Saturday, February 27, 2010


Yesterday we had a snow day! We had heard weather reports predicting nearly a foot of snow, and as we got ready for bed, my 9-year-old anticipated that she would have no school in the morning. We have been having a relatively mild winter so far, for Upstate NY, so we weren't getting our hopes up... But, sure enough, 5:40am the phone rings and it is the school's automated messaging system calling to tell us that school is closed that day -- so, we rolled over and turned off the alarm! Fortunately, my husband and I both had the day off, so all four of us were able to stay home and stay warm! Of course, our daughter who did not have to get up for school, got up at 7:30am to fully enjoy her entire day off...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Miss Me?

I miss you! I'm still here -- bad blogger... The day after Movie Night, we had 13 of our wonderful family members (15, if you include 2 of the canine persuasion!) come to visit for four days! My mother-in-law (Grammy) and her sister (Cici) were wise, and opted to stay at the hotel around the corner. That left 15 of us (and 2 visiting dogs... and our 1, irritated cat) staying at our house! WHEW! We had a great time, although I finally succumbed to a cold on their second day here, and my littlest one had been battling a cold for a few days before their arrival. My 9-year-old was in her glory, having her cousins here, in particular, her "twin" cousin and "BFF" who will be turning 9 in a couple of weeks. We did not venture out too much -- the kids enjoyed playing outside in the snow, we took everyone on a tour of Grandpa and Gramby's new house which is in the process of being built, we did go sledding at the golf course up the road and that was one of the highlights, for sure! Several trips to the grocery store, Target, church, a belated Christmas celebration, a slightly belated birthday celebration for my husband, lots of game playing, lots of Olympic watching, and LOTS of talking and laughter! I have some cute pictures to share (although apparently, I have not yet uploaded them off my camera, so I will share them later...)! We certainly enjoyed our February recess with our family -- I hope you enjoyed yours as well!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Movie Night

WHEW -- we survived the preschool "Movie Night" tonight! I am the chairperson for family events at my daughter's preschool, and Movie Night is the third of four events that my committee puts on during the school year. The last time I did this job (when my now 9-year-old was only 4!), there was a blizzard on the night that we had planned for this event and so we canceled. I was fearful that it would be lots of kids, running around and not watching the movie, but it actually worked out really well! We watched Disney's "TinkerBell and the Lost Treasure" which was a nice movie to watch with that age group (2 - 4). It has a nice message about the importance of friendship, and it has enough "boy stuff" (bugs, tools, Tink's best friend Terrance, who is a boy...) that even the boys seemed to like it. Our preschool is run out of the same building as a church, so we are able to use the church's hall to hold events (Pasta Dinner, Holiday Party). It was nice to have such a nice, big space for the kids to stretch out. We invited the children to come in their pj's and to bring a sleeping bag and pillow to make themselves comfortable. It's pretty cold out, so my girls went in pajama tops and their jeans. We were able to get popcorn donated from the local movie theater and the committee all brought in juice, water, soda so we were able to offer this as a free event to our school families. We turned down the lights and everyone snuggled in with their popcorn and drink, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much the kids actually watched the movie! My girls had a great time and it ended up being a pretty relaxing evening, much to my delight!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sleigh Ride!

The girls and I just got back from a very fun adventure with my friend Christine, and her 5-year-old daughter. Christine called last night to ask if we were interested in driving to Canandaigua to go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride! It's about a 40 minute ride from where we live, but we packed a lunch to eat on the way and the girls chatted in the back of the van while we chatted in the front. We went to the Granger Homestead & Carriage Museum in Canandaigua and on Sundays from January through March they offer 10 minute sleigh rides from 1 - 3pm. (It is weather dependent, so they advise that you call ahead!) But this was such a fun way to spend a winter, Sunday afternoon -- it was really a treat for us! If you are in the area and looking for something different to do, this is a great idea -- and very reasonably priced! The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for school-aged children (K - 12). My preschooler got to ride for free. That was $8 for my girls and I to ride, and when we paid they gave each child a free jingle bell and they also offer complimentary cookies and hot chocolate or tea. We were able to wait in a cute little renovated building that used to be a small law office -- fortunately, it was renovated with heat! So we were able to stay warm and enjoy our refreshments while waiting for our turn on the sleigh.

We brought our cameras (of course!) and got lots of great pictures. My 9-year-old brought her little video camera and she got to sit up front with the driver and she video taped the entire ride! What a great idea that was, because now we have that nice memory to share with Daddy (who had to work!) and we can hear all of the interesting stories that the driver told us on our ride. And, coincidentally, today is Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday (she and Daddy are 100 years -- and 1 day -- apart!) so it was extra special for us to get to do something that we have read about her doing when she was younger! My girls wanted to wear their pioneer dresses and bonnets, but Mommy thought it was a little too nippy out today... They did bring their rag dolls! The Granger Homestead offers these rides in the summer, as well, so I'm sure we'll be back this summer -- bonnets and all! ;)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today is my husband's birthday, and alas, he has to work BUT we made the most of our morning together! We were awakened by our 9-year-old who made him breakfast in bed -- cereal, glass of orange juice, yogurt, and Great Gram's homemade caramels... (That's a food group, right?) She carried it all upstairs on a tray and apparently had carried it up and down the stairs three different times before deciding that it was an appropriate time to wake us up! We exchanged cards and gave him his birthday gifts -- a dvd and tickets for the four of us to go to a hockey game together (his favorite sport!). Thursday night we had a nice birthday dinner with Grandpa, Gramby, and Great Gram. And this next weekend, his family is coming out from Long Island and we are looking forward to celebrating again with them! But in the meantime, we just wanted to let Daddy know how much we love and appreciate him!

Happy Birthday to the best husband and father that we three girls could ask for!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Meet "Paddy the Dog"

I am adding a little section on the side of my blog which will feature the newest member of our family -- Paddy the Dog! Paddy was my grandmother's and he is a little iron dog that looks a lot like the dog that my great grandmother owned (my daughter thinks it was a Boston Terrier, and as she is the foremost authority on dogs, I will go along with that!). Paddy has been in my grandmother's house (and moved around with her in the past 10 years) for as long as I can remember. As a child, I always loved Paddy and loved to play with him. My grandmother turned 88 in October, and for the past couple of years she has been thinking and worrying about who she wants to pass her treasures on to in the family. This is one of my least favorite topics of conversation, but a number of years ago when she wanted to talk about it, I mentioned how much I love Paddy and that I would cherish him and the memories I have of playing with him in her house. My sweet Gram is, thankfully, still with us but she did recently move back into her old home which is now owned by my aunt (her daughter, my dad's only sister). When she moved she cleared out a lot of her things -- downsizing yet again, after having moved into assisted living a few years ago. One day, before Christmas, I brought my girls over to her apartment and we visited and I helped to pack up some of her things. Before I left, she insisted that I took little Paddy with me.

My girls have grown almost as fond of Paddy as I am, and (to the distress of my husband, I am sure!) we all talk about him as though he were a real dog! While I was decorating for Christmas, I decided to take some Christmas ribbon and tie a bow around his neck so that he could feel festive for the holidays. The girls loved this, and as my eldest daughter's birthday approached, she reminded me that I needed to get a "Happy Birthday" ribbon for Paddy. So, there we were, my husband, myself, the girls, and an unsuspecting elderly woman who was slightly amused by the conversation between me and my husband... "Why are you looking for all of this ribbon?" I want to get different ribbon for Paddy to wear for the holidays. "And WHO is Paddy?" My little dog! "Your dog..." You know, PADDY! The little iron dog that Gram gave me! "Right... We're buying holiday ribbon for the iron dog... Ok."

So, Paddy is the newest member of our family, and I will try to take pictures of him so that he can show off his festive seasonal attire!

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Tell Me 5 Things..."

Recently, I have been trying a new tactic with my 9-year-old daughter. When she tells me, "Mommy, I am feeling a little bit sad and I don't know why." I say, "Well, why don't you tell me 5 things that you have to be happy about right now?" And she will think about it and start telling me things. The other day she said, "Can I list more than just five?" ABSOLUTELY! I have been adapting this to fit different situations -- for example, "I don't want to be 9! I want to stay a little girl!" Ok, how about trying to list five things that are great about being 9? That was a little more of a struggle for her to get started, but between us we came up with:

- She can play video games without needing Nana's help all the time! ;)
- She's responsible enough to own an iPod and a video camera
- She can go to sleepovers at her friends' houses, or have friends sleep over her own house
- She is in Girl Scouts and gets to do fun things like have a "camp-in" at the museum or zoo
- She can use the phone to call and talk to her friends or her cousins

This morning, in response to "I hate school!" I suggested that she come up with a list of five things she likes about school, which included art, music, gym, seeing friends, going to the library. After that we started one about Mondays, because she was complaining about not liking Mondays... One highlight of that list was, "There is only one Monday per week, so we don't have to go through another one this week!"

We can all get down sometimes, or feel less than enthusiastic about something that we have to do -- work, school, meeting... But this is a fun and quick little exercise to try and look on the bright side of most situations!