To my crazy and lovable 1.5 year old!!

Arlo,

Make that 19 months now, I started this post a month ago and haven’t had time to get back to it! I can’t believe how fast time flies. Another blink and you’ll be TWO… oh and then what will we do… love you even more I guess.

You amaze, delight, frustrate, challenge, and already show me so much love. Your hugs are the best, your smooches, though usually wide open mouthed or sticky faced are pretty great too. I especially love when you give me “fish face” kisses.

You are becoming so independent and learning so much. It is fascinating and heartbreaking at times to watch.

Your hair is getting so long in the back with the cutest curls around the ears. Dad wants to get it cut this weekend… we’ll see. :)

A late bloomer on the walking you took your first true un-assisted steps at about 16 months. But now you cruise around like it’s no big deal. You are  great with stairs and other obstacles too we don’t even keep the gates closed anymore and feel confident in your skills and your caution that you use on them.Though we have had some scraped knees and such lately, playing outside. You learned the word ” boo boo” and will point to your little disappearing scrape anytime the word is mentioned to show it off and get a little sympathy. So cute.

You’re pretty cautious around the pool which is great, you like to go up to the edge, sit and put your feet in. You even know where the stairs are and will go over to that end and step into the first step on your own sometimes, usually with us by your side though.But now you have just begun to get even more daring and confident and “jump” step off the edge into my arms with big smiles as you do it! You can blow bubbles really well and like to “push-off” the sides of the pool with your feet.

You LOVE ANYTHING THAT GOES!! Cars, trucks and planes are your favorite right now, dad and colin keep you well supplied with matchbox cars and you love to play with them and make the noises and you get so excited when you see real cars and trucks on the road too.

You love bikes and you really loved when we take out your tricycle. You can reach the pedals but can’t quite manage to get them around yet…but I predict you will soon!

At your 18 month appointment the doc told us you had a growth spurt and you are 2ft 10inches! 94th percentile or something crazy like that for height. At this rate I will be looking up to you in no time! STOP THAT!

Your vocabulary is starting to grow too. Although not totally clear and/or understandable, you can express yourself pretty well. You can say “Car” (of course), “Cheese”, “Balloon”, “Ball”, “Book”, “Chair”, “Hi”, “Mommy”, “Daddy”, “Kitty”, “Water”, “Woof”, “Shhh”, “Grammy”,”Tickle” etc. etc. You also use your basic sign language for things, your favorite being “MORE” no surprise there.

You like to help out, carry things and push things around like the broom and vacuum (with help). You love to rough house and jump on mommy and daddy. You love when your siblings are here and literally throw a fit when they have to leave. :( Breaks my heart.

You have a temper and are impatient at times but we are working on it lately and it seems to be improving a little.

You love looking at pictures, go figure!

You’re appetite changes daily and you are getting to be a little choosy on your eating. Some meals you do really surprisingly well and others you are not as interested in. It’s hard to keep you at the table long enough too, because all you want to do is go play. You are picky about fruits, not a fan of strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, melons, pineapple. Although you like all of those flavors when made into smoothies, which we do almost daily. You do like pears, grapes, cherries, prunes, apples and bananas.

It’s the same with veggies there are only a few that you will really eat well and others not so much. I also sneak them into smoothies too and that seems to help, especially the leafy greens.

You like to share food and I especially love when you hand me things or try to feed me things that have already been half chewed… Thanks buddy.

You are particular about your tv entertainment, it is usually only one of two things. Elmo or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. I’ve tried other things out but nothing else seems to do and that’s ok, your choices are pretty good I think and we don’t watch much anyways.

You love your books and we read them over and over to you every day. You even get the humor in some of them it is amazing to hear you laugh at the funny parts. We have checked out the library for new material recently too and you thought that was pretty cool.

You know most of your body parts and will point to any that we ask you about. You’re favorite right now is showing off your belly button and then making everyone else show theirs too! :)

You’re already getting little boy stinky feet even! And you giggle as I make faces about them. :) You even did the funniest thing the other night walking away from the dinner table you ripped a Toot so loud and then looked back at me and laughed like you knew that was funny… I died laughing with you.

I love to play and laugh with you. I love our special times together. And although you wear me out and drive me crazy sometimes, I want you to know that I love you unconditionally and always. xoxo

-Mom

 

Summer in the Park – L.L. Bean – Josh Ritter

We snuck a little weekend getaway in and went up to Freeport, Maine a couple of weekends ago to attend a free concert in the park at L.L. Bean. We of course had to go because one of our favorites was playing, Josh Ritter. So we used Brian’s traveling hotel points, went up early spent the day shopping enjoyed a fantastic evening concert in the open air and stayed the night.

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Arlo had so much fun too. Took a powernap on the way up there.

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We grabbed some lunch at the Bow Street Market. We stopped into the NorthFace Outlet  (only one of two in the country)  we found Brian some running shoes and Arlo a deeply discounted winter jacket for next year. He saw it from across the store and got so excited about it’s bright green colors.

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Of course we checked out the L.L. Bean stores and Arlo went crazy, running around playing with everything on display and wanting to touch everything. haha. He got excited about everything he saw. Oh the wonder of it all! We got him a cute little bean chair for the concert which he was stoked about.

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We saw kids all around town walking with balloons they had received from a shop. Arlo would point and get all excited and say “baaaoooonnn” so naturally we had to go find the shop with the free giveaway and get him one. :)

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The concert was amazing, Josh even had his little girl Beatrix who is just a little older than Arlo there too! I was trying to leverage the fact we had a cute kid too, to try to get closer or meet him but sadly that didn’t turn out. Maybe another time!

Arlo enjoyed the show and of course clapped every time a song was over. Even when he fell asleep eventually, he would wake up with a startle and clap automatically before knowing what was even going on every time a song ended, then right back out he went. What a good little trooper. What a great night.

 

 

 

Independence Day Weekend

Sadly, just getting caught up on some posts I have been meaning to create. Too busy having fun, to document it all in a timely manner I suppose! :)

This year’s fourth of July was a little different then usual. Typically we would be in NJ at the shore for the fourth but we are going down a little later for Night In Venice this year instead. This past week we had all the kiddos at out house though, and I think the kids all had fun despite the fact that Brian and I still had to work most the week. Arlo enjoyed hanging with the big kids especially on the stairs… hmm… he is getting really good at them and had his practice going up and down a lot with the big kids this week. And of course the pool definitely got some use with all the nice weather we mostly had. :)

And although we didn’t get to see any fireworks due to crazy rain on the fourth we did have a great independence day weekend. Saturday morning we took all the kids on a little hike up to the fire tower in Pawtuckaway. It was such a crisp clear morning a great time to be outside! Though we suffered some bug bites and some minor ankle twists it was glorious to get out after Friday’s rain storms.

Arlo did his usual of falling asleep on the way back down but this time he managed to “cry” his way out of the backpack and into Daddy’s arms for the 3 miles down. Daddy felt that later but was so happy to snuggle with his boy, he wouldn’t even let me take a turn. :)

The kids went home after lunch and we entertained a couple of friends at the with dinner and pool fun that evening.

On Sunday, we got up and at ‘em again and took Arlo on a bike ride to breakfast in town. After breakfast we biked up to the elementary school for some playground fun before biking home. There we found a great playground with lots of fun rope features and spinny things that even Bri and I giggled ourselves silly on and it a big sandbox filled with toys for playing with!! Needless to say we had a sleeping baby on the bike ride home. We wore him out! :)

We ended the weekend fun that afternoon when we checked out a new place for ice cream in town. We all really enjoyed it. Brian’s flavor was the best out of all of ours, Peach’s and Cream. yummm…

 

Rocky Beach Morning with Grammy

Arlo spent a fun evening with Grammy last night while Dad and Mom went to a dear friend’s wedding. :) (Thanks mom!) We had a fun night out and then this morning we all went on a trip for breakfast and some fun on the coast. We climbed on the rocks, and found lots of shells and sea glass, even Cheri Dog had lots of fun. :)

A Day at The Beach

Our first day trip to the beach for the 2014 season. We took the bikes, parked outside of Hampton Beach and rode them around the coast a little. Stopping for some fun at the playground, the sandy beach, and the rocky north beach that we used to call home.

 

North Carolina Cousin Fun

Brian’s work needed him in NC at the end of May and this business trip, Arlo and I tagged along so that we could visit with Brian’s sister Susan (who happened to be celebrating a birthday during our stay) and Jon and our 4 nephews and niece!

A couple of short ups and downs on planes got us there we even had enough room to have an extra seat in our row which is always nice when traveling with a “lap baby” aka super squirmy toddler. Arlo had fun looking out the window of course and even in buckling himself in the middle seat. He is really becoming a pro at flying.

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We arrived in the afternoon and after getting settled into our hotel we went and met up with Susan and the family at their community pool where they were having a pot-luck dinner to celebrate the start of pool season. It was very warm almost 90 most the time we were there, felt like summer had surely arrived in NC already.

Arlo got to take a dip in the kiddie pool and had a lot of fun checking things out and hanging with Emma. We had a nice time visiting and catching up with Susan and Jon and watching all the boys play. (Except for Alex who was working his part time, after school job at Subway!) I still can’t believe he is so grown up to have a license, a car, a job. Wow! Sadly no pictures of pool fun, too busy keeping my hands and eyes on my little swimmer.

The next day was Susan’s birthday and Brian didn’t have to go to the office until Wednesday and Thursday. So we met up with Susan and Emma for a nice birthday lunch out, courtesy of Ann (thanks mom), after Arlo had a morning nap. Emma and Arlo enjoyed causing trouble together. Being loud and checking out the windows of the restaurant. Later we went over to their home and hung out and had a delicious meal with the whole family, including a yummy strawberry shortcake that Kyle helped make for his Mom’s birthday. Arlo’s favorite feature of their house was the staircase.

Emma wanted to have a special “little” table for her and Arlo set up. It was perhaps the cutest thing I have ever seen.

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After dinner a little music session broke out and Arlo was loving the piano playing too!

The next day Brian went to work and Arlo and I spent the whole day hanging with the Hansen’s. :) It was good fun. Susan and Emma took us to a place called KidZu. A fun little children’s museum. Where there was giant puzzle wall, building room, arts and crafts room and more. I think we all had a good time.

Back home for an afternoon nap for Arlo. (No more naps for big girl Emma, I am not looking forward to that loss of “me” time to come.) I got some work done while Susan and Emma went off on their bike to pick up the two younger boys (Kyle and Evan) from school. Then we all played together. Overall Emma and Arlo had fun with each other but they had their moments. Like when Emma was sitting on my lap and Arlo decided he wanted his Mom back and Emma wasn’t so willing to give in. Ha! They are both not used to sharing things very much yet.

Little miss Emma insisted I take a video of her singing songs, over and over again. :)

When Brian arrived after work, we headed out and on our way back to the hotel we made our ritual stop in for the best doughnuts ever, Krispy Kreme to have (snack &) breakfast the next morning. Arlo even got a doughnut hole for free.

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On Thursday after Brian went to work, Arlo and I had breakfast and played, he loved playing in the hotel room with the french doors opening and closing them, and the sliding mirror closet doors opening and closing them. And of course jumping all over our bed. The poor thing rolled off the bed that morning as he was getting tired for a nap. I held him after and laid back on the bed and he fell asleep on my chest almost instantly. I never wanted to move, so sweet. We took a little snooze together and then I had to get us moving to be out of the hotel before our check out time.With all my bags and of course Krispy Kreme and things I had my hands full, so, Arlo, who is starting to walk short distances at this point, would have to be a big boy and go it alone. It worked out great actually, we went slow and he helped “push” the suitcase from one side as I pulled it on the other all the way to the elevator and down and to the lobby, the people working the front desk got a kick out of us as we strolled in to wait for Susan to pick us up.

We took the kiddos to a park to play outside and it was lots of fun.

Later Brian came to join us and we all hung out until we had to say our good byes and get off to the airport for our evening flight home. I sooo wish we lived closer to these guys, it was a lot of fun having the kids together and spending time with Susan.

The airport was busy, we got there early enough to have a quick bite of dinner, we checked out the planes and the crew loading the bags and Arlo enjoyed carrying his snack bag around. It was quite cute. Like his sunglasses say… “he’s awesome”. :)

Bye Bye. NC.

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Buckle up Arlo.

The trip home was a little tougher. It always is isn’t it? You had your fun, you’re worn out and going home and just kinda want to be there already.

Arlo was very tired but had a really hard time actually falling asleep.There was a lot of passing him back and forth and keeping him entertained and trying to control the krankiness. It was exhausting for everyone. Finally of course with like 20 min left of the second flight he fell asleep.

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He stayed that way as we got off the plane too, for a while until we hit the bright lights and noises of baggage claim. Then back out again in the car of course. It was nice to be home again.

 

 

Tim & Kerin’s Visit From NYC

I am always so happy to see my “little” brother and his sweet girlfriend Kerin. We definitely don’t get to spend enough time together and even though the visits are usually short we really enjoy every second. Arlo likes hanging with his aunt and uncle too. This time we had Colin and Izzy with us too so we were able to have some full on family fun. Our guests arrived in the wee hours of Sat morning after driving up from NYC after work on Friday. Arlo and I were up and out early to go to our last toddler yoga class of that session and by the time we came home our travelers were just waking and having some breakfast. We learned that Bri had been productive too by installing the water irrigation system he purchased for the garden beds! Automatic watering, now that is what I am talkin’ about.

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We  all spent some time around the house as Arlo napped. We had a nice bbq chicken lunch outside by the pool, which Tim helped Brian with the big reveal by taking the cover off and seeing the lovely green/leafy pond below that marks the start of a new pool season.

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For dessert we enjoyed the lovely mini treats that our guest brought with them from the city. Fancy mini cupcakes in lots of yummy flavors!

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We split them 6 ways, and there were a couple left over that four of us (Tim, Colin, Izzy and myself) were all  wanting to have, so naturally we resorted to Rock Paper Scissors for the decision maker. The “adults” as my little brother stated, won! (must have been all those years growing up using that very problem solving method) However, we of course let the children have the last ones in the end. I mean after-all we are “adults” ha! I just still find that funny, when I feel like we are dumb kids still most of the time.

After lunch we all piled into the truck and went over to Pawtuckaway State Park for some playground and outdoor fun. It was great to play together.

 

Playing up an appetite we went out to dinner at 900 degrees and had a nice meal together.

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Late Sunday morning brought goodbyes as I had a bridal shower to go to and Tim and Kerin planned to meet up with our Dad for brunch before they made the drive home to the city. I hope to visit them there again soon and show Arlo the big city!  Thanks for coming to see us guys! Miss and Love you.

Borax is amazing!

Ode-to-BoraxAlthough I already knew some of the great uses for Borax and use it in my homemade laundry detergent mixture. I discovered yesterday just how absolutely amazing Borax is for cleaning bathrooms/showers.

Borax is wholly natural. It doesn’t cause cancer, accumulate in the body, or absorb through the skin. It is not harmful to the environment. In fact, the largest borax (borate) mine in the world – found in Boron, California – is considered by many to be the most ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable mine in the United States. This is also the mine where 20 Mule Team comes from.

(of course you still want to keep it away from children and pets and wouldn’t want to eat the stuff)

The things I loved about it as a cleaner in my standup shower was that it is more abrasive than a spray (but not too abrasive that it scratched) and really does a great job on grime. Also it doesn’t SMELL! I will never buy another smelly spray cleaner again! Even the natural brands still have you breathing them in while you clean and get it on your hands which end up smelling like oranges or what have you for the rest of the day. And because of it’s deodorizing properties it helps keep the yucky smells away.

It left my bathroom sparkling clean and a little goes a long way. Using this as an all-purpose cleaner around the house will save us money for sure and save us from buying plastic spray bottles!

I was so happy with my discovery and just felt like I had to share with anyone else who might get as tickled as I was by this great natural wonder.

 

Mother’s Day at the Faire

Mother’s Day, a great chance to reflect and appreciate my son, my mother, my grandmothers, mother-in-law, mother earth and all the other amazing mom’s in the world. Being a Mom is hard work and we sure do deserve a day to call our own.

This year I woke and went to a yoga class in the morning to start my day off right. It was lovely and the day itself was sunny and warm with promise of fun. When I got back home we awaited my own special Momma who came down for some brunch. She brought her (other daughter) Cheri Dog down with her. Brian cooked up one of my favorites yummy stuffed french toast with french bread. mmm Even Cheri wanted some and knew right where to sit to have the best chances.

After brunch and some hanging out we headed over to a whole new experience for all of us at the NH Renaissance Faire!

The Faire took place in Kingston, right down the road from us really and it’s something both Brian and I have wanted to check out at some point. It happened to be this weekend and we thought it would be something fun to do for all of us for mother’s day and with beautiful 80 degree weather it was wonderful to be outside.

I treated mom and I to henna tattoos!

We got to see some jousting!

Grammy and Arlo check out the horses.

The highlight of the day was when Arlo discovered the little lances, swords and shields. I guess it’s just a boy thing from the start. :)

All in all it was a pretty great day!

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Spring Fever!

Oh spring! We are so enjoying the beauty that is spring this year. It was a long cold winter and the McGinty’s needed warm SUNSHINE baaad! Even Arlo has the case of spring fever lately. He has been really enjoying all things outdoors. So much so that he throws a little fit when it’s time to go inside.

Spring has brought on some motivation and inspiration to do some indoor/outdoor home projects too! Let’s start with our little front room makeover. We decided we needed some more furnishings in our lovely sunny front room to help us make it more of a useable hangout space. I also wanted to try my hand at painting upholstered furniture and see how it worked and turned out. So we hit up good old craigslist and found a cute comfy looking chair for 30 bucks.

(before)

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We bought some interior satin Valspar paint at Lowes in a springy green color and a cute pillow to match, then we bought some fabric medium from Michael’s. We followed these instructions and a few evenings and thin coats later we had a fun new chair!

(after)

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What I really thought might help cozy up and help define the space would be an area rug, they can be really pricey so I started looking at good old craigslist again and found one that I really liked for 100 dollars with a nice thick pad for underneath. I loved the pattern as it went with all of the plants we love in our sunny room. We moved the rocking chair (of course also from craigslist and painted, still need to find a solution for covering the cushions) that wasn’t getting any use in Arlo’s room any more down to the front room too and presto! Cute new hangout space.

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Arlo and Rufus are both loving it as are we!

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Arlo is showing us lately that he might be the one with the greenest thumb of all of us!  He was in the front room and I left to go get myself some coffee and upon my return I found him “watering” the plants. It was so exciting and cute to see that he has picked up on this.

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Not only has he picked up on it, he can’t get enough, he loves plants and watering cans and he carries them all over with him ha!

I stopped with Arlo on the way home from Tots Yoga Saturday morning at a local nursery and we walked up to lots of the plants and flowers they had and he was so happy and wanting to stand and walk it was so fun to see.

We also did some planting with the kids too and Arlo was right in the mix! First we had to go to Lowes, not everyone’s favorite of trips, but Arlo was loving it!

Then we did some planting and dirt digging.

 

And of course more watering…

We have also been doing some bike riding! We got Arlo a new helmet and I think (after a few rides) we finally have it fitting right and not flopping around. ha!

Isabelle is enjoying her new (my old one from when I was probably her age) bike and Colin is excited and chomping at the bit to do some riding on the new bike we bought for him too, but the whole having a broken arm thing is really getting in the way of some fun activities. :/ But he was still able to enjoy the outside with us and have some fun. :)

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Another little project we whipped out this weekend was freshening up some old (not so nice looking) outdoor plastic chairs with a pretty coat of spray paint. It made the drab seem very new again!

(before)

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I will finish up this post with some cuteness. Momma toe tickles in the rocking chair. :)

Gosh I love this kid. :)

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