November 5, 2013
On our last day in Boston we decided to explore downtown Boston. Fiona has a book, Hello Boston, and we used that as a guide to determine where we would go. I had a thought that we could go to the places in the book and take a photo of Fiona with the book in the same spot. I just figured it would be a way to see all the touristy spots and that Fiona might be excited to see the spots from the book. I did not anticipate how excited she would be and how much fun she would have.
We spent the entire day running around all of the city and I took photos of her with the book. When we got home I had the photos printed, and then typed out the book with the words from the book matching up with Fiona holding that page open. Then I created a little book for her to take to school so she could show her classmates about her trip to Boston. She excitedly ran into class “I made a book!!!”. And she still likes to flip through it and “read” it.
We started the day riding the T, just like the ducks in the book. But this time we were smart and brought a carrier for Lincoln. And by “we”, I mean my fabulous friends still had a backpack carrier in their basement even though their boys are 12 and 10. Patrick carried Lincoln all around Boston, and Lincoln loved it! He would get out and run around, then come back point to the carrier and tell us “backpack up”. At the end of the day he even napped happily snuggled up in the backpack. We came home and promptly bought one.
After riding the T and seeing the capitol building we wandered around Boston Commons and Fiona made friends with the sculptures.
I love how she is showing the duck sculpture where he is in the book.
Lincoln thought that a Lincoln sized duck was pretty cool.
He then tried to ride the smaller ones.
Play Me I’m Yours (http://streetpianos.com/boston2013/) was going on in Boston while we were there. We found 3 different pianos. At the first one she sat down to play and showed us what she had learned in her recent piano class. She instantly had a crowd around her. She is such a little performer.
We had lunch at Quincy Market and then walked over got pastry not too far from Paul Revere’s statue. I think Patrick was just ensuring that we walked off all the calories from the lobster tail (my favorite pastry) before we ate it. We stopped in the courtyard where Paul Revere’s (or just Paul as Fiona refers to him. “Let’s go check out Paul’s house”) statue is and ate our pastries. Then the kids discovered leaves.
And it was game on. They chased each other throwing leaves at one another.
Lincoln loved throwing the leaves at Fiona, but Fiona would just threaten to throw them at Lincoln and not hit him. They wore themselves out chasing the leaves. Fall in New England is very different then fall in Texas. We all had a lot of fun eating pumpkin donuts, apple picking, eating soup, and throwing leaves.
Until next time New England!
November 4, 2013
I apologize for the 2 week break in posting these photos. The Heaps have had the stomach flu, a broken wrist and of course work and Halloween costumes to make.
After picking apples we headed down the hill in search of raspberries.
I think the kids may have liked raspberries more, just judging on the volume of fruit that was consumed.
Lincoln learned quickly how to find them and pick them.
I love that I have a very similar photo of Fiona doing this same thing (exact same pose) when I took her blackberry picking when she was little. My kids love berries.
Fiona loved picking them as well. There was many exciting shouts as the kids ran up and down the rows finding the ripe berries.
After Lincoln filled his basket (okay I filled his basket, he was too busy eating them) he plopped down and started eating. Im amazed he had any room left for lunch after all of the fruit they ate.
Mmm… fresh raspberries! I often think we should plant berries. But I know I would never see a single berry. My kids would eat them all.
Fiona was proud of her raspberry stash.
I once again handed over my camera and had my friend snap a couple photos. Was there a single one where the kids were actually looking at the camera? No, there were far more exciting things to look at. Im just happy that they didn’t have mouths full of apple.
After our fruit picking we headed to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was a very picturesque, typical New England town. Mark said that it was a little weird how everything looked like the town in England where he grew up.
My little boy looked so grown up on the trip, he is leaving toddler behind and becoming a kid. Sigh. He talked so much while we were there and has continued to be a little chatterbox since we got home. And he still thinks the trick of hiding his hand is hilarious.
Only one more post from Boston!
October 16, 2013
What is a quintessential fall thing to do on the east coast? Go apple picking. So of course we had to go while we were there.
The kids slept late on Sunday worn out from all the fun on Saturday. As Lincoln slept we realized that perhaps it was more then him just being tired that was causing him to sleep late; he was running a fever of 101. So while Patrick was out getting James from his sleepover he picked up some childrens ibprofin and we dosed Lincoln up when he finally woke up. Then we headed to the apple orchards.
By the time we got there Lincoln was feeling much better and even agreed to walk… for a bit. All of the kids were eager to get started picking the apples, and more importantly, eating the apples! We headed to the top of the hill and Fiona and the older boys ran ahead to get started. Fiona quickly perfected her apple picking technique. “Mama, there are three ways to pick an apple. 1) You pull 2) You twist 3) (holding fingers up for emphasis) You pull and twist.”
Being the fabulous big sister that she is Fiona eagerly showed Lincoln how to pick apples.
Lincoln thought apple picking was awesome; snacks are just hanging on trees waiting for him to come along and eat them.
We warned Fiona not to pick too many right away. It was a big orchard with a lot of varieties of apples, and it would be a long way to haul a heavy bag. But she eagerly filled it (and insisted that we bring it home with us. She has been giving out apples to people since we got home. Trip to the dentist? She needed to take them an apple. Her friends and teachers needed apples as well).
Lincoln was not so interested in filling his bag.
Lincoln may be tall for his age but compared to everyone else there he was little. So I handed off my camera and hoisted him up so that he could pick some of the higher fruit. And by pick, I mean eat.
This was the gorgeous view from the top of the hill. And it is also the point where Lincoln, Heather and I got ditched. Lincoln was starting to slow down and insisted on being up, so we walked along the ridge while everyone else went exploring. They came back with a ton of variety of apples; all of them were delicious.
It wasn’t all bad being ditched. Along the top of the hill there was a wide open space an picnic tables set up (all which were full, it was prime apple picking season after all). Lincoln and I snuggled up while we waited (and I once again handed over my camera so Heather could snap a photo of the snuggling).
Once we all met up again on the other side of the orchard we headed down the hill to pick raspberries. Which will be another post, because ummm… I take a lot of photos.
October 15, 2013
Saturday morning Heather’s boys both had soccer games. So my kids got to watch actual games, instead of just kicking a ball around. Since donuts (especially Dunkin Donuts) are huge on the east coast we picked some up before the game. Fiona chose chocolate, and I got some pumpkin (widely known fact; I heart all things pumpkin) ones for Lincoln and I.
Delicious, delicious pumpkin donuts. Lincoln ate most of his, and then when we weren’t looking sneaked two more munchies (donut holes) and ate those too.
The kids had fun watching the games, and as far as I know both boys won. Since they played at the same time we watched half of Eric’s game and then went and watched the last half of James’s game (luckily they are at the same place). However a trip to the bathroom with Fiona meant I missed almost all of James’s game, so I could be wrong whether he won or not.
After the games we rushed James off to a sleep over and then headed to the coast so that the kids could see the Atlantic and “dip their toes in”… we all know what happens when Fiona says that…
We stopped in a little town called Woods Hole and got lunch; mmmm lobster tacos! What we didn’t realize was Lincoln was coming down with something, which meant he was unbelievable clingy. Mostly to me. He would sob “mommy up, mommy up!” I could only do so much carrying so Heather’s fabulous husband, Patrick, offered to take him (I should also say that Mark tried to take him, but none of us would let him. Mark had his gallbladder removed and several hernias repaired a few weeks prior and still wasn’t suppose to lift much). Lincoln finally agreed that Patrick was an acceptable ride and settled in on Patrick’s shoulders.
We wandered around Woods Hole for awhile and ended at the aquarium, we got there just in time for the seal feeding. Which the kids LOVED. The seals swam around, did tricks like jumping through hoops and knocking balls of sticks.
Then we headed to the beach. Which was surprisingly warm.
The kids climbed on rocks, splashed in the water, and collected shells. Eric tried to show Fiona a crab and put it in her shell cup and to put it simply she was not impressed. She quickly dumped the whole thing out and started to cry. Poor Eric had no idea what he did wrong.
I handed over my camera to Heather so that she could snap a family photo of us. Proof that all of us were there, at the same time!
Then Fiona was off and running down the beach pretending to be Ladybug girl in the waves.
Darwin got to come to the beach too. He wasn’t so sure about the waves though!
As you can see Lincoln has come a long way from being the crying baby on the beaches in Hawaii. Now he thinks they are pretty cool. And as you will note, he is soaked. He decided to sit down in the water.
Fiona, as usual, loved the water. At one point she stops splashing and pulls off her (soaking wet) skirt and hands it to a baffled Heather and told her that she “didn’t want to get it wet”, a little late for that kiddo.
Fiona had so much fun playing at the beach, we really do need a beach family vacation soon. Somewhere warm preferably.
Not that the non tropical weather slowed Fiona down at all.
Lincoln mostly wandered around on his own scooping up water and pouring it on himself, because I guess that is what boys do? Really, I have no idea why.
After a full day at the beach and soccer field most of the kids fell asleep on the way home. They did however wake up when we stopped at a local dairy for ice cream. Apple pie frozen yogurt; I love fall!
October 14, 2013
After both kids slept on the drive home they were ready to play when we got back to our friends house. The boys we home as well and it had warmed up to be a gorgeous fall day (especially by Boston standards).
Mark tried to teach Lincoln how to kick the soccer ball. Lincoln took instruction well, and loved playing with the big boys.
Did I mention that my friends just got a new puppy a few days before we got there? A super cute weimarunner puppy (who got more attention then a newborn baby when we took him out in public. Seriously so many people came up to him).
He looks so much older then his 2 years. He watched the boys play and Heather’s sons were so sweet to try to include him when they could.
Look at that concentration as he mimics his daddy and kicks the ball.
The puppy (Darwin) was only 9 weeks old and doesn’t have all of his shots yet. so he can’t go out and play too much. But he happily watched the soccer shenanigans from inside.
I think we might need to sign a certain little boy up for soccer. He got comfortable enough that he would try chasing the ball down on his own. and kicking it. It didn’t go far, but that didn’t matter to him in the slightest.
Its warm in Texas, which means its probably been about 8 months or so since Lincoln wore a long sleeve shirt. He thought it was hilarious that he could “lose” his hand and then pull it out and surprise you. It was a form of endless entertainment for him. This is the look he would have on his face as his hand reappeared, like; “tada! its still here!”
Fiona got bored of soccer pretty quickly and went to hang out with Heather’s younger son and their neighbor (see the other little girl? She is in first grade and Fiona still towered over her. Sometimes I forget how tall she is). Eric knows how to make all of the bracelets that he is wearing, and that made him super cool in her mind “mama, he can MAKE bracelets!”. Fiona followed Eric around the entire time we were there, its really good that Eric is a super sweet kid and didn’t mind a 4 year old shadow.
Next up; the Heaps head to the Cape
October 11, 2013
Every once in a awhile you meet some one and become friends. That friend is there for you throughout the years; weddings, births, deaths, moves across country. You don’t talk everyday, but you know that when you need them; say at 8pm when you find a tick on your daughter and need to know how to remove it, or when you are trying to figure out how to get your large couch out of your impossibly tiny apartment, they will be there. For me that time was kindergarten and that friend was Heather. 30 years later we are still in touch and try to visit each other at least once a year. It was our turn for a visit, and we had slacked off a little. So a couple weeks ago we packed up and headed to the east coast to spend a long weekend with our friends.
We arrived on thursday night and got to spend some time with their family before all of our kids passed out. Since the following day was a school day, Heather’s boy headed off to school and we headed off Sturbridge Village; an 1830′s New England living history museum.
The kids loved it, they got to play outside; in leaves (!), see people dressed up, and ride in a buggy pulled by horses (or Yee haws to Lincoln).
Leaves!!! Lincoln got to wear one of the long sleeve shirts that another friend sent us. They won’t get much use for another couple months here in Texas but they got a lot of use on our trip.
Fiona loved all the leaves and was stuffing all of our pockets with them.
Sturbridge Village was beautiful. They did an amazing job of bringing in buildings from around the east coast to set up the village. There was a working saw mill (which produced the wood planks to make the benches around the village), an apple press, a blacksmith, etc.
And this is what happens when you let a 4 year old dress herself. That kid has layering down to a science! And those shoes are ones that took us 4 stores to find, and Im pretty sure her daddy is never taking her shoe shopping again.
This is Heather. Im not sure what the two of them are discussing, but Lincoln looks very concerned.
Sigh… my baby looks so grown up. Like a little boy.
He was getting frustrated while we ate lunch so Lincoln and I took a walk and found some cows (moos!). He was so excited to see a pen full of cows.
Him and I hung out while everyone else finished eating. We enjoyed the fall colors, look trees with green, yellow, orange and red!
Fiona ate all of her lunch and then we let her pick out a treat at the general store. She picked out a striped lollipop (which she managed to eat a third of before she threw it away).
Seriously, how pretty is New England in the fall?
We tried to get the kids to sit together for a photo… yeah that didn’t go so well. I think Fiona is practicing her Blue Steel look.
Then Lincoln fell off the wall to play in the dirt, and Fiona thought it was hilarious. Sigh, just one photo of the two of them looking normal that is all I asked for. Although this is a much more accurate representation of the day.
By this point in the day Lincoln was exhausted. We couldn’t get him to stay quiet or focus on anything. Every time we walked into a building (general store, blacksmith, etc) he would get antsy and disruptive. So Mark and Fiona wandered ahead to check out an old house and Lincoln played in the dirt.
Eventually I sat down with Lincoln and Heather for a few minutes and Lincoln passed out. Then in our brilliant planning we had not brought a carrier or stroller, so I carried Lincoln around while we slept for an hour (he slept longer, but by then we were in the car). At least we got to look at the apple press and glass exhibit in peace. Although my arms hurt for the next two days.
That was the last photo I took at Sturbridge since my arms were otherwise occupied, but it was far from the last photo of the day. We crammed a whole lot into our 4 1/2 days. The rest will follow soon.
September 25, 2013
Throwing a party for a bunch of little boys is very different then throwing one for little girls.
They are very easily entertained with a box of cars and a plank of wood. It was so cute to watch all the boys crowd around the race ramp. Some of the other boys were a little unsure (they are not quite as obsessed as Lincoln is with cars).
But Lincoln knew what to do and happily raced cars for over an hour, and showed all his buddies how awesome cars are.
Isn’t he outfit cute? I ordered one for Fiona as well, but it didn’t arrive until the day after the party. But she didn’t mind, and luckily Lincoln agreed to wear his coveralls. We saw those years ago at a classic car show and have been looking for a reason to buy them since.
After they were done racing cars it was time to turn themselves into cars and race. The first race the older kids participated (the siblings of little ones) so that the little ones could see what to do.
How cute are they all lined up ready to run. Although it was much like watching the wiener dog races a few months ago; some would run, others would stand there, and the occasional one would run the wrong way.
But they all had fun!
Lincoln and Fiona are still playing with the cars and often hold races before dinner. I hear Lincoln shout “I win!!” even if he doesn’t (which is most of the time, Fiona is fast!).
Lincoln did win one race… okay Luke totally let him win one race.
Then it was time for cake. I didn’t get a single photo of everyone singing happy birthday, mostly because I was squatting near Lincoln trying to keep his fingers out of 1) the frosting 2) the flame on the candle.
But he loved his vroom cake.
Vegan banana cake is delicious (it is his favorite, its more like banana bread then cake, but he loves it). Everyday (a week and a half later) he still talks about his vroom cake.
We opened presents after most people had left so that it wouldn’t be so chaotic. There are now even more cars and fire trucks in my house. His last present he opened was his Tow Mater quad from his grandparents. I love how in the photo you can just see the portion of the banner that has his nickname on it.
This was definitely a party that will be remembered in out house for awhile. Vroom, vroom!!!
September 23, 2013
When we started planning Lincolns birthday party a few months ago we tossed around a few ideas; monsters, dinos, balls. But really there is only one thing that my son is obsessed with; cars. Not the movie Cars (which he does like), but cars in general. Or vroom vrooms as he calls them. He loves to drive them around, race them, push them down ramps, push them across the floor, etc. So we decided on a car theme. I kinda wanted a retro speed racer feel to the part and invites.
Once again Mark and I teamed up on the invites, and they came out adorable! I picked out the colors I wanted, found a couple examples of the type of car I wanted, and then I asked Mark to use his illustration talents to draw Lincoln in a race car.
The day before I sent them off to print we decided to do a quick photo shoot for the back of the cards. The original idea was Lincoln on his tricycle. So all of us headed down the street to where they are doing new construction so that we had an empty road. The road is on a hill, and the kids had fun racing up and down it. Mark rode his skateboard over, and Lincoln was more interested in the skateboard then the bike. I got a few photos of Lincoln on his bike before Lincoln ditched it for the skateboard. Lincoln quickly figured out how to push it and he was off. The photo of him on the skateboard ended up being so cute that we went with that for the invites instead of the trike ones.
The design of the rest of decorations were based off the invites. We stuck to mostly cyan, green, orange, with accents of black and white. The food table, as usual, was my domain. We had Racing Fuel, aka H2O.
A vroom cake. This is definitely not the coolest car cake out there, but the kids were all impressed and Lincoln LOVED it. He actually ate the cake and not just the frosting. He has asked for a vroom cake every. single. day since the party.
My favorite food was the pretzel cars. I made a cinnamon apple pretzel dough and cut the pretzels into strips when I baked them. A friend came over and helped me attach wheels and steering wheels, and then I cut a small slit into the top for the Teddy Graham. My mom gave me the idea, she saw something similar using milky way bars. As my friends joke, this is the Kristina-fied version of it, meaning the healthier version. They were super cute, and rather tasty.
I cut watermelons into car shapes (which is also a favorite for his lunchbox).
And since the fruit kabobs went over so well at Fiona’s birthday I made a stoplight version for Lincolns party. Well I should say my fabulous neighbor made them. I cut everything up, gave her the flag toothpicks and she assembled while watching the Longhorn game.
For the decoration of the food area I bought street washi tape and made roads that criss crossed over brightly colored paper and stuck a few cars down.
The party favors were of course matchbox cars. I lined the tins with black felt that I drew white dotted lines down, glued on handles made of car ribbon, then added a few racing tattoos and a car.
They were all lined up ready to race.
The colored flags on the door also were across the living room. And my neighbors also helped me make the ones for the door and stuck the checkered flags on the doors to welcome the pint sized racers.
Speaking of racing, we had two activities planned and they both involved racing. Mark made a ramp that the kids could race cars at. Mark didn’t think it would be as big if a hit as it was. He thought after the party he might hang it on Lincoln’s wall, but Lincoln and Fiona love it and use it daily! The kids all crowded around it and raced cars down it at the party.
The other activity was box car races. I made a bunch of car costumes out of boxes for the kids to wear and race it. We strung up a streamer for the finish line, put down some flour as a starting line and had the kids line up. There were so many kids that we had to do multiple races.
Stay tuned for party photos!
September 16, 2013
Your two. Two!! I can’t believe my baby is two years old. Your growing up, and Im not sure I am ready for it. You have grown so much in the last 6 months. You have been to two more states and are an excellent traveler. You have outgrown your highchair AND your booster. You think you are far too grown up to sit in a booster, thank you very much.
You have opinions, and they are not always the same as mine. You have thoughts on your wardrobe, food, books, and what you want to do. You bring me something to wear/eat/read, and if I say no you pout. Its a rather impressive pout too. Bottom lip sticks out, eyes get big and look at the ground. I try to be careful about what battles to pick. Which is why sometimes you leave the house wearing some interesting outfits. I’ve learned with your sister that as long as it fits and is somewhat weather appropriate (no shorts in the snow, or sweatshirts in 100 degrees) then I just go with it.
You have a (mostly) joyous personality. You are easily excited about the smallest things and will run around shouting “yay!” and clapping. Breakfast? “Yay!!! Cereal!!!” as you run for the pantry. A friend recently said that she wanted to invite you to all big events because you give the reactions people hope for. She wants you at her birthday just so someone will cheer for her and run around so excited that its her birthday. A package arrived for you a few weeks ago and in it were lots of toys. You would pull one out “yay!!!” (lots of clapping and arms thrown in the air) and play with it before even considering the next one. I want to buy you things and show you things just because you are so excited to experience it. Even breakfast or brushing your teeth is exciting.
I love how a kiss makes everything better. You have yet to receive an injury that hasn’t been fixed by a kiss and in drastic cases a bandaid. Anytime you get a boo boo, you run over to me, point at the offending spot, all I have to do is give it a kiss and it makes it all better and you are off running again.
You have become quite the little chatter box. I lost count at 100 words, but you are well over that amount. And you are stringing sentences together. I love when you learn a new word, and you are always so proud of yourself. You recently learned “heart” so thats what you always ask me to draw. I will also be sad the day you no longer call a car a vroom vroom. “Mommy’s vroom vroom”, “Daddy’s vroom vroom” and most exciting of all “fire vroom vroom!!!”. Speaking of saying Mommy and Daddy, that is fairly recent too. I will admit I was a little sad when I was no longer your “mama”. “Mommy” is cute, but it means your are too grown up for mama.
Even though you are growing up, and can get up and down from the table (and take your bowl to the sink), take showers all by yourself, and try to buckle your own car seat, you still love to snuggle. You would happily sleep in my arms, or at the very least, fall asleep in my arms. You are like your sister, and you need your bedtime stuff. That stuff for you is your favorite blanket, your lion and your binky (which you call “night night”, because thats the only time you are allowed it).
You are obsessed with cars (and planes), well anything that you can make go vroom vroom. You love to play with your racing tracks, and at a restaurant recently you discovered NASCAR. You were so excited; vroom vrooms race!!! Even your birthday party was car themed. I wont pretend to understand it, but I will supply you with matchbox cars and allow you to test the velocity of different masses in relation to height (in other words, I will continue to let you set your racing track at the top of the stairs and launch them to see how far each one goes).
You also love your bike. Fiona got a bike for her birthday and you were desperate to ride with her. So we got you a push trike (best $20 I ever spent. No more bending down to try to push you). Now you guys ride your bikes while I walk the dogs. You are getting the hang of pedaling, so hopefully soon I can stop pushing you. For your birthday you got a Tow Mater quad. 4 wheels and an engine. Look out neighbors, Lincoln is on the road!
I love how sweet you are. You are pretty good about sharing, as long as its not lightening McQueen. You have your favorites. You are also really loving. You were holding baby Paul the other day (something you LOVE to do. “More baby Paul” as you hold out your arms), and you sat there giving him kisses. Part of me (a very teeny tiny part) wishes you could be a big brother, but you are just going to have to make do with mommy’s friends babies.
You (and your sister) have suddenly decided that you can swim. Luckily you are willing to wear your floaties now, so I don’t worry as much when you spend 30 minutes jumping in to the pool from the side. You even stick your head under water (something your sister was not keen on doing at your age). And you can kick! I still hold out hopes that you will be a swimmer like me, at the very least I want you to love the water. 70% of our planet is water, that is alot of getting your face wet.
You are getting so big, you are wearing 3t clothes and you are tall enough to swipe things off the counter (like my ungaurded scones). You are 36.25 inches tall (95%! Goodness that is tall) and you weigh in at 28lb (50%). So in other words you are long and lean. Its a far cry from your chubby baby days. You still have your round little cheeks, that I often can’t resist kissing.
Happy 2nd birthday Lincoln! I love watching you grow and seeing the man you will eventually become.
September 11, 2013
Goodness, in the last two weeks I have edited almost 700 powerpoint slides. My mind is fried, and Im not done with the project yet. My increase of work coincided almost exactly with the kids going back to school. Which worked out great. But it also means I have a ton of photos to edit and post.
Remember the elephant themed baby shower? It was to celebrate this little guy.
Who is two months old now, so yeah, Im behind on posts.
Im glad that he was kind enough to wait until we were home from vacation to arrive so that I could meet him right away.
I visited him in the hospital the day he was born (I think he was born after midnight, so it still counts as the day he was born), and texted photos of me holding him to my jealous neighbors who had to work.
The kids could not wait to meet him, so as soon as we were given the all clear we went over to visit. Both kids adore baby Paul (which is how they refer to him). Lincoln brings him toys and loves to “hold” him. Which is really me holding him on Lincoln’s lap. We have discovered that Lincoln is a baby hog, so sometimes I visit without him, just so that I can hold baby Paul.
Because the kid is adorable. And totally huggable.
Those little baby hands, so perfect for curling around your finger.