they asked if they could go back to camp instead of going to Sesame Place. I guess it was a pretty good summer!

Charlotte had less to say about her camp, which was at her preschool, but she seemed to have fun.  I was not overly impressed by her counselors, who never took the time to introduce themselves to us, were often running late, and seemed somewhat disorganized.  I'm pretty sure she will go to camp with the boys next summer, even though the drive to get there is kind of a pain.

We got this super cute picture of her with her bunkmate/classmate:
She has become very confident in the water and although she doesn't know how to swim, knows her limits.  I am sure she'll be swimming soon, but for now she loves playing in the water and splashing around.

These camp photos are followed on the camera roll by something completely unrelated but funny- Benjamin asked me for rice krispie cereal for breakfast, "like on the box."  Here is a photo of the box:
So I made him this:
Which resulted in him rolling around on the floor, crying, with tears running down his face, because I made it wrong.  I am truly mystified by this parenting thing. 

Monday, August 17, 2015


Eric and I went away last weekend, just the two of us, to Cancun. It was a friend from college who got married, and we spent 3 days and 3 nights at a resort, just us (and a group of friends), with a lot of sun, water, and fun.  Ahhhh.

I wasn't sure I could actually not DO anything for an entire day, but it turns out I can! We spent the day on Saturday at the pool with books and friends, swimming, talking, and eating.  I managed to just do nothing and enjoy it.

Friday night's Welcome Dinner had a woman doing henna, so I got some done. I liked how it looked and said, "I wish it would last forever!" but of course that isn't true, because if I wished I could have something drawn on my body for eternity, I would have gotten a tattoo by now. I guess I wish it lasted a little longer.
Our hotel was very nice, we had a big king-size bed (it's on the list should we ever win the lottery) and a room with a balcony looking out over the ocean.  It wasn't all-inclusive but the wedding events covered a lot of meals so we only needed breakfast, one lunch, snacks, and daytime drinks.  We had free coffee and Eric and I had our breakfasts on the balcony looking out over the ocean. 

The beach at our hotel
Eric doing nothing
Amanda and her husband, Brad, NOT doing nothing. They are working.

The view from our hotel room balcony.
 Saturday night dinner was outside by the water.  Eric and I got this picture of us together:
which, I have to pat my own back, we look damn good!  We are 35 and have 3 kids and we look even cuter than we did 10 years ago (in my opinion).  Ha!

My friend, the bride, had gorgeous outfit after gorgeous outfit, tons of beautiful jewelry, and her hair and makeup were perfect. She was stunning!  Here she is in her golden princess bride outfit:

 The wedding was on Sunday, midday. A Hindu ceremony (the bride is Indian-American and the groom is Puerto Rican).  It was steamy and we had fans to cool off. The groom rode in on a horse- every one at the hotel had gathered at the edge of the resort to watch the procession.
The groom on his steed

Bride and groom after the wedding ceremony
The wedding reception was Sunday night. There was a very long cocktail hour-and-a-half, and then we went into the dining room for speeches. There was no food or drink during speeches, but then there was a huge Indian buffet.  Eric and I got seconds it was SO good.  Then lots of dancing on a light-up dance floor.
Me with Amanda. I am sure we look exactly the same as we did 15 years ago in college.
With the bride and groom
It was a lavish weekend, with nonstop celebration.  We enjoyed the amenities at the hotel, and the company, and the reason for being there.  It was a great getaway and some of the calm carried over into the week.  My parents kindly and generously watched all 3 kids all 4 days we were gone, and spoiled them rotten (Froot Loops and french fries for breakfast! Ice cream for dessert!).  The kids were alive and well when we returned, although Meema then needed a few days away from them.  Then back to reality for all of us- messy house, laundry piles, working, and a case of strep for me. Thank goodness our next vacation is only 1.5 weeks away!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Potty training- the 3rd and final chapter

My big girl has been in underwear all week!  It was really Charlotte's decision- a few weeks ago we noticed her grabbing at herself before she would pee or poop, and then she would announce, "I peed! Change my diaper." So we started conversation around potty training, and she and I picked out some underwear (Bubble Guppies), and her reward (Starburst), and then, last Saturday, she just said, "I want to wear underwear!"  She had gone poop in the potty on Friday afternoon, which was big excitement, and I think spurred her on to give the whole thing a try.

We have had mainly success since- meaning, she is mostly dry, with the occasional pee accident, and has done most of her poops in diapers. She is very good at holding her pee, and seems to be getting the hang of peeing when she sits down, rather than sitting down and waiting for the pee to come out.  She loves the cheers, claps, and adoration she gets when she pees or poops in the potty, and we have made sure to make a big deal out of every time she goes.  Even her brothers are supportive, except that Asher complains at times that it's "not fair" that she gets Starburst when he doesn't.  I have reminded him of the lollipop scam he ran when we trained him (peeing 6-7 times a day so he could keep getting lollipops!), which he denies ever happened.

Charlotte wore underwear to camp everyday and had no accidents, although I couldn't promise that she didn't pee in the pool.  She is very proud of herself and going pee on the potty.  Our next hurdle is- she has been going on her "little potty" and seems uninterested or unwilling to go on the big potty. I think my plan is to let her really get the hang of things on the little potty (and yes, cart it everywhere with us) and then transition to the big potty.

I can't believe this could really be it!  No more diapers for us, for the first time in over 5 years? I really can't imagine it!  I am so proud of, and impressed with, my big girl for making this decision and for learning so quickly. So far it has really been a painless process for all of us. I told her that if she has no accidents tomorrow, and does all her pees and poop on the potty, I will take her out for ice cream and to pick out the tutu of her choice- and then sign up for ballet class!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Trip to Maine

We have been home for over a week, but somehow I haven't written a post about our annual summer trip to Maine.

This year, we went from Monday to Monday, which is kind of strange for a vacation (or, it felt strange to me).  We chose our dates around Eric's aunt and uncle's visit from Germany- they had never met the kids and we so badly wanted them to.  But, because they were visiting and staying at Eric's parents' house, we had to find other lodging. Which we found, at Eric's grandparents' camp, a small house on a small pond.

The camp was a little rustic for me, but we settled in pretty quickly, and the kids were in heaven.  In the mornings, they would wake up, maybe eat, and then strip down and get to swimming.  Charlotte would squeal with happiness, "Ahahaha! I'm swimming NAKED!"  They played for hours, happily, in the water and the sand, which made my job very easy.

Naked lunch on the dock
Our first day in Maine, we went to the beach in Wells and met up with a classmate of the boys', who spends the summers in Maine.  It was a fairly cool day and the kids splashed in the ocean and practiced riding boogie boards.

Busy mornings led to excellent naps!  The boys shared a bed, and shared it well, Charlotte was alone in a "big girl bed" and also did well.

Sleepy heads
On our second day in Maine, we had anticipated bad weather, but instead got sun and clouds. We stayed at the camp, and Eric's aunt and uncle and grandparents came to spend the day with us.  They loved seeing the kids play and enjoy their special place.  Eric's aunt had a french fry cutter and deep fryer, and made french fries for lunch- the kids thought that was an amazing treat!
Breakfast by the water

Charlotte and her cousin Marcus in the hammock

Cousin Justin taught the boys to fish

My favorite part of all was nap time- I got to lie in the hammock with my chick lit books and read in complete quiet.  There was the occasional splash of a fish in the water, and the rustling of the wind through the trees, and that was it.  It was unbelievable- it was possibly the most relaxing hours I have had in 5 years and 3.5 months.

 We just enjoyed ourselves there, and loved having the run of the place.  We did spend some time over at Eric's parents' house, mainly for dinner, but the kids had so much fun at the camp that we had a hard time leaving.

Nighttime silliness
Breakfast al fresco
Skinny-dipping before 9 
A rowboat ride with Daddy
The boys with their cousin, Taylor
We ate plenty of ice cream.  We're so lucky to have an ice cream company in the family!

After 3.5 days in Sanford, we drove about 1.5 hours up the coast to Georgetown, Maine.  We were supposed to go cabin camping on the bay there, but it wasn't all we envisioned. There weren't enough beds, and yes, there was a bay off in the distance, but we were much closer to a mosquito-breeding swamp.  We met up with my mom's cousin Wendy and her family, and my parents came up, too.  Again, while the accommodations weren't what we expected, the fun was in watching the kids play and explore and enjoy their big cousins.

The boys had a sleep over with their cousin Colby- they all piled into a loft in one of the cabins and slept there together.  Our first morning there, all the kids slept in and I woke up on my own at 7:40 feeling surprisingly rested.  It was a dark, rainy day, and our main activities were going out to eat.  Saturday night we had a delicious lobster dinner on the water.
Lobster dinner view
 Meema came with many books, and she and Papa Nick read to all the kids all weekend long. Charlotte favored Angelina Ballerina.
Angelina Ballerina, first thing in the morning
We had lazy mornings, lots of good food, and generally cooperative children.  We came home on Sunday, and spent the sunny part of the day in the car on the highway.  Our trip was a little different from previous years, and we didn't get to spend all the time with Eric's family that we usually do, but we got the privilege of meeting and spending time with his family from Germany, who were warm, kind, and loving.  We also had the excitement of finding out that Eric's brother and his wife, who are expecting their 6th, are going to have a baby girl!  She has had 3 boys in the past 5 years, so this was big news and very exciting. 

The kids are now finishing up camp, and we have 5 weeks left of summer in which I want to cram way too much fun.  Every year, summer just flies by- I spend all winter pining for it and it passes in the blink of an eye.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Charlotte: 30 month well-visit

Last week Charlotte had her 30 month well-visit (I didn't get to write about it because we then went on vacation and I had no internet!).  Her stats:
Height: 37"
Weight: 31.5 lbs

She hasn't gained any weight in the past few months, but she has gotten taller! She's pretty balanced in percentiles for height and weight (70-something for both).  The doctor said she looks healthy in every way.  I did report that Charlotte doesn't like meat and the note from the visit says "Child denies a healthy diet (NO MEAT)." Maybe I should just start saying that she's a vegetarian.  So the doctor is asking that I go get some bloodwork done to make sure her iron levels are ok, and I have been delaying taking her- when I took her at 1 year old, she had no idea what was happening and the whole thing happened quickly. This time, I fear she would scream and cry, which breaks my heart.

The doctor thought it would be a good idea to start with potty-training, since Charlotte has started telling us when she needs to go.  We'll see. I don't have any interest in fighting with Charlotte, which I did this morning- not over the potty, but over everything else ("No, you can't sit your naked tushie on the couch! No, you can't have your potty success treats just because!").

Charlotte was her usual charming self, and the doctor says she is doing well- no surprise to me or anyone who knows her.  I love her, even as she drives me a little crazier with every passing day.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The past week

A few photos of our summer as it speeds by. I have been trying to make the most of every sunny day- swimming, ice cream, staying up late playing with friends- but I still have anxiety that it is all going so fast.

July 3: We went to Sesame Place with our friends.  The boys went down a water slide by themselves- I offered to join them and they said no thanks!
Benjamin (in the pink tube)
Meeting Bert and Ernie. Asher Ran up to Bert and held his hands- it was very sweet
 July 4: It was rainy almost all day long, but I dragged everyone out for fireworks. Papa Nick treated the monkeys to ice cream. It ended up not raining, and we all had fun. Mostly. Charlotte cried at first and said she was scared, but then calmed down and lay with me to watch while I covered her ears. I enjoyed the longest snuggle we've had since she was a newborn.
Ice cream with our friends
Apparently my camera doesn't work at night

Charlotte sharing yet another ice cream with her school friend
 On July 5, my friend Amanda came down from New York for the day. We had a great day- spent the morning just the two of us and went for a jog and iced coffee (which I dropped all over the floor of Starbucks, I am such a klutz!), and then she played with the boys in the afternoon while Charlotte napped and I made dinner.  After dinner she was back on the train to New York. The visit was too short, but very sweet.

I worked Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and Thursday night Eric and I went with my parents and aunt and uncle to see/hear them record the NPR show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. In the middle was a huge thunderstorm with torrential rain so loud I couldn't hear the show!

Friday morning the boys had camp and I took Charlotte to the zoo.
Zenda the lion is 24- the equivalent of 130 in human years. She's in great shape.
Friday night we went to dinner at Jane and Ed's house and went swimming- and Asher said, "Watch me!" and started swimming across the pool!  Then he got to the wall, turned around, and swam back! Just like that! I was SO proud. Then, Benjamin said, "Watch me!" and started swimming as well!  He's not as strong as Asher just yet, and is a little more nervous, but seems comfortable swimming underwater, too.  I am so proud, and so happy. Plus relieved- I know they can get to the side of a pool now if they were to fall in. Whew.

Saturday- more swimming. We went to the pool at the JCC for a picnic lunch.  Princess Charlotte ate only hummus and Comte cheese.
Pretzels and hummus for a fancy lady
 My parents then took us for an ice cream treat in the city- the Big Gay Ice Cream shop. Very yummy ice cream!

Rainbows! Unicorns! Ice cream! A preschooler's and a gay man's dream come true!
Today I went for a run, and while I was out, Eric converted Charlotte's crib to a toddler bed. Of course I am not ready, and I'm not sure she is, either- even though she can climb out of a crib just fine, she couldn't settle down for a nap in her new bed. She is very proud of herself and her "big girl" bed. 

Then we had a birthday party at a nearby park for a friend of the boys'. The kids all had a great time and Charlotte had her face painted like a kitty cat. She was adorable. 
The kids had pizza and cake at the party, and then came home and Charlotte had an entire second lunch! We had my friend from graduate school over for lunch and had a fairly calm afternoon.  Now we are packing up for our annual summer trip to Maine- so many more pictures to come.