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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Easter Sunday

We didn’t really have much planned for Easter. And Brian ended up not feeling great. :( But we were able to enjoy some time with the kids, although the big two had to leave us early for their Mom’s family’s annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Saturday evening we had fun coloring eggs. The kids woke early Sunday to find most of them (next year we will set the rules on what time the hunt begins better) leaving some for Arlo to discover too. Brian made the delicious traditional creamed eggs on toast breakfast out of all the findings!

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I was able to get a group picture of the kids before the big two had to leave, though it took a while, because Arlo wasn’t wanting to cooperate, since it was about time for his morning nap. As you can see, poor Colin has recently broken his arm! What a way to start the spring… :( We are hoping he is back in action soon, though it hasn’t seemed to slow him down much anyways.

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After the kids went home and Arlo woke from his nap we spend the bulk of the afternoon outside. We took his new bubbles from his Easter basket, stuffed bunny (from Miss Amanda at daycare, so sweet of her) and some eggs filled with jelly beans and peeps out to the front yard for some fun in the sun. Yes, Arlo liked the peeps haha after he figured out they were yummy and not just sticky. :) One of his favorite things to do all day was to shake the plastic eggs filled with jelly beans.

 

After a bit we decided to take a walk over to Mary Blair Park and check out the progress on the Natural Playground they are putting in by the baseball field there. Arlo had a lot of fun simply playing in the leaves left over from fall. You wouldn’t think it was spring by the looks of these pictures but Thank God it is!

He had fun in the big tire too!

But the MOST fun area is the Music Area of the park they have such amazing simple things to discover different sounds you can make. This one in particular got Arlo really excited! We are so happy this great little spot is close enough to take a nice walk to from our house! :)

Sunny Monday Fun

Arlo and I took a lunch time break to get some fresh air this afternoon and then again to wait for Dad to get home in the evening, where we discovered the mini beach that has appeared in our driveway. Arlo has never been a fan of getting dirty outside, but today… we learned we can just brush sand off of our hands and it’s “all gone”! So, then he really had some fun in it that resulted in needing a bath before dinner tonight!! :)

Tantrums begin… and two little words brighten my day

Typically my little cutie pie is pretty easy going, and of course I always capture his cute happy side in photos, but recently Arlo has been starting to throw some serious tantrums, it hasn’t been fun. It seems to be especially when in his chair at the table and decides he is done or in a chair at a restaurant, or sitting in the grocery cart for longer than he would like, or in his car seat, basically he doesn’t like to be in one place for long and will let you know it. He is so physically strong, strong willed and high tempered, it is required to strap him in to his high chair because he will lean and pull and stand up, if not and I fear he will fall on his head one of these days. When he starts a fit in my arms I feel at times I might drop him he will push off and lean and arch and I must put him down and then he is even more upset that I put him down even though he didn’t seem to want to be held.

Plus he is getting new teeth (molars) in so that adds to the fun especially at teeth brushing time. It can be frustrating watching him express his frustrations like this. And I know he doesn’t have the verbal capacity to express what he wants and how he feels and I am trying to have as much patience with him as possible, but it isn’t always easy.

Then after having a bit of a rough morning today, he comes over to me while I am at my computer and reach down and I say to him “Hi, Arlo.” and he  says “Hi, Mum” right back and my heart just about burst to hear it! (Of course he wont say it a second time and simply smiles knowingly when I asked.) :)

He has been playing with saying mumm mumma etc. lately, but not really in the right context and still says dada or ada when i ask him to say “mumma” directly, always with a smile like he is playing a cute game. And though he was saying “all done” a while ago it seems he has abandoned that for the aforementioned tantrum acts. Miss Amanda at daycare told me he said “cheese” when she was getting him some for snack last week too. He hasn’t said too many real “words” yet even though he has been very vocal and so to hear “Hi, Mum” today after I said “Hi, Arlo” was simply amazing. And definitely made my day, even if it will most likely contain a struggle or two or three to come later, I will hang on to the excitement that those two little words brought me, for as long as I can.